GM 6 Things Keeping You from Winning in Washington

6 Things Keeping You from Winning in Washington

The winners make it look so easy, scoring contracts and sending press releases. Check out five things you can readily self-assess AND improve upon. You do not need to spend more money to invest in improving your relevance, alignment, and investment in your federal customers and sales.

1. You are afraid to reveal that you might not know something.

Let go of the false premise that your time on station equals universal expertise. Because you are not investing in your ongoing learning of the process and the people who drive the process, you’re actually slipping behind. 

2. Your network is far too narrow.

You continue to congregate with the same people with whom you’ve worked for years. Your mentors are former seniors without diverse business experience. How current are the war stories in your customer conversations? Are you remaining relevant?

3. You’re convinced Congress does nothing and can’t help you directly.

It’s a myth perpetuated by flawed information that moves quickly through segmented cable channels and social media. Congress takes its oversight role seriously and routinely challenges the sometimes-calcified thinking found in the Pentagon. You don’t have to agree, but that’s the point.

4. You believe influence costs too much money.

The law places specific limits on campaign contributions from any individual and any entity, such as a company’s Political Action Committee. Check out and do a quick search of your favorite company. You can readily track individual contributions and see those limits in action. Quid pro quo does not exist; credible information helps winners win, not money.

5. You think your company is too small to change a policy.

More often than not, the government policymaker doesn’t have your perspective because they lack the quality information only you can provide. Size does not matter here; quality information carries the day.

6. You think as long as we’re on a CR, Congress is grid-locked.

Congress puts their positions on the record every day. Detailed summaries of floor statements, hearing testimony, and bill mark-ups are all publicly available and can be used to help shape behaviors within your customer constellation. Those publicly available comments can signal congressional intent.

What the Polls Say

My questions are posed to both my audience and the defense and aerospace community. Here’s what people are thinking in the February polls:

  • 50 percent of respondents believe we will have a year-long continuing resolution.
  • 71 percent say the government timeline is their top business development challenge.
  • 43 percent say the supply chain is the biggest challenge in the defense industrial base.
  • 75 percent say having specific goals and objectives improves meeting efficiency the most.

For a copy of my book, Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring® Circus of Federal Sales, and more information on federal sales, visit Capitol Integration.

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