Although I rarely use the expression, many contractors in different industries have what they call a “bid-hit ratio”.

Essentially, this involves comparing how many bids the contractors submitted against how many they won—that is, the “hit”.

There is no average bid-hit ratio. Some contractors will submit 10 bids and only get one hit and assume that is about right. Others will submit five bids and get two hits, which is about what they expected.

In either case, most contractors think the reason they do not win those other bids is that another contractor came in with a lower price.

Let me set the record straight about this. Having been on both sides of the fence—as the facilities manager at Walt Disney Company in California and over decades working with contractors in the professional cleaning and other industries – I know for a fact that most facility managers do not choose cleaning contractors by simply selecting the low bidder.

Yes, many managers have indeed come to believe cleaning contractors are necessary commodities and are all about the same. They believe contractors perform – and the customer can expect – about the same quality of work.

In such a scenario, the manager is already setting up a no-win scenario. The manager selects the low bid even though they know eventually there will be problems.

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