Show cover of Myths of Selling to Government

Myths of Selling to Government

Winning government contracts is, well, different from selling other markets. But, many of the myths about government selling are simply not true. In the Myths of Selling to Government podcast, we reveal the secrets about winning government contracts that only top performers know. Myths of Selling to Government is designed for busy sales professionals of all levels who seek success building their government sales pipeline and closing deals with local, state, and federal government. That, despite long sales cycles.Episodes are released every other week and are no more than eleven minutes. Each episode provides clear guidance and stimulates thought. The podcast is hosted by government contracting consultant Rick Wimberly, co-author of Seven Myths of Selling to Government (www.govselling.com).For example, we’ve learned over the years that, despite what a lot of people think, government business isn’t driven by government bids. It’s driven by relationships! And, there are special techniques for building relationships in government business development. We talk about those relationship-building techniques and much more in Myths of Selling to Government.

Tracks

Save the Deal by Actually Knowing Your Government Prospect’s Process
This episode of Myths of Selling to Government tackles a critical, yet often overlooked, aspect of government sales success: understanding your prospect's buying process.Mastering government procurement isn't just about having strong sales skills. Knowing the specific steps involved in a government purchase can dramatically improve your chances of closing the deal and achieving accurate sales forecasts.The episode explores common pitfalls for salespeople who lack this crucial knowledge. It highlights the importance of asking the right questions upfront through a discovery process to avoid surprises like:Unclear Budgets: Learn how to go beyond the basic "what's your budget?" question to uncover true funding sources and timelines.Budget Timing Challenges: Government spending cycles can be complex. This episode equips you to understand when funds are actually available, not just allocated.Competition: Discover strategies for navigating competition, both external and internal solutions proposed by the agency itself.By understanding the government buying process, you can build stronger, more trusting relationships with prospects. You'll position yourself as a valuable consultant who respects their procedures, even the intricate ones.
07:27 5/22/24
Listening to Win: The Key to Effective Government Sales Presentations
In this episode of "Myths of Selling to Government," we're diving into what it takes to nail a demo or presentation when you're pitching to government folks. Let's face it, selling to the government means you'll definitely need to show them what you've got, because they're not just going to take your word for it. So, what's the deal with making these demos work? Well, here's the thing: salespeople put a ton of effort into perfecting their demos. They rehearse in front of mirrors, get feedback from colleagues, tweak things here and there based on how people react, all to make sure they hit the high notes and really promote all of what they're offering.But here's a twist: I had a sales guy pitch to me a few weeks back. He was all prepped and ready, doing the usual "interrupt me anytime" spiel, and then dove into his rehearsed masterpiece, hitting all the expected buzzwords and shiny features. It was smooth; I'll give him that. But when the show was over and we got down to brass tacks, something was off. Despite a solid presentation, it just didn't click for me. No sale.Why? Because he missed the mark on what I actually needed. He had his demo down pat but didn't really get what my problem was or how his solution fit into that. I’ll give him an “A” for a smooth presentation, but a “C minus” on his discovery. It's like he was selling features when what I needed was a solution to my specific problem. It's a common mishap: not listening enough and just hoping your standard pitch will somehow land.The episode really digs into this idea that you've got to do more than just show up with a rehearsed demo. You’ve got to do discovery before you start pitching. You need to ask questions, listen like you mean it, and be ready to throw the script out the window to address what the buyer really needs. It's about making your demo a conversation, not a monologue. If you can do that, you're not just going through the motions; you're making a connection and solving a problem.Big shoutout to our sponsor, Excavase.com, a sales discovery platform, for backing this episode. And, here's to making those government sales pitches count by really tuning in to what your clients need and tailoring your approach to fit.
05:41 4/3/24
The Discovery Advantage: Leveraging Key Players for Government Sales Success
In this milestone episode, we celebrate reaching 12,000 downloads and maintaining a stellar five-star rating, but our focus remains on the critical role of effective discovery in navigating the complex terrain of government sales. We delve into the strategies of top performers in winning government contracts, emphasizing the importance of identifying and understanding key players in the decision-making process. Discover why designating a "coach" within the organization is crucial for your success and how to foster a trusting relationship that unlocks valuable insights. We tackle common concerns about engaging with these key players and offer practical advice for aligning your approach with the intricate dynamics of government purchasing. Join us as we unpack the secrets to satisfying client needs, outmaneuvering the competition, and securing government contracts through the power of discovery. Plus, we revisit our last episode, "Digging for Treasure: Uncovering Landmines in Sales Discovery for Selling to Government," for more in-depth insights into the sales discovery process. 
03:37 3/5/24
Digging for Treasure, Uncovering Landmines in Sales Discovery for Selling to Government
Embark on a journey to unlock the secrets of winning government contracts with Rick Wimberly on "The Myths of Selling to the Government" podcast. In this episode, Rick sits down with Lorin Bristow, co-author of "Seven Myths of Selling to Government," to delve deep into the pivotal skill of sales discovery.Celebrating a milestone of 12,000 downloads, Rick emphasizes the importance of questions and active listening in the quest to secure government contracts.  Discover why effective sales discovery is the linchpin of winning government contracts, as Rick and Lorin explore its critical role in understanding customer needs and aligning solutions. Learn how top-performing salespeople excel in discovery and follow-up, distinguishing themselves in the competitive landscape of government procurement.But the discussion doesn't end there. Lorin introduces Excavase, an innovative online platform tailored to revolutionize the sales discovery process. Dive into the advanced features of Excavase, including standardized questions and AI assessment tools, designed to empower sales teams and maximize their potential for winning government contracts.As a special incentive for listeners, Rick and Lorin unveil an exclusive offer for podcast listeners,  providing a unique opportunity to enhance your government sales strategy (or any sales strategies, for that matter) and increase your chances of success in securing lucrative contracts.Don't miss out on this invaluable insight into mastering sales discovery for winning government contracts. Tune in now to "The Myths of Selling to the Government" podcast and take the first step toward government contract success.
11:44 2/3/24
Cracking the Code to Selling Local Government
In this episode of "Myths of Selling to Government," we delve into the intricate world of selling to local governments. Our guest is an industry veteran with a unique blend of experience working within city administrations, consulting for municipalities and various organizations, and providing solutions tailored to urban landscapes. He's writing a book about cracking city sales. He emphasizes  the critical importance of comprehending the distinct "language" of government entities—a language that's shaped by constantly evolving needs and priorities. Unlike private enterprises primarily focused on profitability, local governments operate within a dynamic framework where needs and goals frequently shift.Tune in as our expert shares invaluable insights into deciphering this complex landscape. This episode offers actionable advice for businesses aiming to sell their products or services to local governments.Join us as we uncover the truths, dispel the myths, and provide a roadmap for cracking the code to successful selling in the realm of local government.
05:27 1/10/24
My Mom’s Wisdom: Mastering Government Sales, One Question at a Time
Join us for an extraordinary episode of "Myths of Selling to Government," hosted by Rick Wimberly. In this heartfelt and insightful episode, Rick shares a deeply personal story about the invaluable lessons he learned from his remarkable mother, Nita Wimberly.Nita Wimberly was not just a mother; she was a trailblazer in her own right. Working for the Air Force, Nita's accomplishments were awe-inspiring. However, to Rick and his siblings, she was simply "Mom." It was only when a friend from his small Georgia town revealed the legend surrounding his Mom  that Rick began to grasp the magnitude of his mother's influence on the world of government sales.In the 1980s, as Rick embarked on his career in government sales, he often sought advice from his mother. She had a knack for cutting through the noise and getting to the heart of the matter. When Rick excitedly told her about his first meeting with a General at the Pentagon, she asked the questions that changed his perspective. "What does he do? What's his job? What problem can you solve for him? How's the decision going to be made?" Her advice was simple yet profound: "Just ask, son."Tune in to this special episode as Rick Wimberly pays tribute to his extraordinary mother, and explores the invaluable lessons she imparted on mastering government sales—one question at a time.If you're in government sales or simply interested in inspirational stories of remarkable individuals, this episode is a must-listen.
04:37 11/1/23
Unlocking Success for Winning Government Contracts: The Drive to Play the Game
In the world of selling, it's not just about hitting quotas and closing deals; it's a thrilling game that salespeople play with passion. Nowhere is this truer than in the realm of government contracts. Join us in this enlightening episode of "Myths of Selling to Government," hosted by Rick Wimberly, as we delve into the unique mindset that sets successful salespeople apart.Several years ago, Government Selling Solutions conducted a study to learn more about the traits of top government salespeople. The findings were both surprising and enlightening. One standout trait that emerged from the research was what our analysts termed the "playing the game factor." These adept salespeople relish working with prospects, navigating competitors, and collaborating with partners to achieve their goals.But what truly sets them apart is their perspective on complexity. Contrary to common belief, successful government salespeople don't view government contracts as mired in red tape; they see them as opportunities. They find fulfillment in solving the intricate puzzle that government sales often presents, showcasing their expertise, trustworthiness, and innovative solutions.Competitiveness is at the heart of their success. Beating the competition is as rewarding as the financial gains from closing deals. However, it's not a solo endeavor. These sales champions thrive on teamwork. So, what can we learn from these sales champions who revel in "playing the game"? It's about adopting a mindset that transforms challenges into stepping stones, competitors into motivators, and complexity into a chance to shine.If you're eager to discover more traits of successful government salespeople, we invite you to visit the govselling.com website, where you can access the study. Embrace the competition, foster collaboration, and dare to tackle the most complex challenges - keys to winning more government contracts.
04:10 10/4/23
"Bid or No Bid: The Controversial Crossroads of Winning Government Contracts
Welcome to "Myths of Selling to Government," a podcast that takes you deep into the often misunderstood world of selling to the government. In this episode, host Rick Wimberly dives into the bid/no-bid decision-making process.  From dedicated bid response teams to minimal resources, companies navigate a spectrum of approaches. The bid/no-bid decision itself is unveiled as a heckuva dilemma, capable of sparking contentious debates.Rick compares contrasting camps: those who adopt a scattergun approach, submitting bids en masse, and those who embrace a strategic, insightful methodology. Rick, having worked closely with both, unravels the tale of companies that rely solely on written requirements and pricing competitiveness, only to face disappointment when their well-crafted responses fall short.Diving deeper, Rick introduces you to the insightful approach, where companies seek to uncover the story behind each government procurement. These are the firms that transform meetings into investigative interviews, tirelessly seeking the truth about prospect pain points, organizational dynamics, and true customer desires. They refuse to be content with superficial RFP specifications; they demand insight. And their win rates soar as a result.Have your thoughts and disagreements at the ready, for Rick welcomes your input and perspectives. Reach out via email at rick@govselling.com or engage with him on social media. And, for a limited time, take advantage of his offer of free coaching sessions to propel your government sales journey.
05:11 9/6/23
Want Your Salespeople to be Successful Winning Government Contracts? Train them!
We all know that selling to government can be different from selling to other markets, right? In this episode, we visit with a company that figured out they can hire good salespeople without government experience, as long as they go through a government sales training academy.
06:11 8/2/23
You Need Patience and Persistence to Build Your Government Contracts Pipeline
It seems contradictory, but both patience and persistence are needed when trying to win government contracts. In this episode of Myths of Selling to Government, host Rick Wimberly tells the story of a seminar he conducted for a government sales team that evolved into a discussion of long government sales cycles. One of the seminar participants expressed frustration about how long it was taking her to close government sales, compared to the B-to-B work she had done earlier. She asked what she could do better, and was surprised with the answer; she needed to be patient.However, you only earn patience when you're doing the other things necessary to advance your prospects and find new ones, explained in this episode of Myths of Selling to Government with Rick Wimberly.
05:01 6/14/23
7 Pricing Rules You Won’t Read in Government-Issued Procurement Guidance
Pricing can be a complicated subject when trying to win government contracts.  Government pricing rules can be different, dependent on whether you're dealing with federal, state or local government. Then, organizations within federal, state or local government can have different rules for procurement, including pricing.In this episode of Myths of Selling to Government, host Rick Wimberly of Government Selling Solutions presents seven rules that always apply when working to win government contracts, regardless of federal, state or local government procurement rules. Some of these rules may surprise you. For example, the government is not always looking for the lowest price. If not, then what are they looking for, you may ask. (It's not a limited time offer.) Find out in this episode of Myths of Selling to Government with Rick Wimberly.
07:33 5/10/23
3 Key Questions Answered about Presenting to Win Government Contracts
Few government contracts are won without some type of presentation. You've either got someone interested in what you offer, and they want their colleagues and bosses to know about it, or you've been asked to present as part of a government procurement.In this episode, we answer three key questions about presenting to the government.When should you present? Sometimes, you won't have a choice, but other times you might. And, there's a good time to present and a bad time. Often, government contracting wannabes spend a lot of time brainstorming, even arguing, over WHAT to present to impress their prospects and miss the most important piece.What should be your sequence of your presentation? How many times have we sat through meetings where this topic is debated among marketing, technology, sales leadership, channel partners? The presenter is sometimes left dumbfounded. There's often a fundamental truth about presentation sequence that's ignored.What if you're one among others who will present? Do you want to present first, in the middle or last?Our guest Tony Lannom of Axiom Sales Kinetics has been studying these questions for years, and has trained some real pros. He has excellent answers to these questions in this episode of Myths of Selling to Government hosted by Rick Wimberly of Government Selling Solutions.
07:58 4/18/23
A Problem Can be Your Friend When Trying to Win Government Contracts
To win government contracts, you need to hunt like a hawk to find problems in government that you can solve with your product or service. Host Rick Wimberly of Government Selling Solutions says that's only the beginning. Even with a problem identified, you may find that your local, state or federal prospect, despite their acknowledgement of the problem, isn't really interested in solving the problem...at the moment. Be patient and keep the relationship alive, Rick says, as he tells a story of how a client thought an opportunity was dead, only to see it come back alive on a holiday eve. 
05:59 3/15/23
You’re Welcome Here, but this Podcast is Actually for Government Sales Pros Only
In a departure from the norm, podcast host Rick Wimberly discloses the type of listener he envisions as he prepares Myths of Selling to Government podcast episodes. He says he doesn't consider his audience to be people who believe the get-rich-quick-selling-to-the-government ads. Instead, Myths of Selling to Government targets those who are committed to the craft of winning government contracts. They realize the timeframe is long, and the work is tough...before it becomes rewarding.
03:42 3/1/23
To Win a Government Contract, You Have to Sell It 2 Times...At Least.
There's a reason it takes so long to close a government contract. You've got to sell it twice! In this episode of Myths of Selling to Government, host Rick Wimberly talks with a government contracting expert about why this is true. Kevin Jans of Skyway Acquisition calls the two sales you must make to win a government contract: the "technical" sale and the "business" sale. The technical sale is to the people who are trying to solve a problem. The business sale is to the people who are in charge of the organization's contracting. Kevin says their interests and considerations are totally different, they don't work in the same chain of command, and they may not even know each other. Kevin and Rick offer tips on how to build pipeline and succeed winning government contracts within this tough reality.
09:41 2/15/23
Getting Better at Communications with Government Prospects
With greater access to communications channels, we often communicate is reactive mode - that is, in response to someone else's urgency. This isn't always bad, but when it becomes the practice, rather than the exception, it interferes with your ability to plan your work and work your plan.You would think this would make us more cautious and conservative with the volume of information we produce and consume. However, just the opposite is happening. We just can't help it.In this episode of Myths of Selling to Government, host Rick Wimberly talks about the three elements that must be present for us to communicate effectively with our prospects and, well, everyone - relevance, timeliness and reliability.
05:59 1/18/23
You Need Emotional Intelligence if You’re Going to Sell to the Government
Emotional Intelligence is the ability, capacity, or skill to perceive, assess and manage the emotions of oneself, and of other individuals or groups. What does that have to do with selling to local, state and federal government? A lot, it turns out.In this episode of Myths of Selling to Government, host Rick Wimberly makes the connection between emotional intelligence and government selling with help from Christopher Wright. Chris is an accomplished government salesperson himself, plus hosts a podcast called The Wright Mind, which focuses on mental health issues.Chris (https://www.wrightsmind.com)and Rick  (www,govselling.com) talk about how successes in government selling generally comes when the government seller understands the emotions the prospects are experiencing relative to the problem the seller and buyer are trying to solve together.  
09:59 1/10/23
You Need to Coach the Coach, Sell what THEY need, How to Win When You’re Late to the Game
This episode of Myths of Selling to Government reviews the most popular episodes of the last twelve months. Interestingly enough, they represent a good cross section of the government selling lessons we teach. The most popular episode was a lesson on catching up when you're late to entering a quest to win a government contract. We offered five tips.  Go in asking, not pitching. Remember information objectives. Acknowledge competition.  Be genuine and upfront, even candid. Accept you're coming from behind, and be confident. We elaborate in the episode.The second most popular was "One of the Biggest Mistakes in Winning Government Contracts".  Spoiler alert: the mistake is failing to understand the process your government prospect will use to actually make the purchase. It's not enough to convince the end users that you can help them; you've got to do more. We talk about how often we hear stories about this failure in our Government Selling Solutions (www.govselling.com) consulting practice, and suggest solutions.The third most popular was one of our favorites, "What Really Makes Salespeople Tick When Selling to Government". We replayed some of our interview with sales expert Dave Hanna who laid out his beliefs about what makes government salespeople successful. They may not be what you would think.
10:03 12/13/22
Should You Be Cold Calling to Make Government Sales? The Debate Continues.
In our Myths of Selling to Government podcast and in our book, Seven Myths of Selling to Government, we've made it clear that we're not a fan of cold calling during the quest to win a government contract. We've reasoned that there are so many more things that must be done to get potential buyers' attention. But, we found a worthy opponent to debate whether cold calling can work in government sales. Mike Dombo of Kensington Sales Group does nothing but cold calls to government for his clients. He approaches cold calling in a different way than most people do. He's very unassuming and uses a key phrase in every call. The approach and phrase are unveiled in this episode of  Myths of Selling to Government podcast episode. 
06:49 11/29/22
The Most Valuable Help You Can Get to Win a Government Contract
You can't go it alone when trying to win a government contract. The maze to win is complex, tricky and sometimes treacherous. In this episode of Myths of Selling to Government, host Rick Wimberly reveals the best help you can get to win. The help may not come from where you might think, and it's difficult to find. There are important rules and best practices to follow, but finding this help is critical.  No, we're not talking about hiring Government Selling Solutions as your help (but, we're available if you want to talk).
05:54 11/9/22
Ways Grants Can Build Your Government Sales, a How To
The federal government spends over 500-Billion-dollars each year on grants for state and local government. That's a lot of money! And, grant awardees will buy a lot from vendors to spend the money. To say government sales is often driven by grant dollars is an understatement. In this episode of Myths of Selling to Government, host Rick Wimberly talks about making a nice living selling products and services to government agencies that used grant funds to buy. He shares a strategy for getting proactive in early stages to provide an advantage over others who are chasing the same grant dollars.
07:06 10/26/22
Getting the Best Out of Your Government Sales Channel Partners
You know what's more frustrating than not having enough channel partners for your government sales efforts? Having partners that aren't helping you generate government sales revenue. In the Getting the Best Out of Your Government Sales Channel Partners episode of Myths of Selling to Government, host Rick Wimberly of Government Selling Solutions tells a story of how a company won partnerships with much, much larger government vendors. Then, the smaller company convinced the much larger companies to become aggressive in producing government sales revenue for the smaller company.   In this true story, Rick was skeptical  that the new larger partners would really give the smaller company a seat at the grown-up table until he saw it really work. What motivated these big companies? The question is answered in this episode of Myths of Selling to Government.
08:23 10/12/22
When Your Boss Really Doesn't Understand Selling to the Government
It's bound to happen. A new boss or owner joins your company and doesn't really understand selling into local, state and federal government markets. They've been told the sales cycles are long, but when it comes down to it, they have a hard time grasping just how long and unpredictable they are. What do you do?In this episode of Myths of Selling to Government,  Rick Wimberly of Government Selling Solutions tells the story of a change at the top of one of his clients from someone who was patient and understood that government sales is different to one who didn't. In this episode, you'll get specific advice about what to do when you find yourself in this situation. 
06:28 9/2/22
How to Make it Easy for the Government to Buy from You
It's easy to get wrapped up in the complexities of government procurement and selling to government. Yes, it can be complex. But, there are tricks of the trade that will make it easier for the government to do business with you, thus easier for you to win government contracts.Rick Wimberly and his guest discuss some of these tricks on this episode of Myths of Selling to Government. OK, they're not really tricks; they are things that you should be doing anyway.
08:44 8/23/22
5 Tips to Follow When You’re Not First to the Race for Winning a Government Contract
What do you do when you're coming from behind in a government sales opportunity? Face it, all of your efforts to identify and pursue a government contract early in the sales cycle are not going to be successful every time. In this episode, host Rick Wimberly of Government Selling Solutions offers five come-from-behind tips after making the point that you can still win, even if your competition has a head start.
07:33 8/9/22
Want to Hit Your Government Sales Forecast Every Time?
Of course, everyone wants to hit their government contracting forecast every time. It's not easy, perhaps impossible. Government procurement activity has strong potential to develop twists and turns that produce surprises. In fact, the biggest surprise is when there is no surprise. In this episode of Myths of Selling to Government, we disclose the only solution we've found in our many years of selling to government that counters the unpredictability of government sales. Join host Rick Wimberly of Government Selling Solutions as he unveils the secret... (which, as it turns out, is not really a secret after all). 
07:28 7/13/22
Use Artificial Intelligence to Help You Get in Front of Government RFPs
We talk about it a lot. When trying to win government contracts, it's always better to get ahead of the procurement process, including Requests for Proposals.  By the time an RFP has been published, chances are good that procurement preferences have been established and a vendor, perhaps the incumbent contract holder, already has an advantage.New solutions are available that use artificial intelligence as a research tool to find out if an RFP is in the future for a particular product or service for the government. In this episode of Myths of Selling to Government, we talk with OnTopical, a Canadian company that uses artificial intelligence and spiders to find early stage discussion of a challenge government faces that could lead to a procurement of a particular product or service. The AI and spiders go beyond typical searches of government publications, meeting minutes and procurement announcements. In the episode, host Rick Wimberly of Government Selling Solutions, challenges his guest to explain how their tool supports some of the basic tenets GSS teaches in its podcasts and contract engagements.
09:52 6/28/22
The Best Government Sales Prospect is the One Who Comes to You
How would you like government sales prospects to come to you? Wouldn't that be much better than you trying to cold call your way to a government contract? In this episode of Myths of Selling to Government with Government Selling Solution's Rick Wimberly, the successful government sales pro shares secrets to getting government sales prospects to seek you out as they look for a solution to a problem. Rick doesn't promise that a get-them-to-come to me strategy is less work than cold calling. It's not. But, the sales and marketing techniques surrounding the strategy help lead to government contracting success, produce well-qualified leads and shorten government sales cycles. For experienced and beginning government sales and marketing professionals.
07:45 6/7/22
One of the Biggest Mistakes in Winning Government Contracts
There are many things that can go wrong when trying to close a sale to local, state or federal government. You can think you're well-positioned to close a particular deal you've been cultivating for months, only to find out right at the end of the sales cycle (or at least what you think is the end) that you're not as far along as you thought. You may have been seeing many buying signs, but still...We talk about these last-minute surprises, One of the Biggest Mistakes in Winning Government Contracts,  in this episode of Myths of Selling to Government hosted by Rick Wimberly. We also offer a solution. Hint: know more about the government client's purchasing process than your client coach does.
06:11 5/23/22
What Really Makes Salespeople Tick When Selling to Government?
We often wonder what underlies the success of people trying to win government contracts. We posed the question (and others) to the best sales manager we've known. Dave Hanna figures he has managed over 300 salespeople in his years. Your host, Rick Wimberly, was one of them when Dave was General Manager of the Government Business Unit of a communications company and Rick was his Sales Manager. Rick and Dave have spent hours pondering the question of What Really Makes Salespeople Tick. So, we invited him to the studio to talk more about it. Dave is our honored guest on the Myths of Selling to Government.A common theme for Dave is reflected in this statement, "In my mind, the best salespeople I've been associated with are more interested in their customers than themselves."  Surprisingly enough, Dave says it's not really about beating the competition. He says, "That's easy." Listen to the episode to learn more whether you're an individual contributor, sales leader or founder trying to figure out why you're not selling more to the government.
08:52 5/2/22