DoD Contract Academy
2022 Overview & The Discipline of Gov Business Development (Podcast Transcript)

2022 Overview & The Discipline of Gov Business Development (Podcast Transcript)

business development government contacts Sep 20, 2022

                         [01:12] Richard C. Howard: Hey, guys, Richard here with the government sales momentum podcast. Thanks for tuning in this week. Today I'm really excited because we have a lot of great interviews lined up for this year. So we're focusing a lot more on grabbing the subject matter experts within federal sales. They provide you expertise in certain niche areas and it's really important to be able to reach out and understand who's working in which spaces. Just from my own experience in the Air Force and being a program manager for so long, I realize that even within the military acquisitions process, that there are several different career fields where people spend 2030-year careers just learning a small piece of acquisition. So for the small business owner out there, understanding the different opportunities are available, the different processes and procedures, the law, so many different areas. So we've got some great interviews lined up. Some of the things we're going to be talking about this year, military sales, for instance. We talk a lot about federal sales, but I want to get a little bit more deep on the military sales, selling to the Department of Defense and the different services. And again, they buy everything from office supplies to weapon systems. So if you think about every military base, it's kind of like a little city. So there's really a huge opportunity there for small businesses.

                         We're going to talk about that in some of the processes, procedures, opportunities there are within military sales, foreign military sales, which is something that we've only touched on in the podcast here. We have some great interviews lined up too with both foreign military sales and selling to our partner nations. The difference between that and direct commercial sales. So a lot of great episodes. SBIR, which I've talked a lot about, we're going to double down on because it's a great program and we see a lot of great results there. And then strategy, strategy and selling to the government, business development, proposal writing so lots of great stuff coming up here. Really excited about the year today. It's just going to be me. I'm not interviewing anyone today, but I want to talk a little bit about discipline today. And the reason I'm bringing this up is I was in the gym at the beginning of the year and I noticed that there were a lot of people in the gym that I normally don't see there, right. Kind of New Year's resolutions. You have a lot of people in there. I mean, it was packed, but as the days went on, I noticed that a lot of those people just started weaning off and this is still January. As I'm saying, this is just a couple of weeks into January. And I would say about half of the people that I saw like there were new faces show up, have already disappeared. And that to me, there was a corollary between that and selling to the government because a lot of companies do that, right. They don't realize that selling to the government is kind of like working out. It is disciplined, it takes a while and you have to do the same things over and over again. I'm not saying not to be creative, but you have to have a disciplined approach to selling to the government, building relationships, finding opportunities.

                         So I want to talk about a little bit about the discipline involved in selling to the government today, right? And so we're not going to talk about what you're on contract, but just the discipline of business development, strategy, business development and contract capture, right? So every day for me, for my clients, we are engaging somehow with the federal government and we're not doing it haphazardly, right. So it's really easy to get distracted, right? You can get distracted in the gym too. There's lots of equipment there. You can go pop from one thing to the other instead of really focusing on what you're there for. The government is the same. And I've talked a lot about focusing on a certain agency or office, but not getting distracted from that because it happens to everyone. It happens to me. If I'm focused on the client selling to the army or the Air Force, then I see Solicitations popping or GSA sending something from different agencies and it just looks perfect. It can be really easily distracted or that could really easily turn into you writing proposals and RFI responses on a bunch of different things that you hadn't planned on, a bunch of different agencies that you don't have relationships with. And that can become overwhelming really fast to track all that, to do it correctly. So the discipline of being focused on one agency, the one that you have done your research on, where you say, hey, this is who I'm selling to, these are the offices involved and then not only looking for opportunities there, but researching them because things are always changing, priorities are changing.

                         A lot of times we're talking about the Air Force or talking about NASA or the VA, you can go to their websites and there's actually a lot of great information there. There's also a lot of great webinars. A lot of times there will be weekly webinars in an office that you're interested in selling to and attending those and listening to what they're actually looking for. How is the mission changing is crucial. So having that discipline to keep looking for those opportunities, the discipline to keep doing the research, finding opportunities that you can respond to within that target set, so the RFI, the sources sought looking, and then if it's a focused agency and a solicitation comes through that you weren't planning on, that doesn't necessarily mean don't submit on it, but you want to know when it comes out. So that takes time. There's a process, right? You can set up a system with a bid matching tool. I reviewed tools in one of the podcasts where you can receive emails every morning. They can kind of tell you, hey, these things are popping up or maybe you're monitoring a couple of opportunities. So you want to know, hey, that RFI that I turned in two months ago, is the solicitation coming out or is there an update? So you can do those things and that just takes not a lot of time.

                         [07:16] Richard C. Howard: But if you do it consistently in a disciplined way every day, you're not going to miss those opportunities that are coming out or miss an update. A good example is a client came to me and they want to submit a pitch on a Silver submission coming up and there was a date where they wanted a letter of interest ahead of time and they missed that. That's the type of thing where if you're really paying attention to it and we're monitoring that, you're not going to miss those type of things. So you don't want to miss an opportunity because you didn't see one of the details. And then taking a look here, conferences coming up that you can attend the meetings. I always say being a good government business developer is kind of half creativity, half being a little bit of a psycho where you just got to think outside the box like, hey, here are the steps that I'm supposed to be doing, but what's that extra thing that I can do? If I'm reaching out to the contracting officers and they're not responding back to me, how else can I get to them? How else can I get a meeting? Maybe it's through the small business office. So reaching out to them and asking them to set up a meeting for you, maybe it's going to LinkedIn and finding the person you're trying to contact there or somebody else in that organization.

                         There's lots of different ways to get those meetings to learn information. And then when you follow those people by the way, just a tangent on LinkedIn, a lot of times people in the government are posting updates on LinkedIn about opportunities that you're interested in. So just following that, when you get into that routine of getting up, checking your bid, matching tool for updates, going to LinkedIn, the people that you're following that are in the agency, seeing if there's anything coming up that makes sense, the meetings, the webinars, you'll see that you're going to start gaining an understanding of who you're trying to sell to, the opportunities that are coming up. And you can have a much better percentage of win when you're putting proposals in on those opportunities that you're constantly tracking versus maybe finding one or two and then not looking at it for a month and then going back to it and then realizing something happened that you didn't expect or you missed a date. But having that disciplined approach every day really works out. And that's what I want to talk about today, is just being able to do that every day, not getting distracted, because there are a lot of opportunities out there. And if you're a bigger company and you have a team of people that can track all that, that's great. If you're a smaller company, having extreme focus is a really good thing. So again, that is all I've got for today. A little bit about discipline.

                         If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please go to There you can leave any suggestions that you want. There's, something you want, somebody you want us to interview, we're glad to do that and take that input. As always, we're helping companies sell to the government. So if you're interested in a consultation to find out how we work with small businesses to get them on contract with the government, we'd love to talk and have a great week. If you did enjoy the episode, please subscribe to the podcast and leave a review. It's very much appreciated. If you're interested in selling products and services at the Department of Defense, I have something for you that you're not going to find anywhere else in the world. The team and I created a program that takes everything you need to win defense contracts and put it into one place. Up until now, only large defense companies and a small amount of people in the know have had access to how products and services are really sold to the Department of Defense. I've taken all of that information and put it in a step-by-step training module that shows you how to consistently sell to the US. Military.

                        If you join our membership, not only do you get the model, but you get weekly sessions with former DOD acquisitions officers for training and guidance to answer your questions and a community of like minded business owners that want to partner on different opportunities to bid for subcontracting and teaming, or just to discuss general strategy on how to sell to the DOD. You'll have access to every course I've created, every coaching session I've ever recorded in every interview with an acquisitions professional that I've ever conducted, and we cover topics that range from defense sales planning and competitor analysis to SBIR and STTR foreign military sales. The list goes on. Go to if you are interested and I would love to see you in the membership. Thank you.

If you enjoyed this episode, you can also check out my Interview with Graham Plaster: General Partner of Expeditionary Ventures where covered a lot of ground from SBIR & business development to where virtual reality is headed in the DOD.


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