DoD Contract Academy
Marketing to the Federal Government (Podcast Transcript)

Marketing to the Federal Government (Podcast Transcript)

federal sales government contacts Sep 23, 2022

                         [01:12] Richard C. Howard: Hey, guys, Richard here with the Government Sales Momentum Podcast, where we help small businesses sell products and services to the federal government. We do that in a variety of ways. We have strategies that can help you identify who's buying what you sell. We help you with your influencing piece, how to really influence requirements and inevitably end up with that contract. Win if you're a small business that is either just getting started or maybe struggling to get the sales numbers that you're looking for with the federal government, don't hesitate to go to our website, There we have a few programs to help get you started and we have a lot of free resources too. So I think that you'll be interested in what we've got there, but onto today's topic. So today we're talking about marketing to federal agencies, and it's something if you're registered to sell to the government, you're probably getting bombarded with emails. In one of those emails that my business is also registered to sell to the federal government, one of the emails I always get is, hey, we can help you with your marketing to the federal government. And I want to touch on that a little bit because there is something that I would refer to as marketing to the federal government, but it's not the same way that you might market to a consumer or to another business. So when I think about marketing to a federal agency, what we're not talking about is sending emails to people that you don't know. Just think about those email lists that you can buy or scrape or do whatever.

                         We get thousands of emails of government employees. You don't want to be doing that when you're just shooting out your message to anybody. Any email that you can get your hands on that is not going to be effective for you it's probably wasting your time. You're probably going to get filtered out of a lot of those email servers anyway. But what you want to do when we're talking about marketing is we want a potential buyer to know about your company, to learn about your company. And the best way to do that is you want to be extremely focused. So when I think about how I'm going to market to a federal agency, for instance, for one of my clients, what I want to know first and foremost is, okay, what product are you selling or what service are you selling? All right, once I know that and then I know what agency I'm trying to sell to now we can kind of deconstruct who the actual buyers are, who you need to influence. If you're looking for services contracts in a particular agency we can take a look and find the contracting officers that are actually working some of those issues.

                         Now you can do this in a variety of ways because that's going to be the question, hey, how do I even find those people? Right? There are free resources you can use. You can use USAspending.Gov to kind of take a look at the types of services that you're selling or products that you're selling and try to look for. You can get a little bit of the information on some of the contracting officers that were involved with the email addresses. You can use FPDs which is a repository for all of the federal contracts. You can use a paid system essentially or a software tool like Bid Search or GovTribe. There's a lot of them out there. There's some really expensive ones too. But I don't think you necessarily need that for this type of research. But really whether it's a free system or a paid system you can do the research and find out which actual offices are in charge of purchasing related to what you're selling. And that's the key. Right? So if we know and I'm located in your hands from the Air Force base and I was an acquisitions officer there so we'll use that as an example. Right?

                         Let's say that I find out that I'm selling something related to aviation software and I realize that there is an office within the Hanskin Air Force Base that is responsible for whether it's airfield or aviation systems. We can find out which offices over there actually specialize in that. There's a lot of aviation tools out there. Right? So I'm being general because I know there's a few offices there including my own that worked on those types of problem sets and programs. But once we know that now we can get an idea of OK, who's actually running programs. And so from my perspective the best marketing you can do is especially when we're talking cold, right? You don't know anyone necessarily over there. You can find contacts from past contracts. You can find potentially RFIs and sources sought on upcoming opportunities in there. And you can also potentially through the small business office get some contacts. But what you're trying to do essentially is get them to learn a little bit about your company. And inevitably what you want to do is if it was a software tool or products demo, if It's services that you're providing, you want to find somebody that's associated with opportunities that could potentially be coming up and you can talk to them a little bit about the services that you're providing.

                         You want to be really careful though about wasting time, right? So you don't want to be noise. You want to do your research first so you know that the person that you're contacting actually is maybe managing if It's services or services contract that's going to expire next year and you need to know if it was It services or if it was some other specialty that first of all aligned with what your company can provide and you know that they're working on that. So now when you're reaching out and you're saying, hey, here's a capability statement, we provide services, these are our past performance or hey, maybe your teams with somebody else and we really like to talk to you about what we could provide on your upcoming contract that speaks volumes to whoever is going to be on the other end of that, right? And by the way, it doesn't have to be an email, it might be a phone call. Just keep in mind if you're sending an email to a government system and I had this problem just with my wife all the time. She'd send her me an email from her civilian or Gmail, whatever it was, or her work email address and it would get filtered out by the mail account that I was on. So keep in mind that might happen. So you might want to make an actual phone call. But look, they're going to be so much more receptive knowing that you've done your homework, you know what they're working on, you know what their problem is that you're trying to provide a solution. And I think you'd be surprised at the rate of or the percentage of Win on this I would say is just being able to set up potentially a demo or in this day and age a zoom meeting or even just a phone call with them and maybe some engineers on the staff to talk about what you've got. That's going to go a long way because not only are you going to be marketing in the sense that you're going to be teaching or helping the government to learn about your company and what you provide, but it's also a great way to learn about other upcoming opportunities.

                         I don't know how many times I've researched one opportunity and then after having a conversation I realized that there's actually a few other areas here that we could engage on that we wouldn't have known about had I not talked to the lieutenant colonel that's running X branch or to the Captain program manager at this base. There's a lot of, for lack of a better term, goodness that can come from having those conversations. And so when I think of marketing, that's what I'm thinking about. I'm thinking about actually having conversations with program managers and potentially contracting officers that are actually trying to solve problems that you have a solution for, and that's where you really want to be. So it might not be what you thought when you saw, hey, this podcast is going to be on marketing to the federal government, but from my perspective, that's exactly what you want to be doing. So you're doing your research and you're being very targeted, and that's where you're sending your email. You're setting up your phone calls or in person meetings, essentially, or demonstrations.

                         Now, another way that you can market, and this is really a great opportunity as well is and I've talked about it in previous podcasts are conferences. These are great because you can register, you can set up a booth, and much better to target a conference that is going to be attended by the personnel and the agency that you're trying to sell to. And again, you can go back and take a look at another podcast if you want to get in depth on conferencing. But going to a conference is a great way to meet the people in the organization, let them know that you exist, have those conversations. Again, it's all about the conversation. So you'll be a lot more successful in the federal space if you're not just trying to send over a thousand emails or even write a thousand proposals without talking to anybody on the other side, you might hit one or two. But if you want those repeated wins, this is a way to do that. So hopefully this episode helps. And we've got a bunch of interviews scheduled for the rest of the year, which I think is really going to be helpful and intriguing and informative for the listeners of this podcast. And then I'll also be coming on in the middle of those and giving you my thoughts on different strategies and techniques, different things that I'm seeing out in the field with my clients and problems and struggles they are having, or even some big wins. Again, if you want to talk about any of this go to, don't hesitate to go over there, bill the consultation form. We'd be glad to talk to you. All right, have a good one.

                         [10:45] Richard C. Howard: Hey, guys, Ricky here. 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 to 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 military sales. The list goes on. Go to if you are interested and I would love to see you in the membership. Thanks.

You can also check out Unsolicited Proposals where I shared why you should avoid taking this approach to federal sales and the many great avenues for approaching the government with a new technology or product.

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