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.

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