Successful painting contractors agree that a customer-focused sales approach typically results not only in improved customer satisfaction but the opportunity to upgrade to products that can improve project profitability.
“We start with the customer in mind, not us,” says Dale Busic, owner of CertaPro Painters of Cypress, Texas. “And we always offer premium products when the opportunity allows. Rarely do we find any trepidation on price when we explain why.”
The “why” is the key, according to those who regularly guide their customers to premium product solutions that are mutually beneficial. And in order to provide a compelling “why”, contractors must be active listeners in conversations with their customers about concerns, needs and usage expectations in order to match them with a room-specific product upgrade. Sherwin-Williams has several premium products that provide features that offer solutions to homeowner concerns.
For example, let’s say conversations with the homeowner have revealed that the living room is a busy, high-traffic space where the homeowner wants to ensure that a couple of old stains are gone forever and potential new ones can be dealt with quickly and easily. An upgrade to Emerald® Interior Acrylic Latex makes sense here, given the product’s exceptional hide qualities and beautiful, smooth finish. Emerald offers an advanced flat finish that delivers the same washability, durability and burnish resistance as the matte or glossier sheens. It also offers maximum resistance to water spotting and streaking.
If your homeowner customer has a particularly discerning eye when it comes to color, perhaps an upgrade to Emerald® Designer Edition Interior Latex Paint would make the most sense. While featuring all the performance benefits of Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex, this product is available in an exclusive collection of 200 new colors, including brighter, purer whites, nuanced into five designer color collections, delivering flawless results with outstanding hide.
Or let’s say a bedroom presents an upscale, high-end aesthetic. You’ve seen how spectacular artwork adorns the walls and have learned in conversations with the homeowner that family members are frequent overnight guests, and the homeowner wants to provide them a comfortable yet vibrant setting that is equally stylish and luxurious. Consider a finish of Cashmere® Interior Acrylic Latex, which leaves walls looking silky rich, elegant and buttery smooth.
Perhaps you’ve engaged the homeowner in conversation about the kitchen. You’ve learned four kids make their sandwiches here. The dog and two cats eat here. The occasional cup of coffee or glass of orange juice gets spilled here. It’s the busiest room in the building. Solution?
An upgrade to Harmony® Interior Acrylic Latex, which features an odor-eliminating technology that reduces ambient odors as well as anti-microbial agents that inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the surface of the paint film.* Importantly, a durable Harmony finish will withstand frequent washings, which makes it a perfect solution for this bustling space.
How about the bathroom? The homeowner has explained that they fight a constant battle against high humidity there, and mold and mildew are near-constant concerns. Solution? An upgrade to Duration Home® Interior Acrylic Latex, which features a stain- and moisture-resistant technology and will stand up to frequent cleanings. It also contains agents that will inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the paint film.
For contractors like Busic, the results of premium product upgrades can be measured in heightened customer satisfaction as well as higher markups and improved profitability.
“A premium product always pays for itself,” he says.
The Sherwin-Williams Room-by-Room Paint Selection Guide makes it easy for contractors to have a conversation that guides a homeowner to a room-specific premium-product solution that will fit their needs and meet their expectations. It’s also a valuable tool in showing your customers that you’ve listened to their individual concerns and are offering a product solution to satisfy them.
Contractor Steven Foglia of the Illini Paint Company in Decatur, Ill., says such a tool provides a key in building a lasting customer relationship that results in both referrals and repeat business.
“Understanding the customer’s needs and matching them to the Sherwin-Williams product line enables us to satisfy the individual needs each project requires,” he says.
* Harmony features a formaldehyde-reducing technology that promotes better air quality by reducing Volatile Organic Compounds from possible sources such as insulation or carpeting. The length of time Harmony actively reduces odors and formaldehyde depends on the concentration, the frequency of exposure and the amount of painted surface area.