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The Power of Bracketing: A Time and Money Saver for Painting Contractors

Have you ever found yourself putting on a show for potential clients, convincing them of your capabilities, only to have them dismiss your services as "too expensive"? This common frustration can feel like a waste of time for both you and the client. Today, I will introduce a technique to save your time, ensure successful sales interactions, and stop you from pursuing the wrong clientele - a technique called "bracketing".


In my experience with countless contractors, I've found that the secret to success lies in mastering the art of bracketing. Bracketing is a strategy that allows you to determine the prospect's budget before investing time and effort into a proposal or meeting. Understanding the budget will ensure that you don't waste time on a potential client who may not be the right fit for your business.


When engaging with a client, avoid asking for the budget outright. This strategy is often counterproductive as it raises defenses and prompts dishonest answers. After all, nobody wants to feel taken advantage of. Instead, apply the technique of bracketing, which encourages honesty and transparency.


The fundamental concept of bracketing lies in presenting two price ranges, a high and a low. This strategy is designed to give the client control while subtly directing the conversation. Start by suggesting a high number to set the anchor, then follow with a lower estimate. The high number paints an elaborate, all-encompassing picture of what they could have, while the lower end presents the basic minimum cost of the project.


For example, let's take a painting project. Present the prospect with two scenarios. You might say, "We could turn your living space into a home design magazine-worthy masterpiece, with meticulous attention to detail, highest-end paint, and accent walls. This could cost between $9,000 to $11,000. On the other hand, we could simply apply a couple of coats of regular-grade paint, which would cost between $4000 to $5000."


Following this, ask the golden question, "Which conversation makes more sense for us to have right now?" Then, it's time to pause. Let them reflect on the options and share their thoughts. This approach gives them control and prompts them to share their budget, ensuring that you spend your time on potential clients who align with your business goals.


The advantages of bracketing are numerous. Firstly, it saves precious time by eliminating unnecessary meetings and proposals. Secondly, it steers you clear from "Hope Island", where contractors often find themselves stuck chasing clients that eventually disappear. Thirdly, it raises the average job size and, consequently, your earnings. Lastly, it increases respect for you as a professional, from both yourself and the client.


Confidence plays a crucial role in the success of bracketing. Adopt the confidence of a surgeon performing knee surgery or a fighter pilot heading into battle. Your expertise should shine through as you take control of the process, and your confidence will be contagious, attracting clients who respect your work.


Bracketing works for any type of project, from small paint jobs to extensive kitchen remodels. Whether you're a painter, electrician, or computer salesman, the technique remains the same. Present two options, ask the golden question, and let the prospect decide. This will ensure that you spend your time, energy, and resources on clients who appreciate your work and are willing to pay for it.


Remember, respect and trust in any transaction are reciprocal. If you're transparent and upfront about your costs, clients will be more likely to respect the process, and you'll attract those who are looking for quality and are willing to pay for it. Consequently, your client base will not only be more satisfied but also more likely to refer your services to others, leading to a thriving and sustainable business. In the end, bracketing helps you work with the right clients and allows you to provide your services to those who truly value and appreciate them. Give it a try, and you'll see your client interactions become smoother, more efficient, and ultimately, more profitable.


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