I've been thinking lately that a transaction between a home owner and a painting contractor is a very meaningful exchange, perhaps more than most other transactions.
In a previous post I've discussed that what we, as independent painting contractors, are in the trust business. I still believe that. I still believe that what clients are looking to buy is trust - trust that you know what you are doing, that you can solve their problem effectively, that you can join the family for a couple of weeks. Home owners need to trust you with their money, access to their home, care of their valuables and assets, safety of their family members, their schedule, etc. That is a lot of trust that they are shopping for. And all that trust has a high value to them - they are willing to pay a premium to deal with a company or craftsman they have confidence in.
But I no longer believe that what we are selling is trust. We should be marketing trust, our customers should be buying trust, but that is not what we are selling - the thing that we are exchanging for money is not trust, but it is even more valuable...
The thing we sell is life energy. Our time, our attention, our energy, our health, our skills. Most of those resources are non-renewable. Once gone, they are gone. We need to charge a premium for these very finite assets. Yes, we have to feed our families and pay bills, for sure. But painting and running a business are very time-intensive and cognitively taxing. It requires a big investment on our part to deliver a high-value service.
The point I'm trying to make is that a transaction between a home owner and a painter represents a lot of potential value for both parties. A lot is at stake. Our prices should reflect that. If not, we are giving away our life energy while undermining our own trustworthiness in the eyes of our clients.
I would love to hear your thoughts.