Using Top-Notch Paint
According to the McGraw-Hill 2013 Construction Forecast, U.S. construction starts for 2013 will rise 6 percent to $483.7 billion, slightly higher than the 5-percent increase that was estimated for 2012. While the industry is predicted to improve, commercial contractors are expected to offer unparalleled customer service, combined with quality work, to run successful businesses and increase profitability. Delivering on quality—from the products used to the services offered—is a fundamental component to landing repeat jobs. In this article, the benefits of using high-quality paint and how it relates to customer satisfaction will be reviewed.
KNOW THE VALUE-ADDS
Contractors will experience various benefits when applying high-quality paint. Adding a great paint to a project gives pros the ability to extend the life of a paint job and deliver more value to their clients. Premium products offer clients an assortment of rich colors to consider and deliver a more polished, finished look that requires less maintenance over time. The next time you’re considering the use of high-quality paint, remember the value-add summary below:
- Smooth, even application
- Better hiding capabilities
- Improved adhesion
- Greater durability, meaning less maintenance
- Enhanced protection and resistance to moisture, stains, mildew, and dirt
- Greater color and sheen retention
- Expansive color options
- Easy to clean
Select premium paints also incorporate technology that eliminates the need for a separate primer, which in turn helps professional contractors complete their jobs in less time and with less material—this can contribute to keeping a project on track and on budget.
SELL THE LONGEVITY
Combining proper wall prep with quality paint, a paint job—exterior or interior—will last for many years, as the paints’ features, such as stain blocking and scuff resistance, help prolong the lifespan of a paint job. This should be a big selling point when bidding commercial and residential projects to allow property owners to stretch their investment over time, minimizing the inconveniences associated with painting projects (i.e., areas that are off-limits due to construction).
QUALITY ACROSS THE BOARD
To fully satisfy customers, quality must go beyond the products used and extend to the labor performed and the service provided. The combination of superior products, workmanship, and service is a formula for success. For example, using premium products helps pros illustrate their dedication to quality, helping to instill confidence with customers—an important point, especially at a time when competition for new business is increasing. When quality work is showcased, pros can better maintain relationships, which in turn can lead to future referrals.
DEMONSTRATE THE ROI
Although most professionals understand the benefits of using premium paint on a project, they may be reluctant to use a higher end product if their client is concerned with job costs. If price is an objection, professionals can demonstrate the ROI of a quality paint job. Create presentations that include paint samples, color swatches, and photographs of previously completed projects to show commercial property owners the significant improvement quality paint has made for other clients. Incorporate any material and labor savings, along with estimated lifetime savings, when available. When customers are able to see the results a pro can deliver, they’ll often take note of the quality involved and the positive design impact painting with high-end paint can have on a space. Contractors can also discuss the shift in a property’s market value with a longer-lasting paint job.
From a professional standpoint, remember that there are programs available to help manage project costs, helping to ensure high-quality paint can still be used. For example, the BehrProSM program combines the convenience of The Home Depot’s nationwide storefronts, volume discounts, and contractor pricing, saving pros money and helping them increase profitability. Additional benefits include free delivery* to your jobsite—saving gas money and transportation time—and factory tinting for accurate and consistent color matching.
WORK BY INSTINCT
Understanding when and when not to use high-quality paint is a skill that’s important to master. Pending a job’s requirements, I typically will opt for premium paints for the multitude of advantages as reviewed in this article—less maintenance, better color options, and longer-lasting finishes, among other value-adds. But as a certified contractor, I encourage you to follow your instinct, as your professional knowledge will almost always lead to the right decision for a job. ■
About The Author:
Colin Jaffe serves as the senior vice president of operations for professional products and services at Behr Process Corporation, where he is responsible for overseeing Behr’s North American sales service team, which services the Paint Departments and Behr Pro Desk inside The Home Depot.
Modern Contractor Solutions, April 2013
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