Use this Proven Phone Script to Set Up a Painting Estimate

February 20th, 2017 | Chandler Zieg | Featured, Painting Business Articles | 29 Comments

I’ve called thousands of sales leads over the years. I’ve also worked with over 1,400 painting companies and seen their sales process with job leads. I’ve discovered that some companies have a WAY higher closing rate than others. Some companies will literally sell eight jobs out of 10 leads. Others will MAYBE close one job out of 10 leads.

What’s the difference?

What the Best Painting Companies Do

The difference is in the process. I’ve observed some best practices that top performing painting companies do over and over to get amazing results with any lead service, not just ours.

If you try just a few of these best practices, you will ABSOLUTELY get better results from your leads.

1. Call the leads IMMEDIATELY

This is so important. Don’t even wait 10 minutes to call a new lead, call it NOW. There are usually other companies calling the same lead, so if you don’t call it quickly, they’ll get to the customer first. Homeowners LOVE a company that calls promptly and shows genuine concern for their project.

2. Leave a Professional Voicemail

If they don’t answer the first time, don’t chain call them. We’ve noticed a lot of companies will literally scare the homeowner away by calling them four times in a row. This is not professional and it looks desperate. Just leave a quick voicemail and try them again later in the day. I’ve had a lot of success with this simple voicemail:

“Hi John, this is Chandler from Curb Appeal Painters. I was calling about the five bedrooms you’d like painted. I’d love to learn a little bit more about your project and provide you a free estimate. We have a special on interior work right now that can save you some money as well, so please call me back when you get a chance. Talk to you soon, thanks John!”

Hidden gems about this voicemail:

  1. I mention their project SPECIFICALLY (5 bedrooms). That way the homeowner knows I’m providing a custom quote for their specific needs.
  2. I’m very upbeat on the voicemail so a homeowner can sense my enthusiasm for their project. If you sound unprofessional or bored, people will simply not call you back.
  3. I mention a special. People love getting a deal, so I let them know we have a discount on their type of work (interior). ALWAYS offer some sort of discount or deal. This is a proven method to getting more business, and getting more call-backs.

3. Set up an Estimate (once you get hold of the customer)

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This is a simple script I’ve used to set up HUNDREDS of successful estimates (which I later booked):

Me: Hi John, this is Chandler from Curb Appeal Painters calling about painting your five bedrooms?

Homeowner: Yes! Thanks for calling Chandler, I was looking to get five of our bedrooms done and maybe the entryway as well.

Me: Great! I’d love to set up an estimate with you so I can look at the project, when would it work for you to meet with me?

Homeowner: I’m off this Thursday afternoon, could you swing by then?

Me: How about Thursday at 3pm?

Homeowner: That works!

Me: Great! What’s the address?

Homeowner: It’s 123 Lowell Street.

Me: Awesome! I have you in my planner for 3pm at 123 Lowell St. So I have just a couple questions about your project. Are you changing colors in the five rooms you’re looking to paint?

Homeowner: Yes, I’d like to freshen it up a bit, so I’m looking at a couple of different color combos.

Me: Ok great, and I’ll bring my color wheel to give you some ideas as well. Is there anyone else in the home that will have input on the colors you’d like to use?

Homeowner: Yes, my wife Andrea.

Me: Great, will Andrea also be available to help with colors on Thursday?

Homeowner: Yep, she’ll be around.

Me: Great! Do you and Andrea know roughly when you’d like to start the project?

Homeowner: We’re thinking sometime in May.

Me: Ok, we still have a couple openings in May so that should work out nicely.

Also, we have a 10% discount on interior work going on now, so assuming you’re happy with our price and quality, we’ll be able to save you some money along the way.

Homeowner: Always good to hear!

Me: Great! Well I really appreciate your time John, and I look forward to meeting with you and Andrea on Thursday! I’ll give you a call Wednesday night just to check in and double-confirm our appointment, but if you need anything in the meantime, please give me a call.

Homeowner: Thank you Chandler, I’ll see you Thursday, goodbye!

Me: Sounds good John, Goodbye!

Key Gems from the Call:

  1. Enthusiasm (but not phony enthusiasm). You’ll notice I have a lot of exclamation points in this script. It’s because I’m smiling and upbeat when I’m talking with the homeowner. People can sense enthusiasm over the phone. Nobody wants to book with someone who sounds tired or unmotivated.
  2. Tailor the call to their project: You’ll notice how I’m very specific about their “five-bedroom project” because I want them to know it’s going to be a custom quote, and not just a run-of-the-mill estimate that I provide to anyone and everyone. People need to know you care about THEIR project.
  3. I ASSUME the estimate. A lot of painting contractors won’t even get an opportunity to bid the estimate because they ASK to setup the appointment instead of ASSUMING the appointment. You’ll notice I don’t ask if they’d like an estimate, I assume they’re getting an estimate and go right into scheduling. It’s amazing how many painters lose business by giving the homeowner a chance to say “no thanks, I kind of just wanted a ball park price over the phone”.
  4. I ask questions. Too many painters just talk AT a homeowner thinking they’re selling them. You have to ask questions and LISTEN to their answers. Often times they will bring up their main concerns with just simple questions like what colors or when they need work done. Then you’ll know what to address at the estimate. Asking questions also starts to form a relationship with the customer that will eventually lead to the sale.
  5. I ask about other people who are involved in the decision. Once you get to the estimate, it’s SO IMPORTANT to have all decision-makers there. Otherwise you will almost always get this response when you ask for the job: “Well, I have to discuss it with my wife/husband”. This is one of the hardest objections to get over, so make sure everyone that has a say is at the estimate.
  6. I mention a special. I let them know that we’ll have a discount for them “assuming they like my price and quality”. This is a really good way to get the homeowner already thinking about booking with you. I’m so assumptive that we’ll be doing business together that THEY assume we’re doing business together.
  7. I say “We have a couple openings”. It’s important to be busy. Homeowners want to know that other people are also using your services. It’s like going to a restaurant with an empty parking lot – why is no one else eating here? Any time homeowners can see your services are in demand is a plus.
  8. Confirmation Call. I let them know I’ll be touching base a day before to double-confirm. This shows you’re professional, and then once you actually call them the day before, it’s another chance to build a relationship. It also shows you’re on top of your business. Oh yeah, and you’ll have fewer no-shows.

This script is not perfect, but it works really well if you hit the main points. There will always be some variations in the call that you’ll have to adjust to, but the call should be simple and considerate of people’s time.

4. Use Email and Text Templates

Some of our most profitable painting companies use email and text templates that auto-send to new leads. This is effective because you’re using all forms of communication to reach the customer: Phone call, email AND text. You can’t sell the customer if you can’t reach them.

It’s a good idea to have a very professional email template pre-written with attached testimonials or pictures of your work. It’s a way of providing references before the customer even asks (and to show them how awesome your work is).

5. Good Follow-Up

You won’t always reach someone the first time you call, so it’s very important to have an organized follow-up process.

Companies that do the best with our leads continue to follow up with homeowners for weeks, sometimes MONTHS after they’ve received a lead.

Too many contractors give up on a lead too early and lose the job, while the good companies continue to call and win the job.

Again, you don’t want to pester a customer, but reasonable follow up will get you more jobs than the competition and show the homeowner you’d like to earn their business.

Sometimes people just get busy and push their project off, but if you’re the only one still calling months later, chances are YOU’LL be the one they hire.

6. Organize Your Leads

Get a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management). CRM’s are great for organizing all your potential customers. We use a fairly basic CRM and it ABSOLUTELY helps our sales, and it keeps us organized.

It allows us to keep track of all our potential customers and follow up with them when we say. This goes very far in the eyes of the customer and it’s amazing how many painting contractors don’t use them.

Here’s what NOT to do with new leads:

  1. Don’t wait to call them.
  2. Don’t blow up the homeowner with numerous calls.
  3. Don’t have an unprofessional voicemail recording.
  4. Don’t give up on a lead after only a day or two.
  5. Don’t just provide a price. Set up an estimate and review the estimate WITH the customer (don’t email it later).


This guide is just about setting up the leads into estimates, but the actual estimate is a whole other animal. I won’t go into all the details that make up a good estimate, but If you’d like some tips that we use for our own estimates, please contact us.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this has been helpful!

Chandler Zieg,


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