Archive for December 2013

Starting Out the New Year with Government Contracts

Like many companies, you would undoubtedly like to add federal government
revenues to your 2014 commercial sales. It is the time of year for the
proverbial resolutions; we would therefore suggest the following if you are new
to the federal market.

In the first week of January, arrive at a decision as to whether your company
really wants to tackle this market. By making the decision early in the year,
you and your sales staff will not be distracted by this issue throughout the
year. The negatives involved are that it can take significant sales dollars and
a year or more to crack the market. If you are inclined to take a stab at
entering the market, you must recognize the patience and dollars needed to
network the federal buyers. The possible rewards associated with federal sales
are worth the investment your company makes. The two keys to being successful in
this market are persistence and perseverance. Don’t consider entering the
marketplace if you aren’t willing to accept both of these ideals.

If the decision is a go and your company is one that sells services, focus
your efforts initially on just one agency. If you sell products, limit your
focus to only a couple of agencies. In doing so, you will have increased your
likelihood for success. Bore deep into the agency – the buyers are there. Avoid
the inclination to take a cursory look at the agency only to decide that there
are no opportunities there for your company.

Once you have identified an opportunity, you must make the sales call. If you
are fortunate enough to have a networking connection, have that person make an
introduction for you. If you do not, you must make the proverbial cold calls. As
we all know, a vast majority of us do not like cold calling. If you are like
most, we recommend setting a rigid schedule and making the cold calls early in
the business day. Sales calls left to later in the business day have a way of
getting moved to the next day.

Most agencies do not have their 2014 fiscal year budget approved yet.
Therefore, January is a critical time to start your federal sales initiative as
contract expenditures will be pushed to the end of the year (September 30th).
Decide now if your company intends to pursue the market and start the sales
calls now.

Fedmarket’s goal is to make federal contracting as simple–and as profitable–as possible through our one-stop source for information and expertise. Fedmarket’s free content, training seminars, procurement data products, and hands-on consulting services enable organizations to achieve their federal sales goals. We work with:

Customers new to the federal marketplace who are hungry for a realistic assessment of the challenges that will confront them, and ways to address them
Customers successfully selling in the federal marketplace who are looking for tactical solutions to overcome specific circumstances that stand between them and increased federal sales

Customers who have entered the marketplace and want to develop a strategic marketing and sales program based on the fundamentals that drive federal sales success

Customers established in the marketplace that are looking to expand their market share faster or with additional, expert support.
Fedmarket’s offering covers four areas:

  • Professional services – our subject matter experts specialize in GSA Schedules, federal sales, proposal writing, procurement procedures, and preference programs.
  • Seminars and workshops – the courses presented cover a range of topics relevant to both current and aspiring federal contractors and are delivered through various media: hands-on workshops, seminars and webinars.
  • Tools and applications – these include everything from quick start guides to software applications that address and support compliance requirements, proposal writing, GSA Schedule contract management, and other functions central to the success of a federal contractor.
  • Data and research products – resources span from search engines focused on identifying procurement opportunities and databases that provide contact information for federal buyers, to in depth analysis of procurement trends.

At its core, Fedmarket blends a strong dose of reality, deep expertise, and a can-do attitude to propel those customers that work with it to the next level in federal sales.

Call 888 661 4094, Ext.2 for complimentary consulting.

Provide a Solution, Not a Sales Pitch

The process of arranging meetings with federal procurement officials (end users) is not an easy one. End users are busy and vendors from countries all around the world are trying to sell the end users their wares. On the other hand, end users are expected to be open to meeting with all vendors and are not supposed to show favoritism. Getting through the door of an end user’s office requires people and sales skills.

The most important thing to remember is that end users are people trying to do their job. They are naturally more eager to meet with those who appear to understand their problems and offer solutions. They will figure out a way to avoid meeting with vendors who appear to be on a fishing expedition.

An obvious question is, “How can I know an end user’s problems without meeting with them first?” Identifying problems is not easy but it can be done. Use the Internet and phone calls to conduct research on the targeted agency’s programs, the structure of the organization, and each individual’s job responsibilities. Talk to other vendors, use your networking contacts, and deduce what their problems may be.

IDIQ Contracts: A Hunting License for the Federal Market

Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts are becoming the preferred way that federal buyers make purchases. In order to compete in either the federal product or service sectors, your firm must have an IDIQ. As the use of IDIQs becomes increasingly more predominant, those which do not will be squeezed out of the market.

Looking at the issue from a practical perspective, one could say that those who have IDIQs have a hunting license. More specifically, such companies have a license to seek and bag a particular species in a specific jurisdiction. In the case of the federal market, only the holders of a specific IDIQ are permitted to bid on designated projects. Don’t be caught out in the wild without the proper license!