In the first of a two-part series, we’ll examine the people side of state government procurement. I’ll help you drive down the questions of who are you marketing your product to?
KNOW your market
Is your target market the public sector? If you are targeting the public sector to expand your business opportunities there is a lot to know. Public sector procurement, whether local or state government, follows a strict set of policies and laws. While relationships may drive private sector procurement, knowledge drives the public sector. Exam what the state is buying, review current contracts, and identify target departments within the government as prospective users and champions. Yes, it is still important to build relationships in the public sector, however, you need to make sure you are building those relationships with the actual decision-makers. Decisions in the public sector are not always made at the top, many times it can be someone two to three layers below a department director. Again, this goes back to researching what you want to do and what is needed.
KNOW your customer
Easier said than done. Too many times vendors make the mistake of marketing products to a customer who has never or will never purchase the product. This is a waste of your time and the prospective customer. Vendors believe that governments does everything and therefore buys everything, not true. Make sure you research your customer to see if they currently purchase your product or service or have a department that may buy your product or services. For instance, if a state government contracts out all of their vehicle maintenance, they are not likely to buy vehicle maintenance products. However, the vendor holding the contract may buy those products, and they have now become your customer. This is where a little bit of research can save time, money, and frustration.
Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.