Selling To Government in a Difficult Environment
Although selling to government presents its own set of challenges, it also presents opportunities for firms that put in the effort, because the government buys all the products and services that the commercial market buys.
The challenges encountered in selling to the government market are now greater than ever before. Fiscal Year 2013 has ended with reduced Federal spending and government furloughs. However, the Congressional Budget Office projects FY14 spending will be more than $3.75 trillion making the government market a segment not to be ignored.
Since 9/11, the days of walking the halls to make cold calls on government prospects are long gone. However, companies that are successful in the government market stress the importance of relationships. To overcome the barriers, a firm must seek new ways to create awareness and credibility among potential buyers.
A few ways to gain exposure are to participate in organizations that bring industry and government representatives together such as the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) at www.act.org. A few others to consider are AFCEA at www.afcea.org and The Coalition for Government Procurement at www.thecgp.org. These organizations offer great training and networking events plus opportunities for sponsorships.
Other ways to gain credibility and recognition are participating in discussion groups on social media websites such as www.govloop.com, www.linkedin.com and GSA’s community site at https://interact.gsa.gov.
The Sage PR team has been retained by a number of corporate clients selling to the government sector and has been successful in getting recognition for them in the trade press with articles and industry awards. The exposure has raised their profile among government buyers and industry partners leading to new business opportunities.