1. Commit to Managing Your Sam.gov Record Yourself – OWN IT
- There’s complimentary help from your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center
- Keep Entity Active and Up-To-Date
- Keep An Eye Out for NAICS Codes & PSC Codes You Need to Add
- Tell the Truth and Nothing But the Truth in Your Sam Record
- This is FREE – Manage and Own It Yourself
2. Write only WINNING Bids
- Know Your Customers’ Needs, Preferences, Solutions
- Build a Fail-Safe Bid/No Bid Process
- Have a Strong Win Theme
- Do It Right or Don’t Do It At All
3. Hit the Field and Call on Agencies Who Buy What You Sell
- Train Your Team to Sell
- Train Your Onsite Team to Pay Attention to Opportunities in Front of Them
- Perform a Deep Dive Competitive Analysis of Contracting Data Available
- Have Someone Build You a Custom Federal Sales Action Plan Around the Agencies Who Buy What You Sell – And Execute It
- Lead with You Capabilities and Close with Your Contract Vehicles and Set-Asides
4. Make Sure Your Federal Clients Use GSA Schedule Multiple Award Contract Vehicles BEFORE You Invest In The Application Process
- If You Don’t Sell $25,000 in the First 24 Months – They May Cancel Your Contract for Lack of Sales
- Maybe You Need to Be On a Different Contract Vehicle Instead? IE: NASA’s SEWP, Navy’s Seaport NxG, DHHS’ CIO SP3, GSA’s OASIS, Alliant, 8aStars2, Vets2, VA’s T4NG or Formulary…
5. Only Partner with Primes Who are Winning at the Agencies who Buy what You Sell.
- Do Your Homework
- Ask Around
- Interview THEM
- Meet Multiple Times Before You Sign the Bottom Line
6. When Hiring a Consultant – Ask Around.
- There are Good Consultants – and – There are Great Consultants
- There are Many Price Points Available
- Call The Consultant’s References
- Ask Experts on Social Sites and Privately
- Perform a Thorough Background Check – Before You Write that Check
7. Ask for a Debriefing and Turn it into a Chance to Sell.
- “We’re Happy to Be the Backup”
- “Anything Else Coming Down the Pipeline?”
- NEVER Protest
8. Respect the Agreement with Your Prime at the Agencies where You’re Working Together.
- Don’t “Go Around” the Prime – Unless the Prime Asks YOU to be the Prime Next Time.
9. Talking Politics-Posting Politics-Will Hurt Your Federal Business So DON’T Discuss Politics-Ever.
- Create a Culture of Neutrality at Your Business and Remind Your Staff – and Your Teaming Partners to Do the Same.
10. Under Promise and Over Deliver – Every. Single. Time.
- Honesty is the ONLY Policy in Federal Contracting.
12. Get Your Marketing Material Together
- Make Sure You’re on DSBS at the SBA Site
- Build a Government Page on Your Business Website
- Beef Up Your Social Media Profiles
- Have Your Capabilities Statement Downloadable from Your Website
- Build a Strong Capabilities Statement – A One to Two-Page Document Featuring Your Capabilities and Best Values
- Build a Strong Capabilities Briefing PPT Ready to Perform Anytime – As a Webinar and In Front of a Group
13. Know Your Customer – Personally – Their Hopes Dreams, Desires, and PAIN – Know the CO, the End User, the Stakeholder, and the Prime.
- Become their “Go To” Vendor who “Gets It” and Gets Them
- Know the Rules
- Follow the Rules
- Make Them Look Good
- Give them All The Credit
- Deliver On Time, Every Time
Rinse and Repeat!
Author: Eileen Kent is known as “The Federal Sales Sherpa” and helps companies with Federal Sales Training, Proposal Training, A Competitive Analysis, and a Federal Sales Action Plan. She also hand-picks clients who have been through her “Three Step Program” and works with companies weekly in her elite and custom “Sherpa for A Year” program. As a GovFlex registered consultant, Eileen and her company are available to provide services via the GovFlex platform.
The views expressed in GovFlex blog postings are solely those of the author.