With a little planning and discipline, you can get your Q4 game plan set, and start cashing in on more year-end opportunities this week. This is a three-part series – so stay tuned! (If you missed last week’s ideas, here is the LINK.)
Here are three more tips to help you stay ahead of the game!
#4 Give the Golden Leave-Behind: Gratitude
The most powerful, least expensive, and absolutely legal “leave-behind” of all costs you nothing:
the thank you letter. And get going on this early in 4th Quarter, if you haven’t done it already!
Has your contracting officer done a great job for you this year? Write to her boss. On real paper…..with your letterhead at the top. Sign it with blue ink and send two copies – one for her boss and one for her file. Get the right “snail mail” address, including the Mailstop. And put it in the mail.
Be specific. Say how and why your contracting officer made a difference – not just for you, but for how well you were able to serve the end user. What expertise she shared. What you learned from her that will help you do a better job.
Because that goes in her file. It contributes to her performance evaluation. It helps at promotion time. Which affects her salary…and whether she can put her kids through college…and her nest egg for when she retires. All that, from a simple thank you letter! Costs you nothing…but priceless.
And don’t forget to write a thank you letter of commendation to the boss of your end user while you’re on a roll. If you want repeat business and an advocate behind closed doors in the evaluation committee, a strong past performance will get you a second look, but a thank you letter will guarantee they’ll never forget you.
#5: Plan Multiple Touches, Tactics, Channels
Use a mix of channels and tactics (including social media, events, email, direct mail, your own web site, cross promotions, and even telemarketing).
Make Effective Use of Social Media
- Research and join LinkedIn groups whose members include your key contacts (buyers, partners and influencers)
- Request connections and tailor your invitations to give people reasons to interact with you, not just hit "accept"
- Invite your social media contacts to events you're hosting
- Add short commentary to LinkedIn groups where your buyers and key partners are.
- “Like” and “share” high value content a couple times a week to your A-List groups.
What channels are others not using? Have you looked into...
- Federal News Radio. See what Federal Drive host Tom Temin’s covering. Figure out why he might like to interview your federal client about your most recent successful project together, and get in touch!
- Visit GSA Sales Query, even if you don't have a schedule. How are the leaders in your GSA Schedule category, reaching THEIR clients, through ads and online?
#6: Update & Share Your Capability Statement
- First, change the file name and title so they know what it is by looking at the file name.
“________(product or service you offer) by ________(company name) ________(small business designation, location or phone number) Capabilities Statement.pdf”
For example, I call mine:
- Next, update the past performance section: add your latest contract wins & contract vehicles such as BPAs, GSA and IDIQs they could use to buy from you quickly.
- Be sure your point of contact information is up to date, and that you’re using an email address that is based on your company domain name (not your ISP’s domain, like Gmail or Yahoo).
- Review your core capabilities list and ensure that your and product or service info is up-to-date.
- Check your certifications and qualifications: have you included them all? Are they accurate?
- Check out the profiles of your key competitors in www.sam.gov and SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search. What keywords, NAICS codes, and Federal Product/Service Codes are they using that you’re not (but could)? Add those to your capability statement and business card.
Then share, send and email your capabilities statement.
Most contracting officers and small business specialists appreciate getting your latest capability statement. What format is best? Simply ask them if they’d prefer email, hardcopy or a link.
Get them to review and talk to you about your capabilities statement.
Ask if they've got a few minutes to critique your latest draft capability statement -- What's missing? What else would they like to see? Their comments help you, and help keep you top of their minds. Remember, it’s busy season, so they may not have time, but if they make time for you – that’s an indicator they may be considering your type of service in the coming months.
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