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Last Update: Wednesday June 23, 2021

Key Idea: Make Customers Not Sales

Owner Buddy Roybal never worried about selling and that has made him rich.

Key Question:


Don't think about a sale, think about making the person you are with happy.  That's what all great salespeople do.  The old-fashioned selling style of talking at a customer just doesn't work anymore and Buddy figured that out 25 years ago.

Buddy's customers are coming to his company for help in building a new home or in re-decorating the home they have.  These customers are ready to spend a lot of money and they have to live with their choices for years.  Buddy is smart to take plenty of time to understand the customer's goals.

Think about it

What percentage of your business comes from repeat customers?

Clip from: Coronado Paint & Decorating

Coronado Paint & Decorating

Cervantes Roybal, Founder

2929 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87507
505 473 5333

Visit our web site:

Office: 505 473 5333

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1984

Make Customers Not Sales

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Meet Buddy Roybal founder and owner of Coronado Paint and Decorating in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

BUDDY ROYBAL:  Coronado has built such a strong reputation. We do almost $10 million in business with almost no advertising.  Reputation is everything.

HATTIE: (Voiceover)  Buddy’s wife Irene works with  24 full-time employees and another 30 subcontractors.  Coronado Paint and Decorating is a full service decorating center that carries the top brands of paint, carpet, wood, blinds and the state’s largest selection of ceramic tile.  Before launching his business in 1984, Buddy worked as a manager for Sherwin-Williams.

BUDDY:  When I first started I did a job for the city and I had to borrow money from a friend to do the job I still remember that because I didn’t have a credit line. The hard work I didn’t mind but the money was tough.

We paid ourselves very little and we paid ourselves as we had money.  And we paid our bills instantly until we built a tremendous, great credit.  So now of course twenty-two years later we can buy anything anywhere.

Work hard, hard, hard.  You’ve got to be able to put the time in. You can’t be afraid to clean bathrooms or sweep floors or clean windows. That’s part of being a small business person.  You do everything.  

When I went into it I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be. The challenges.  You learn and you change and what I love about being a small business person is we change daily. We don’t have a closed mind. The first thing I tell a new employee when they start is if you’ve done it better somewhere else, let us know. We’re happy to change. We’re happy to grow and learn. One of my biggest prayers daily is for that change, you continue to grow to be able to change. Once we stop growing you have a closed mind and a closed door.

Our bottom line is to make customers not sales.  So when you make customers you will always get them to come back. When you make sales you’re so worried about profitability.  We strive to give good customer service and to have not only satisfied customers but happy customers.

My number one problem is almost too many customers to the point that the warehouse is over loaded. When a customer comes in they are looking for help. The training for a new employee is pretty tough. We want the customer to get the very best possible advice.

I have employees who have been with me from the very beginning.  The original bookkeeper, Claudia is our CFO now.  Phil Garcia who is now our paint manager also started with us. Almost all of the employees here are over 8-10 years, 16 years, 18 years.  

Most of them are set up at home if they want to do some work.  
I have Miles, our top sales person and sales manager, who does everything remote.  He comes in the store and meets customers but everything’s done remote. We’re very trusting.  With us you can tell when people are working just by the sales. Their success is our success and visa versa.

HATTIE: (Voiceover)  Employees are given time and money to work in the community.  When Jeff isn’t working the paint department, he is coaching kids sports teams that are sponsored by Coronado Paint and Decorating.  He has a stack of trophies Buddy is proud to display.

BUDDY:  I love being here and I never get tired of it.  I could actually work a lot more hours. We’re extremely humbled and we’ve had so many blessing and we’re grateful for that daily.

It seems that the more we give to our employees to our customers our community the more we get back. The payback is just tremendous.  So one thing I would tell any business person: give and give and give and it will come back to you.

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