To start the second half of the year, we’re going to be talking about tips and tricks to be successful at government sales. These are little tips to make a big difference between you doubling or even tripling your sales. Maybe you’re asking, why is that?
Listen, the difference between somebody who makes $120,000 per year and somebody that makes 60,000 doing the exact same job is 20 little things. It’s 20 little detailed things that make a huge difference. I want to share some of those with you this week.
The first thing is that selling to the government is very much like selling to the private industry. It’s all about the relationship and trust. Building a relationship and establishing trust is crucial when you’re selling to the government. It’s a non-profit organization and they’re trying to minimize their risk.
They want to minimize the risk of doing business with you and your company. The biggest part of that is them getting to know you and getting to know your company. It’s one of the most important variables in winning government business.
Again, they’re not for profit, and the main reason they want to choose a vendor is to get a good product. Given an option between two vendors, the one that minimizes the risks is the most important factor and a lot of that comes down to relationships. You want to create a relationship with a government agency, just like you would a private company.
You want them to like you, trust you, and value your relationship. And that’s the first secret to winning government business.
The next thing you’ll want to do is focus on selling to one state at a time. Focus on a state, find a flagship agency in that state that loves you, and loves your product. Get to know them and make sure they’ll say great things about you. Make them love whatever you do. Then, they’ll tell all the agencies around them about the incredible work you’re doing.
Here’s what happens as you create a relationship with an agency. As you build that relationship, you’ll get information about how you register with other agencies. They’ll tell you about specific set-asides and ways you can win deals. They will tell other agencies about you too.
To start this, grow your government sales in clusters beginning around a particular flagship agency. Some businesses try to go state to state and reply to a bunch of RFPs. Don’t do that. Find a state and go after a flagship agency within that state and then build from there. Let that agency tell the other agencies how great you and your product are.
Lastly, and this is a big one, are you ready? Here it is: Go get marketing for your current customers in the government world.
What do I mean by that? When you get a government client, call the local newspaper, local TV station, and tell them about the deployment. They’ll typically come out and do a story about the deployment of your solution to a government agency. They love doing stories about the success of a local business. It’s so important because once you get the story, once you’re in the paper, once you’re on the news, here’s what happens: It minimizes the risk of working with your company to other agencies, which is such an important variable for agencies.
I mentioned this earlier but, being able to minimize the risks of working with your company for a government agency is important to winning long term government sales and expanding your client base. So right now, go out and get a newspaper article, or even a local news story about the deployment of your solution at a government agency.
Taxpayers love to see how their tax dollars are being spent.
Next week, we’re going to spend the entire week talking about validation marketing, which is marketing you can do to help lower the perceived risk of working with your company. By getting publicity for your business, you’ll help grow your government sales. Contact me at GovSpend if you have any questions or check out GovSales University if you’re ready to get started!