American Painting Contractor Magazine

August/September 2012

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Page 45 of 63

The Painter's Bookshelf T his month APC highlights a few of our writing contractors. Here you can find books on working and succeeding in the painting trade by con- tractors who have done it. If you would like to purchase any of the books men- tioned in this section, simply scan the QR code. If you have a book that you would like to share with APC readers, email THEWEALTHY HOUSE PAINTER'S GUIDE TO HAVING IT ALL By Terry Begue EXCERPT Every job begins with an initial meeting with your client and a written proposal. You better have your "A" game on. Because it doesn't matter how large or small your company is, your client's assessment of whether he or she feels you'll deliver on your promises will be based largely on the first impression you make! The better you are at communicating If you've honed your skills as a painter but are still struggling to make a profit, author and painting contractor Terry Begue can teach you how to avoid the pit- falls he has found after many years in the industry. Begue teaches readers how to believe in themselves, follow a solid plan and act on what he or she is capable of. He takes readers through a step-by-step process of choosing a target market based on your skills and then advertising and marketing to that market so that you can charge top dollar for your work. 46 • August/September 2012 APC with your clients the more they will trust you and value your opinion. Effective communication begins with being a good listener. It's impossible to write out an accurate proposal if you do not under- stand what the prospect has in mind. Only after the prospect has as much time as they need to tell you the problem they want you to be the solution to, do you talk about the benefits you provide. Often customers aren't given enough information to make an informed deci- sion. That's a big mistake you can't afford to make. The more they know about your services, the more likely they are to value those services highly. When they value those services highly, they will be much more willing to pay your price. Communicating well is a key compo- nent that must be part of every job pro- posal you write and every presentation that you give. Remember, painting is a service business. It's built on happy cus- tomers. Communicating well will help guarantee you get your customer's atten- tion, their trust and probably the contract to do the job. The Wealthy House Painter's Guide is available at thescienceofgetting PUSHING ROCKS DOWNHILL By Michael Kliman "Peak performance," "being in the zone" and "full functioning" are not mere concepts, but actual modes of being. After 30 years in business, Michael Kliman explores the ins and outs of behavior analysis and the benefits of its application in small trades businesses. Pushing Rocks Downhill explores how understanding behavior and motivation can increase employee performance, enhance cus- tomer relations, improve business man- agement and, in the end, maximize busi- ness profit. EXCERPT I recently read that it was Groucho Marx who pegged the human race, and not the Dalai Lama, after all. Groucho instructed us: "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealings. If you can fake that you have it made." I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard someone talk about doing the "right" job. Not only do I not have the dollar bills, but I also don't have the head- in-the-sand good sense of those who insist that there is a right and a wrong way to do things. That kind of thinking sug- gests that, for a painter at least, if you do less than the perfect job it says something about your character. It says that if you give less than everything you know how to do, then you are a cheater. In no other business is this measuring stick used. When you go to the car dealer, if you order the car without leather seats or the navigation system, does the salesman throw them in because cars are better with them? If he permits you to buy the continued on page 48

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