Whenever we host government sales training courses, one of the most persistent myths we see pop up is the idea that bidding for government contracts can be a fire-and-forget process. Businesses, particularly smaller businesses, see that so much of the process is done online that they assume it can be handled in a “hands-off” manner.
However, that’s simply not true, at least not if you want to win government contracts. Networking and personal connections play a huge role in landing contracts. In our government sales training seminars, we make sure to emphasize this, and give you key tips on how to make more connections.
Just as with B2C and B2B sales, proper market targeting is critical for B2G as well. With so many departments and sub-agencies within the US government, you want to choose targets that you believe you can best serve. Even if you have a relatively “generic” product or service that could be used by almost any agency, it’s still best to pick your highest priority key targets and focus on them.
Pressing the flesh is still the best way to expand your network. Attend as many trade shows, government events, and any networking opportunity in your field that you can afford. There will very often be government buyers in attendance, and some research can help you pick events that are more likely to have government project managers and other buyers. These will be among your very best opportunities to meet buyers face-to-face and make a great impression.
A single business card from an agent with buying power could be absolutely priceless for your company. Of course good follow up is going to be essential.
Don’t neglect online social networks! While not as effective at gaining confidence as in-person meetings, it’s still a valid discovery tool. In particular, some LinkedIn research can be a great way to increase your own understanding of a particular department’s structure, personnel, and levels of responsibility. This will help you sort out which individuals are worth talking to, and which are too far removed from decision-making authority.
No matter the size of your organization, or how long you’ve been in contracting, ASHER has proven workable strategies which can accelerate your sales. Contact us directly to schedule a class or seminar.