Welcome to the third quarter of the fiscal year.  The heat is up in both the market and outside.  It’s time for your company to shift strategies and tactics now that we’re moving closer into the federal busy season.  Here are a few tips to put your company in the best position to win:  1. Don’t expect a lot more “meet and greet” meetings this year.  Federal customers are increasingly defining project scopes and doing acquisition planning for what they’re going to purchase for the rest of the year.  That leaves little time to talk with newer entries.  You may be better off focusing on agencies with which you have existing contacts.  2.  Coordinate your marketing and sales efforts.  The Washington, D.C. airwaves are already full of contractor advertisements.  That’s earlier than normal, but it shows the importance of being able to get your message across in broadcast mediums so that it coordinates well with sales efforts.  There’s still time to conduct a coordinated strategic campaign.  Tactical marketing can come later.  3.  Strengthen your partner relationships.  September is not the time to go looking for a company that has the contract vehicle your prospective customer “has” to use.  Now is.  Make sure you have good relationships with companies that hold Best In Class and other contracts, small businesses, or niche players with unique solutions.  Q3 isn’t pre-season, but building a strong team now ensures that you can go deep into the September playoffs and win.  With so many agencies likely playing catch up for the rest of the year, business shouldn’t be dull.  Make sure you’ve laid the groundwork for your own success.