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To win, be seen.

Buyers and customers can't buy from you if they can't see you.
This has been and continues to be one of the many impact statements I use in conversation, and in formal trainings, to stress the importance of visibility. Mind you, visibility is not just about being seen, but it's the aspect of visibility I consider to be the most overlooked and undervalued by Federal Contractors.
While there is the element of business opportunites broadcast via the Governmentwide Point of Entry known as, it is not the only touchpoint for opportunities, and it is certainly not the birthplace of the need that will result in a federal business opportunity. Yet, it continues to be proselytized by many in Industry and in Government as the be-all and end-all resource for finding and winning work.

Should you happen to review FAR Part 2 - Definitions of Words and Terms, you will find a definition for the activity and entity of Contracting. It reads like this: 
Contracting means purchasing, renting, leasing, or otherwise obtaining supplies or services from nonfederal sources. Contracting includes description (but not determination) of supplies and services required, selection and solicitation of sources, preparation and award of contracts, and all phases of contract administration. It does not include making grants or cooperative agreements. 
Obviously, and for purposes of this blog, I have highlighted (via bold font) the phrase that for me, distinguishes Contracting as the Buyer versus the Customer. Why this is important is the basis for my opening impact statement. We, speaking generally as the collective community of Federal Contractors, tend to focus much of our effort on being seen by the Buyer. If this is true for your organization, it means you, like so many others, are beginning your opportunity journey at the point where the Buyer is issuing an announcement of some type. This would mean a need has been identified by someone other than the Buyer, and information in the form of a requisition has been submitted to the Buyer organization.

Oh, and those proceedings (the determination) leading up to the Buyer taking action once a requisition is received, could have been in the works for a few weeks, months, or years. This is the work of what we refer to as the Customer, and we (collectively speaking again) don't spend nearly enough energy on being seen by them. Those that do live in a place we call "in front of the opportunity" because they are knowledgeable of (before many others), and likely participating in the shaping of the solution that will alleviate issues for the Customer organization, or help the Customer organization to perform better in achieving its stated objectives, as established in its Strategic Plan. 
What does all of this mean? 
To increase the likelihood of finding and winning opportunities in Federal Contracting, be seen by Buyers and Customers. To make being seen by Customers most fruitful, understand who they are and what is important to them. Federal Agencies produce a plethora of useful information that goes largely unnoticed by most companies. This information can be used to inform approaches for opportunities, near and far on the calendar. In fact, agencies will tell you their goals, how they plan to achieve those goals, the names of the initiatives driving or programs executing those goals, and how much they believe it will cost to achieve those goals. 
In closing, let me tip my hat to my friends and colleagues in Marketing. Once the information about the Customer and what's important to them is acquired, this is the knowledge and expertise needed to craft and deliver a thoughtful and targeted message via blogs, videos, white papers, case studies, conference and more. It's part of the formula for getting ahead of opportunities, and learning about others not even on your radar. Anything short of this is spinning your wheels. 
Peace, Health, and Success, 
Go-To-Guy Timberlake