Why Government Contractors Need Professional Business-to-Government Writers
By Steve Hoffman, B2G Principal, Hoffman Marketing Communications, Inc.
Government contractors spend weeks, months, or even years working on a government contract. How important are the written contract deliverables required in this contract?
They are critically important. Every written communication you send to the government is a valuable marketing opportunity – a way for you to gain more government work in the future. How well you communicate your value and expertise in writing impacts how well you position your company to win recompetes, bridge contracts, extensions, new contract awards, and GSA Schedule or GWAC task orders.
Considering this, you may ask yourself: How well does your company take advantage of this marketing opportunity?
A Lot is Riding on Your Written Deliverables
In the course of your government contract, your team writes and submits a variety of important written contract deliverables (e.g., monthly status reports, technical/engineering documents, contract closeout summaries, etc.). In these documents, some government contractors submit basic documents that simply meet reporting requirements.
However, government customers want informative, high quality written deliverables. They want facts, statistics, and proof of the value and benefits they are receiving. When they receive this, they notice the quality, assign higher past performance scores, and are eager to extend more work to your company.
Your documents can emphasize this value and these benefits in various ways. In this article, we’ll provide examples of three of these ways:
- Accentuate your team’s value, expertise, insight, and experience
- Emphasize the value of your products and services
- Fully capture the exceptional value and benefits of your services and recommend informative, actionable future next steps as part of your contract close-out document
Accentuating Your Team’s Value
You won the contract. This means that your team has the qualifications needed to deliver on the contract requirements. Post award, continue to emphasize your company’s insights, qualifications, and experience in each written contract deliverable. For example, instead of simply reporting the following in a progress report:
“Our project manager completed the software migration task ahead of schedule and under budget.”
“On <date> Mr. John Doe, Acme’s certified project manager, provided Ms. Sally Jones, government POC, an innovative solution that fast tracked the software migration project by 10 days. By leveraging Mr. Doe’s expertise as a six sigma black belt, the government was able to deploy the agency’s IT modernization initiative 10 days ahead of schedule, thus providing government end users earlier training opportunities and production access at a cost savings of $x.”
This approach emphasizes your team’s qualifications (e.g., “certified project manager” and “six sigma black belt”). This may seem simple and easy to do, but few contractors do this. Hence, they are missing an opportunity to direct the government’s attention to the contractor’s highly qualified staff and exclusive company expertise.
Continually Emphasize the Value of Your Products and Services
Your team provides high-value products or services. That’s another reason you were awarded the contract. Continue to emphasize your value at every opportunity during the contract. For example, instead of simply reporting the following in a progress report:
“Product x meets all contract requirements.”
“Acme’s best-in-class product x exceeds the government’s quality requirements as indicated by the government’s acceptance on <date>. By implementing product x, early performance monitoring shows an x% increase in customer response times and x% decrease of dropped calls.”
Here, you are emphasizing the value of your product or service as it meets each contract requirement. As much as possible, quantify the value and its significance.
Government customers need this information for several reasons:
- It enables them to demonstrate their success in meeting an important objective such as a critical IT modernization effort. This improves service to their customers (the American public) and ultimately accomplishes their agency mission.
- It validates the investment made in the project.
Use the Contract Close-Out Document to Win Follow-On Work
Some government contracting officers require that contractors submit a “close-out” document at the conclusion of the contract. Whether this document is required or not, market savvy contractors voluntarily write a summary as a means to influence future buys.
Many contractors satisfy the close-out requirement by simply summarizing the product deliverables, in order to demonstrate contract compliance. However, you can use this opportunity to take two important steps:
- Articulate your team’s management effectiveness, contract compliance, government performance results, benefits, quality improvements, and more.
- Educate and inform your government customers about recommended future actions (beyond the scope of the current contract).
Based on its favorable experience with your team, a satisfied government customer is more likely to look to your team to help identify logical next steps. The close-out document presents a great opportunity to help shape future procurements. You can explain the potential value and benefits of acquiring follow-on products or recommended out-year service maintenance and upgrades. Making helpful recommendations and explaining their benefits can uniquely position your company as a highly qualified and competitive candidate to win more government business.
Consider Including a Business-to-Government Writing Specialist on Your Team
Adopting these writing practices in all of your contract deliverables takes careful thought and discipline. Yet the benefits in potential increases in government business can be substantial. To help ensure that these business-to-government (B2G) writing practices are incorporated, you might want to consider adding a B2G writing specialist to your team.
How many government contractors devote a professional writer to a contract? The answer is: not many. However, adding a B2G writer to your team noticeably differentiates your company from competitors. And there are other advantages to this approach.
Using a seasoned, professional B2G writer to produce written contract deliverables means you need not scramble to write documentation at the last minute. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on the all-important strategies, technical work, and operational contract work. You’ll have the confidence of knowing that the value of all that work will be accurately and thoroughly reflected in the written contract deliverables.
To gain an even greater competitive advantage, consider involving an accomplished B2G writer earlier in the acquisition process. A qualified B2G writer can write a white paper for you that can help you influence government buyers far before RFIs and RFPs are issued. This form of B2G content marketing is gaining in popularity. To learn more, read our blog on “B2G White Papers: A Relationship-Building Tool”, see our white paper on “Content Marketing to the Federal Government” or view actual B2G white papers here.
About the Author
Steve Hoffman is the B2G Principal and President of Hoffman Marketing Communications, Inc. For over 30 years, Hoffman has written reports, white papers, and a wide range of other written deliverables for leading companies around the world. Hoffman specializes in technically-challenging topics in a wide range of subject areas. Hoffman writers average 30 years of experience in high-quality writing and consulting. [DUNS: 612084280 / CAGE: 7PAX3]