In today's LinkedIn LIVE session, Neil explains how to reach federal buyers before the RFI (request for information) drops. This follows Neil's training called Understanding the Federal Acquisition Lifecycle from a Sales Perspective.
HOW TO 'SHIFT LEFT' TO MOVE FORWARD
Today Neil talks about "shifting left" (referencing to placement of the life cycle) and engaging earlier in the process so that you can have more influence in the contract process.
If you hear about an opportunity from SAM when the RFP drops, it's too late to respond. That's why you want to be engaged with an opportunity (doing capture) during the RFI / Sources Sought phase.
But you can shift your capture efforts further left by hearing about the RFI your federal buyer plans on releasing.
If you can participate in the discussion while the requirements are still being developed, you can share your expertise in the field to help them refine the RFI .
At this preliminary stage, buyers are still determining the NAICS codes, clearances, set-asides, contract vehicles and this is a chance to help the program office shape their contract as well as deter any preliminary restrictions that would limit the number of potential firms.
"What are your plans for [insert your core competency] for 2022 and the next few years?
"What is your specific acquisition process? How do I hear about planned RFIs coming up?
Being prepared with one key open-ended question enables you to start guiding the conversation and thinking about how you can help with their plans.