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EP030: Build Relationships & Win Federal Business – with Judy Bradt


“There’s no such thing as doing business with the federal government.

There’s only doing business with people.”

We all understand the concept of doing business with people you like and trust. But what if your aim is winning federal contracts? How do you get the government to like you? How do you build a relationship with a bureaucracy? Well, you can’t. But you CAN build relationships with the contracting officers who award federal business!

Judy Bradt is the founder of Summit Insights, a firm that helps businesses get in front of federal buyers and win more contracts. Judy has 30-plus years of experience in the field, helping 7,000 diverse clients earn $300M in federal business. She has been featured in Business Week, Entrepreneur Magazine and Fortune Small Business, among many other publications, and she is the award-winning author of Government Contracts Made Easier.

Today, Judy joins us to share the ‘dirty secret’ about her sales skills and how she finally learned to reframe sales as an opportunity to make friends. She discusses the four drivers of success in the federal market, what to research before you submit an RFP, and why past performance supersedes certifications. Listen in for Judy’s insight around getting in front of a federal contracting officer and learn why relationships are crucial to winning federal business.


Key Takeaways

  • Judy’s ‘dirty secret’ around making sales calls

  • How to reframe sales as making friends

  • Why you should break big goals into small pieces

  • Why relationships are crucial to winning federal business

  • The 4 drivers of success in the federal market

    1.      Commitment to market (part of growth strategy)

    2.      Provide product/service government needs

    3.      Established business with past performance

    4.      Willing to invest in long-term commitment

  • Judy’s 7 steps to success in federal business

    1.      Strategy

    2.      Focus

    3.      Process

    4.      Competition

    5.      Relationships

    6.      Teaming

    7.      Marketing

  • What to research before you bid on a federal contract

  • How to get in front of a federal contracting officer