The Value of a Piece of Paper



A Simple Sales Letter to Leave Behind.


Marketing Paper, Contractor Marketing Network



With all the tech and digital wizardry out there, sometimes a single piece of paper can be the deal closer in getting you more of the jobs you bid on.


This article idea came to me through a Facebook group.  The Original Post (OP) was about a local tree service who is charging $50 to grind a stump.  The OP stated how the lower priced tree service was killing the profit and driving down the prices.


As always in these groups you have the yeah and nay to the OP.  I don’t know about you, but I am not getting out of bed, walking to the neighbor’s house and firing up a stump grinder for $50.  Let alone driving to the rental place, picking up grinder, driving to neighbor’s house and working for a half hour.  Not happening! 


This can go for any trade or industry.  We all see it mentioned, sometimes on a daily basis in the groups where someone will complain about the low-priced local guy.


Before, I get into how you use a piece of paper to close the deal, I want to state that if the low-priced offer is a loss leader, self-liquidating offer or a foot in the door for an upsell, by all means use the low-price offer.  That is a different marketing and sales strategy, which bets on more money at a later time.


Let’s discuss how to combat the low ballers in your area.




The 4 Features your piece of paper must have  

  • Objection Nullifiers
  • Explainer
  • Mental Hurdle
  • Pain-Gain Statement



Objection Nullifiers:

This is where you should have rebuttals or proof of at least three of your most common sales objections from customers you have.  As an example, we will use “Your price is too high.”

Let’s compare apples to apples, when competing against the low baller.  Does he have insurance?  Is their insurance current?  Are they a licensed business?  Are you going to be able to find them if something should go wrong?

You need to level the playing field.  You need to make sure your customer knows that they aren’t just getting a car, they are getting a tagged, insured, no maintenance turn key car with you.  The low baller is a car too.  But, not without potential problems for your customer.



This should be in all your marketing.  Some call it the “Difference”.  Don’t be a commodity service business, the world is full of them.  Show why you are different, tell why you are different, explain how this difference makes your customers life better, faster, easier.

We have all seen the $15 an hour weld verses the $30 an hour weld.  You need to do this for your business.




You should have in your files a picture of what a shitty looking job looks like.  To stay on topic, let’s say you have a picture of a stump hole, chips all around, with tire marks in the yard from the low baller or another hack.  This is the $15 an hour weld.  Sure, the stump is ground, but is this what your customer pictured in their head when they had the idea, they wanted the stump removed?  Probable not.


Mental Hurdle:

This is where on your piece of paper you leave the logical mental hurdle for your customer.  This could be in the form of an image of the low-priced stump removal and how you leave a stump removal.  You can use this with any trade, service or industry.  Bad vs. Good.  You are basically putting a mental hurdle up for the customer.  Is the money I am saving worth, having to come home, rake up chips, fill tire tracks and the hole or can I spend more and be done with it.


Pain and Gain:

You, I and everyone else buys things based on pains and gains.  Each customer and person on earth for that matter has different pains and gains.  Or reasons they buy services and products.

When meeting with a customer to talk about the project they want you to do, IF you listen more than talk or sell, they will reveal their buying triggers.

Again, to stay on topic, find out why the customer wants the stump removed.  It may not be obvious and you should not assume you know why.  It’s a stump, right.  The tree is removed and they have a chunk of wood in their yard.

Pains would be the lawn care guy is complaining he has to cut around it, the kids fell on it an got hurt, etc.

Gains would be, it makes my yard look bad, compared to the neighbors.  Or I want to build a deck, patio, sidewalk, driveway, etc. where the stump is at.

These pains and gains that the customer has should be addressed and yes manipulated to turn the sale in your favor over the low baller.



The Wrap Up

These four features/benefits should be written down on a piece of paper, dress it up as a brochure if you’d like.  But, have it as a leave behind with every estimate or quote you do.  The nickels worth of paper is your salesman after the fact.  It rehashes the things you discussed in your meeting with the customer.  It reinforces the logic and emotions in their buying decisions.


If you have been to 10 estimates in your life, you surely have at least three common objections or questions that you can address with your piece of paper.

You should know what makes you differ compared to the competition.  If not, you are a commodity company and will always compete on price.  Find what makes you different in the consumers eyes, not yours.  (Hint: your reviews will answer this question).

The mental hurdle is common questions your customers ask when you meet them.  Pick three and talk or write down the answers to them.

There will always be common pains and gains that your service solves.  Find those common ones and explain how and why you are the right company for the job.


Get these things written down on a piece of paper, lay it out, print it out and hand it out.  It may not seal the deal on every estimate against the low baller, but I guarantee it will close more deals, than not leaving your customer with the piece of paper.

It’s only a nickel’s worth of paper, how well can it sell?  Give it a try!


Until our trials cross,

RJ Cooper, Marketing Misfit @ContractorMarketingNetwork



All your digital marketing should be centered around this piece of paper. From your social media posts/ads to your website.  Don’t be a cookie cutter, be different and your bank account will reap the difference in the long run.


I have a roofing contractor client who has been doing this for five years now.  His sales closing rate went from 20-25% to 40%.  For him, that is $45,000 give or take more for his business, doing the same amount of estimates and quotes. (We track everything)  He is a small roofing company doing around $300,000 a year.  What about that nickel’s worth of paper.


Coming in  July 2019 “The Contractor’s Commute”.

A podcast where we will talk to real world contractors and service business owners.  Asking the question that matter to them and you.  We will discuss business, marketing, sales and where they see the future of their business going.  Learn the successes and failures of owners, just like you. Plus, vendors and supplier interviews.  See us in July 2019.

The podcast will air Monday through Saturday.  Episodes will be any where from 15 minutes to an hour long.  Listen while you drive to the job everyday.  We can be found on all the major podcast distributors.  ITunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, etc.

Check us out in July 2019.

Cover Art (Facebook)


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