Back in January when we aired the first episode of Judy Bradt’s acclaimed 7-Part Seven Steps To Success: Jump Start Government Contract Series, we had a clear objective for both suppliers and buyers.
As a supplier you would gain the necessary insights to shorten the time-line between the response to government tenders, and the realization of tangible revenue. As a government buyer, you would find the answers to why bid responses have been declining and with it the value in both pricing and quality of service.
Considering that on average it takes a supplier 20 months at a cost of $86,124 US to win their first government contract – information Judy indicated that isn’t made readily available by government small business offices – trimming both time and cost is an essential goal for suppliers and governments alike.
This is especially important for governments who have seen both their active supply bases and corresponding bid response levels decline dramatically over the past several years.
This is what made this last segment in the series on marketing so interesting.
While there are many contributing factors to success or failure in the world of government contracting, all of which were addressed in a succinct and usefully practical manner in the previous six parts, in what was perhaps a saving the best for last broadcast, Judy delved into the misconceptions surrounding how to effectively market to a government prospect.
Surprisingly, the majority of suppliers continue to make the mistake of investing so much into marketing materials while overlooking the most critical aspects of the sales and marketing process . . . the building of relationships.
Even though Judy goes into great detail on when and how to effectively utilize the many marketing tools that are available in terms of making meaningful inroads into the public sector arena, these only become effective when the supplier is looking to share true intelligence versus broadcasting their particular features, functions and benefits.
Only when a supplier has a firm understanding that non-branded information sharing is the first and most important step in establishing a true rapport, are they then able to use the aforementioned panoply of tools including Direct Mail, e-mail marketing, traditional and Internet radio, social media (re LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter) to establish a meaningful connection with the government buyer.
In fact and as Judy alluded to in earlier discussions, this is the best and most certain way for a vendor to establish themselves both legitimately and transparently as a “preferred” supplier.
Once again, I would strongly encourage you to listen to the on-demand broadcast “Seven Steps To Success in Government Contracting: Marketing,” as well as all of the previous episodes through the Seven Steps to Success show page here on the Procurement Insights Blog.
As the Principal of Summit Insight in Washington DC, Judy’s been covered by national media including SBTV, ABC Radio, the Financial Post, Fortune Small Business, and Entrepreneur Magazine. From 1988 to 2003, Judy was the top specialist in US government contracting at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC.
Leveraging her more than 20 years of experience advising more than 6000 clients on success in government contracts that collectively have accounted for revenues in excess of $300 million US, Judy will take us through her critically acclaimed “Seven Steps to Success” presentation. As a supplier you will gain the necessary insights to shorten the time-line between the response to government tenders, and the realization of tangible revenue. As a government procurement professional, you will find the answers to why bid responses have been declining and with it the value in both pricing and quality of service.
Watch for Judy’s new book “Government Contracts Made Easier” in the fall of 2010.
One final note, I would like to thank our series sponsor Elcom, whose support of this exciting series is greatly appreciated.
Elcom has developed a range of on-demand eProcurement and eMarketplace Systems for both Private and Public Sector clients around the world. The company’s flagship eProcurement application has been powering the award-winning eProcurement Scotl@nd Service since 2001 and is also an integral part of the Visa eMarketplace that links eProcurement and ePayment in a single, easy to use, service.