Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Dan Callahan

Getting on a prime contractor’s team can be daunting if you’re not used to the dance routine.  But it is a critical skill for anyone trying to enter the federal market, let alone the IC and DoD markets.  Here some tips that will keep you focused.


1.  Do you have a clear view of the upcoming procurement(s) in the target agency?  The more information you have, the better.  If fact, the more relationships you have at the target agency, the better.  If you have none (or not enough), now would be a good time to generate more.

2.  If the existing vehicle is an IDIQ, do you know who the incumbents are and their relative positioning—meaning, some have undoubtedly performed better than others, from a revenue perspective.    Also, which one is favored over the others from an agency perspective?

3.  Will the expected vehicle be operated at SECRET or Top Secret level, or beyond TS? 

4.  When you attend a trade show event, do you have a clear target list of who you want to discuss this procurement with?  This is vital and worked well for me this summer (especially at DoDIIS).  We made a list and off we went on the trade show floor. 

5.  Follow up needs to be specific and immediate.  Now that you’ve met targeted business development folks and project managers, etc., you need to follow up with a teleconference or face-to-face meetings.  If you hate doing this kind of follow up, hire it out or simply delegate it.  If you’re a typical engineer, you probably can’t stand the business development “dance” of discovering a commonality and then structuring a relationship that yields alignment.  That’s okay!  There are plenty of folks in town who enjoy this.  Find one and work with them!

6.  Be specific about what your organization wants to add to the overall win strategy.  If you cannot articulate this, then you have not done your homework and will most likely fail during the follow up.

7.  Have a slide deck or brief piece of collateral that rapidly communicates your value.  Short and sweet is probably better than the opposite.


Question:  What has worked for you during this past?