Author Archives: Asher Government

Benefits of Asher’s Advanced Business Development Training for Government Contractors

With so many organizations offering business development training for government contractors, why should you choose Asher?  There are plenty of reasons.  We are a long-established and respected source for development training and business development consulting, with a full team of professionals who have all spent years in government sales.  All have long track records of success and, combined, they make Asher one of the most powerful resources available for business development training.

The benefits of partnering with Asher to receive our business development training for government contractors are many, and the risks are few.  We stake our success on the success of our clients, and there are plenty of success stories to share.

When you bring in Asher for development training, you get:

Information for Contractors of All Sizes

Our team has worked with some of the largest government contractors in the world – but we’re just as happy to help newcomers make their first steps into the world of government contracting.  Our advice can be of most help to smaller groups.  We can help you get your contracting business off to the best possible start.

A Focus on Bringing New Ideas

There are many tried and true strategies for winning government contracts, but no “magic bullet” which works every time.  Successful contractors are those who have many tools in their toolbox and know how to switch between tools as needed.  Wherever your organization developmentally, we can add to your knowledge base, bringing new insights, tactics, and tools you can deploy in the years to come.

Intensive Scenario-Based Learning

Far too many government sales consultants speak only in theory and hypotheticals.  That’s often one of the biggest signs they haven’t spent much time selling in the real world.  We combine theory with practical scenario-based modules and role-playing exercises, based directly in real-world situations we have observed.  The result is sales staff and executives who are far more prepared for the actuality of winning government contracts and improving sales.

Asher Business Development Training for Government Contractors Brings Success

Large or small, we have the knowledge and the training techniques to take your operations to the next level.  Our strategies can help you boost revenues, discover new buyers, and uncover opportunities before your competition has a chance to jump on them.

To learn more about our training seminars, contact us directly online, or call (866) 834-1286.


Four Ways to Identify Successful Federal Business Development Consultants

There is certainly no shortage of self-proclaimed federal business development consultants out there, all trying to latch onto your growing contracting business.  The question is, how can you tell the real pros from the wannabes?  After all, as the saying goes, “Those who can’t, teach.”

Well, there are highly-proficient federal business development consultants out there.  Finding them is a matter of asking the right questions beforehand, and being willing to follow your instincts if you don’t like the answers you’re hearing.

Four Key Aspects to Investigate Before Hiring Any Federal Business Development Consultants

1 – Competency and Experience

More than anything else, you need consultants who have genuine experience running a contracting business or, at least, have a significant record of successfully winning contacts.  Ask to see some proof that they have real-world successes to back up their claims of expertise.

Likewise, always be wary of consultants who only want to talk about their list of contacts.  “Who you know” is a major part of contracting, but it’s not everything.  You want a consultant who’s more than just a walking Rolodex.

2 – Look for Organization Conflicts of Interest (OCI)

If your potential consultant has ever worked directly for the government or the military, there’s a chance they’re under an OCI – which works much like a non-compete agreement in the B2B world.  Ask them directly if they’re under an OCI and, if so, what restrictions are on their consultancy.  It could save you considerable wasted time,

3 – Ask for A Clear Statement of Work

An above-board business development consultant will be willing to provide a statement of work that covers issues such as:

  • Services to be provided and/or scope of consultancy
  • Fees and/or fee structures
  • Any guarantees
  • Timeframe of service
  • Termination criteria

This is a common tool in the consultancy world.  Be very wary of anyone who doesn’t want to put these matters into a formal agreement.

4 – Trustworthiness

This can be difficult to gauge and may come down to gut instinct, but it’s still a crucial part of hiring a business development consultant.  You are trusting that consultant with your business’s future!  If possible, get references and contact them directly.  That can help you decide if the consultant is one you can trust.

Asher Government Training Strategies: Clear-Headed Business Development Consulting

Asher Government Training has a team of highly-experienced professionals here to aid your development.  Contact us to learn more.


Government Sales Training to Win Government Contracts – 4 Reasons Why Government Contract Proposals Fail

Asher Government Training has a long history of providing government sales training to win government contracts, and much of that is focused on helping our clients avoid common mistakes that lead to missed opportunities.  For newcomers, government contract bidding is a difficult and risky process.  We want to help as many contractors as possible avoid common pitfalls.

There are many reasons a contract bid might fall through, and sometimes it’s not even the “fault” of a bidding company.   However, when people come to us looking for government sales training to win government contracts, these are some of the key areas we focus on.

Four Major Missteps to Avoid When Bidding on Contracts

1 – Misunderstanding the Buyer

This is a basic aspect of sales in any field, but one which many contractors fall foul of:  Not understanding their buyers’ wants, needs, and desires.  These contractors pitch their product, rather than pitching solutions to agencies’ problems.  They probably don’t do enough research, or don’t get face-to-face with their buyers, and fail to provide the solutions which agencies are looking for. Look for someone to coach you on needs, in an up-front legal manner.

2 – Not Offering Enough Value

Forming a clear value proposition is at the heart of successful contract bidding.  It’s not enough to have (X) service at (Y) price.  You need to differentiate yourself from everyone else who’s also providing (X) service.  Other failed contractors make claims they cannot back up.  A winning contract provides substantial value and makes it seem totally plausible that such value will be realized.

3 – Too Little Preparation and Field-Work

We could fill books with the stories we’ve heard of promising companies who rushed through the RFP process and skimped on their research, leading to failed bids.  Or perhaps they waited too long, trying to jump on a bandwagon that’s already left them behind.  Either way, the solution would have been more work and thought up front. 

4 – Lack of Leadership Support

Contract bidding is truly a whole-business process. Senior leadership cannot think itself “above” participating in RFP development and the larger bidding process.  This isn’t a “fire and forget” process where a leader can say “make a contract bid happen!” then wait for successes to take credit for.  They need to be hands-on throughout.

Asher Provides Proven Government Sales Training to Win Government Contracts

If you’re ready to kick your bidding into high gear, contact us today for information on our training programs.

How To Dominate IDIQ’S Competition and Win More Task Orders

In theory, Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity -IDIQ- contracts are supposed to reduce competition and maximize the probability that contractors will be able to win highly lucrative contracts.  In practice, of course, that is rarely the reality.  Competitions for IDIQ contracts are still fierce, and many companies still fail to benefit from a move into government contracting.

Asher Government offers government sales training workshops to succeed in IDIQ contracts.  We help you learn to avoid the pitfalls common to IDIQ contract bidding, and succeed while the other companies fail.

Common Pitfalls in the IDIQ Process

Asher Government is here to ensure you don’t fall prey to the same mistakes that others make.  Or if you have, we’ll see that you don’t have it happen again!

For example…

A prime spends far too much money chasing down an IDIQ vehicle win… but then lacks the resources to properly exploit it.  Or else they failed to do their homework, overspent, and ended up winning too little to actually justify their costs.  They wallow in red ink while watching their competitors grow.


A sub on an IDIQ is initially excited to be part of a team on a large contract but later discover that they are only getting the crumbs.  They only see the occasional task order requests, nothing like the orders they had expected.  They might not even hear from their prime for weeks or months, putting them so far behind their competition in understanding the government customer they couldn’t hope to prepare a winning proposal.

Asher Strategies wants you to be smarter than this.  We want you to win, while your competition gets left behind.

Be Prepared To Do What It Takes

Our strategies aren’t about just winning a task order or two, or always being the sub to someone else’s prime.  Our government sales training workshops to succeed in IDIQ contracts prepare you to be the number one contractor in your field on your IDIQ contract.  We’ll teach you the skills you need to get all the business you could possibly handle while dominating your competition.

Our training workshops show you the roadmap to mastering IDIQs and task orders.  We focus on bidding as well as getting more tasks on your current contracts.  With Asher training on your side, you can see greater success throughout your contracting. Contact us today to learn more.


3 Major Mistakes to Avoid When Bidding for a Government Contract

One of the best possible ways for a small business to grow more rapidly is to get into government contracting with existing products and services.  The US government awards contracts to operations of all sizes, and even has initiatives specifically designed to help smaller companies get their own tiny piece of that vast contracting pie.

Here at Asher Government, our government sales training programs are designed specifically to help businesses of all sizes learn how to navigate the government contracting roadmap.  We teach you and your associates the skills needed to negotiate contracts, hang onto them, and increase your orders on existing contracts.

Of course, avoiding major mistakes is a big part of this.  Here are three big problems we can help you avoid.

Three Ways to Mess Up Your Government Contract Bidding

  1. Marketing to Every Federal Agency

Trying to cast a wide net in government contracting is a good way of ensuring you catch nothing.  Your bids should be precisely targeted to individual agencies – or even individual sub-agencies – and based on deep research into their needs and processes.

Targeted bids won’t just help you identify the best fits for your own offerings.  They will also help you write a contract that’s written “in their own language” using the terminology and acronyms the agency is familiar with.  That sort of attention to detail is what wins contracts.

  1. Avoiding Face Time

No matter how the process is streamlined, government contract bidding will always be in part about who you know. Not that people can “steer” contracts to you, but you have to know what they need and offer it in your proposal at the winning price. You want to be getting as much face time with as many officials as you possibly can, gathering names and adding to your personal network of contacts.

Seek out every possible opportunity to meet in person with your buyers and LISTEN to their needs.  It will really pay off in the long run.

  1. Improper Dress

We know a lot of businesses these days like to keep their dress code casual.  Well, leave the hoodies and sneakers at the office.  Government buyers expect bidders who are dressing to impress, and will not be giving contracts to representatives who look like they wandered in off the street. This sounds like a simple thing, but learning these little things will add up to a lot more wins and long term success.

Anyone who meets face-to-face with government officers should be dressed impeccably every time.  

Asher Government Sales Training Programs Prepare You for Success

Whether you’re a newcomer to government contracting or looking for new strategies for a new era, Asher training programs and seminars help you learn the skills you need.


Asher Government Business Development Consultants – 4 Tips for Winning Bigger Contracts

In our work as business development consultants for government contractors and organizations , we know that competition for government contracts can be fierce.  It’s not just enough to get a piece of the pie – you want as much of it as you can possibly handle, or even more so you can start subcontracting out to take a profit off their work too.

Asher Government can help make that happen. Based on decades of real-world experience selling to the government, we can prepare you and your team to navigate contract bidding in a way that’s smarter, more efficient, and more likely to land you the prime contracts you want.

If you’re looking for some quick tips, this should help pique your interest.

Four Ways to Land Bigger Government Contracts

  1. Mergers & Acquisitions

If you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em.  M&A can easily be a route towards much bigger and better government contracts.  You don’t merely get the contracts currently on the table, you also get all of the contacts, network, and subcontractors that go along with your acquisition.

With enough cash-on-hand, this could land you that coveted contract critical to your long term growth.

  1. Focus Your Efforts

The shotgun approach is never a good idea for government contract bidding.  Take your time, study your options, and focus on those agencies or sectors which most align with your own competencies.  Invest heavily, but wisely, in those targeted areas, and leave everything else to other companies.

  1. Keep Looking Ahead

Chasing after jobs which are getting posted on the government websites is for smaller businesses who are happy picking up the scraps.  Smart government contracting means looking 3-5 years down the line, predicting needs which will arise, and positioning yourself to be in the right place at the right time.  Forecasting is crucial if you want to land more major contracts and maximize your profitability.

  1. Hire for Contracting Experience

It will always be easier to hire someone with strong contract bidding experience than to train a newcomer.  If you aren’t looking hard at the proposal win rate background of your potential hires, you’re potentially passing up huge opportunities.  In particular, those with experience creating fast-turnaround bids in response to unexpected opportunities can bring you short term income and quick wins.

Learn From Highly Experienced Business Development Consultants

Asher Government is one of the nation’s leading business development consulting firms, with classes and seminars to suit businesses of any size.  If you’re ready to win big in government bidding, contact us today.

Getting Small Business Government Contracts: Uncovering “Hidden” IT Spends

One of the wonderful things about seeking small business government contracts is that there is so much information on government spending available online.  When complete budgets are public information and entire websites are devoted to publishing upcoming purchasing initiatives, it can start to feel like something of a seller’s buffet.

However, that isn’t always the case when it comes to IT.  Computer spends within agencies often aren’t very well-documented, just lumped into “IT” without much other elaboration.  Also, IT spends are often a major component of classified initiatives such as cryptography research.  So, a company looking to sell computer services to the government will need to put in extra legwork to make those sales.

The experts at Asher Strategies have a few tips on the topic…

Ways to Discover “Hidden” IT Opportunities for Small Business Government Contracts

  1. Make more contacts.

Despite all the online tools available, government sales are still very much a “who do you know” game.  This isn’t just about getting contracts approved, it’s about finding out about new opportunities in the first place.  Making friends in government IT departments can get you a lot of important tips.

  1. Research other spends.

Look at public budgets carefully, and constantly ask the question “Would they need computers or software to support that purchase?”  If it seems plausible that there’d be an IT component to an otherwise innocuous-looking budget item, start putting out feelers and contacting your sources.

  1. Narrow your focus.

Obviously, some agencies are going to be more computer-focused than others.  The IRS, for example, probably has their computer needs met for the most part.  On the other hand, science-focused groups like NASA and the various military R&D groups are going to be constantly looking for hardware and software to support their ongoing initiatives.

This is a case where specialization could be a major boon.

  1. Send out an exploratory proposal or RFP.

New developments in software are coming fast and furious, and it is unlikely government agencies are all keeping up.  Try putting together a “new idea” sales presentation for a small list of agencies needing your services. Be president to get your idea in front of the decision makers to show them what’s possible with your solution. Even if they don’t buy right away, you will get some great feedback, they will expand their knowledge of your offerings, and pave the way for future successes.

Learn More from Asher Strategies

Put our decades of experience in small business government contracts to work training your business development staff!  Contact us to learn more.


How Will You Win That IDIQ Contract with The Government Cutting Spending?

The next few years are looking to be a lean time for many government contractors, since the current administration and Congress are both largely focused on cost-cutting.  Even the President’s “southern wall” is having trouble getting full congressional funding approval.

This means that contractors looking to pick up a new IDIQ contract in the current environment are going to need to be smart in how they go about making contacts and marketing themselves.  Just sitting back and waiting for contracts to become available isn’t an option.  At Asher, we know good strategy and proactivity will be the keys to IDIQ contract bids until at least 2020.

Adjusting Your Bidding Strategies to The Reality of The Current Government

Leverage all your internal resources.

It wasn’t too long ago that a business development manager’s list of contacts was a closely-guarded secret.  This attitude needs to go away.  Contract development and bidding should be seen as a collaborative process, with everyone working together to make it happen. Team approaches to growing your business are needed now.

Likewise, any bonus policies should be restructured accordingly.  This is not the time to encourage cutthroat competition among your business development staff. Incentivize some good business development teamwork too.

Make more external contacts.

How are your relationships with other businesses in your industry or area of expertise?  Work on those.  Remember, many government contracts allow, or even require, partnerships to make them happen.  Being on good terms with the competition could easily make the difference on whether you’re invited to share in someone else’s good fortune.

Just remember that they’ll probably want a piece the next time you have a contract that needs to be split up.

Make a structured plan for growth.

Don’t simply assume making an IDIQ contract happen is as easy as placing a few phone calls and submitting your bid.  Think about your target agencies and make solid plans for how to increase your standing with them.  This could include:

  • Reminding them of past services rendered.
  • Targeting smaller agencies or associated groups who would also need your services.
  • Continuing to grow and leverage your internal contacts.
  • Keeping a close watch on personnel and agency news to get more insights into who the current power-players are.
  • Improving your marketing messaging to sell more new ideas and get a fresh look at your capabilities from prospective customers

Learn More Critical Government Sales Skills from Asher Strategies

We have decades of experience in government contract bidding, and have helped major federal-government-focused businesses grow. Contact us today to ask about our training seminars.

Win and Retain IDIQ Government Contracts by Being More Proactive

Few forms of government contract are more prized among private contractors than Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Supply contracts (IDIQ).  IDIQ government contracts are incredibly lucrative, and can often set up a business for years of ongoing work tasks if they deliver great results.  Winning those contracts, and then retaining them across multiple contract periods, is a major priority.

However, it’s not as easy as it once was.  A few years ago, with the US in multiple wars, IDIQ government contracts could be a bit easier to obtain for some products and services.  We have a war-weary public opposing many foreign interventions. Our President is more internally focused and cutting costs of government. Getting IDIQ contracts can be a lot more difficult.

One potential solution to this problem, which we suggest here at Asher Strategies, is to simply focus on being more proactive about your business development processes.

Getting More IDIQ Contracts as A Proactive Government Contractor

While certainly not universal, it’s common for government contractors to become a bit reactive – that is, watching for good opportunities on FedBizOpps or, with a good enough personal network, simply waiting to be told about upcoming opportunities.  When there are fewer opportunities, such contractors will need to step up their game to keep the contracts coming in.

This means adopting “sales” tactics from the B2B and B2C realms, such as:

  1. Growing Customer Relationships

Don’t take your agency contacts for granted.  Be willing to spend more time and money maintaining those relationships, growing them, and increasing your network of contacts.  Otherwise, someone else may be wining-and-dining them under your nose.

  1. Upgrading Performance-Tracking Systems

How close of an eye do you keep on internal performance?  You should be tracking everything via computer systems, and focusing on Key Performance Indicators to visualize your progress.  This will help eliminate inefficiencies in your own operations, making you more attractive as a contractor and usually lowering your costs.

  1. Become More Collaborative Via Information-Sharing

Is your business development team still jealously guarding their contacts and refusing to share key information with each other?  Does your marketing team often not know what sales is even doing?  These traits may have been standard in the 20th Century, but they can be deadly today.  Your internal culture should be more collaborative, focused on team efforts to bring in contracts.

Asher Strategies Can Help You Succeed

We know how government sales are changing – and we can teach you too!


Successful Government Marketing: Differentiating Yourself from The Competition

While government marketing is different from B2B and B2C marketing and sales in a lot of ways, one thing isn’t different:  The need to differentiate yourself from the competition.  With so many companies all competing for the same contracts, particularly IDIQ contracts and tasks, it’s vital to find ways to make yourself stand out.  This can even help you expand services rendered on an existing contract, which can be a wonderful way to boost your profits.

With our decades of experience at Asher in government marketing and sales, we’ve seen plenty of successful bids – and plenty of failures as well.  Here are some tips for standing out when you make your proposals and present new task ideas to government customers.

Four Ways to Stand Out and Increase Your Contract Bid Successes

  1. Know the lingo and procedures.

Every government agency has their own internal processes, as well as their own distinctive set of jargon and acronyms.  Learn these!  Use them in your contract bids.  It’s not just familiar to procurement teams, but it directly says, “We understand you and your processes.”  This directly indicates you’ll be easy to work with and be able to conform to their internal needs.

  1. Specialize and be precise in your contract bids.

There’s an argument to be made for trying to be “all things to all people” at times in the private sector, but that will not fly in government marketing.  Don’t overpromise, and don’t be vague.  Be as precise -and concise as possible in your bids.  Pitch exactly what you can do.  Exaggeration and hyperbole will get you nowhere.

  1. Leverage any special status you might have.

Are you a small business?  Are you owned and operated by women, minorities, or disabled veterans?  There’s a good chance you qualify for special consideration – so use it.  Almost all agencies will have quotas covering how many small businesses and other special categories they give contracts to per year.

  1. Constantly maintain face-to-face contacts.

Never rely solely on electronic communications, or it could backfire.  Turnover in government procurement roles often exceeds 40% per year.  You need to be constantly refreshing those contacts, and staying current on personnel changes, to ensure your name is recognized when you call or email.

Learn Top Strategies from Asher

We can help you succeed in government marketing!  Contact us today to leverage our decades of experience.