No, we’re not talking about gun ownership here at The Week Ahead, but rather a common sense approach to developing sustainable government business.  Way too many companies look at the smorgasbord of government opportunities and try to say “yes” to all of them.  Just like an over-fed person at the buffet, you’ll get indigestion from trying to consume too many potential clients at one time.  You don’t have to believe just us, either.  Guy Timberlake of the American Small Business Coalition states, “Round out the intelligence you have rather than throwing something at the wall and seeing what sticks.”  The “Selling for Winners” website says, “Stay Focused, Make Money, Have Fun”.  Still, many sales and business professionals think that calling 50, 100, or 200 federal contacts a day is the only way to build business.  It’s a way to build something, all right, but what you’re building is frustration.  It’s pretty easy to find out who’s previously brought what you’re selling in federal agencies and not too much harder to figure out who might be buying it in the future.  Start with who has money and then understand what their priorities are.  While not everyone has to speak “FAR”, knowing some lingo is important, too.  New market entries, for example, typically don’t tailor their sales pitches for the federal market.  That means they talk about “profit” instead of “mission” or other dead give-aways that they just got off at the federal market depot.  Staying focused and doing just a little advanced research increases the chances that you’ll close more of what you chase.