As we head into the second half of the government fiscal year, do you find yourself looking at contractors who are on a winning streak and asking, “why do they keep winning?” What is the secret sauce? They don’t (at least from an outsider’s perspective) seem to be doing anything differently. Their service offerings aren’t different than others. They are winning with new clients, so it can’t be incumbent insider intel. They aren’t the cheapest on the block, so they aren’t low-balling their bids to buy their way in. Are they just lucky? Or is it well deserved?
For those of us who work in GovCon all day, every day, we start to pick up on who will be successful and who will die on the vine. Those that are winning have some of the following qualities:
- Some differentiator in their service offering. It doesn’t matter how loosely held that differentiator is. I can go on for hours about lack of differentiation within GovCon and how “your people are the best athletes on the field” is NOT a differentiator. Those that win have glommed onto something they can promote as different.
- Proposal machines. These folks know the extra work required for going after some of these bids. They successfully shift or delegate their work to others to allow them to ramp up on proposal work. This is not necessarily the same as having a proposal shop. It just means they know how to prioritize and delegate and have put in the mechanisms to do so.
- Competitive rates. Not necessarily low-ball rates, but something that is in line with their customers budgets, their main competition and the infrastructure that allows them to profit. If you are winning often, you do NOT have to “buy your way in” on a new customer.
- Recruiting machines. They’ve got great candidates that they can flip to employees quickly. Their resumes sing. They have been working these candidates since they first smelled the pre-solicitation.
- Competitive Intel. Someone there has been working the opportunity and the customer for months, if not years. From the outside, this win may look like a total bluebird, but someone has been working it hard, quietly.
With a few wins, the leadership strives for more, recruiters have an easier sell to candidates, employee referrals go up, teaming partners start to line up. There is something about being a winner in this town that makes folks want to work for or with the company.
Throw in a little luck and timing, and that’s how you get the GovCon Swagger. At least until the re-compete.
While you may need to define some of these pieces for yourself, BOOST can assist with the prioritization and delegation of your most important tasks. We specialize in accounting, contracts, HR and/or recruiting. Pick one, two or a combination of all four to free up your work time to become a proposal machine. Send an email to [email protected] and let’s discuss how you can get started.