Monday, June 20, 2011

Would You Give Your Car Keys To This Man?

Mentor Protege Programs at Northrop Grumman

John Long, VP Business Development, Civil Systems Division at Northrop Grumman, explains the kind of experience that prospective proteges should have before they approach his company about a mentor-protege program.

Interviewed by Judy Bradt at the 2011 OSDBU Conference.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Five Tips For FYE Success

The late budget has skewed buying to...NOW.
These five tips can help you stay ahead of the game!

#1: Revisit Your Forecasting
  • Take one more look at your target agencies' forecasts and bid boards. Anything new?
  • Look hard at your own forecast, and pick out the projects that best match your capabilities.
  • Identify relevant small business specialists -- and call on them for updates on your hot projects.
#2: Ask for Referrals from Your Best Customers
  • Ask your best customers for introductions! It's the least expensive -- and most powerful -- source of leads you have.
  • Ask for leads within their agency
  • Ask who they know in another agency who might value your expertise or products.

#3: Stay Top-of-Mind
  • When did you last check in with your best clients, partners, current and past contacts?
  • Call long-time, one-time and former government clients to remind them of your value. Offer something useful -- an article, a link...
  • Ask if they'd like fresh info, or need to reorder from you.
  • Call on marginal accounts. Often the company to get the order is the last one the agency spoke with!
  • If the box of cookies or treats is worth less than $25, ask the contracting officer or the OSDBU if you can bring in some refreshments for the team
  • (True story: At fiscal year end, when I worked at the Canadian Embassy, I'd bring a batch of cookies into the Admin section.You have no IDEA how much faster my paperwork got processed.)

#4: Use Multiple Touches, Tactics, Channels

  • Use multiple tactics (PR, events, email, direct mail, web, telemarketing).
  • What channels are others not using? Have you looked into...
  • Federal News Radio? See what co-anchors Amy Morris & Tom Temin are covering, and ask them if they'd like to interview your federal client's recent success (and your contribution...) Catch Amy on Twitter -- @amorris_wfed
  • Twitter -- check out and discover how you can reach hundreds of influential government buyers that your competitors are overlooking!
  • Visit GSA Sales Query, even if you don't have a schedule. How are the leaders in your GSA Schedule category, reaching THEIR clients, through ads and online?
  • Promote year-end offers to government customers through telemarketing or emails.

#5: Update & Share Your Capability Statement

  • Add in your latest contract wins & vehicles, update your contact info, product info, certifications, keywords, NAICS codes.
  • Most contracting officers and small business specialists appreciate getting your latest capability statement. Ask your best contacts if they prefer email or hardcopy or a link.
  • Ask if they've got a few minutes to critique your latest draft capability statement -- What's missing? What else would they like to see? Helpful to you, AND keeps you top of mind.

Get Five More Tips HERE!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

High-Growth Integrator TASC Looks For Partners

Craig Ridley, Small Business Liaison Officer

TASC -- an advanced systems engineering, integration and decision-support services organization -- originally spun out of Northrop Grumman -- now has an aggregate 80 percent win rate.  

"High performance ratings, a strong backlog and a rich pipeline of new and projected new business," make TASC a company worth getting to know. While recent press releases note recent hires of over 900 people engineers, analysts and other technical personnel, and plans to hire 1,200 more this year.

At the 2011 OSDBU Conference, Craig Ridley, Small Business Liaison Officer, shared what TASC keeps in mind when they look for partners -- including on recent wins like:
  • a $200M systems engineering and integration contract to support the Air Force's Space Based Infrared System program 
  • $827 million contract to support the FAA's transition to NextGen, the new air traffic control system
  • IDIQ's: Navy Seaport-e and U.S. Transportation Security Administration's TESS program