The Federal Sales Sherpa, Eileen Kent, discusses how to get – and keep – your GSA schedule contract on this week’s Federal Sales Sherpa Show: LINK http://www.blogtalkradio.com/linkedlocalnetwork/2014/03/18/federal-sales-sherpa-show
“I have been getting questions from GSA schedule holders ready to get kicked off the GSA schedule due to lack of sales,” says Kent and she explains that GSA cares about you selling the GSA schedule and paying your IFF – Industrial Funding Fee.
The Industrial Funding Fee is .75% of every dollar sold to the feds through the schedule.
“Since the application process is very intricate – the federal employees at GSA have to make sure that the companies they choose will sell at least $25k within the first two years – and every year thereafter – or it’s not worth their time to maintain your contract,” says Kent.
The GSA Schedule is a contract vehicle that allows companies to avoid the public bid process and compete against other approved GSA schedule holders to win federal contracts.
It is a closing mechanism. Many companies think that it is a way for government business to come to them and when they’re awarded the schedule, they sit back and wait for the contracts, but that’s not how it’s done.
Kent has been used many times by GSA as a guest speaker at events helping companies to understand that they have to go out in the field and sell their services. The GSA schedule is not a vehicle as the government describes it, says Kent, it’s a bridge – to avoid what she calls, the “Raging River of Rules” that is the public website called fbo.gov. “GSA schedules make it easy for customers to buy from you – but because GSA gets a piece of the action (.75%) they want contractors to sell through it.
According to GSA, half of the 19,000 contractors are selling over the required $25k. The rest will be threatened with being dropped.
“Contractors are getting kicked off the schedule regularly – despite their efforts to close deals. The reality is companies need to invest in marketing and sales programs as well as solid websites, excellent customer service and training programs on how to buy from them using the schedule.”
To learn more about obtaining a schedule or keeping your schedule, listen to this week’s Federal Sales Sherpa Show or contact Eileen Kent at http://www.federalsalessherpa.com or call 312-636-5381.