If you are trying to win a portion of the $7 trillion spent each year by U.S. governmental agencies by responding to bids or requests for proposals (RFPs), you’re missing out on an entire sector of opportunities. Agencies utilize such things as GSA & State contracts, Co-ops, piggybacking, discretionary spending, p-cards, sole sourcing, and quote requests to make most of their yearly purchases. Best of all, the 80% of spending that happens outside of the RFP process is typically awarded much quicker than the standard 3-9 month RFP process.
So, how do you get a piece of that 80%?
Here are three steps to having more success selling to government agencies:
1. Look at agencies’ past purchases for spending patterns
By looking at an agency’s historical spending, not only can you price your products/services competitively, but you can find out when an opportunity is coming before others do. GovSpend.com, a web-based database containing hundreds of millions of local, state, and federal purchasing records, gives you access to these records.
By knowing things like what accessories and services your clients are buying, when warranties are expiring, and what time of year agencies tend to buy certain products, you can be ready to pitch to them right as they’re ready to purchase again.
2. Contact the right person
Another major advantage to using the type of data you’ll find in GovSpend is knowing the right person to speak with. Don’t cold call the agency and ask for “Whoever is in charge of purchasing”. Instead, you can take the contact information off the purchase orders, now when you call you can say “May I please speak with John Doe regarding your purchase of [blank]”. By referencing a purchase they’ve already made, they will be more interested in learning what else you have to say.
3. Price competitively
Offer your clients a deal they can’t refuse. By analyzing the purchase orders you can see what your clients are spending or what your competitors are charging and beat it every time. This is the most important step to success. Doing this should help you land more business than you were before.
Don’t wait for agencies to request bids. Be proactive. Look at their purchasing habits, your competitor’s prices, and target the right contacts to get yourself a bigger piece of the pie.
Using a tool like GovSpend you’ll find the information you need to help you land more sales faster. GovSpend’s database is full of agency purchase orders across the nation that you can see to discover where spending is going and how to make it flow into your business.