If you believe that you are able to close $25k in the next six months, you can ask GSA for an extension, but Eileen Kent says, “I can’t guarantee they’ll grant you that extension as there are pressures at GSA to get the dead weight off the GSA schedules and to focus on those who have figured out the sales game.”
“Never forget – it’s all about collecting the Industrial Funding Fee. They want to make money. Period,” she said.
So, here are some things Kent says to consider before you ask for an extension:
#1. Are you willing and able to actually hit the field or pick up the phone and make some contacts with your potential customers? If you plan to sit back and wait for the orders, you’re not going to make it. Also, if you do plan to go make it happen, you need to communicate to GSA specifically how you’re going to go after the business and who you’re going to go after.
#2. Track all of your proposals through eBUY and present GSA as an option to your current government clients who are not using GSA. Identify them to GSA and tell them you are trying to convince these customers that they should use GSA to purchase these items. Show GSA how many proposals you responded to on eBUY. They want to know that you are participating in the program and at least attempting to close a deal.
#3. Show them any business – that is coming down the pipeline – and how you plan to convince the client to use a schedule. If the see opportunities in the horizon, they’ll extend your contract.
#4. Beg, plead, show them your small business set asides –and ask for the extension. They’re usually pretty good about it ….but if they see you really don’t care – and there are plenty of other companies within your SIN/Category who is doing well on the schedule, they’re going to cut you out of the GSA program and you’ll have to start all over again.
Here’s Kent’s thoughts. Why not consider having a competitive analysis performed for you – to see if the government even buys what you sell on GSA schedule? In some businesses – there are hundreds of GSA Schedule holders on the schedule – but only a handful are actually making money on the schedule. The rest are at zero. WHY? Could it be because most of the business you perform – is NOT ON GSA? Maybe they’re through IDIQ contracts, or BPAs or through Simplified Acquisitions where the buyer uses no contract vehicle at all? Stop flying blindly in this business – find out how your customers are really buying – and then build an action plan around it.
Kent says, “I perform at least six competitive analyses every month. And about half of them discover that most of the opportunities with the feds is off the GSA schedule. Even GSA’s Public Building Services – doesn’t use schedules in certain areas. If the companies knew this before they got a GSA schedule, they wouldn’t have spent the time and money to get one in the first place! Do your homework – even before you decide to fight to save your schedule. If you know for sure how they buy, then you can decide whether a GSA schedule extension – is worth the time and effort.”
If you need one-on-one help from the Federal Sales Sherpa, feel free to contact Eileen Kent, at 312-636-5381 or listen to her radio show at http://www.federalsalessherpa.com where all the experts discuss the contracting game. Remember, it’s NOT all about GSA – it’s all about what the customer wants to use – to buy what you sell. So, you’re going to need to consider other options – teaming – partnering – BPAs – IDIQs – sub-contracting and more. A GSA Schedule is only a ticket to the game – now get out in the field and start to play with training and a strategy in your back pocket!
9 Things To Know About Your Customer to Write a Winning Proposal, By Carl Dickson
Squeezed on GSA Pricing? Maybe it’s time to move on. By Larry Allen
Prof Samuel Bornstein reports, “FSSI Game Changer!!! Small Business Protest B-409528 on the FSSI OS3 is Sustained by SBA in a letter from SBA to GAO dated April 3, 2014.”
He says, “SBA Validated the need for a Cost-Benefit Analysis of the FSSI Program. The SBA Conclusion says it all in 5 words…’GSA FAILED TO DO SO’.”
FURNITURE VENDORS – GSA is holding a public forum on April 15 about FSSI RFI
The Federal Sales Sherpa is now offering a 4-hour intense training on the basics of writing proposals: “Building Blocks of a Winning Proposal” can now be offered to your team one-on-one! Contact Eileen Kent for Pricing, Scheduling Dates and Details 312-636-5381.