Contracting and Networking, Why do they go together?

Last week we talked about the importance of building relationships. All too often, many businesses make that assumption that because their doors are open or they obtained that certification, that the next thing that follows is business. Well, as we learned last week, they couldn’t be more wrong. Only those who were the most prepared by having intelligence not available to the average business owner, or came out of an existing market can really expect business to come because they open the doors.
In this article, we want to talk about two things before addressing the concept of networking in the next article and how important that is:
1. Preparation + Opportunity = Success
2. Building Relationships is the End All, Be All
So, let start with the formula, Preparation + Opportunity = Success. We attempted to address this in several of the original government contracting articles by talking about market research, which we defined as: understanding the customer and what they buy. By having this understanding, you can now prepare your business for the opportunity when it comes around. If you have prepared adequately for the opportunity, your results should be great. If you remember, we suggested getting in the game by responding to an RFP if you haven’t done that before. If you have, then using the strategies that worked previously in winning RFP’s will gone a long way in keeping your company front and center in front of the buyer, program manager, contracting officer and any other important decision maker.
We also defined preparation as the building of relationships that have a positive impact on your business. The relationship itself was not, is not, and will not ever be about the sale. It will however always be about doing the right thing at the right time to support, encourage, and sustain a measure of success that has already been achieved. Both parties in a relationship must be winners. So, if I can help you get what you want, you will surely help me get what I want. That is the proverbial Win/Win.
And you ask, how does networking fit into all this? Networking is the technique, the strategy to build the relationships that become the critical factor in our success. We will discuss in greater detail powerful relationship building using effective networking techniques in the next article.