I just received the last bid for painting the outside of our house. Most projects I do myself, with the urging of my wife after checking the bank account. This project is different. I’m trying a new approach and hiring a “Pro”. And not the “College” variety.
Just in the middle of our fifth painter’s sales pitch, a color wheel popped into my head. Usually, I break one of these out with about 30 paint samples at the start of a project. This time, I used my trusty color wheel to compare how the last five bids tried to convince me to give them my money.
After three weeks of research, here is the color wheel of ways your next painter or home contractor will mix and match his way into your heart and pocket book. Let’s start with yellow, it’s a warm and friendly color.
The best friend (Yellow)
The best friend sizes you and the neighborhood up faster than your house by asking questions like, “What do you do”, “Do you have kids” and “How long have you lived here”. Beware. Soon you’ll discover your new best friend used to work in the same field, has a son the same age as yours and only lives 6 blocks away. People often hate to say “No” to those they “Know”.
The pressure cooker (Red)
Red is the second primary color. This guy is a bull and you are the matador. Sales strategies for selling a car and painting a house should not be identical. Did he just give you a 5% discount if you commit by the end of the week? Does he claim your siding will suddenly spontaneously combust if not painted in 2 weeks? Next time he charges, step aside.
The marketer (Blue)
The marketer is one cool customer. Did you just get handed a fancy brochure? Why does a painter need a brochure anyway? Just give me the address of a few houses I can look at. Not only does he have great literature, he has a thousand ways a paint job is indispensable in your life, from lead paint removal to enhanced UV protection. Sure the bid is $6,150, but your house now doubles as a radioactive bomb shelter.
The entrepreneur (Green)
A blend of yellow and blue, the entrepreneur is a mover and shaker. One part friend, one part marketer. He starts with the painting bid, but ends up being your general contractor for everything. Sunken sidewalks, gutters and even replacement windows. And he’s got a website for each business. In the stock market, they tell you to diversify to spread your risk of picking a losing business. Entrepreneurial painters shouldn’t have the same strategy.
The secret teller (Violet)
A secondary color, the secret teller is the exact opposite of the best friend. To build your trust and make you feel good, he’ll tell all the trade secrets. He unveils the truth behind all those positive Angie’s list ratings. He even shares stories he just heard from other painters on how they just took some sucker’s money. His homeowner conspiracies resemble the Kennedy assassination and you start to swear all of the other bids are masked gunmen standing on your grassy knoll.
Which paint color on the color wheel are you picking for your house? Spin the color wheel again and take a closer look at the spectrum of color personalities knocking on your front door. You’ll soon uncover the hues and shades of personality types ready to convince you they are the right guy for the job. Which color did I pick? Take a guess …