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The Hidden Culprit behind Lower Sales: Revisiting Basics for the Painting Contractor

As a painting contractor, have you ever found yourself baffled by the struggle to make more money despite following industry-standard pricing strategies and profit margins? When you find yourself puzzled by lower-than-expected sales, there's a high chance that you're missing a critical yet often overlooked aspect. The obstacle to higher sales and success could be a straightforward element that many contractors are failing to see. Let's delve into this frequently ignored culprit to understand how it's impeding your business success.

1. The Missing Puzzle Piece - Human Communication Basics

We often get caught up in the advanced business strategies and profitability equations. However, in the process, we tend to overlook the foundational element of any business: human communication. The basics of human communication can significantly impact your sales performance, often more than you'd anticipate.

The art of communication isn't merely about conveying your ideas effectively. It's also about the presentation, grammar, spelling, and timeliness. These are the low-hanging fruits that often get ignored in the whirlwind of business operations.

Consider a situation where you're communicating with a client through email or text. If you aren't using capital letters, spelling words correctly, or using the correct version of a word, it erodes the customer's confidence and trust in you.

Every communication you have with your clients reflects your professionalism and attention to detail. It doesn't matter how good your prices are; if your communication fails to instill confidence in your clients, the chances of making a sale diminish significantly.

2. The Image of Professionalism - A Crucial Ingredient for Success

Once you've established the basics of professional communication, the next focus area should be the image you project to the world.

Your voicemail is often one of the first points of contact for potential customers. As such, it plays a crucial role in forming the initial impression. A professional, courteous, and energetic voicemail greeting can significantly enhance the image of professionalism that you portray to your customers.

The same goes for your website, which acts as a digital storefront for your business. It needs to be up-to-date, user-friendly, and most importantly, functional. You need to ensure all forms on your website work correctly, and you're promptly addressing any leads generated through it. A well-maintained website signifies your commitment to professionalism and creates a positive impression on potential customers.

3. Social Media - The Invisible Yardstick

In the age of social media, your social profiles often act as invisible yardsticks for potential clients. Customers often refer to your social media profiles to understand your company culture and professionalism.

Hence, the content you post on social platforms significantly influences your business image. This includes not just your business pages but also your personal profile. Your social media presence should project a professional image while also allowing customers to get to know the people behind the business.

4. The Power of Appearance - Don't Underestimate It

Beyond your digital presence, your physical appearance also significantly impacts your clients' perception. This includes your personal appearance, your vehicle, and how you present yourself at job sites.

Keeping your vehicle clean and organized, presenting yourself professionally (even when you're getting your hands dirty), and maintaining a tidy workspace significantly enhance your reputation. Your appearance communicates your attention to detail and respect for the client's property, influencing their decision to hire you.

5. Projecting Intelligence - The Final Touch

Last but not least, projecting a basic level of intelligence and education goes a long way in boosting client confidence. This involves using correct grammar, maintaining proper spelling, and showing your understanding of the industry.

When clients are faced with the decision to hire a painting contractor, especially at a premium price, they are more likely to opt for a contractor who brings the whole package, including communication skills, professionalism, a tidy appearance, and intelligence.

6. Creating a Community - Success through Collaboration

Engaging with a community of contractors is an essential step to ensure continuous improvement. Joining forums, participating in discussions, and engaging in a healthy exchange of ideas and strategies can immensely benefit your business. Surrounding yourself with successful peers motivates you and keeps you on the right track.


Succeeding as a painting contractor isn’t just about numbers and margins. It’s about paying attention to the human element and how you present yourself and your business to your clients. By mastering the basics of human communication, maintaining professionalism, ensuring a positive social media presence, focusing on appearance, and engaging with a community, you can discover the hidden culprit behind lower sales and pave your way to greater success as a painting contractor.

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