I am so excited to write this article and share the value I have found through a strong partnership with Sherwin Williams and my local paint rep. The wealth of knowledge that sales reps have is immense, and the benefit of this knowledge and collaboration has done nothing but support the growth of my company. Through our partnership and communication, Eric (our amazing rep) has not only taught me about a whole host of Sherwin Williams products, but he has offered countless other forms of support to help in the success of my business.
Six Ways Paint Reps Support Business Owners:
Materials and Products:
The obvious benefit of partnering with a paint rep is for their knowledge on materials and products. This comes in handy when you come across new project needs or large scale projects requiring many different product selections. Of course, it is our job as contractors to also have a strong handle on painting products; however, the paint rep often knows several ways to achieve the result your project calls for and can help you weigh pros, cons and budgetary restrictions for individual projects.
Not only are paint reps able to offer you product suggestions and information, they are also well versed in paint failure and trouble shooting. Never hesitate to ask your rep to look at a project with you and have them offer solutions to substrate conditions.
Understanding Your Numbers:
Understanding your business and estimate numbers is perhaps the biggest key to being successful in this industry. You might not know this, but your paint rep can help with this part of your business too. As a result of your rep working day in and day out with companies all across your local area, he/she will have a good handle on competitive rates within your geographic area.
Many times I’ve texted my rep a quick message asking things such as: “what’s a competitive price for commercial repaints” or “what’s a competitive rate for commercial new builds” and he is able to give me his read on the current area rates.
Partner on Team Training:
It can be a daunting idea to slow production and implement a day of training. It can be even more daunting as the owner to find all of the necessary resources, experts and space required to pull off a day of training. Despite these challenges, we know training is a vital part to growth and quality management.
No Drip Painting has partnered with Sherwin Williams (through our paint rep) in the upcoming months in order to provide trainings that leverage their resources and connections and are taught right from our local Sherwin Williams store. The first training is going include thorough instruction on our most used paint products. This will help our painters gain a better understanding of why we use certain products and when/where they should be applying each while out in the field. Sherwin Williams is also going to facilitate a training session with an area Graco rep so our team can further their knowledge on the use, safety and care of paint sprayers.
Business Partnering on Brand Gear:
This year we have partnered with Sherwin Williams on new sweatshirts for the crews. The SW logo and our, No Drip Painting, logo are both advertised on the sweatshirt. Since we are including both logos we are splitting the cost of the sweatshirts. It turns out to save us some money on our gear and shows a partnership with SW, which we are happy to show off!
Each year we review our most-used materials with Sherwin Williams. After this meeting they draft for us an individualized company product guide. The product guide includes our logo and contact information, along with the top six products we recommend to our residential clients. The guide gets printed on high-quality paper and highlights (in color) recommended products and brief product descriptions. Our customers appreciate this information as it gets reviewed during estimates and the professional appearance helps to set us apart from local competitors.
We have not yet utilized, but are excited to start using companion documents that Sherwin Williams is able to produce. These are detailed packets that can be created-by project-listing out all product and color selections, location of use, and product information. We think this will be a great tool to provide at the conclusion of commercial projects or even on large-scale residential projects.
Networking and Future Partners:
It is no surprise that success, in any industry, is about communication and networking. One final way your paint rep can support your growth is through intentional connection-making and networking within the field. Ask your rep two things. One, who do they find to be reputable general contractors in the area. Two, which of those contractors do they think your company would be a good fit with. Often times reps are eager to help further your industry connections and supply you the necessary material to do the jobs you secure.
We are so thankful for the support of our paint rep and local Sherwin Williams store manager, and the work they put in to support our growth and vision for the future.