Proposals That Push You to the Top

Understand that every property is different. When Native Land Design has the opportunity to bid on a large project, Collinsworth likes to visit the site with his company’s vice president and principal. “After we drive the site, we sit in the back of our truck and put a game plan together that will really give the property what it needs, not just what the client asked for in the RFP,” Collinsworth relates.

This is standard on larger sites, but isn’t the case on smaller projects. “I don’t bid any of the smaller projects,” Collinsworth adds. “We follow this approach on large HOA projects that will encompass a lot of the company resources—because all of our larger sites have different needs and clients with different expectations. It is a custom maintenance approach rather than the out-of-the-box standard equation that many companies use.”

Show you’ve done your homework. Spend more time talking about the property and less time talking about your company. “The client doesn’t need to hear us go on and on about how great we are,” Collinsworth says. “They have already prequalified us or we wouldn’t be in that presentation room. What matters now is how we are going to treat them as a client, and how we are going to meet their expectations on the property.”

Show your commitment. Native Land Design likes to send in upper management for presentations, and doesn’t rely on a salesperson to make promises to a client just to sell a job. Collinsworth personally likes to participate whenever possible. “If I can’t, I know that I can trust Stan Johnson and Miles Rush to follow through on the company promises,” he says. “It’s important that the person who is going to be held accountable for the results be a part of the presentation. Prospective clients can see through slick sales presentations, not to mention over-promising on your abilities. In our opinion, clients just want someone to shoot them straight—and know their job and do what they say.”