I was asked an interesting question the other day. It was whether I consider selling government frustrating because government buyers don’t think creatively and openly. It’s an oft-asked question and I’m sure the answer many would give is “yes”.
Trying to win government contracts can, indeed, be frustrating. But, the frustration should not come from a lack of creative thinking by government buyers. I think the frustration often rests at the feet of the vendor. It results from failure to adequately identify and encourage potential sources of creative thought.
In an earlier post, we discussed the fact that there are three types of government buyers: Procurers, Influencers, and End-Users. Through our years of helping companies win government contracts, we can cite dozens and dozens of stories where the Procurers, Influencers, and End-Users we worked with showed clear signs of creative thinking and creative problem-solving. However, it often took nudging from vendors to release the creativity. (Creative problem-solving, in any circumstance, fares better with a nudge.)
So, when your frustration reaches its peak, look inside and take responsibility. Don’t think that just because you’re selling to the government, you are helpless. Yes, there are rules you must follow, but don’t let those rules be your excuse.
All the best,