Government Contracting: How to Differentiate Yourself from Competitors
Differentiators are used to promote the top areas in which a company truly excels. Highlighting differentiators allows a company to distinguish itself from other government contractors who may offer similar products or services. However, while differentiators are a very important piece of government contracting, they are often overlooked, underdeveloped, or outright forgotten. Make sure your differentiators are strong and stand out to interested government buyers.
Differentiators: An Overview
By emphasizing differentiators the government can quickly identify how contractors differ from one another and who is able to offer the best solution possible to meet their needs. Companies should develop a strong list of differentiators in order to be competitive on schedules and categories that oftentimes contain hundreds of contractors. These differentiators should be promoted throughout company collateral materials such as websites and capabilities statements. Three principals to keep in mind while developing your company’s differentiators:
- Is this characteristic true?
- Is this differentiator provable?
- How is this important to potential clients?
The government might understand the basics of what you are selling, but they can get their desired solution from a range of providers. They want to know why your company offers the smartest solution.
Everyone Has “Good Customer Service”
Consider the following differentiator example - “our company has excellent customer service.” There might be no doubt that your company has good customer service, if it didn’t you would probably be out of business! However, good customer service isn’t something that sets you apart from other companies, as much as it is just a quality any qualified company should possess and is expected to offer.
Saying that you are really great at what you do just isn’t enough. It may be difficult to find a way in which your company distinguishes itself with the products or services you provide, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find other areas in which your company stands out.
Do your company’s core values influence your priorities and how you run your business? Perhaps your potential government customer shares some of those values - these should be highlighted in your marketing materials. Your competitors may not stress their passion and expertise like you do and you can sell that enthusiasm and dedication to the agencies.
Government contracting essentially comes down to people talking to people, and by making your values and passion a key part of your business, you can earn trust with your potential customers.
Tip the Scales in Your Favor
Every company has something that makes it special, and while it can be difficult to determine exactly what that is right away, pinpointing your company’s differentiators will help you market yourself to the government with increased efficiency and ease. When all is said and done, focusing on strong differentiators will demonstrate that you are a qualified contractor who can offer the right solution to fit the government’s needs. Government contracting comes down to competition and highlighting what makes your company unique can ensure that the scales tip in your favor.
About Meghan Gallagher
Meghan Gallagher is Winvale’s Government Analyst on the Business Development team. Meghan helps clients with research and market analysis reports of their company’s products and services, as well as helping consult clients on their government contracting business. She assists with marketing and sales materials such as government capabilities statements, web sites and case studies. Meghan has a strong background in research after serving with the World War One Centennial Commission, a Congressional Office, and her time with the University of Maryland’s Government Honors Program.