My dear friend and most favored colleague Lorin Bristow and I were sitting in his backyard outside Nashville a few years ago, talking about our new government contracts consultancy and a cornerstone client we were working with. We started listing what we thought were the myths, then the truths, behind selling and marketing to the government and building government sales pipelines. Lorin had been in charge of marketing, me in charge of government sales at a technology company that had made a big mark in government markets winning all types of government contracts at local, state and federal levels. Marketing and sales had traditionally not been as one at this company, but Lorin and I worked hard to change that.
The backyard session turned into a lake house session into many coffee shop sessions, hours and hours of individual work, then more collaboration. We had written a book, "Seven Myths of Selling to Government: Secrets of Success in Government Sales Today" and made it available on Amazon. Reception was good and, although we gave away lots of free guidance in the book, it helped grow our government contracting consultancy.
Since then, Lorin stayed behind at a client and I launched a podcast and blog around the book content and have clients who I coach as they attempt to build their government contracting business. Enough of the inside stuff.
Although the book was called "Seven Myths of Selling to Government", there actually are eight of them. The last one was a "bonus" and we made it so because we thought it was so important. (Spoiler alert: it's about building your own team to win government contracts.)
Here's a summary of the myths and the truth behind them:
RFPs don't drive government contract acquisition. Relationships do.
Cold calling is not king to build government sales pipelines. Try content.
Going to the top is not always best. It can help you gather intel, but it won't seal the deal.
Solution selling seldom works when trying to win government contracts.
Sales presentations are usually done backwards. Save the best for last.
Overcoming objections and pressing for a close probably won't help you accelerate a government contract. You probably won't have the opportunity.
Sales and marketing often don't work together. But, they should... and can if you work at it.
You won't achieve success in government sales if you're a lone wolf. Build your own team.
You can get the book on Amazon here. Or, you can listen to the podcast, Myths of Selling to Government here or wherever you like to get your podcasts. Or drop me a note at email@example.com and we can set up a time to chat.
Happy New Year!