Marketing to Government Buyers Pt. 2 – Sell Yourself

So you read through our last post about marketing to federal buyers and think you’ve spotted a few agencies that may be interested in what you’re selling.  What do you do next?  There are a few good strategic moves you should make to be sure you make a good first impression and capture their attention.

First, be sure you’ve done your research.  Check out each agency’s website to find out what their mission, goals, current and future projects are.  Determine what it is that agency needs and how you can fulfill it.  That should be the central focus of your marketing campaign.

Next, think about what sets you apart from everyone else in your field.  How long have you been in business?  Do you have any certifications or training that increases your qualifications?  What previous clients and past work can you provide as references?  Is there something about your product and service that is superior to the competition?  Find your strengths so you can better compete for contracts.

The best way to get your foot in the door and get in touch with purchasing officers is by sending them a capabilities statement.  This is a concise, 1-2 page document that covers the basic information a government agency needs to know about your business.  Think of it as your business’s resume.  Don’t get too flashy or over-saturate it with images.  A good capabilities statement should include the following information:

  • Your business name, point of contact, and contact information
  • DUNS number, CAGE code, and GSA contract number (if applicable)
  • Your business’s primary goods/services
  • Applicable set-aside eligibility (women owned, HUBZone, 8(a), etc)
  • NAICS and PSC codes
  • Brief description of your qualifications

You only have limited space, so be sure to stress your experience, set-aside eligibility, and whether you’ve worked any government contracts in the past.  If you have a website, include a link to the website so that if a buyer’s interest is piqued, he or she can easily get more detailed information about your company.  Be sure to cater your capabilities statement to that agency’s specific mission and needs.  See our example capabilities statement below:

Sample Capabilities Statement

Once you’ve prepared your capabilities statement, send it to the agencies you are interested in working with.  Be sure to include a request for notification of upcoming contracts or even a meeting to discuss their agency’s goals and needs.

No matter which agencies you contact, or how you get in touch with them, remember that they are most interested in the following information:  What you do, how long you’ve done it, what sets you apart from the competition, and what set-asides you are eligible for.  The easier you make it for them to get this information, the quicker they can determine if your business can help them meet their goals.

Keep an eye out for future articles about marketing your business to government buyers.  Plus, be sure to check out US Federal Contractor Registration’s Government Marketing program for more help!

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