Government companies are the biggest buyers, yet the least untapped sector. The most strenuous task in the exercise to sell to government agencies is their bureaucratic patterns of making purchases. The seemingly indefinite tiers in the management side and altogether different purchase criterions (for instance filling a tender for your offerings) make this sector a challenge for the marketer who is at time is unable to get even the first start.
Where to Enter:
It is important to understand that this is a big opportunity and the kind of volumes here referred to can easily surpass the price discounts passed off. Therefore, as a seller you must incorporate the economies that can come into play, while bargaining.
Now to deal with the more complicated issue of finding the right start up pitch it is important to clearly understand that government agencies do not operate like other players in market. Being such a large customer, they have the right and capacity to make their own rules, which is what they have done. So, instead of trying to change them, just follow the pattern. Mingle up in the race and be like them to be a part of this huge segment.
Marketing and eventually selling to government agencies requires few pre- registrations with various departments. The exact details of course vary with the product category and concerned department, however, at federal level where a great deal of purchasing is managed by the US General Service Administration (GSA), a startup is to abide by their registration policies and get registered. Follow the bidding procedures and make full use of the complementary services like Federal Procurement Data Systems and FedBizOpps Web sites, once you are registered.
Local and state governments have scattered presence and the rules are equally scattered. There is no one-time bible in this regard and your market strategy must be extremely customized and specific to lure a specified department or area. Having one on the portfolio helps making other start offs.
While bidding unlike the conventional perceptions pay due attention to the offerings and post sale services. In an attempt to reduce cost to the minimum possible, do not overlook the features. They are the points that can help you enter and create a lobby for your offerings.
Time is money, accepted, but in this case, if you try saving on this account then perhaps government is not the segment for you. These B2B customers demand all you can give. Individual presentations and detailed discussions would be a part of the deal. Do not get disheartened just because a deal could not take off in one year. It could take more time. However, the results would be equally lucrative. You have much more to reap latter. So just be patient and follow the requisite procedures as laid down by this segment to make the perfect entry. The regular marketing procedures like presentations, discussions, campaigning, creating your support follow.
Alexander Gordon is a writer for http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com - The Small Business Consulting Community. Sign-up for the free success steps newsletter and get our booklet valued at $24.95 for free as a special bonus. The newsletter provides daily strategies on starting and significantly growing a business.
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