In an interview with Eileen Kent, “The Federal Sales Sherpa” she says, “2013 has become the year that the federal contracting officers and project managers are grounded, at least that’s what it feels like.

Eileen says, “Do you remember when you were grounded as a kid? I wasn’t grounded very often, but I do remember having to go to bed when the sun was still up and my friends were still outside playing. My bedtime was 7:30 pm; even in the summertime. That’s what happens when you are the youngest of nine and mom needs an evening break. So how did I cope with it? Of course I didn’t go to sleep. Now, this is dating me, but I didn’t have a TV or a Computer in my room, I was an outside kid. I sat by my second-story window and watched my neighborhood friends play outside until the lights turned on and everyone else went to bed. My closest friends would visit me at my window, and keep me in the loop by whispering loudly or throwing notes up to me. They never forgot to visit me every single night. Those close friends are now my oldest and dearest friends even many years later,” says Kent.

It is not much different for our clients inside the government right now. They’re locked within a room of rules, awake and alert, but unable to act right now. They’re placed upon a public pedestal in a public battle over spending. They’re grounded, but not by any fault of theirs. At the same time, as their suppliers, we feel like we can’t reach them. “However, believe me while they’re stuck they’re watching us. Strategizing, reading, and studying, they know that when the projects do come down the pipeline, they’re going to work and buy smarter. Consequently they’re also going to find a way to work with the ones who kept in contact during these tough days, and stick with those contractors for years to come so stop waiting for them to come to you— they are not coming, ” says Kent.

Kent advises, while being respectful of their rules, keep them in the loop in terms of technology changes, product modifications, improvements in the business and new processes. You need to visit their “window” and reach out to them NOW. Sympathize with their situation these are not easy days for anyone right now. While the rest of your competitors abandon them and continue to “play” in other “yards” you need to take time to reach out and share intelligence about what’s happening. So much so that when they do come out (and they’re early risers) they undoubtedly call you first.”

Eileen Kent is your “Federal Sales Sherpa” contact her for your federal sales needs online at or 312-636-5381.