I recently conducted my first Meet the Ringmasters event in Sarasota, FL, where I brought together members of my community for an elite professional training experience. The Ringmasters were three of my highly successful clients who have achieved outsized results participating in the 3-Ring Circus of Federal SalesSM. A dozen others from my network were in attendance: clients, former clients, and future clients. This event was not advertised as available to the general public and was by invitation only.
The stage for the 2-day event was the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota. (Coincidentally, Sarasota is also the home of the famous Ringling Museum.) I curated a selection of three very different types of companies to highlight—a large global company, a large US company owned by an international parent, and a small company on a fast and steep growth trajectory. The purpose was to confirm for others that the same federal processes apply to all companies, regardless of any special small business status one might qualify for.
I interviewed the willing Ringmasters to explore their approach, how they succeeded, and things they have learned along the way to their outsized success. This method is used among a variety of elite executive programs and, in the right setting, is a highly effective way to turn a mirror to the audience. Observing how the Ringmasters show up as normal and approachable people, who don’t pontificate any secret methods to success, the audience can’t help but see that similar dramatic results are also within their reach.
What we learned (or affirmed) together
- Meeting in a nice place with an executive tone enhances the experience
- Trust among the group must be established early for the learning to take place
- Companies must believe fiercely in their product or service
- Honing and tailoring your messages to your customer takes work
- There are no shortcuts, but by imposing processes, more difficult tasks can be simplified for the next iteration
- Federal sales is challenging, and validation of one’s approach encourages the necessary persistence federal sales requires—many stop short in their efforts
- Access to highly skilled experts is an ongoing challenge for reasons of weak networks, poor information flow, poor understanding of the process, and a weak message of needs
- Stepping back from your day-to-day to critically discuss your federal sales challenges actually allows you to surge ahead
Amidst the interviews, I revealed new intellectual property from my forthcoming book, Government Deals Are Funded, Not Sold (arriving fall 2023). We validated how hard it is to be a graduate of the School of Hard Knocks. I dispelled myths about influence, campaign finance, and the smoky back rooms of Congress.
If attending a similar event in the future (fall 2023 at an appropriate executive setting) sounds appealing to you, send me an email with the subject line RINGMASTERS, and I’ll add you to the waiting list.