Reach out to potential partners who can help you access contract vehicles or set asides. Many competitors are potential partners, too – especially if they are eligible for set-aside program that are different from yours. Go back to www.USASpending.gov to see which companies are the top vendors in your target agency in each major small business program. You can find a primary point for those companies in the Dynamic Small Business Search.
Need points of contact for the large primes who hold the top contracts you want to be part of? The Small Business Administration’s Commercial Market Representatives can help you make connections with primes that have small business subcontracting obligations.
Then: start calling. Start with the easiest ones: get in touch with your best customers from last year. Ask them who they suggest you should be calling on. Find out who else they know is involved in making buying decisions for what you do. Ask whether you could get their advice on how to tweak your capability statement to appeal to the person they suggest.
Because you’ve already looked at the federal agency forecasts, an equally easy next step into a new agency is the small business specialist. But instead of asking about where the opportunities are, start by explaining what problem you solve, mentioning a past performance result you achieved for a buyer like this agency, and say, “I’d like your advice. If you were me, who would you be talking to?”
Once you’re connected with the right person, you can ask whether they can verify what you’ve learned about buying plans from the forecast. Ask when new opportunities might be added. Ask if you can share and get their feedback on your capability statement. Find out what they like – and don’t – about their current vendors. Ask which agency or industry events they might be planning to attend so you can meet them there.
Sure, this is a lot of work. If you want help creating a federal sales plan loaded with the right contacts for you, and knowing just what to say and to whom, we can help. Find out about our Lightning Launch program.