Relationship Building

The top tier contractors also possessed the need and desire to go beyond submitting blind bids. They found it important to make personal contact with their clients and to create a professional relationship with their customers (read more).

If there was a “secret technique” amongst the 7 elements, then this is probably the one. It is very easy to fall into the trap of cranking out bid after bid after bid. We encountered a contractor who had grown the company to a fairly large local plumbing firm. After adding two estimators to the staff to keep up with the bids, he found that his win percentage at the end of the year had dropped by 75%! He was so frustrated that he put himself back in charge of the department and quickly discovered that his estimating team had turned into a bid factory. Gone were the days of talking to the GC’s estimator prior to, during and after the bid. Gone were the monthly drop-in visits to the GC’s office just to say “hello” or to go grab a cup of coffee. These were things he had done in the past and in spite of him still being the face of the company, the connection was not as strong as it used to be. It was shocking to him that it was not the fact that his bids were too high, it turned out that they were “just bids.” His story was one that truly resonated with us because we hear similar stories all too often. If you find yourself saying, “I bid that company all the time and never get anything,” then think about the contractor’s plumbing firm and his story. He is now back to winning at the rate he did before his company turned into a bid factory. Another problem we hear often is, “they use my number and give it to their buddy.” This is without a doubt true and you will be faced with the same responsibility: develop the relationship in order to be the buddy who wins.


We found all of the successful contractors also use Project Management tools and on-going training for their key personnel (read more).

During our survey we asked the question, “Do you use technology to manage your projects?” Every one of our top tier contractors answered with a “yes.” With further in-depth questioning and interviews, the type of technology varied greatly and ranged from low-end to high-end products. The point is that they all used some form of technology to manage their field personnel, equipment and procurement. It was stated emphatically that their Project Management systems were easily the best investments they had made in order to enhance profitability. On the other hand, they mentioned that their websites were the best investments they made in regards to branding. The question was also in reference to the company’s management in general. The problem was in asking the manager if they were a “good” manager. You see the dilemma. What we did do, however, was extrapolate from the answers from many of the top tier companies. These contractors stated that they had sent their supervisors to training seminars and (again) they were ahead of the curve by adopting Project Management systems and other technologies (i.e. professional websites, company email addresses, etc.). Until recently, Project Management systems were primarily a large GC methodology. Now we are seeing trade contractors with as few as two crews using Project Management for resource allocation and job costing. To top it all off, they are tremendously successful and continuously see a return on investment that has been, more often than not, nearly immediate.

There you have it – the seven essential habits of highly effective subcontractors. As you can see, very little of it has to do with luck or good fortune. The most successful contractors were those who provided quality work; had excellent exposure; a solid, repeatable set of internal processes; and had implemented a project management system.

This is good news for you because all of these elements are within your control! If you are already a high performer, then it is likely that you have already successfully implemented these elements into your day-to-day business. If, however, you are looking for a way to improve your business, increase your sales and win more jobs, we suggest that you analyze these issues internally. After that, you will find the areas in which you can improve your business.

Do you want to be considered a “high performer?” Then you simply need to take the steps to recognize where you can improve and act on them. In the end, it is all up to you! What if you don’t know what to do once you have located the problems?

Well, that’s where we come in! Whether you are looking for project leads, a new website, or a project management system, we have the necessary tools to help you succeed. Let Pantera help you grow your business! Give us a call today at 877-219-9777 for a free consultation.

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