What Is An Elevator Pitch?
Sometimes the hardest step is getting your foot in the door. Networking is extremely important when trying to secure government contracts. An organization that hosts networking and training events throughout the year, both nationally and locally, is the Small Business Administration (SBA). These events are usually at no cost to business owners and can offer a treasure trove of information about obtaining contracts from various agencies.
This is your opportunity to shine, so make sure you are prepared to present an elevator pitch to define your company better. This speech explains what your business has to offer and how you can help another organization meet its goals. It should be short and simple, no longer than a 30-second elevator ride.
Summary Of The Elevator Pitch
Here is a rundown of what is needed in the beginning:
- Grab them with a statement that engages them and prompts questions. Remember to smile and look friendly
- Introduce yourself
- Tell them what your company does
What Do You Offer:
- What problems can your company solve for the agency?
- Give an example of past work
- Let them know about your company’s knowledge
How Do You Do It:
- Tell them a short story of how your company is unique.
Call For Action:
- Ask for an appointment, referral, or presentation after you have completed your pitch.
Remember To Be Clear And Concise
Do not spend too much time trying to explain complex terminology that is very industry-specific. The elevator pitch should be so simple that any random person on the street can understand exactly what you are trying to convey. This is important because it makes sure that you keep the attention of the listener, no matter what their level of expertise.
Practice Makes Perfect
Now that you have a short clear and concise message, it is time to practice in front of the mirror. Many people find talking to themselves in front of a mirror to be silly and unpleasant. However, this is the best way to learn your elevator pitch until it becomes second nature. It will help you with things like smiling at the right moment and making pleasant eye contact.
Practice until you eliminate awkwardness and the words like “umm” from the elevator pitch. Make sure that you speak with enthusiasm in your voice. You want to make sure the listener understands the passion you feel for your business and make it sound very natural and organic.
Do Your Research
Once you have selected some agencies that are in need of your goods and services, it is very important to research your customers. Luckily, nowadays you can find out a lot about an organization online.
At the end of the day, the United States government is a customer just like any other. However, this customer has deep pockets and unlimited needs. A small business can cater to the government by following a strategy in which the customer’s needs always come first. Identify what the government agency’s pain points are and then offer them your innovative solutions to their problems. This type of discipline always wins big points with the government. Here are a couple of examples of how you can find the information you need in order to win lucrative government contracts:
- Inquire about the vendor Outreach Sessions and when will they be held
- Inquire how your company’s products/services could help with the agency’s missions
- Request meetings with Agency Program managers leading the contract requirements you’re pursuing
If you would like to do additional research, you can also check www.fbo.gov, an online listing of government contracts that detail all contracts with a value exceeding $25,000. Another available resource is www.usaspending.gov, a site that details how government money is spent, what agency is issuing awards, and who the federal government is buying from.
Convey What Makes You Stand Out From The Crowd
You should also include what makes you unique from your competitors. Make sure you do not mention your competition by name or say negative things about them in general. Being classy is always a great way to make a good first impression.
Instead, you should focus on what makes you different and how the agency can benefit from your particular company. It also makes the listener aware that you have knowledge of the industry and makes you less likely to be caught off guard by industry-related questions.
The United States Government Is A Very Powerful Client With Deep Pockets
The Federal government usually spends around 500 billion dollars a year on goods and services. This makes the U.S. government an extremely attractive client. There are few other organizations with this type of spending power and clout.
The government also tends to buy goods and services in bulk. If your business has the infrastructure to handle large orders, then the government can help you grow substantially at an accelerated pace.
Government agencies also buy goods and services in large quantities. Large orders can be a double-edged sword for small businesses. However, if managed correctly, they can help you grow substantially and rapidly.
Make Sure You Have Your CAGE Code (Commercial and Government Entity)
This code is five characters and unique to your business. It’s your ID code, and government agencies will identify your business using this code. It is a bit like a social security number for your business. If your business includes more than one facility, then you will need multiple CAGE codes. Each location must have its unique code, and each location must be registered separately with SAM.
Remember Registration With The SAM Directory Is The Vital First Step
SAM stands for System Award Management.
To do any business with the federal government, you must register your business in the System for Award Management directory. The government will not hire any type of business (large or small) that has not registered in SAM. Sam Directory will help guide you through this process so you can spend your time preparing to win these lucrative government contracts.
Please read one of the helpful blog articles on our site like Everything You Need to Know About SAM for Small Businesses. These blogs will help give you all the information you need to understand how we can help make the process very easy for you.