Some feedback I've received over the past few months from discussions at
our Business Over
Breakfast™ events, online in LinkedIn groups, and at some of the
presentations I've done recently for other organizations, has clearly
demonstrated to me many government contractors lack an understanding of how to cultivate, check the reliability of and leverage information (and relationships) to drive profit and revenues. It's not just small businesses, medium and large companies
are doing the same thing, just to a larger scale.
As I see it, there are two primary issues.
One is an overwhelming level of complacency
when it comes to market research. Complacency in learning how to do it, and when it comes to actually doing it. Bob Davis said it best last spring '...most companies wait until an RFP or task order are released by the Government, and some executive tells someone in the room to go do market research.' Today, many companies and those to whom they have assigned responsibility for new business development, consider market research the act of checking their smartphone or tablet for the
most recent alert from whatever subscription service they thought would land them their golden egg most riki-tik.
Which brings me to my second issue.
How do you 'connect the dots' when you don't know what the dots mean? I'm not referring to definitions, though it wouldn't hurt you to know those as well, I'm talking about context. What's the relevance and timeliness of specific information to you and your company at that particular moment?
Not sure about a specific type of award and if it's one you can pursue on your
own? When does the government purchase from a contract vehicle versus a
standalone contract, and how does that impact your ability to bid or even see
the RFP/RFQ? That's just one example.
Ultimately, too many companies are making decisions using
"intelligence" based on someone's assumptions where that someone was most likely not part of or familiar with their
company. Yeah, I'm talking about subscription services again. Don't get me wrong, they are great
for compiling and presenting information in a pleasing format, but who on the
other end of that pipeline understands the specific factors that
matter most to your company? Even with this being the case many treat this
"canned" information as if it were from the lips of the customers
themselves, and we know that's not the case. Well we do, don't we?!?
What it comes down to is this. No matter where your information is coming from, challenge it and supplement it.
Now if it seems like I'm up on my soap box again, I am, and for good reason. I just heard from one of our Ethical Stalking for Government Contractors™ alumni that he leveraged what he learned and just netted a deal that has him billable to DoD.
This is me doing my happy dance!
Peace.The Chief Visionary
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."