It’s a harsh reality, but it’s the truth: most of the bids you submit for projects won’t be successful. No matter what specific trade you’re in, competition is tough when it comes to tenders.
That creates a lot of pressure, but of course you need to take every quote seriously if you really want the work. It’s a tricky balance, putting together bids quickly and ensuring all the content is as accurate as possible.
So, how can you get better at this and improve your success rate? We have a few suggestions that are worth considering, even if you don’t feel like you have the time to change your process.
Review your recent bids
It’s important to look back at unsuccessful bids you’ve previously worked on and try to consider them from the client’s point of view. You might not know why they chose to go with a competitor, but comparing your bid with their original request might help you identify any areas for improvement.
If possible, you should get into the habit of doing this regularly to ensure you’re constantly improving your own process. Under pressure, you might make mistakes that seem clearer when you look back a while later.
Add value where possible
When comparing quotes from different contractors, your clients might find it difficult to identify meaningful differences between their options. In that case, they will often go for the cheapest, even if it’s by an insignificantly small margin.
To avoid missing out in these situations, you can set yourself apart by looking for opportunities to add value. Making a process slightly easier for your client, or even simply expressing some consideration for the wider project as a whole, might help your bid stand out for the right reasons.
If your own review process can’t determine clear reasons why you weren’t selected for a particular project, you may be able to find out by digging a little deeper.
Simply asking the question will often prompt a constructive response. It’s important to do this diplomatically, even though you might be frustrated at the time. For example: “is there any particular reason you chose to go with another supplier?”
You might also find it useful to discuss the same topic with clients who did select your bid as the winner. Perhaps they were particularly impressed by something you could easily apply to others. This is especially true if you have a larger team with multiple people working on bids independently, using slightly different approaches.
Use software to streamline your process
All of these ideas will take a little extra time, which we already mentioned is a common problem for contractors facing multiple deadlines. However, there are ways you can speed up the entire process, allowing more time for reflection and improvement.
One potential game changer is to consider switching from manual take-off and estimating to a software solution. Of course, we recommend Ensign if you specialise in mechanical, electrical, ductwork or insulation work. The system is completely built around the needs of contractors, so it’s hard to beat in terms of efficiency and ease of use.
To learn more about how our software is helping thousands of users across the UK right now, select your trade or the software you’re interested in from the menu at the top of this page.
Alternatively, you can book a free, no-pressure demo of the program at a time that suits you by clicking here.