Final in a know-who series on people who can help you win government contracts.
The Program Manager (PM)
They have a lot of power, and can be hard to reach. The PM defines and controls spending priorities among activities. PMs care about how best to deliver the Agency mission, including how to define requirements to select the best vendors.
If you’ve established your credibility as a reputable problem-solver with the Small Business Specialist and the Contracting Officer, the Program Manager may be eager to hear about the details of your solution and your approach.
This meeting is your opportunity to learn, not pitch. You want to find out as much as you can about what his or her priorities are, and how you can contribute to solving the most important problems on the top of his or her list.
The Influencer could be a colleague, friend, writer, reporter, or blogger that the decision makers and players trust. They may be Program Managers or well-known innovators in the end-user community. They might be top professionals in the major prime contractors.
Why would they care about you? They need content! What can you bring them? They want to share hot stories – good and bad – about vendors, problems and solutions. Be sure they have yours!
Where do you meet them? In person, at events and conferences. And online – set up some Google Alerts; check out the groups on forums like LinkedIn and industry association web portals.
The End User
…is the front line employee or person in the battle space. She or he cares about getting the job done with the resources available. How will you make his job easier? How well do you understand his problems or constraints? Once you show you’re helpful, End Users can ask senior managers for support to try your solution.
See part 2 and part 3 of this series!
Or download Making the Most Of Your OSDBU Visit from my online tools.