First win of the Federal fiscal year: so easy.
That first win isn’t a contract. It’s a conversation. With someone who knows you.
You know who they are: They pay you on time. They come back for more. They send their friends. They know when your birthday is.
Why start there?
First, because after “busy, busy, busy” since July… now they have time to talk to you.
“Oh, but they’re not spending right now!”
Actually, that’s why they’ll talk to you, and why October and November are the perfect time to call.
Someone who has already done business with you is TWELVE TIMES more likely to buy from you than someone who’s never met you. The big wins have long lead time.
What could you bring?
Most of all, bring your open ears and heart and empathy.
Check your notes. What was going on with them last time you talked? What could be going on for them right now? Are they in a new job or position? Planning for retirement? Looking for a change or a move? Are they in line for a promotion? Where are they hoping to be this time next year?
What or who do you know that might be helpful for them? Got a link? An article? Details on a conference?
What else do you say?
Always start with a thank you for the ways they’ve helped you with guidance, feedback, information, over the past year.
These are people you know personally. You know them well enough to ask how are they and their family are doing, and how their summer went.
How’s the organization handling “coming back to the office?” Lots of Federal agencies are really struggling with this! And how are people feeling about that?
How did September finish out for them?
This lets you both ease into what you’re both hoping for in the new fiscal year that just started. This is a really rich part of the conversation. Those hopes, dreams, and fears are where your mutual “wish list” for late summer of next year gets started.
What if you get voicemail?
Don’t be surprised or discouraged. If you don’t reach them on the first try, leave a cheerful voicemail to wish them “Happy Federal fiscal new year!” You’ll make them smile. Let them know you’d love to catch up for ten minutes, hear how they’re doing, and let them know what day and time you’ll call back.
And… call back when you said you promised you would.