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Tips to Win Your Bid Without the Lowest Estimate

By: Anna Hunter

A common assumption in the field of construction is that the “lowest estimate wins the bid”. Yet we fail to consider other factors that may result in customers selecting one company over another. We don’t always need to cut our profit to secure the customer! Here are 4 ways that you can win over customers without sacrificing profits.

  1. Be the first to submit your estimate

    Beat the clock and your competition. The construction industry moves fast and if you can’t keep up, your company may be overlooked. Prospective customers want answers and your ability to provide information quickly can enhance their perception of your company.

    A top priority for customers is that projects stay on schedule; they expect prompt responses and quick turnaround times. When your estimate is the first in the queue, you demonstrate that your company is organized and understands the importance of timely deliverables.

  2. Prepare professional documents

    First impressions matter. If your estimate appears hap-hazzard, customers may assume that your work is also unorganized, or even worse, sloppy. Customers are drawn to companies that have their ducks in a row. Show your future customers that you are at the top of your game by providing them with a professional, beautifully designed estimate that accurately represents the quality of your work.

    Ensure your bid is clear and organized so it is easy for your customer to understand. Some customers will better understand an estimate if the costs are listed by room, while others may respond better when costs are listed by material type or job phase. Learn your customers’ expectations, and if you aren’t sure, ask! The more you understand your customer, the better your estimate will meet their needs.

  3. Gain customer trust with detailed estimates

    Transparency is key. One of the greatest customer concerns when choosing a contractor is the chance of being misled or scammed. Reduce the skepticism of fine print and hidden costs by showing prospective customers the precision of your estimates. Prove that you have considered all costs by providing the appropriate level of detail for each job.

    Some jobs may warrant an estimate that lists every cost, down to a box of screws. Other jobs may be best secured by providing estimated costs for line item categories, such as materials, labor, allowances, etc. By sharing the appropriate level of detail in your job estimates, you show that your company is reliable and can be trusted.

  4. Sell yourself and your work

    Numbers speak volumes. There is no better way to gain customer confidence than to share your successes. Imagine if you could tell prospective customers that 86% of your jobs finished below the estimated cost. Information sharing not only highlights your successes but also enhances your customer’s confidence in you and the project at hand. Track your data and use it to tell your story. Remember, word spreads.

    Whether you meet customers face-to-face or send your estimate to them, be sure to sell yourself and your work. Stand apart from your competition by highlighting your qualifications, explaining the ease of working with you, providing references, and showcasing before and after highlights of previous jobs.

    Finally, don’t forget to address any questions or concerns your customer may have. Ultimately, your goal is to help customers recognize that your company is the best option!

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