Craig Anstey, sales director at Loughton Contracts, answers one of the most oft-asked questions about the recipe for claiming a large flooring contract
The way to approach any new tender is to focus on a few different factors, regardless of the project size. First, but not always the most important, is cost. To be in with any chance of securing a flooring tender you must be competitive with your price. You don’t have to necessarily be the cheapest, but you do need to be close to what the client is willing to spend, and you should get close with your first submission. Often starting high and then dropping your price two or even three times before a best and final offer (BAFO) isn’t the best strategy. This approach can waste time, resources (for all involved) and leave a nasty taste in the client’s mouth. To help your client get the best deal put your cards on the table, communicate any value engineered options that would offer savings early, below the line. This way they have clear options, and you can build a strong, transparent relationship with them.
Second, you must consider ‘service’. A speedy and proactive approach to the tender process can start to fill your client with the confidence you’ll be able to deliver their project. Communication needs to be clear and concise, by getting all the details correct you’ll be able to offer a comprehensive tender submission – you may also get an advantage if you pick up on details your competitors may have missed. Communication is always key.
Finally, it’s important to offer value for money. You don’t always have to be the cheapest in the tender process to secure a project. As a specialist in your field, it’s important to add some substance to your tender returns. It’s always good to follow up with the client in person and talk through your numbers. If you can fully explain why your price sits where it is, explain the risks and educate your client it can sometimes sway their decision when awarding the work. Remember they’re not flooring experts, you are! – Craig Anstey, sales director