Hardly a week passes without someone asking us, “Can you help us find the low-hanging fruit in the government space?” They’re asking about government sales opportunities they could easily and quickly win, if only they knew where they are. Well, here’s the bitter truth: There is no low-hanging fruit in the government sector! Had there been low-hanging fruit, it would have already been picked by someone else – probably someone who had been shaking the tree for a while.
Overused metaphor aside, the harsh reality is that government sales is tough. Selling to government takes time, well-reasoned strategy and aggressive approaches. Strong, very strong, value propositions are a must. Plus, an understanding of the flow of funds is imperative – particularly challenging in tough economic times and with a confusing economic stimulus law recently passed.
The good news is that, as frustrating as the time required to close a government sale may be to you, it’s just as frustrating to your competition. You (and your competition for that matter) can counter this frustration by aggressively stuffing your sales pipeline. Be honest about the realities of an individual opportunity, and go find more while you’re waiting.
Good strategy and strong approaches are certainly attainable. They require, first, an understanding of the market and an honest assessment of where you fit in.
Good value propositions are based on, first, understanding what the customer really wants. What pain can you really relieve? Then, credible and convincing articulation are required.
And, it’s not difficult to understand how funds flow. You just need to ask.
Those who understand these things can be successful. Their efforts can be, pardon me one more time, fruitful.