Positioning Your Company for Success on Proposals

BRC_2014_CEU_color_web1_squareHi! This is Rob Folse with Brand Constructors. I’m the chief brand marketing strategist here, and I work with our clients to help them strategically maximize their brand marketing to win more of the work they want to win, and to increase the profitability on those projects. I travel around the country visiting our construction company clients to conduct brand base audits to evaluate their brands and marketing toolkits. With this webinar, I hope to share some of the knowledge I’ve gained from doing these to help your company win better and bigger!

Today, I’m speaking on problems most construction companies have when positioning their company in proposal submittals. Many companies deal with this challenge each and every time they pursue a new project.

So, to verbally illustrate this, let’s use for example, the general contractor. So, you’re a general contractor, and you’ve heard about an opportunity to bid on a project you really want to win for your company. So, what do you do? Of course, you begin to assemble a proposal submittal. In your proposal submittal, you include all of the things you normally include in your proposal submittals such as: company history, bios, project list, photos, insurance docs, etc. As usual, you position yourself as a solid, reliable general contractor. That’s right, a trustworthy competent general contractor. Sounds good, right? But, there’s a problem with this trusty, competent positioning.

How does this position make you any different from the competition? Aren’t they positioning themselves as a trustworthy, reliable, and competent GC? Then why should the client care about you and why should they choose you as the GC instead of that other trustworthy, reliable and capable GC across town? So, now you have to ask yourself… How are you positioned in your proposals and SOQs?

Tell me if you’ve heard these slogans before:

Here at the Brand Constructors, we have a branding and position test we call, “the who gives a shit test.” If your slogan, brand positioning, branding statement or value proposition can’t pass this basic test, then you need to scrap them. Why? Because your unique value proposition or differentiation can not be the same as everyone else’s if you want to set yourself apart from or above your competition. If your branding is interchangeable with the company’s down the street, then it is not unique enough to matter.

We speak to many selection committee members and we ask them, “What is the one thing that drives you crazy about processing proposal submittals?”

95% of the time the answer is exactly the same, they have trouble telling the difference between one company and another.

Sure, the bonding capacity can be different, or the length of time the company has operated in a local community can be different. They might have a slightly different safety rating. But, overall, they’re frustrated when every proposal looks and sounds almost the same. So what happens when they are all the same? The selection committee has to choose the lowest bid! They need validation for their choice, and when nothing stands out, price is the only difference, or so it seems. So, at least they can tell their boss or the public, they picked the cheapest option.

We don’t want our clients to face this very common problem when they submit proposals for jobs they want to win. To overcome this, you have to set yourself apart from the competition and position yourself as the better choice to lead and manage the project. Sure, a big price tag will play an important part. Your company must be competitive when bidding projects. However, if the prices are close among those companies competing for the project, then to win it, you need to be seen as the best possible choice regardless of the bid price.

So, given what I’ve covered today, consider this: are you positioned to be strategically different than your competitors who are chasing the projects you really want to win? Are your proposals written and illustrated to spotlight your specific expertise talents, equipment, specialty processes or knowledge that makes you the more valuable and logical choice? Well, if not, then you will want to tackle this challenge before you submit your next bid.

Thanks for tuning in today! visit us online www.BrandConstructors.com for whitepapers, case studies, and the latest updates to our event calendar. Or, follow us at Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Now get out there and Build your Brand!