Why You're Losing to Lower Priced Bids
Winning a bid is not a small kind of celebration - especially if it's your company's biggest project of the season. A lot of sweat equity (and money) go into nurturing this lead and getting to the bid stage. As an architect or landscaper, no matter how much you are passionate about the design, research and design effort that go into your proposal will always be understated. And when you walk away from the 6th 7pm meeting at your prospect's home (which is 75 minutes away from your home), the jitters that lead to either a black hole of never hearing from the prospect again or the big deal celebration will always exist. Occasionally, you'll have no idea why you didn't get the job. However usually you do - and when it's due to a lower priced proposal, it's a hard loss to swallow, especially when you know your bids is priced fairly and offers the perfect value for the prospect. There are several reasons of why this is happening. Here is a couple for the perfect reality check.
In a visual industry like landscaping or home architecture, there can't be any sacrifices made to the quality of your photographs. They serve as evidence of your most beautiful work and your attention to detail. Your prospects need to see your care enough about your work so much that you don't cut corners are preserving the effort put in them. Professional photography raises the value of your work - without a doubt. Its inspiration, a test, and a powerful connection opportunity.
Your prospects must know that you're an expert in your field. They need to know that you've built additions before and that you've build intricate pool landscapes - and if not, they're okay with it as long as they know that your expertise will make the end-result perfect. You can accomplish this one with content on your website. Not just any content will do. A blog demonstrating your expertise is worth diamonds. It puts you in a place of power - you can design it, understand it, and explain it. While reading it, your prospects will learn more about you - more than they ever will at any of your appointments.
Ever heard the old saying that people buy because they trust the seller and not necessarily the product or service? It's true - especially in the home construction world. This is a completely different transaction than going into a Macy's - picking out a bedspread, going to a register, and checking out. That customer knows what they're getting - it's already "manufactured," quality checked, and packaged to go. That's not happening with their $600,000 house reno or $200,000 landscape job. Sure, there is a conceptual design, but it's not started and they'll have to start making payments. And both, you and them, know you will run into problems along the way that may likely bring about additional costs. That prospect will hire someone who they trust will be honest along the way, keep their word, build to design, and lead their time to the finish line. Easy tools to build trust include verified reviews (Houzz, Facebook), social media engagement, and content on your website. Reviews with a person's name and link to a profile prove it's a real homeowner - someone who was delighted with your service. With social media activity, you need to show you're responsive - such as reply to comments/questions- and posting local, relevant info/news, and finally, sharing content that your prospective and current clients will enjoy reading. Your website should speak language your clients can understand and have articles relevant to their needs.
Before you consider lowering your price and hurting your margins even more, take a deep look at your approach with the above three - how do you do? And we mean, how do you do, well before you ever talk to the client for the first time? Lead them to you in a way that's starts the credibility and trust development from the first time they visit your website - and encourage them to continue to visit while you're in the research and bidding process (something you can easily do with automatic emails).