Janitorial contractors have different methods for
pricing their bids. The most common is to base
their bid on square footage, cost analysis, and profit
margins. Alternatively, they may personalize. For
instance, a contractor may already clean a facility that is
similar in size and shape to one they are bidding on. In
that case, they may decide to base their proposal on what
they charge their current customer, even though there
may be differences in the number of employees required
for the job, the type of work they do, or the types of people
working in the facilities.
Regardless of how they calculate the final price, many
cleaning contractors still assume a job will automatically
go to the lowest bidder. However, that’s not necessarily
the case. If a contractor loses a bid to a low bidder, it’s
probably their fault.
The problem is not the low bidder; there will always be
low bidders. The reason so many contractors fail to get
their proposals accepted is because they were unable to
convince the customer of all the features and benefits
their company brings to the table.
To better understand this, let’s examine some items
frequently found in cleaning proposals:
- How long the contractor has been in business
can be a plus or a minus. Some facility managers are
looking for cleaning contractor “newbies” because
they believe the new contractor will work harder to
win the job – or even more important – keep the client.
- We are a family business.
This can be viewed as a
plus or minus, depending on the customer.
- We offer excellent service.
This comment means
nothing to most facility managers and is typically
ignored in a proposal.
- We pride ourselves in this, that, and the other.
comments are consistently ignored.
- We have prompt, reliable service, and friendly staff.
This does not stand out to facility managers.
- We have affordable price.
A comment made just for
the trash can.
If all the bids received by a customer have these same
remarks, then the customer will likely select the lowest
one. There is little reason not to do this, unless their
references or some other issues disqualify them.
However, there are certain stand-out features and
benefits that add real value and distinguish one cleaning
contractor from its competitors
(see sidebar) – e
the bid is higher than the others.
bottom line is this: If everything your proposal
offers is the same as everyone else’s, tha
n the customer’s
decision will likely be based solely on price. However, if
distinguish your bid from the others by providing
features and benefits not found in your competitors’ bids,
your proposal will more likely be the winner.