Take Your Pick of Perks!

Paula Hubbs Cohen

SWreponjob1We recently asked several industry experts to talk about their favorite paint manufacturer perks. While there was a wide range of responses, one theme was constant: paint pros appreciate quality customer service, the opportunity for team-building and camaraderie, and a constant flow of up-to-date information. From product demos to on-site consultations, here’s what they had to say:


ABOUT OUR PRO: Carlos de León is VP of The León Group, LLC, in Bridgehampton, NY. He’s been in the paint business for 20 years.

HIS FAVORITE PERK: Partnerships with manufacturers, and a diligent service rep. “This is where the manufacturers become your most valuable tool. They are the arbiters of knowledge concerning the products we will be using to conduct our business. In addition, an active and conscientious service rep often separates one manufacturer from the next. A great service rep is available to answer any and all questions as to what paint should be used and on what surfaces. This is extremely important, as the industry is constantly changing with new paint products and new surface materials.”

HIS BOTTOM LINE: “As the industry grows, it changes and new products are released. By having a partnership with manufacturers, we are invited to attend prerelease shows and educational sessions. This is helpful because companies that have the most knowledge concerning products and their performance will have more success than those who have little.”


ABOUT OUR PRO: Jimmy Zeski is the owner of Fresh Coat of Charleston, based in Summerville, SC. He’s been a paint pro for six years.

HIS FAVORITE PERK: Pro Days. “These usually include giveaways and lunch. I also appreciate new-product free trials, call-ahead ordering, on-site consultations with my customers, and discounted prices on work shirts that have our company logo, since that markets our company.”

HIS BOTTOM LINE: “Demos and trials help us stay up on the newest technology in paint and painting, while consultations allow for proper product recommendations and advice. Having an expert on site alleviates customers’ concerns on difficult projects, and call-ahead ordering really saves time … and time is money.”


ABOUT OUR PRO: Courtney Tamulevich is VP of marketing and customer experience for ProGroup Contracting, a licensee of CertaPro Painters, in Fairhaven, MA. The company has been in business for more than 25 years; she has been involved in the paint industry for three-plus years.

HER FAVORITE PERK: Support for the company’s community outreach projects. “Specifically, monetary support given to the events we put on yearly that raise funds for charities that we support.”

HER BOTTOM LINE: “It is important to our company to give back to the community. Without the support from our vendors, our fundraising efforts would not be nearly as successful as they have been.”


ABOUT OUR PRO: Dan Brady is president of Dan Brady Painting & Wood Restoration, a company he founded in 2000.

HIS FAVORITE PERK: Contributions for charity projects. “Pittsburgh Paints (through their distributor Northwood Paint & Supply in Traverse City) provides paint for my charity projects. We’ve done charitable painting projects for Child & Family Services of Northwestern Michigan, our local Goodwill Inn homeless shelter, and many other worthy nonprofits. Pittsburgh also provides paint at no charge for the ‘Painter for a Day’ gift certificates I give to nonprofit auctions.”

HIS BOTTOM LINE: “Their generosity allows me to do some nice charity projects for groups that do good work in our community.”


ABOUT OUR PRO: Noah Winkles is the owner and operator of New Life Painting in Santa Maria, CA. His company has been serving customers for more than 35 years.

HIS FAVORITE PERKS: Contributions for company events, and special deliveries. “Kelly-Moore Paints will deliver for us if we request a special delivery. They also provide shirts, sweatshirts and hats, and have invited us to golf tournaments and sports games. And when we have company events, they are always asking if they can contribute in any way.”

HIS BOTTOM LINE: “They really focus on keeping our business, and also thanking us for the business. We love the conversations about paint prices for special projects, and when it comes to price increases, they really communicate well with us. They make us feel like our business is important to them.”


ABOUT OUR PRO: Matt Shoup is president of M&E Painting in Loveland, CO. He’s owned the company for 10 years and has been in the business for 14 years.

HIS FAVORITE PERK: Taking his team members to sports games. “This makes us feel valued—plus the games are always fun to attend.”

HIS BOTTOM LINE: “This creates a fun and exciting team-building environment within my company. And the networking opportunities with other vendors, paint contractors and Sherwin-Williams team members are very valuable.”


ABOUT OUR PRO: A painting professional for five years, Jerry Fancher is the owner of Fresh Coat of Eden Prairie, MN.

HIS FAVORITE PERK: On-site consultations. “Every once in a while, a project will pop up where I find myself somewhat unsure of the best procedure and/or product to use. An example was a customer wanted to repaint an asphalt driveway that had stamped inlays in addition to stamped-looking stone. One call to my local Sherwin-Williams rep and we met the next day with the customer. Interestingly enough, the customer decided to do the job on his own and, though it took him over two months to complete, he did appreciate the pro advice.”

HIS BOTTOM LINE: “The professionalism and value added by my rep certainly helped in this instance because I subsequently was able to go back and land their home exterior paint job.”


ABOUT OUR PRO: Randy Fornoff is president of MTS Painting and Property Service, Inc. in Mesa, AZ. Fornoff has been in the painting business for more than three decades.

HIS FAVORITE PERK: Wet color samples. “Also drawdowns, lunch, product samples, color renderings, pro shows, education seminars, hats, shirts, calendars, and job referrals. In addition, web portals are now excellent for billing and accessing product data sheets, MSDS, color tools, and training videos.”

HIS BOTTOM LINE: “These things help us in the field and in the office to increase our professionalism, education and training systems, and they make it easier for us to serve our customers.”


ABOUT OUR PRO: Beverley Kruskol is president and owner of M.Y. Pacific Building, Inc., in Tarzana, CA. She’s been a painting pro for some 22 years.

HER FAVORITE PERK: Personal contact and service by our sales rep. “It helps when we need items or when we need help with getting job scopes written up to give to our clients. Another thing I appreciate is not having to wait for hours to get products or to get color matches; and also when they come to the office and give us special sales prices on items that we use a lot.”

HER BOTTOM LINE: “These services save money, which is always most important since it helps with the bottom line of the job.”

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