Building relationships and getting face time with customers that you wish to do business with is still a critical piece of being successful in the government contracting world.
Contracting Officers (CO/KO’s)
Take the CO/KO’s, for example. They aren’t your customer, but they are the people who sign off on the deal. You always want to include them in the conversation. Many changes to the RFP can be made by working with the CO/KO and showing them different options that might help them (and of course, be better for your company as well).
Where the money is coming from can also impact your eventual success. Is the contract for a federal, state or local government agency? Which agency has ultimate oversight on spending for this contract? The agency funding the contract may have some guidelines specific to their contractors.
By contacting the funding source, you may glean information about prospective start dates and payment schedules. The more information you have, the more you can shape the deal to balance your company’s needs with the needs of the customer.
Educational Meetings & Industry
Days During the capture process, many agencies will set up meetings and industry days to explain the opportunity. During these events, agency representatives detail what they expect out of the contract and what they are looking for.
These meetings are important because they’re an opportunity to see the competition, begin lining up teammates and meet the customer face-to-face. You’ll typically have a laundry list of questions, and some of them might be answered at one of these events.
Build a Relationship
Take every opportunity to meet with all of the different segments and personnel of the Government. You can never overestimate the importance of face time. The better you get to know the customer, the more you can anticipate their needs. If they know you, they might be more likely to reach out with questions on their end.
Ultimately, building a relationship allows you to improve your odds of landing the contract. Remember, people enjoy doing business with people they like, if they get the chance.