Use cleanliness to close deals and find more work, one pro says

by Brian Sodoma

content-dBill Harrison, owner of A&S Painting, in Lansing, IL, has a unique perspective on closing out jobs. While some painting professionals have established checklists that demand a customer walk-through payment and numerous contract stipulations, Harrison, on the other hand, sees closing time as a paint pro’s chance to make one last good impression. And going above and beyond with job cleanup, he says, is the best way to do it.

Harrison leverages this common-sense approach to keep customers happy when it’s time for them to cut a check—and it yields him plenty of future work and referrals, too. Here, he offered a few insights on what he sees as a healthy obsession with job cleanliness:


To start, Harrison emphasizes the importance of being invisible to the customer once he leaves the site. Streaks, smudges, even fumes, are unacceptable. Before he gets final sign-off from a customer, Harrison does a mock walk-through of the job, putting himself in the customer’s shoes.

“There should be no sign that I was ever there painting. Period,” he says.


Harrison says it’s far too common for pros to let floor clean-up slide. His team, however, will sweep, mop and even vacuum daily, if needed. Clean as you go, he adds; and as an extra touch, he replaces outlet covers that are in bad condition.

“One customer said she wanted to hire me to clean her house every week because I did such a good job on the floors,” he recalled.


For exterior jobs, Harrison often goes beyond the simple scope of work when pressure washing; he makes it a point to pressure wash nearby or adjacent sidewalks or walls, as well.

“That’s nothing for me to do, and customers really appreciate it,” he said.

After the walk-through, he isn’t afraid to show off his work.

“Once everything is complete, I take photos and post a final picture on my Facebook page. Prospects can see every job I’ve done in the past five years and post reviews. It’s been a good source of work for me,” he added.


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