In the second post of my two-part series, we examine how invaluable knowledge and experience can be to the government procurement process.
KNOW your product
This seems obvious, but unbelievably there are companies that do not prepare their team to present their product to prospective clients. Many companies have a government sales person. This is the person that opens the door, builds the relationships, and closes the deal. However, they are not necessarily the person who should write the proposal or do the presentation. This is where you need an expert to discuss in detail, the benefits and services your company can provide. Make the experts available to the customer by phone or have a follow-up meeting, let them see that you have the best product and the best people. This also helps to establish trust with the end users, which is key.
KNOW the procurement process or KNOW someone who does
This is the one area where companies do not spend enough time, yet the number one complaint I hear from companies is: “I do not understand the procurement process, it’s like a black-hole.” Knowing how the procurement system works or having someone that knows the procurement system to guide you, will save you time, money, and a great deal of frustration.
Unless you have worked in public procurement or submitted countless proposals, losing more than winning, it is impossible to know what is going on behind the curtain of the procurement office. Policies change, new legislation can be introduced, and of course there is the budget, which is the driver of all things in government. Knowing how to navigate this maze can be time consuming, but is a critical step to success. Do not be afraid to find someone who can navigate the process, not just introduce you to people, but assist you through the critical steps of the bid process. At first, this may seem like you are adding more dollars to the bid development, but in the end, it is like having someone with answers to the test on your team.
If you want to review the first installment of the series, focusing on knowing who to market your product to, please click here.
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.