Maximizing The Flagship Formula During Covid-19
Those of us who have been selling to the government for all these years have developed a GovSales model to help you succeed in the market. Today, I’m going to share it with you.
We call it the Flagship Formula. The main component of this framework is simple: instead of trying to win business from several states or counties, we encourage you to narrow your focus. Choose a location — typically, in your own backyard — and hone in on a single agency.
Step one is finding one flagship agency, in one state that you want to do business in. Make that agency a raving fan of your company. Do whatever you have to do. Include extra services, give them something for free if you have to — build a strong relationship with that agency and make them remember you. Now during the Coronavirus crisis is a great time to build a relationship with an agency. If you have products you can sell to help the government during this time, visit GovQuote to see the open requests agencies are announcing on this free platform.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to gain public trust as a business, no matter who you’re selling to. That’s not a secret. Everyone loves rave reviews. However, in the government world, it’s even more important because government agencies are risk-averse. They’re dealing with public money and limited spending. When they make buying decisions, they’re incredibly conscious of how they’re using every dime… and they’re less likely to do business with a company they’ve never heard of.
The trick is… agencies and buyers talk. Once they love you, they’ll start telling other agencies about you. They’ll recommend you, which will remove any perceived risk of doing business with you or your company. When it comes to winning government business, word-of-mouth is more powerful than any other sales method you may have up your sleeve.
Step two in this process is to go get media coverage for your deployment. In addition to your flagship agency’s word-of-mouth, this will serve as a way to validate your business and eliminate the risk of doing business with you, a newcomer, over somebody they know and already trust.
Local news outlets are almost always looking for content that affects their audience. If you have a product that you’ve sold to the local government and it’s going to help the people, that’s great news. Share your story with them. Explain how your product is going to help the public. Most of the time, that will sell the story, and you’ll have material to work with.
Now, you’ll have the tools you need to move to the final step and start “selling in circles”. If you look at a sales map for any organization that has a strong GovSales strategy, you’ll notice a variety of clusters organized in specific locations. You have a flagship agency, then a cluster of agencies around that flagship agency. That’s because they were able to target the agencies around their best customer — that flagship agency — and sell their hearts out, using their positive reviews and media coverage as a sort of “hook.”
If you want to learn more about the Flagship Formula, our training program GovSales University goes into even more detail. You’ll learn more about the value of a flagship agency, plus what to do once you have one.