“Never hand a customer a color chart,” cautions Lee Levig, owner of Concrete Works in the San Francisco area. It not only may overwhelm them with choices but it may take away an advantage you may be unaware of.
Instead, show customers samples. They don’t have to be large; 1-foot by 1-foot will suffice. And instead of labeling them with the manufacturer’s name, come up with your own.
“I have a color that I call ‘Cappuccino’ that is actually three colors of a color hardener and a release,” he explains. “When I bid on a job, that’s the name I use.” So when a customer is dead set on Levig’s “Cappuccino,” the customer can’t find that color offered anywhere else.
There have been times, Levig says, that he was the high bidder but still got the job because the customers loved his colors and were willing to pay for them. He offers 10 basic colors which please most of his clientele. For an extra fee, he’ll whip up a custom color to fit any bill.
Coming up with unique formulas is fairly easy; it just takes some time to perfect the formulation. But the work will pay off, he insists. “I have architects and landscape architects who specify my colors in their jobs. I’m sold out through the end of this year.”