Strengthen Your Business This Holiday Season
It’s hard to believe the holiday season is upon us. We know vendors can often see a decrease in government spending during this time of year. But, you can turn this seasonal slowdown into a business advantage for your company.
Holidays offer business owners a window of time where more focus can be put on building new relationships and strengthening existing relationships with local governments. Taking these three easy steps now can better position your company when government spending picks up again later.
- Register with new local governments.
Pick out a few local governments you’d like to work with and get registered with them. Whether you typically sell direct to local governments or you’re looking to bid, registering with multiple governments is a good idea.
Local governments often have different registration methods. If the local government has a website, looking for the Purchasing or Finance Department could be a good start for finding instructions on how they would like you to register. Some local governments will have a paper form for you to fill out, others may have an online application and some may require a phone call to the purchasing agent.
Local governments who use Vendor Registry, for example, will have a link to get them registered efficiently. If you have already set up a Vendor Registry Profile, you’ll log into Vendor Registry from the local government’s vendor registration link and we’ll do a lot of the work by pre-populating the information based on your profile. We support over 260 local governments and offer a Registration service that instantly registers your company with our partnering governments. It really can be that easy!
- Share your marketing information.
Gather your latest marketing information and updated pricing sheets so you can distribute them to local government purchasing agents.
Getting this information into the purchasing agents hands can be a little tricky and time consuming. Searching local government websites and gathering contact information is certainly one way to do it. Sending the information to the end user can be helpful, but copying the purchasing agent is probably good practice. Although the end user will make recommendations on who the local government should use for the purchase, it is typically up to the purchasing agent to make the purchase. (Another reason to be registered first.)
Snail mail is not the quickest way these days to reach purchasing agents, but some vendors still mail marketing information. Although printed marketing information still works, it can be a costly choice plus it’s difficult to track results.
Vendor Registry offers a feature that allows vendors to upload marketing information (brochures, pricing sheets, e-commerce websites) right within the vendor profile. This information is instantly shared with our partnering governments. Want to email the information yourself? No worries, we can help there too! Another feature offered is a link to local government contact information. These features are part of our Registration service and Lead Notification service.
- Make some time to visit.
Building an in-person relationship may sound ancient, but in today’s hustle and bustle it might be the very thing that sets you apart. Once you’ve registered and uploaded your current marketing information, print a copy and go shake someone’s hand. If you can speak to someone face-to-face, use the opportunity to ask questions to really understand the local government’s needs.
Asking them their needs rather than boasting about how great your service is could get you farther than you think. Before you leave, remind them that they can follow up with you any time.
Building relationships is just one of three key areas we’ve identified where vendors can quickly make positive change. Even if you only check off one of these tips this Holiday season, the potential outcome is a gift worth giving your business.
You can start your free trial at any time. If you have questions, give us as call at 844-802-9202. We’d love to help.