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  • #966400
    eccemonkey
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    Hi,

    I’m considering making an unsolicted business proposal to the goverment and want to be as careful as possble about it. Some questions I have at this stage are

    – should I email or send a letter?
    – should I include a logo letter head?
    – should I find a name I can address it to or just “Sir/Madam”?
    – should I keep trying if ignored the first time?

    Has anyone had experience in this?

    thanks

    #1018008
    small business marketing
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    First, to answer your questions:

    eccemonkey, post: 20739 wrote:
    – should I email or send a letter?

    neither. get on the phone and find out who has the problem you can solve.

    eccemonkey, post: 20739 wrote:
    – should I include a logo letter head?

    When you do send a letter, yes

    eccemonkey, post: 20739 wrote:
    – should I find a name I can address it to or just “Sir/Madam”?

    Once you identify the right person/people to talk with, personalise your communications. This might help – http://www.gold.gov.au

    eccemonkey, post: 20739 wrote:
    – should I keep trying if ignored the first time?

    Yes

    Government procurement has quite prescriptive guidelines around how they can go about buying stuff.

    At a very basic level, for Federal Government procurement,

    For FMA Agencies:
    $1-$15k can be purchased at someones discretion.
    $15k-$80k they’ll need 3 quotes.
    $80k+ they have to go to tender.

    For CAC Act bodies
    $1-$15k can be purchased at someones discretion.
    $15k-$400k they’ll need 3 quotes.
    $400k+ they have to go to tender.

    There are exceptions to this, but thats the basic gist. There is more info here: http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/fmg-series/procurement-guidelines/index.html

    Selling to Government can be very lucrative BUT it takes considerable time and energy.

    Not sure if you are looking local, state or federal. I have sold to Federal Government in the past so know a fair bit about this. I dont know anything about selling to states or local governments though.

    #1018009
    Pross
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    Hi Eccemonkey,

    It really depends on what you are selling and how much of it you want to sell.

    Government departments will generally have contracts in place for most of the things they need. They’ll have a contract for pens, a contract for desks, a contract for keyboards, etc. They buy on-contract when they have to buy in bulk. These contracts expire from time to time or may be wound up or cancelled, which is when they go looking for a new supplier (sometimes publicly, sometimes quite quietly). When they’re buying under the tender limit (excellent info from ‘small business marketing’ by the way), they can buy from whoever they want, with a tender or no tender, but will invariably get lazy and go to someone they’re familiar with (invariably, the big player who has the contract!)

    So, your best chance with most products is to make sure they know who you are, that they know you’re 110% reliable and trustworthy and that they’re not going to forget about you. Obviously, you don’t want to be too in-your-face or you’ll annoy them, but you have to be clearly visible in the marketplace to attract any business.

    It really is a numbers game, too. Sending one letter to one government department is probably going to be a drop in a very large ocean, unless you’re selling the shroud of Turin or something. Try to get creative, think of all the agencies in state, federal, local, maybe even hospitals, unis, schools etc. After all, if you approach 2 departments instead of one, you double your chances!

    Obviously if it is something really specific or specific you’re looking at – maybe you have a hugely niche product, or you want to parter with them, or you know of a specific opportunity – then you’re going to want to really network inside the agency you’re looking at. GOLD, as previously mentioned, is a decent resource but generally only has senior management names in it. If you can do some hardcore networking, you’ll get to the middle managers, who are much more important than a lot of people credit them with. Sure, the executives are the ones who sign the dotted line, but it’s the middle managers who go out and source options for them.

    Either way, YES, be personalised – “dear sir/madam” is usually the name of a government receptionist’s waste paper basket – and always brand yourself well – governments look for reliability and stability, I can’t stress that enough.

    Good luck!

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