From quotation to completion, master kitchen painter for London explains the process
Mark Nash is a master kitchen painter covering London and M4 corridor. From quote to completion, he explains some of what goes on behind the scenes of a consummately professional decorating firm.
‘Pleased to meet you, we enjoyed watching your door painting technique on YouTube…’
‘Hello Mark, will you be using the atomiser to get the paint finish on our kitchen units that we saw on your video..?’
These comments are examples of what I hear these days when I first shake a customer’s hand: not what I would have expected to be hearing when I first started out painting nearly twenty years ago. Neither did I (nor anyone) know what a blog was 20 years ago, but I have been behind a few articles too on Traditional Painter. Clearly, using the internet to its best advantage is one of the reasons my business is riding this recession so well.
Paint tech friendly
I make no apology: I am passionate about paint. People in my local pub chuckle if they spot me poring over a title such as ‘The Paint Technology Handbook’ with my pint, but that’s just the way it is. I recently invested in over £100 of decorating literature because I believe in finding out as much as I can, as well as being prepared to understand and embrace new products .We painters are part of a revolution in ecology and polymer chemistry…
OK, before I start to worry anybody, I should make it clear that I’m NOT a polymer chemist. Or an Eco-warrior. But knowing how to explain to a customer last week that the Tikkurila waterborne paint I was using was more durable than the traditional oil based products he appeared to favour because it dries in a cross weave rather than a linear formation – and is therefore approximately one quarter thinner but less brittle – was, shall we say, advantageous.
His question ‘these new paints are a bit thin, aren’t they?’ was well and truly answered. And he was suitably impressed.
It pays to be passionate. And informed.
Before I get to shake my customer’s hand, however, I always follow my own plan of action to secure a booking. It’s not rocket science, but it’s a continual surprise to me how many trades folk I hear of who either forget or can’t be bothered to properly follow up on an initial enquiry.
– I make sure I have responded to a customer within 24 hours, usually much more quickly.
– If colour charts or colour boards are requested, I send them out within 48 hours.
– I use customised business stationery and envelopes for a professional touch.
– If I haven’t heard back from the customer fairly promptly I will make a courtesy follow up call to discuss their needs and, if I’ve sent a quotation, to discuss the unmentionable: the price. Sometimes I just need to explain why they will be getting value for money.
– It is invaluable to be able to refer them to my up-to-date website for ideas and testimonials.
This, broadly, is how I go about keeping my calendar at optimal capacity. Some of it is just part of who I am and how I have always engaged with the people who pay for my decorating services: the rest is about keeping an open mind, trying new products and putting my customers first. From quotation to completion.
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