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View Full Version : How do you differentiate yourself during a bid?


zz4guy
03-23-2007, 10:29 AM
Aside from price what are some things you use to set yourself apart from the competition? Schedule, quality, salesmanship, etc?

I'm talking about small to medium sized projects that can be done well by about every company out there. How do you set yourself apart from them and convince the customer to go with you?

Ric3077
03-23-2007, 10:42 AM
Not by price...I am probably more than most of my competition...but most people are sick of the crappy lco never showing, or edging wrong etc...you get what you pay for...as far as competing against lco's who CAN actually do good work...I just tell them I can provide references, or in most cases they see me around so much they don't even want to shop around. I just tell them I provide a quality service for a fair price, I show up when I say I will, and I am insured so they have the piece of mind that they are not getting sued if something happens. Most don't care about insurance though...each customer is different...you kinda feel them out and figure out what is important to them and stress those points...if they are a NEAT FREAK...then stress how you blow off all clippings when done, can pick up trash in lawn for an extra $10 or whatever...

mdvaden
03-24-2007, 01:05 AM
They can tell that I know my trade inside and out, and more thoroughly, since I'm Certified for Landscape as well as Arborist work. That seems to be very convincing as I describe the basic solutions.

Sometimes, I look for something that they didn't mention, as an "add-on", to make my estimate different from the others - both price and description.

JFF
03-24-2007, 09:35 AM
I make it clear i know what I am mowing (type of turf) pruning, (type of shrubs) and diagnosing (diseases or infestations).

Just being able to have an intelligent conversation about the landscape has always served me well. Can't tell you how many people (lco's) i talk to that have no idea what the base turf they are mowing even is.

JS Landscaping
03-25-2007, 02:52 PM
I set my company apart from others by going the extra mile for each customer. Answer all calls promptly, stick to being ontime when you have meetings with prospective clients, or any clients for that matter. Make sure your truck is clean, or whatever you take to the estimate, as well as make sure you yourself is clean and presentable. I make sure that I am clean shaven, and everything is neat and orderly on me, my truck, and any material that I may be brining to help with the sale. I usualy dress up for each client meeting. Pressed black dress pants, dress shoes, Dress shirt with company name and logo embrodiered on it, all tucked in with a belt. Cell phone stays in the truck during meetings to not have any interuptions. People judge you from the second they see you. If you show up looking like a bum, you probably wont get the job, even how good your work can be, people are driven on image as well as price and quality. Rasing the bar on profesionallism will increase your sales, and out work speaks for itself. A lot of the times the clients dont recognize me when im working in the field at thier properties due to not being all dressed up, rather in the company uniform of khaki's, black boots, black belt, and company shirt tucked in.

LB1234
03-25-2007, 08:33 PM
I don't talk about myself or my company...

I LISTEN to my customers. This really sets you apart from the competition.

mdvaden
03-26-2007, 01:17 AM
I don't talk about myself or my company...

I LISTEN to my customers. This really sets you apart from the competition.

Maybe you and I both, wouldn't like the ads where companies boast about being better than the other guy, or the "best" in the industry, etc..

supercuts
03-26-2007, 08:51 AM
typically i tell customers on the phone my min to weed out the cheap people. when i go, i tell them what day of week i will be there according to my driving schedual adn that thur/friday is booked. if they are still with me i then tell them they are responible for keeping items off lawn, being on time for payment etc.

if they are still with me then i tell them how reliable we are, how we use new equiptment, and that we are well insured. i also tell them this is my only and full time job which is my only source of income for my family. i dont even need to tell them at this point that i wont call and say "sorry school starts next week you'll need to find someone else" or " sorry, i have to work at my regular job and i cant make it this week" like some of the part timers out there. when your formal, upfront and confident they know what your about.

GreenN'Clean
03-26-2007, 12:18 PM
I don't talk about myself or my company...

I LISTEN to my customers. This really sets you apart from the competition.

Thats whats worked for me over the years

Tim@AcesLCLS
03-27-2007, 12:04 PM
Good looks mostly

Superior L & L
03-27-2007, 08:48 PM
I think its the whole package. Our sales staff are well dressed, we know our stuff, our workers are uniformed, trucks new clean and signed. We have a nice office to do meeting at with full time office staff that answer the phone 8 - 5. People see us working on big commercial stuff and in there neighbors hood. We do free stuff for the community and Charity's.
People see there not buying from some guy and his pick up.
Its also put us in a different league since now we have a LA on staff that does FANCY hand drawn designs

PatriotLandscape
03-27-2007, 11:09 PM
We set ourselves a part in our contracts by making them as informative as they can be. Last year I was against another landscape company for an 80k landscape job his bid was one sheet of paper and mine was a short novel on everything that would happen on the job. this alone makes the people feel that if you are willing to invest that much time just to get the job then you must go the extra yard when installing it.

swiggins
03-30-2007, 11:20 AM
I need an example of a good bid sheet. Does anyone have one?

PatriotLandscape
03-31-2007, 08:53 PM
We don't write bid sheets we write novels and impress them with words. a well written proposal will set you apart

mdvaden
03-31-2007, 10:29 PM
We set ourselves a part in our contracts by making them as informative as they can be. Last year I was against another landscape company for an 80k landscape job his bid was one sheet of paper and mine was a short novel on everything that would happen on the job. this alone makes the people feel that if you are willing to invest that much time just to get the job then you must go the extra yard when installing it.

That may be quite true.

I can get about 10k worth of work on one page. And it takes two pages minimum, for more, to really keep the communication and details reasonable and accurate. Many potential customers who are involved in business or office work, would understand this.