MAIL BAG: MEETING WITH MR. OR MS. RIGHT
Mail Bag is a recurring feature of the Week Ahead. We welcome your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. This week’s question is from T. Salehi who asks, “I know I can get through the front door of the White House and meet the President. How big of a contract can he give me?” Great question, T, and one that many contractors ask when meeting with other high ranking government officials. The fact is that face time with Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries seldom leads to actual business. The best you can expect from 95% of these meetings is a polite referral to someone lower in the organization who actually does buy what you’d like to sell. The same is true for the President. Though a powerful guy, he doesn’t have a contracting officer warrant. When you’re choosing who to meet with in federal agencies, don’t let your head be turned by big titles. Sometimes the person you really want to talk with is down the hall or on the floor below.