Where Are Your Customers Looking for You?

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When looking to grow your client base, the big question is, where do you find new customers?

To help painting contractors better understand where to find new clients, Sherwin-Williams conducted a survey of more than 1,700 homeowners to determine when they hire a painting contractor, where they look for professionals and what drives the selection process. This is the second in a series of five articles that shares the insights, along with best practices on how to use this information to engage with potential customers.

Starting the Search
Personal referrals and relationships are the most common ways that homeowners find their professional painter, with 72 percent attributing their selection to these methods. While 51 percent of clients talked to a friend, family member or neighbor before making a decision, 21 percent of homeowners said a personal relationship with the painter is important. Additionally, 14 percent of homeowners asked another contractor for a recommendation. It is important to build and maintain relationships both within your business and in your personal life, as they can pay off in the long run.

Our survey also showed that seven percent of homeowners hired a painter who was referred by their paint store. As contractors, it is likely that you have developed a strong relationship with store associates or sales representatives at your go-to store. Always maintain professionalism and get to know these contacts personally, as they can help acquire new work for your business.

Online Drives Few Referrals
While there is a significant conversation around the importance of a presence on online review sites and social media outlets, our survey showed that only three percent use these means to hire a painter. While online marketing can help get a business in front of the right channels, it’s really the former customer, the contractor partner or paint store staff who ultimately drive customers to your paint contracting business.

Make the Most Out of Great Service
A contractor’s on-the-job reputation clearly precedes itself, having a vital role in the process. This means that you should ensure that every project should be completed with the greatest level of attention, keeping customer satisfaction front-of-mind at all times.

One of the most beneficial ways to make the most out of your great work on the job is to conduct a post-job walkthrough. Every contractor should take time at the end of the job to walkthrough the site with the homeowner. Since communication and face time are key to developing a strong relationship, this offering allows for feedback, discussion about the work overall and time to connect with the client outside of a normal business day.

Personal Recommendations Drive References
Homeowners trust personal references above all else, emphasizing the known power of word-of-mouth marketing. Providing top-notch service on each and every job will ultimately lead to more jobs in the future.

In the next of our series, we will discuss price and the roll that is plays as a deciding factor in the bid.

About the Author
Jeff Winter is the director of marketing for the residential repaint division of

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