The Government Contract Sales Call


Taking a break from working on an economic stimulus grant to think about keys to success for selling to government.  Truth is, it’s not much different from selling to private business.  You need to establish credibility, understand processes, and present strong value propositions…just as you would in any selling activity.  In government markets, credibility comes from different places, the processes are almost always different, and value propositions are skewed toward delivering services and efficiency.  Otherwise, no significant differences.

Rules for the sales call are very similar, too.  Mary Scott Nabors, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc. writes a handy article in her newsletter.  Summarized here:

  • Make brief credibility comments as an opening.
  • Use examples of success.
  • Exhibit energy and passion.  Don’t disparage competitors.
  • Speak for less than 20 minutes, then conduct Q&A.
  • Do not read PowerPoint presentations; speak off the cuff.
  • Show a risk-deverse offering.
  • Be genuine, credible and trustworthy.
  • Use stories when possible.
  • Establish next steps.
  • Leave succinct materials behind (with your contact info included).
  • Thank your audience for their time, and their service.

Way to go, Mary!  Your comments are right on the money.  One thing to add:  Don’t hesitate to ask your prospects questions.  Anyone else have suggestions?

Now, back to economic stimulus.  (I’d rather be making a sales presentation.)

Rick

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2 comments on “The Government Contract Sales Call

  1. Thanks for your kind words about my article. Thanks also for the great blog you’ve provided.

    These are truly historic times for government contractors…selling to the public sector has never been better. And, the good news is that the stimulus funds have just started moving. There is still time for companies in every industry sector to get started.

    Mary Scott Nabers
    Pres/CEO
    Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

  2. Randy Bozeman says:

    Excellent! I would also add in government sales you should have frank discussions about the procurement process as early as possible. I like to know what options are available such as contract vehicles, preferred vendors that I might partner with to make the procurement go smoother, etc.

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