How To Sell To Government Agencies
Government doesn't buy products and services, people do.
Every level of government is comprised of people who buy goods and services all the time, both outside of and inside the normal bid, contract and RFP process. They are spending billions of dollars annually. No matter what the economy, the government is always buying. To the tune of over $240 billion for Federal Government agencies and over $200 billion for state, county, city and other municipal government agencies.
How NOT to sell successfully to government
Contractors who wait for RFPs to be issued or the bidding process to begin before revving up their marketing machinery will find themselves empty handed more often than not. They waste hundreds of hours responding to bids and RFPs without winning the business.
To sell to government successfully, you need to be pro-active. Make personal contact with the people in government who buy what you sell--and remain in contact--just like you would with private sector buyers.
Because it's not GOVERNMENT that makes purchase decisions, it's the PEOPLE in government. They need to know who you are, what you do, your costs and track record.
TargetGov recommends a 3-stage process for selling successfully to government.
TargetGov Selling Process
1. Develop a targeted list of government contacts (people!) who are most likely to purchase your category of goods or services. You can't afford to waste time and resources on unlikely buyers, nor do you want to miss any strong potential buyers, so it is important that your contact lists be both accurate and exhaustive. TargetGov's Government Buyers Guide will provide you with thousand of verified buyers and end users that you can sort by the category of product/service they buy, their location, and what level of government in which they work (federal, state, county, municipal, school district)…in less than 30 seconds!
2. Contact each person on your list. This you can do via letter, email, phone or fax. However: please note that spam and fax laws are being enforced. Don't risk high fax fines or become blacklisted as a spammer. Always ask permission to send emails or faxes. And in the case of faxes, you must have written authorization before sending a fax.
Your goals are to:
- Inform specific people of the products/services your company provides and what your company's advantages are with regard to others in the marketplace
- Ask them to inform you of any upcoming RFPs or bids
- Ask them to contact you when they have business that falls beneath the published contract/bid threshold
- Inquire whether your company would qualify for an "open to buy" contract
- Schedule a meeting (phone or in person) to discuss your business opportunities with their agency
The best contact process utilizes a variety of methods. But you may have hundreds or even thousands of potential buyers. If your marketing and sales staff cannot incorporate this volume into their workday TargetGov Custom Services provides tools to build your list and contact the people with which you want to do business, without straining your own resources.
3. Follow-up quickly and frequently. Once you've contacted the buyers on your list, you will need to follow up regularly. The hottest targets should be contacted by phone, but the rest should receive follow-up letters, faxes and emails (remember to get permission!) TargetGov's Custom Services gives you the tools to easily schedule and deliver effective follow-ups.
Ready to get started and get a leg up on your competition? Subscribe now.