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September is Coming – Act NOW!

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

Believe it or not, we are ¾ of the way through the race for this fiscal year! The final quarter of the federal fiscal year is here and so is the rush to spend remaining budget. Because of budget concerns earlier in the year, agencies have been hoarding budget monies and some agencies have half of their budget left and they have to spend every single dime.

Buyers are way behind… Let’s rewind to October 1 when FY 2019 started. Spending was frozen, then the government shut down for over a month. Now add this to the already insane September spending frenzy where they have to use or lose their budget.

What is going to happen… Every year as September approaches agency heads drill down and look at what they want to do with the money. Sure, some of that money will get allocated to large projects but there will be billions spent on last minute, smaller purchases. When I say smaller, I mean thousands of $250k – $750k. Great money for small businesses and especially great for GSA schedule holders.

Want some? Move Now. The fact is your competition has been priming the pump for over 9 months.  If you wait any longer, you will not have a chance at this year’s spending. If you are not in the federal space, now is the time to get in.  This is by far my favorite time for strategic planning because we have two Septembers in the next 18 months. 

This is critical for your success and we will be discussing why this coming Tuesday at 11am EST. Register and join us for our “How To Go Federal” webinar series here:

Getting in the Game

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

As a result of immense investment, nearly a decade of systems development, and sheer determination to win, isiFederal has achieved goals that I didn’t even know existed 9 1/2 years ago. Early in my federal sales pursuit, I stopped chasing bids and started chasing the people behind the bids and it has proven to be the most important decision I ever made. After nearly a decade here is what isiFederal has done:

Unmatched Connections

  • Over 64 Million Contacts
  • 1.2 Million Federal Contacts
  • 70,000+ Federal Buyers
  • 380,000+ Prime Contacts

Superior Marketing

  • GovBrief
  • Introduction/Capabilities Campaigns
  • Unsolicited Proposal
  • Pilot & Proof of Concept
  • White Paper

Compelling Results

  • $580M+ Direct and Indirect Sales
  • New Relationship Development
  • Repeated Success

Unlimited Potential

The federal government will spend over $310B in the next 5 months – guaranteed. Most of this spending will happen July – September so now is the time to lace ‘em up, get on the field and get in the game.

Winning federal contracts will:

  • Diversify your company
  • Stabilize your revenue
  • Increase your company’s value

If you are new to the game, struggling or just want to WIN… isiFederal is the right partner. We will map out the game plan, draw out the plays and get on the court with you so we can WIN.

7 Tips for winning in 2020…

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

Winning in the federal market is a matter of planning and positioning and right now your competitors have the upper hand – THAT CAN CHANGE!  You will WIN when you start injecting your company as a key player with key decision makers who spend the money.  During our 2020 Selling To the Government sessions we will be reviewing and discussing best practices on how you can do this: 

1.    Get Smart.  How can you pursue federal buyers that you don’t even know who they are?.  isiFederal’s Market Essentials  is the best way to find the rest of the people behind the opportunities and prioritize them by activity within your sweet spot.  Market Essentials provides you with the road map – specifically for your company – by identifying who matters most to you.  Knowing this you can get moving and go after them.  Need some help? isiFederal’s support team actively targets and pursues thousands of buyers every single month. 

2.    Identify Gaps.  Every business needs help and 93% need some help with business development processes and activities.  Where are your gaps and will it take for you to be successful? Dedication to the cause.  isiFederal can quickly show you what it takes and what you need. 

3.    Budget. Did you know that the average successful small business federal contractor spends over $165k per year in federal marketing and business development? That’s right. There is nothing fast easy or cheap about winning federal contracts.  If it was, everyone would be able to win federal contracts.  Need some help? isiFederal provides dedicated representation for less than half of hiring someone on staff.  We also provide inside and outside sales support so you can get in front of key decision makers. 

4.    Get Proactive.  If you want to win, you better be going after your competitors’ buyers starting NOW. April through June is your chance to get positioned before the money is allocated for 2019 spending this September.  Using creative ways to get in front of – and stay in front of – key decision makers will make the difference of whether you win or you let your competitors win.  Need some help?  isiFederal has several innovative ways to get you remembered as a subject matter expert so you get the attention you deserve. 

5.    Give Them the “WHY”.  The fact is federal buyers already have relationships with your competitors and, for the most part, they are satisfied. What you are asking them to do is take money from someone they know, and give it to you instead.  If that is going to happen in 2019, you better have the right answer to the “WHY”.  Need some help? isiFederal can help you hone your message to what matters to THEM so they will understand WHY you are important. 

6.    Get Ahead of the RFP. Rule #1 is if you didn’t influence the RFP then your competitor did.  Opportunities come from people, not FBO or even GSA eBuy. Did you know that most winnable opportunities are competed between less than 5 companies?  You want to be one of the 5 and you get there by people liking you. Need help? isiFederal can provide you with the expertise to help you bridge the gap and save you hundreds of thousands at the same time. 

7.    Stay the course. Give yourself 24-36 months to develop traction and you will beat the vast majority of the competitors in the federal market. This is what the incumbents did – you can do it too! Need help?  isiFederal provides support services that can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars and guarantee success within 18 months. 

To be effective in 2020 you need to know about the market and fill the gaps in your resources and isiFederal can help you do exactly that. For more information visit www.isifederal.com or call 888-9-GET-isi (888-943-8474) and no matter what, please join us for our free monthly session “Selling to the Government” and get an understanding of what it takes to win federal contracts and how we can help.

5 reasons 81% of contracts never hit FBO

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

We all hear it from Contracting Officers… “We post everything on FBO.” Do they now, or is this a convenient blow-off?  In reviewing recent market intelligence in the

  1. Shortlisted between “Qualified” businesses.  Most contracting officers that have been around a while know the companies that perform well, even more importantly, the ones who don’t. Some ways Contracting Officers determine their shortlist include:
    1. Past performance
    1. Capabilities Briefing
    1. GSA contract holders by SIN
  2. “Choice of Two”. The FAR states that Set-asides for socio-economic programs can be made if:
    1. At least two qualified small businesses are likely to submit offers
    1. The contract can be awarded at a fair market price

This means Contracting Officers can compete between as little as two qualified small businesses within ANY socio-economic category – WOSB, VOSB, SDVOSB, HUBZone or 8(a).

  • Under $25,000. The FAR states “For proposed contract actions expected to exceed $15,000, but not expected to exceed $25,000, by displaying in a public place, or by any appropriate electronic means”. This means Contracting Officers can place the requirement on a bulletin board in a common area within their office. If you are not there, or you don’t know the contracting officer, you never see it.
  • Micro Purchases. The new P-card (purchase card) threshold is $10,000 and some of the 200,000 employees have authority to spend over $100k.
  • Existing Contract Vehicles. BPA calls and IDIQ Task Orders are only circulated within the holders of these vehicles. In many cases, BPAs and IDIQs are single award and are used for repetitive purchases. If you have a great relationship with a contracting officer within a specific agency, you can ask him or her to execute a BPA using your best pricing. What do you have to lose?

In all of these cases knowing the people responsible for purchasing is critical to your success. isiFederal is the leader in federal intelligence and proactive federal marketing. We have over 1.2 Million federal contacts, 70,000 active federal buyers AND we know who buys what you sell.  We don’t stop there. isiFederal can get your company in front of federal decision makers within the next 60 days. We do this for fortune 500 companies, and we can do it for you… Call 888-943-8474 (888-9-GET-isi) and we will get your proactive federal marketing program going today!

Are you ready for the Madness?

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

We are nearly half way through FY2019 and almost every federal agency is behind in spending their piece of $1.2 Trillion. If you want some, you better be in front of decision makers in the next 60 days…

Contract research shows that companies that start marketing in before the end of May win 90% more than companies that start after June 1. Why?

1) Increased workload

2) Summer Vacations

3) Budget planning (for 2020)

What is going to happen..

Every year, as September approaches, agency heads drill down and look at what they want to do with the money. Sure, some of that money will get allocated to large projects but there will be billions spent on last minute, smaller purchases.

When I say smaller, I mean thousands of $250k – $750k new and re-competed projects. Great money for small businesses and especially great for GSA schedule holders.

Want some? Move Now! The fact is your competition has been priming the pump for over 6 months and some incumbents have been winning these contracts for years.

Rules of the Game

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

Manage Your Expectations. Most, and I mean most, 80%+ of companies that attempt to get in the federal space fail within the first 12 months. Another 10%-15% fail by 18 months, leaving less than 5% surviving past 24 months.  So you can look at it as incredible risk, or you may see this as the market thinning out your competition. The ones that make it not only survive – they thrive. 

Budget for Success. Did you know that the average successful small business federal contractor spends over $165k per year in federal marketing and business development? That’s right. This is the #1 challenge in federal marketing because you can spend that kind of money and still not get a dime if you are riding the wrong horse. It is highly likely the people you need are not on your payroll right now.  Look for force multipliers… the people, partners, trusted advisers that can help reduce the learning curve and accelerate your position.

Be Proactive.  You can’t sit on the bench and expect someone to let you take a shot. If you want to win, you better be going after your competitors’ buyers NOW. March through June is your chance to get positioned before the money is allocated for 2019 spending this September

Get Ahead of the RFP.  Rule #1 is if you didn’t influence the RFP then your competitor did.  Opportunities come from people, not FBO or even GSA eBuy. Did you know that most winnable opportunities are competed between less than 5 companies?  You want to be one of the 5 and you get there by people liking you.

Stay the Course. Give yourself 24-36 months to develop traction and you will beat the vast majority of the competitors in the federal market. This is what the incumbents did – you can do it too!

Get off the Bench

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

Getting in the Game

As a result of immense investment, nearly a decade of systems development, and sheer determination to win, isiFederal has achieved goals that I didn’t even know existed 9 1/2 years ago. Early on I stopped chasing bids and started chasing the people behind the bids and it has proven to be the most important decision I ever made. After nearly a decade here is what isiFederal has done:

Unmatched Connections

  • Over 4 Million Contacts
  • 1.2 Million Federal Contacts
  • 60,000+ Federal Buyers
  • 380,000+ Prime Contacts

Superior Marketing

  • GovBrief
  • Introduction/Capabilities Campaigns
  • Unsolicited Proposal
  • Pilot & Proof of Concept
  • White Paper

Compelling Results

  • $580M+ Direct and Indirect Sales
  • New Relationship Development
  • Repeated Success

Unlimited Potential

The federal government will spend over $400B in the next 7 months – guaranteed. Most of this spending will happen July – September so now is the time to lace ‘em up, get on the court and get in the game.

Winning federal contracts will:

  • Diversify your company
  • Stabilize your revenue
  • Increase your company’s value

If you are new to the game, struggling or just want to WIN… isiFederal is the right partner. We will map out the game plan, draw out the plays and get on the court with you so we can WIN.

Do’s and Don’ts of the 2018 Shutdown

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

Don’t Target Affected Agencies

The shutdown affects each agency differently. GovExec published a handy chart to show which agencies are most affects by the shutdown.  In most instances, procurement and contractors are affected at the same rate. This means you probably won’t be able to make any headway with these agencies during the shutdown.

Do Pursue Other Avenues

If your core business is in one of the largely affected agencies (like National Park Service), Now is a great time to market to other agencies that could be buying from you. One of the best ways to find these agencies is isiFederal Market Essentials intelligence research. This intel will give you a clear view of what your competition is winning, where and most importantly who is buying.

Don’t Panic

Don’t let the politics of the shutdown get in the way of your federal strategy. Whether you love or hate what is happening in DC, at the end of the day, money is going to be flowing with huge implications this September.

Do Prepare for Life After Shutdown

Getting to decision makers is still your best avenue to success and you can be getting prepared right now to get in front of key decision makers (see the next article). So, who needs to know about you after the shutdown?That depends on what you sell but in most instances there are 3 or key decision makers in each opportunity including:

Contracting Officers – Job is to procure and work out the contractual details.

Project Managers – Responsible for assembling requirements and defining required capabilities.

Technical Representatives – Responsible for bridging the gap with requirements and contracting.

Join me for Getting Ahead of RFPs 2018 to help differentiate your company and win in 2019!


GSA By The Numbers

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

The feds usually spend about $500B every year on contracts.  This year that number is nearly $1.2 Trillion and that means significant increases across all contracting vehicles – including GSA. Every sale over micro-purchase (recently increased to $10,000 max) requires some kind of competed contract vehicle to meet the requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).

Between June of 2017 and June 2018 over $39 Billion of federal spending went through GSA schedules.  As of November 1st there are 17,289 active schedule holders held by 14,346 companies (some companies have multiple schedules). Looking at the Budget for 2019, sales are could exceed $50 Billion – That would be record since GSA sales in 2017 were down to $32 Billion.

Now for the real news… GSA reports $39B in sales between June 2017 and June 2018 was won by around 7,756 companies… That means 9,533 schedule holders are under-performing – on pace for less than $25,000 per year – the minimum required by GSA to keep the schedule.  So, the winners are averaging over $5 Million in federal sales through their GSA schedules and the rest of the companies are in the process of failing and failing miserably.

Why? Simple: GSA doesn’t sell for you, you need to sell your GSA.

GSA schedules are by far the easiest contract vehicles to obtain and very useful as tools for obtaining federal sales – BUT they don’t bring sales by themselves. In fact, GSA gives new companies TWO years to make the first $25k… You have to ask yourself why? I’ll tell you… it’s because it isn’t easy and you need to get out there and go after business- not just wait for orders from GSA Advantage or opportunities to hit GSA eBuy. You need to get proactive and go after these people.

Getting in front of federal decision makers is the key to GSA success. If you can’t succeed in FY2019, you will never have a better shot. You need to identify buyers in your market, get to them and make sure you are one of the qualified GSA schedule holders they remember when they need what you sell.

 

MythBusting Federal Buyers

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

There are three major issues that I work with everyday to help break into the federal space. The first, “I don’t know who to call”. That we solve with Market Essentials. Second, “I can’t get through”. That we help with introductions and GovBrief marketing campaigns. Third, when you actually reach people they tell you…

Myth 1) “We list everything on FBO.”

BUSTED. According to the Federal Procurement Data System in Fiscal Year 2018 4,701,543 contracts were executed yet only 204,061 solicitations actually hit FBO. Where are the rest?

a) CO’s are only required to list opportunities that are budgeted for greater than $25k.
b) GSA does not require listing on FBO
c) IDIQ task orders are not listed on FBO
d) BPA calls are not listed on FBO
e) Minimally competed “choice of two” or “Short Listed” opportunities don’t hit FBO
f) Simplified Acquisitions (now $250k) do not have to be listed on FBO
g) Micro purchases (now $10k) do not post on FBO

Want to find the people behind these opportunities click here to join us for “Getting Ahead of RFPs” Tuesday November 13th at 11AM.

Myth 2) “We don’t maintain our own vendor database.”

1/2 BUSTED. True, they don’t maintain a database – they just simply have “short-listed” vendor relationships. If you are not “short-listed” you get sent to FBO. Over 80% of what they buy is competed between from less than 5 preferred companies. They don’t need a database because they already know the people who will be responding already and unless you are one of them, you get sent to FBO.

Want to get on the “short-list”? Join us for “Getting Ahead of RFPs” Tuesday November 13th at 11AM.

Myth 3) We don’t meet with vendors.

BUSTED. Buyers and program managers absolutely meet with vendors BUT they don’t meet with vendor just because you ask. Think about it, do you meet with everyone that asks? Of course not. You need to have a good reason to meet with people and that is usually because they made a connection that piqued your interest. If you are having problems getting meetings it is probably because you need to adjust your approach, so you resonate quickly with your target audience. If you need help with this check out GovBrief (www.GovBrief.us) and see if you being a Subject Matter Expert (SME) will help you get meetings with key decision makers.

Want to get meetings with decision makers? Join us for “Getting Ahead of RFPs” Tuesday December 11th at 11AM.

What you can do…

These are typical and intentional blow-offs to weed out the riff-raff from the qualified companies with dedicated people who really want to do federal business. Many buyers want to make sure you are in it for the long haul. They already have resources to buy from so you need to make sure they know you are serious and you understand what they need. What they are really saying is “Get Serious or Stay Out”. Are you serious? Are you ready? Join us Tuesday November s13th and see if you have what it takes to make it in the federal market.

FY2018 Lessons Learned

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

Every year people call me in August with the request “Get me some of the September Money!” I say sure! For September 2019… You see, we learned a long time ago that the incumbent and proactive competitors have a HUGE advantage in September because they have been working the relationships for months and sometime years.

Now is the time to reflect on your federal efforts of 2018.

Question 1: I would have won more if…

I had bid more
I knew who was buying what I sell
I knew before the RFP came out
I had influence on the RFP scope

Most companies look to the number of bids. I say don’t bid if you don’t have a winning angle. Think about this… The incumbent has been working that client for a year, maybe 5 or more years. They know the systems, they know the key players and chances are their finger prints are all over the RFP – They have a winning angle.

Does that mean you should just let them have it? Absolutely not. But you better get your own winning angle.  Make no mistake, you winning means displacing the incumbent or a qualified competitor.

Every successful strategy starts with identifying your market. I say, let your competitors define your marketplace. Federal competitors don’t exist without a contract, contracts have dollars associated, and dollars have contracting officers associated and contracting officers are the purchasing arm of the program managers who both work for an Agency.

Question 2: Who wrote the most contracts with my competitors?

For the past 12 years I have been analyzing data, parsing obfuscated information and compiling market segments. The government doesn’t make it easy either – if they did, I would be out of a job.

There are a myriad of data points in the government FPDS, SSQ, SBA, USAspending, GSA, Agency forecasts, P-cards etc. After all, the US federal government is the largest organization on earth. Maybe they intentionally obfuscate data, maybe they just can’t seem to get their hands around it all, either way – the information is not usable in its provided state.

Sometimes you can see what company won and how much. But who was behind that purchase? That is what I want and what competitors need. Is there a list of buyers? Nope. Is there a list of Program Managers? Nope. Even if there were a list, it would be irrelevant because there are over 80,000 contracting officers, 180,000 P-card (credit card) holders and 2.7 Million federal employees.

You need to know who is in your space, specifically, who is buying from your competition. This will help you answer questions 3 and 4. Before we get to those questions, I want to lay out a little insider information that helps me know who matters most. The federal forecasts and budgets are all based on dollars – important, but not the driver. The driver is activity, dollars and average contract size. I take activity over dollars because that shows me that they will buy again, and again. I look for dollars associated with specific competitors because I know that I can compete against that competitor, or maybe I can’t compete against that competitor and I don’t want to waste my time. Finally, I look for contract size so I know it if that buyer is buying my sweet spot. This effectively eliminates 99% of the 80,000+ buyers – 750 top buyers in my space.

Question 3: If I know who the buyers are, how do I get to them?

This is where the small business liaison is supposed to help. The concept is the OSBU or OSDBU is supposed to connect you to these people – most of them, won’t, don’t or can’t for a variety of reasons that I prefer to leave for another day since it raises my blood pressure watching quality companies jump on this useless hamster wheel. Suffice it to say we need a better way to get noticed.

Three successful strategies in getting in front of are:

  • Personal introductions
  • Establishing yourself as a Subject Matter Expert (SME)
  • Pure unadulterated tenacious grunt work

The most successful strategies incorporate all three of these elements consistently and so should your 2019 strategy. This is where isiFederal lives. We introduce, make you look good and stay after these people to get you remembered in September. Which September? All of them. The cycle never stops because the competitive landscape, internal buyers, external budgets and market conditions are constantly changing.

We will be discussing all of these concepts and tactics during our “Getting Ahead of RFPs 2019”. We would love to have you participate. Bring questions, issues and requests as it is an open forum for discussion. Looking forward to seeing you there!

And it starts all over again…

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

That’s right, we are now in FY2019 and believe it or not, the budget was passed for the first time in decades. This is important because irrespective of election year politics we can all be sure of this:

  1. The feds will spend over $500 Billion in 2019
  2. The people who had budget power will maintain that power in 2019
  3. The government will buy what you sell again, and again, and again

Winning in the federal market is a matter of planning and positioning.  Your competition has been doing this for a long time so the key for you is to inject your company as a key player with key decision makers who spend the money. During our Getting Ahead of RFP’s sessions for 2019, we will be reviewing and discussing best practices…

How you can do this:

  1. Get Smart. Your industry report you received is a sub-segment of isiFederal’s Market Essentials – the best way to find the people behind the opportunities.  Market Essentials provides you with the road map – specifically for your company – by identifying who matters most to you.  Now that you know who they are, get moving and go after them.  Need some help? isiFederal’s support team actively targets and pursues thousands of buyers every single month.
  2. Identify Gaps. No business has all the pieces so you are going to need some help with your business development processes and activities.  What will it take for you to be successful? Dedication to the cause.  We reviewed several successful federal contractors and identified the resources needed and budget costs.  Need some help?  isiFederal can quickly show you what it takes and what you need.
  3. Budget. There is nothing fast easy or cheap about winning federal contracts. If it was, everyone would be able to win federal contracts.
  4. Get Proactive.  If you want to win, you better be going after your competitors’ buyers starting NOW. October through January is the BEST time to get positioned before the money is allocated for 2019. Using creative ways to get in front of – and stay in front of -key decision makers will make the difference of whether you win or you let your competitors win.  Need some help?  isiFederal has several innovative ways to get you remembered as a subject matter expert so you get the attention you deserve.
  5. Give Them the “WHY”. The fact is federal buyers already have relationships with your competitors and, for the most part, they are satisfied. What you are asking them to do is take money from someone they know, and give it to you instead.  If that is going to happen in 2019, you better have the right answer to the “WHY”.  Need some help? isiFederal can help you hone your message to what matters to THEM so they will understand WHY you are important.
  6. Get Ahead of the RFP. Rule #1 is if you didn’t influence the RFP then your competitor did.  Opportunities come from people, not FBO or even GSA eBuy. Did you know that most winnable opportunities are competed between less than 5 companies?  You want to be one of the 5 and you get there by people liking you. Need help? isiFederal can provide you with the expertise to help you bridge the gap and save you hundreds of thousands at the same time.
  7. Stay the course. Give yourself 24-36 months to develop traction and you will beat the vast majority of the competitors in the federal market. This is what the incumbents did – you can do it too! Need help? isiFederal provides support services that can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars and guarantee success.

To be effective in 2019 you need to know about the market and fill the gaps in your resources. isiFederal can help you do exactly that and you can find out more at www.isifederal.com. No matter what, please join us for our free monthly session “Getting Ahead of RFP’s” and get an understanding of what it takes and how we can help.

Happy New Year! 2019

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

New Year? That’s right, it is now 2019 for federal contracting as the government concluded all spending for fiscal year 2018 in a flurry of September activity.  Now the focus changes to 2019 and for the first time in decades, congress has passed the budget – a record $1.2 Trillion in spending. That means business development efforts start right now.

The fact is you need to be in front of the key decision makers starting now if you want to win contracts in 2019. Why? Because the incumbents have an unfair advantage…  They know what is coming, they help the buyers formulate the scope and are well positioned to respond with insider knowledge.

 

Getting Ahead of RFPs

Register Here!

How can you compete? The only way to effectively compete is by establishing relationships and positioning yourself as a qualified resource to the people buying from your competition.

Establishing a relationship is like dating. Unless you are in Vegas, chances are you won’t get married on the first date. In fact, if you look at how the big boys like Lockheed and Deloitte manage their relationships, it often takes years to establish yourself in the federal market or position your company for a specific opportunity.

Is it worth it? You bet. That is why the big boys do it and why successful federal contractors deal with the nuances and complexities of the federal landscape. isiFederal can help you understand, plan for and manage your federal business process so you can have a successful 2019! Give us a call today 888-9-GET-isi.

 

5 Tips for the Last 60 Days

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

This is it folks, this is what we have been preparing for! If you have been doing your job developing relationships, now is the time to really capitalize on your hard work! If you haven’t been aligning yourself with buyers since October…

Tip 1 – Tap your top 100

If you have been effectively assembling information and contacting your primary targets, now is the time to ask them if there is a last-minute project coming down the pike. Don’t be pushy, but certainly let them know that you are ready, willing and able to respond on a quick turn project.

Tip2 – Be Brief

Federal procurement gets crazy busy this time of year. Make sure you do your best to align yourself with their issues as they approach year-end. Identify with their difficulty job and responsibilities and keep the conversations as short as possible. Even with this pressure, they like to talk about what is important to them and you can continue your relationship development even through September.

Tip 3 – Offer to Help

Let them know that you can turn around the paperwork for them and even provide them with standard forms already completed so all they have to do is cut and paste. Believe me, something this simple can go a long way to cementing a relationship with buyers whose bosses are breathing down their neck to deliver.

Tip 4 – Don’t Be Bashful

With all of the projects flying around the next several weeks procurement will be in overdrive so ask for the business, ask for suggestions and ask for referrals to others who might have projects.

Tip 5 – First Choice for Second Place

You might not have the level of relationship to be at the front of the line for a project just yet but that doesn’t mean you can’t help them and still win something small. Let them know that you are “qualified” to be on the “shortlist” and you will do whatever you need to do to knock their socks off. Let them know that you will even provide a “number” so they can buy from their favorite vendor (crazy right?). This shows them that you understand their world, you are willing to help them get what they need.

3 Reasons September Rocks!

in Federal Contracting by Aisha H. Leave a comment

Getting set-up for September right now is critical to your success.  You can’t wait until August either because buyers start to disappear because the workload increases 50%.  By September, the workload increases 200% and they are totally slammed.  What happens when they get slammed?  The companies that they know get preferential treatment…

1) Shorter Timelines for Bid Response. In the final weeks of September it is not uncommon to see 3 day, 2 day and even 24 hour response time on opportunities. We had one a few years back that was released on Sunday morning at 11am and due in 24 hours for $188k. We helped with the SOW and since the response was due by 11am Monday morning, the competition had no chance.

2) Thinning the Competition. When the rubber hits the road, CO’s look for a primary supplier and then send the solicitation to at least 3 vendors. Now, one is the primary who is most likely to win because they already know about the opportunity (see #1). How does this work? Well, if you have been doing your relationship building you have been working on several projects for the past several months and you have influence within the agency. This doesn’t just apply to incumbents either. That is why September is the BEST month for newcomers and growing your federal footprint if you are already a successful contractor.

3) Funky NAICS. Procurement determines how the opportunity will be released and they can choose how it will be posted. Most companies monitor a few NAICS that make the most sense for them. When September comes, CO’s often choose a strange NAICS so only a few (or one) vendor(s) are even aware it is out there. So, make sure you are watching for those hidden opportunities, some of them are really sweet and most of them never get seen by the competition.

This is the last session for 2019!

Join us Tuesday 9/10 at 11AM EST we will be discussing what happens in September and what you can do about it. Register here:

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