DoD Contract Academy
GEOINT 2022 (Podcast Transcript)

GEOINT 2022 (Podcast Transcript)

business development federal conference Sep 29, 2022

                         [01:13] Richard C. Howard: Hey, guys, Richard here with Government Sales Momentum, and today we're talking about conferences, and specifically we're talking about GEOINT, which is the Geospatial Intelligence Conference 2022 this year. It was in Denver, Colorado, and it was an amazing experience. In fact, this is the first conference I've been to in a while where everything was opened back up, so it wasn't very restrictive. There was no face masks, even the planes, all of that was lifted. And of course, I'm giving this podcast in April of 2022, so things are starting to open back up postcode and it's really good to see both industry and the government enforce trying to do good things and help the country move forward. So I've talked about conferences many times on podcasts and consultations with clients and some of the material putting out there. But it's very important in the sales process, not only for the large defense contractors and you'll see if you go to these that they invest a lot of money and time into conferences, but it's also very important for the small businesses. So let's talk a little bit about why a conference is so important.

                         We don't have to dive into my philosophy at this point on just finding RFPs to respond to because that's really not how successful companies are selling. What you're trying to do is develop relationships with target agencies and understand their mission and where your product, your solution fits into what they're trying to accomplish. And one of, if not the best way to do this is by going to a conference. A lot of companies are challenged, especially if they don't come from the government sector or have people on their team with those relationships all the time. I get questions on, hey, how do I even find the contacts I need to talk to in the Air Force or Space Force or army or you pick your agency within the IC or even if it's Doe or you pick, it NASA. So a conference is a great place to meet those people. So you got to be picky about which conferences you go to based on who you're targeting.

                         We can get a good idea of which government agencies are going to be there and who you can be targeting. So let's talk about some of the relationships that are valuable that you're going to create here. When you are at one of these conferences, they're all a little bit different, but the structure seems to be pretty much the same, where you're going to have a variety of events that you can attend and learn. If there's a particular subject matter that your solution fits into, you might go there and learn a little bit more about it. You can find POCs, but then there's the kind of industry section where you're going to have all the different businesses and they're going to have their booths. And social hours are usually in those big conference halls as well. Now you've got people walking around checking out the different booths. And what you're going to see is that first you're going to have a much easier time developing relationships with the government personnel there. They may come to your booth, you may go to them, but this is going to be a place where you can showcase what you have. They can put it in their hands if it's a product or a solution or you can describe it to them via what you have set up as far as if you have a video screen or other props, you have to kind of get their attention. But what's important is talking to them about what they're trying to solve and if your solution fits in their need. And what will happen a lot of times is they will refer you to somebody else that like, hey, this is great. I think it belongs over here. And you can get their contact information or they themselves are interested and you can talk about next steps, which usually is going to be a follow on meeting, which you could actually do at the conference if you want to, or you could set up a demo for the future. But this is a great way to get those leads, get those names, and really figure out where you fit in the mix.

                         [05:40] Richard C. Howard: Now the other type of relationship you're going to develop here is a relationship with other businesses, especially as a small business. You're going to be doing a lot of subcontracting, most likely in here. That's where all the other companies can say, hey, we're focused, big picture on this, but you do something really specific that we are looking for and again. It's the same thing they can see or product or solution and figure out for themselves, hey, this looks like it might fit. Or you can go to them because they're going to have their booths. And those vary in size depending on the companies. But then you can approach them and see if there is any need there for what you're doing. Personally, I've never nor my clients have ever left one of these conferences without either a pocket full of weeds or notebooks full of them. And this is a great way to springboard your pipeline. It's another way to keep it in development. So if you're struggling or you just want to keep it active, this is a great way to do that. And look, there's a reason that companies spend thousands and thousands of dollars on these conferences, right? And no matter how big they are, they're still going to these enforced because they know how powerful it is. And then as you get bigger, in addition to lead generating and building business partnerships and relationships, you're also messaging, right? You're messaging the government, hey, we're here and you're messaging your competitors potentially as well, hey, we're here, we're in this space, we're growing or shrinking. So that comes a little bit later. But that's more of a side note.

                        [06:50] Richard C. Howard: And the last thing I want to cover is your investment, right? So when you're selling to the government, you're potentially talking about millions of dollars in contracts. So the investment that you're making and going to these conferences is really quite small compared to the benefit that it's going to bring you. So depending on the conference size, you might spend $5,000 on a booth, you might spend more, or you could spend a lot more depending on how big you're going to go. But again, really, if you spend five to $30,000 on a booth and go into the conference and attending, maybe bring some people with you, but that results in a million dollar contract with the government six months down the line, it's obviously well worth it and it could result in something a lot larger. So hopefully that gives you a little bit of insight. Again, so this was GEOINT 2022 that I just attended. It was fantastic. It was really great to see everybody there. It's a good one to attend if you're targeting the IC community at all, the intelligence community. But further, what I'm getting at is really target your conferences to who your potential client is, and I cover that in other episodes. And you can use the Google machine and find plenty of conferences associated with different agencies and different industry areas. So again, hopefully that helps. You can always check out our website, for more details and I will see you next time.

[08:18] Richard C. Howard: I hope you enjoyed this episode of government sales momentum. 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. You join our membership, not only do you get the model, but you get weekly sessions with former DOD acquisitions officers for training guidance to answer your questions in 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 have access to every course I've created, every coaching session I've ever recorded, and every interview with an acquisition 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. Thanks.

If you enjoyed this episode, you can also check out my Interview with David Rothzeid who is the Vice President of Shield Capitol and a former USAF Program Manager. 


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