This is what worked for me, and still does with windows and doors.
One rule to follow:Never sell the way you buy.
Never assume a clients budget or what they are willing to pay for professional services. A painter, if he qualifies, is a professional service provider. He or she is entitled to a fair price for a valuable service.
A knowledgeable, qualified painter is worth every bit of $2.75 sf and, if the job requires more to produce a professional finish, he or she is entitled to more.
Our clients expected to pay at least $2.75 sf for a general repaint, little prep, like color, two coats. However, when we repaired, sanded entire walls, primed and two coats, we charged up to $4.75 sf. They knew this and signed for it after the presentation. We always got $4.75 sf when using full spectrum paints because it required extensive prep, primer and two coats of full spectrum paints.
The price is justified by your professional results! A client will not regret paying higher prices when they see your good works!
Perception is a reality most of the time. Offer a good, better, best repaint and watch your profits grow. There's something about clients pride that urges them to go at least better, not good. There is also the client who chooses the best over the rest..
Note: I know some fellows who would rather do a quick, cheap repaint so that they can get to another job. Let me ask you. Would you rather do one job at $4.25 sf or run to three for .75 a sf.?
As a professional painter and businessman/woman, it's your responsibility to offer your client the best service and product and let them decide if they wish to drop the price by deducting steps or product quality.
I also realize that some geographical locations may dictate a lower price. In that case, seek out the clients who can afford to pay your prices. Every location has the folks who have all the gold. Find them!
I don't advertize my prefinished wood windows in the Cleveland city proper. I advertise them in Shaker Heights, Beachwood, Pepper Pike, Chagrin Falls, etc. Old money, huge houses with tons of windows!
Sell! You're a professional and you deserve to be paid a fair price!