top of page

Strategic Client Selection: The Everlasting Mantra of "Cheap, Fast, Good - Pick Two"

Sherwin Williams Emerald Designer SW 9634 Morning at Sea. Beautiful blue bedroom bedroom painted with a shade of blue color.
Sherwin Williams Emerald Designer SW 9634 Morning at Sea

The Parable of the Selective Painter

In a vibrant town, there was a painter renowned for his meticulous work. One day, a man approached him for a lavish mural. Sensing the man's indecision and quest for options, the painter asked for a commitment fee. The man balked and left in search of cheaper alternatives. The painter, unfazed, continued his work, embodying the mantra "Cheap, fast, good - pick two", and knowing the importance of choosing the right clients.

1. Strategic Client Selection

The ancient wisdom of strategic selection in battle applies equally to choosing clients. Implementing a pre-qualification process helps identify clients who value quality and are willing to invest in it. This approach saves time and resources, focusing your efforts on clients who appreciate your time and understand that quality work comes at a fair price.

It also shows how much they value their home or project.

2. Communication and Clear Estimates

Clear communication is paramount to success. When dealing with potential clients, clarity in your process for providing estimates is crucial. Articulate that while initial verbal estimates are possible, detailed written quotes require a more comprehensive assessment. This sets expectations from the start and ensures clients understand the value of your work.

3. Valuing Your Expertise

Consider the tactic of charging for quotes. This move is akin to a strategist placing value on his plans. By charging for your time and expertise in crafting a detailed quote, you filter out those not serious about your services. This fee, deductible from the final bill upon project commencement, is a testament to the value you place on your work and expertise.

4. Professionalism in Client Interactions

Sun Tzu valued the high ground in battle. In business, this is akin to maintaining professionalism. Respond to those who choose others with grace and dignity, offering thanks and leaving the door open for future opportunities. This approach not only preserves your reputation but also keeps potential future alliances alive. Every interaction is a chance to reinforce your brand's integrity and professionalism.

5. Continuous Improvement and Focus

The path of a warrior is one of continuous improvement and focus. Reflect on these client interactions as learning opportunities. Tailor your marketing efforts to attract your ideal clientele, those who value the quality and dedication you bring. Seek feedback, adapt your strategies, and remember that not every client is the right fit for your business.


In conclusion, the key to thriving as a painting contractor lies in choosing your clients as wisely as a general chooses his battles. Implement a pre-qualification process, communicate your process clearly, value your services appropriately, maintain unwavering professionalism, and continuously adapt and focus your strategies. These principles, inspired by the "Cheap, fast, good - pick two" mantra, will guide you in building a successful business that attracts clients who value quality and are willing to invest in it.

1,282 views1 comment

Related Posts

See All

1 Comment

Dec 02, 2023

Really helpful tips. Thanks for sharing this!

Recent posts
bottom of page