Win More Contracts at Your Price!

Every construction company business owner wants to charge a higher price for their services and products. But why should customers award your company a contract? In this tough economy there are less jobs to bid and more competition. Many of your competitors are pricing jobs at prices lower than their costs. They are trying to keep their doors open and crews busy hoping something good happens soon. Ask yourself this question: Why should customers award your company contracts at your price or higher than your competitors?

By George Hedley

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Now You Are in the Sales Business!

In private work, it takes a lot more than just bidding and negotiating to win contracts. You’ve got to give customers a differentiating reason to hire your company. It’s not just about the price, inclusions and exclusions. Now there are too many competitors who can do the same job as your company and will cut their bid below their cost to get a job. To win more contracts at your price, you must face reality. You are not in the construction business. You also have to be in the $ALES business!

Sales involves more than pricing jobs, delivering bids and negotiating with the decision maker. It’s about giving your customer what they specifically want on each job you’re bidding.

What Differentiates Your Company?

In construction, customers generate bid lists of four to six subcontractors who are all equal in the customer’s mind. Most of these contractors do a pretty good job, with expected quality, in an acceptable and professional manner. But what doesn’t set them apart from their competitors are their proposals. They almost always bid the minimum required per plans and specifications and don’t offer much different or value-added to meet their customer’s specific needs.

If all else is equal, the only differentiating factor between your company and your competitors is the lowest price. What do you do to stand out from the crowd? To set yourself apart and charge a higher price, you must be different than your competitor. Differentiation can include doing more than your competitor for the same price, being the expert or specialist in a particular type of work or project, adding more value than required, or having a deep loyal trusted customer relationship.

There are many ways to entice customers to meet with you. Make a list of five reasons customers need to meet with your company after you present your bid. Constantly call them to ask for meetings.

Give Customers a Reason to Hire You!

The best way to win a contract is to have a relationship with your customer that goes beyond doing past projects for them. It is based on trust and friendship developed over time. It is built by spending lots of time together having fun fishing, golfing or doing other activities together not related to work.

If you don’t have this kind of loyal customer relationship, you have no other choice but to differentiate your company from competitors. Low price is one way and creating and offering real differences is another. Before you bid the next project, ask yourself why the customer should hire your company for this project. Are you better or faster? Do you have more qualified trained people who know how to perform this type of work? Can you help your customer make more money?

As you create a list of reasons the customer should hire your company for the project, think about what you offer that no other competitor offers. Think about how you can help your customer meet their goals, make more money, increase sales, grow their business, build a better project, reduce risk, or have more fun while working with your company. If you want to win jobs today, you must do more than the minimum.

Implement Your Bidding Strategy!

To help you determine which jobs you have the best chance of winning, always pre-qualify your customers. Make it a policy to not waste your time bidding jobs you can’t get or don’t really want. Always insist you have a chance to meet with the decision maker to present your proposal. Interview your customer before the job goes to bid to ask them some tough questions.

The main purpose of every bid is to get a meeting with your potential customer. Without a meeting, your proposal looks like the others, just a list of items on paper with a price attached to it. In a meeting, you can discuss the inclusions, exclusions, price, and present what your company will do for your customer that your competitor doesn’t offer.

There are many ways to entice customers to meet with you. Make a list of five reasons customers need to meet with your company after you present your bid. Constantly call them to ask for meetings. If you can’t give customers a reason to meet with you, you can only hope your low bid is low enough to win a contract.

Winning contracts at your price is not easy. It takes more work than it used to. Now you must also sell and present your company as the best choice. This takes a restructuring of your time and commitment to excellence. Learn how to upgrade you presentation, improve your proposal, be more aggressive with follow-up and don’t take no for an answer.

George Hedley, CPBC, is a certified professional construction BIZCOACH and top industry speaker. He helps contractors achieve their goals, increase profits, grow, get organized, develop accountable talent, improve field production, and get their companies to work. He is the author of “Get Your Construction Business to Always Make a Profit!” available on To get his free e-newsletter, start a personalized coaching program, attend his webinars and workshops, or get a discount at online university for contractors, visit his website at, watch George’s videos on YouTube, or e-mail