10 Reasons You Didn't Get the Job

Stop losing contracting work. Get your act in shape if any of these 10 reasons sound familiar.

Tens of hours (maybe hundreds) into talking, discovering, pitching, persuading, and pouring your heart and soul into bidding for the project of the year (or project that's good enough) and... you lost. Perhaps even to the new guy or a home contracting company that doesn't even normally do this kind of job.

Ever heard the expression that potential customers don't look for reason to buy from you - they look for reasons to not buy from you? Well, in today's buyer's world, this is exactly the case, almost 100% of the time.

Now you could've lost the bid because the world just sent you bad luck that day. Or it's because of one of the reasons in this handy list. If anything here sounds familiar, take action now to win the next job opportunity!

  1. You didn't connect with the homeowner. In an industry in which high quality home improvement jobs are well over $20,000, your prospect isn't going to choose you just because they know you'll build it perfect. They're going to have to deal with you and your company for weeks - maybe even longer! They want to make sure you won't make their life hell. Connect with them using your personality. But most importantly, connect with them with your website. They'll visit it at least once a week starting 3 months before they call and during the entire sales process. Let them read content that resonates and connects
  2. You didn't connect with the homeowner's family. Okay, the homeowner, or your prospect, is a key individual (or two) that you need to connect with. But... just like in your company, there are decision makers that sit behind the scenes. This could include kids or the spouse. Your job is to sell to them as much as you sell to the obvious buyer. The trouble here is that you likely will never speak to them. Again, your website is key here. Allow it to connect with everyone. Another important way - make sure to ask enough questions to the homeowner in the beginning (e.g. who lives here, what do they want, etc.) Related: 10 Things to Ask Your Prospect on the First Call
  3. You don't have any reviews on your social media account. Don't be nervous about asking for reviews because you think you might get a bad one. Reality check: bad ones will happen. But you need 99 amazing ones to makeup for that bad one. You should be taking every opportunity possible to get your past clients to write a great review for you. Ask while you're on the job. Send email campaigns. Offer rewards. Endless! Take this free 20 minute a day email course to learn how to get more from your finished projects.
  4. You took too long to respond in between communications. The first one gets the worm - and this means you have to be the first one, every single time. In your landscaping, construction, anything-home-improvement, it's a competitive world. Be the first to answer a one-off question. Be the first to call back. Be the first for every single thing. Your target, previous, and current clients deserve your urgency. 
  5. You were used as a bargaining chip for the winner's bid. Your prospect met your competitor first - likely because when she first starting searching for solutions to her problems online, your competitor did better with his blogging (content that answered her or his questions). And therefore gained credibility and connection first. The chip to play here: get in the offense next time.
  6. Your company didn't have a professional website. Your work is good enough - maybe amazing. The referral for your prospect spoke highly of you. Everything was going well. Your website, however, hasn't been updated in five years. This screams you don't care about your image. Reality check again: This is a visual industry, high cost industry. Details count. Even if your website has been redesigned more recently. What does it communicate? A fresh, professional, high quality business? What do the images look like and how does the content read?
  7. You didn't convey your expertise in this space. Blogging, blogging, and blogging. Are you an expert in what you're selling? Your prospect will constantly be doing homework on you - well after you talked to her on the phone or in person about how well you know home remodeling (as an example). But they'll be doing their checking - your website, your blog, is where they'll go. Give them something to look at and something to continue selling them.
  8. You didn't ask enough questions. What makes a pitch perfect? Questions. Questions prior to the pitch. At the end of the pitch, there really shouldn't be questions about what is being offered. Maybe how, but not what. The right questions (asked by you), well before the pitch helps you prepare a presentation filled with your prospects answers to their questions. Filled with benefits...so that it makes clear this bid is perfect for them.
  9. You were inconsistent. Your website stated x, you mentioned y. Then your receptionist mentioned b. There is no way that a $200k job will be awarded to you if there is any doubt whatsoever in your word, work, or company. And yes, if it's on your site - "your company said it." Your receptionist, whatever she or he said, "your company said." Make sure everyone and everything says and means the same thing, every single time. Here is a related post on using quickbooks as your contact relationship management system (CRM).
  10. You were under priced. Yes, under priced. You priced your job so low that the prospect thought you were going to take too many shortcuts in the execution.