Monday, August 31, 2009

Trap 1: The Saggy Pants Strategy

The Danger: One Size Fits None.

Government buyers need to be right for you, and you need to be right for them.
First, what size opportunity do you perform or deliver best now? Just because government's needs come in all sizes doesn't mean you've got something for everyone.

Second, each government office's needs and problems are unique. And the sales effort has to persuade a complex group of people -- individual buyers, contracting officers, program managers, and end users -- who each have different needs, even if you think you're just selling one thing to them all!

That suggests a very relationship-intensive (and expensive) effort. One size doesn't fit all.

The Fix: Tailor-- Two Ways.
Your government prospects have to fit your company, and your offering has to suit the client.
First, set your sights on the right size and number of opportunities. Don't chase the biggest thing you can find. For every successful opportunity, you have to invest to develop the business, build trusted relationships, and if the odds look decent, prepare the proposal, and if you win, to have enough money to perform until at least after you get your first payment!

Second, pick the style or niche that suits you and your prospects best. Focus on your core competency -- the problem you solve better than anyone. The high-potential prospect wants to meet you because she sees herself reflected in your track record of solving that problem for clients who look a lot like her. In other words, you're the specialty store that carries just her style.

What Can You Do Today?

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  • a special email every week with tips and a new exercise you can do to make your government contracts strategy the perfect fit!

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Three Top Traps -- Watch Out!

3 Common Mistakes In Government Contracting...
2009 has witnessed two giant forces that have combined to create a rogue wave of interest in government contracting -- among companies of all sizes! This time last year, the recession began to dry up many companies' traditional sources of business. Then, when February's federal stimulus package passed, thousands of company owners thought, "Hey, with all that spending, there's got to be something I can win."
Maybe. But every year, otherwise successful managers spend millions in scarce resources trying to win government contracts without results. And now the stakes are even higher: stimulus notwithstanding, President Obama has just asked government buyers to trim a total of 7 percent from their budgets by the end of 2011.

Conclusion: Don't get lured, get smart. In government contracting, success favors the savvy.
It's easy to avoid the most common traps:
  1. The Saggy Pants Strategy
  2. The Shoestring Budget
  3. The Shotgun Tactics
Next week's three tips tell you the danger signs, and how to avoid those problems!