How You Are Hired – The 4P’s

How You Are Hired – The 4P’s
A Contractor is always hired based on one or a combination of four P’s: Positioning, People, Price, and Presentation. The 4P process: On each project a contractor is pursuing, a sales strategy should be developed using each P. Are we positioned and if so, how, etc. It is important to determine whether all four “P’s” have been thought about, worked through, and the best sales strategy developed based on these findings to allow the best effort in being awarded the project.
Positioning – The first “P” deals with Positioning. Getting positioned is a must. Positioning involves knowing who the decision makers are and what their hot buttons are. It’s getting to know the people who are going to make the decision on who to hire for a construction project. There are also influencers that you need to get to know. Influencers often times are architects who may be asked by the owner who they recommend. While they do not get a vote, they can influence the decision. It is often that restraints prevent a salesperson from getting as positioned as they want. Developing these relationships takes time and costs money to travel to where the decision makers are located and meet and get to know them. It is often difficult to get in to see the decision makers. Innovative strategies are needed to overcome these restraints. This whole effort is called Positioning.
People – The second “P” deals with your people. You have to have the right people when chasing and presenting on a project. If you determine that you don’t have qualified office and field staff to propose then its best to move on and stop purusing that particular project. A good example is if there is a healthcare project and you don’t have anyone on your staff with healthcare experience. It is probably a waste of time to pursue this project.
Price – The price is the third “P” and is often not always the deciding factor like it used to be. Today, in many cases, an RFP (request for proposal) is issued, contractors are invited to submit, a fee and general conditions are requested along with other pertinant information, and then a few of the contractors are short-listed and invited to interview. The price may be a factor but may not be the deciding factor as long as the contractor is competitive. Even public agencies hire based on value and not solely on price. However, price is always reviewed and a contractor must be viewed as “competitive” in order to be hired.
Presentation – The fourth “P” involves the Presentation. Presentations are done in an interview with the owner or owner’s representative. If a contractor is invited to interview, the presentation should relate to the decision makers by covering hot buttons about the project and any other information pertinent to the project. If the contractor is not positioned and does not have the right people, they will not do well in an interview. If they have done their homework and properly prepared, the presentation may send the right message to the decision makers and cause them to vote for that contractor. It is common for a contractor to be ranked number one going into a presentation and not come out on top. The reaon is that they weren’t positioned, didn’t know the message to deliver, and appeared unprepared Start getting today. prepared

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