7 Marketing Tips for Selling to Government Agencies
If you are currently selling to the government, then you know that agencies are responsible for spending taxpayer dollars and are cautious about who they choose as a vendor.Reduce the risk of working with your company by validating you, your company, and your products/services.Validation marketing helps bring comfort to those buying what you sell and want to share 7 tips to make working the government easier.
Tip #1: Media Coverage
Once you deploy your product or service to an agency, get a story in local media through newspapers or local television. Media outlets are always looking for good stories and the government tends to only be recognized when something goes wrong. If your offering has helped an agency, share it with the world by contacting these news outlets with the agencies permission to share their experience. The article or video can be used as a marketing piece for years to come as you grow your business in the public sector.
Tip #2: Agency Testimonials
Government agencies hearing from another government agency is 100x more powerful than anything you say. Start by finding one agency that is a raving fan of your company and create a written summary of the deployment on how your offering helped them meet their needs. Taking this a step further, ask the agency if they are willing to take calls from other agencies who are interested in taking the steps of working with your company. Ideally you will want to have a testimonial for each agency type: State, Local, Federal, and Education.
Tip #3: Online Reviews
Guess what? Agencies will Google your company before the decision is made to purchase your products or services. Continually check your online reviews across all search engines to see the comments posted about your business. Respond to any/all negative reviews and try to turn-them-around. Most folks that are unhappy, just want to be heard and addressing the issues head on is the only way to make things right. Also be proactive in getting your best customers to leave positive reviews.Make it easy by sending a link they can click in an email to type a nice message about their experience!
Tip #4: Website & Social Media
This may sound obvious but make sure your website looks PROFESSIONAL. Not an outdated version of your company brand from the 1980’s. Many web designers can give your website a modern feel by using a template for under $1,000. Add some references to government terms and include agency logos if you have current customers in the public sector. You also need to claim your company profile on all major social media platforms: Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Post at least once a week to stay relevant with your audiences.
Tip #5: Trade Shows
There is an unlimited number of trade shows to attend and you want to focus on a few strategic shows for your industry. We will eventually be meeting in person again but for now, the major events have shifted to virtual trade shows. Seek out opportunities to speak/present as a subject matter expert. No one wants to hear a sales pitch. Make sure your presentation is geared to sharing industry knowledge that will help government agencies have an understanding of challenges other agencies are facing and how they can solve these problems. If your product or service helps solve the problem, this would be a natural segway for them to seek out information with your company, ultimately leading to sales. Here are a few organizations that host trade shows for targeting agency types:
Local Government: NIGP (National Institute of Purchasing)
Local Government: NACO (National Association of Counties)
State Government: NASPO (National Association of State Procurement Officials)
Click here to view a full list of government trade shows in 2021.
Tip #6: Board of Advisors
Teaming up with people who currently work for government agencies or have worked for agencies in the past is a simple, easy way to increase the “validity” of your company. The board of advisors should be between 4-6 folks that are well-known industry experts to provide strategic direction of your company. They can also assist in providing references and referrals to help grow your business.
Tip #7: BBB Accreditation
Pay a fee to become an “accredited vendor” of Better Business Bureau. You can use the BBB logo on your website and email signature.Registering for the BBB will allow you to respond to any negative reviews and they will help mediate resolution through an assigned representative. Get (and keep) A+ rating from BBB to share in your validation marketing.
You might be doing a few of these suggestions but make sure your company executes on ALL 7 tips. This will provide your government prospects with peace of mind to take the next steps in buying what you sell.