Building Productive and Successful Business Relationships

By Jim Reams, Procurement Consultant

 

This article was originally published in our monthly KYPTAC Newsletter. If you have any questions about this topic, your KYPTAC consultant is here to help! Not a client? Sign up here.


New clients (and mature clients) often ask us at KYPTAC what they can do to find more success in government contracting. Government contracting has its own unique steps that need to be followed just to have the opportunity to succeed. In knowing this it also must be understood that government contracting, like business-to-business sales, is still a business (government department) that has a need and is seeking someone to fill that need (product or service). The steps below (that you’re probably already using) are just as important in government contracting as they are in your non-government business.


  1. Have a specific product or service that provides value – It’s impossible to be everything to everybody…so don’t try to be. Many of us get caught up in the idea of “Oh, I could do that!” Focus on what you offer currently and build on that. Be the best in your field.

  2. Establish credibility and trust – All business appreciates those they can believe and depend on. Build a solid record of past performance. Do what you say you will do and make good on your promises. Quick sales by being disingenuous will never lead to prosperity. If you can’t provide what the end buyer is asking for don’t say you can.

  3. Build relationships built on service, not sales – Ever heard of ‘Commission Breath’? It’s when you know as soon as someone opens their mouth, they are trying to sell you something that you may not need or want. Think “How can I be of service?” rather than “I really need some sales this week…who can I call that will buy something?” Relationships built on service will always provide more opportunities than simple transactional ones.

  4. Follow the Golden Rule – We all should know this, but it goes without saying that it still rings true. How do you like to be sold? Would you appreciate how you just presented yourself? How do you treat someone when a mistake happens?

  5. Customer service is key – Putting your customer first will go a long way in providing more opportunities in the future. We refer business to those we like, know and trust. Take care of your customers and they will take care of you; government contracting is no exception.


Government contracting is a marathon, not a sprint. Successful business relationships take time to grow but the rewards are worth it! Good luck to everyone in 2022!