• GovSales University

What Does the Government Purchase?

The government buys everything from paper clips to battleships and anything else you can imagine. One of the biggest questions we get asked, “What does the government spend the most money on?”.



You should first think about your professional connections if you are looking to start selling to the government. Having a relationship with other companies will help provide a sense of what you can offer. If you do not have any connections, that is okay...first figure out if you want to sell products or services. In the service industry, you might be limited to a particular area as your team will have to be on site to provide these services. If you are able to outsource the work just know your company’s reputation is on the line if you are not going to be the one physically on site to oversee the project. Selling products is something you can do from anywhere, just make sure you consider the shipping cost with larger items!


Once you have decided if you are going to be selling a product or service, the fun begins with prospecting to agencies. You first need to identify agencies that are buying what you sell, most folks subscribe to a bid/rfp system that alerts them of upcoming opportunities. As mentioned in previous articles, only 20% of spending goes through this process and forming relationships will help increase your chances for the other 80% not found through notifications. One pro tip is to search through archived bids to find the person who has purchased what you sell in the past to identify the key decision makers.


Follow social media and search the agency website to know what initiatives are happening to see if you can help them with your offerings. Agencies will have meetings and upload their minutes so you will know what they are trying to accomplish. The meetings have also moved to virtual events that you can join remotely. Some cities will even broadcast a live stream through twitter, which is one of the most popular social media platforms across government agencies!


Here are some spending stats from 2020 for a variety of products and services:


Pressure Washing: $40.76 Million


Beer: $64.04 Million


Website Design/Development: $59.61 Million


Pool Cleaning: $933,317


Tree Trimming: $164 Million


Construction: $97.27 Billion


Toilet Paper: $68.77 Million


Ink/Toner: $290.99 Million


Catering: $101.57 Million


Pillows: $21.45 Million


Furniture: $2.55 Billion


Books: $2.05 Billion


Soda: $39.42 Million


Wellness Coaching/Program: $60.40 Million


We search ANYTHING and see how much the government spends using our GovSpend database of purchase order records. This is what is referred to as your GMO(Government Market Opportunity) that is covered in Section 1 of GovSales University.


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