RV: (00:06) Hey brand builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for tuning in to listen to this interview. We are so excited to bring you this information and wanted to let you know that Hey, there’s no sales pitch coming from anything that we do with. This is all our value add to you and the community. However, if you are somebody who is looking for specific strategies on how to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and we offer a free call to everyone that’s interested in getting to know us and is willing to give us a chance to get to know them and share a little bit about what we do. So if you’re interested in taking us up on a free strategy call, you can do [email protected]
om slash summit call. Hope to talk to you soon on with the show. RV: (01:03) Hey friend, I am so glad to have you with us. We were talking about this is a special edition, a special episode here of the influential personal brand podcast. This was content that we were not planning on releasing. And we have a good friend who you’re about to meet named Jack Sinai. Now Jack is the nation’s leading expert on selling to the government completing over one point $5 billion in government sales. And he is the co founder of a company called gov spend, which maintains the only database purchase order records for federal, state, and local agencies. The reason this matters right now is because obviously the economy has been spiraling in a variety of different ways and the government is one of the only groups that we’ll be spending more money than they, they would in normal times. So Jack has been featured in entrepreneur, MSNBC, Forbes. RV: (02:02) He has multiple degrees including an MBA from UCLA and a master’s in legislative affairs from George Washington university. He’s got 25 years experience working in the public sector. He is also one of our brand builders group clients. And so that’s why we knew about him and we were having some conversations and you know, we’ve been looking for creative ideas and creative ways for you to be building and growing your business and your personal brand in the economy that we are facing right now. And so that is why Jack is here. So Jack, welcome to the show. JS: (02:35) Hey, great. Thank you so much for having me. I would, I tell your audience that long intro is not worthy, that brand builders helped build it. So bring all those, my 50 years of life crunched into those senses. So thanks for the intro. Yeah, and I would just say to everyone who’s listening, I was on a unexpected and random call with Jack last week and was definitely not planning on this Steve and pop up. And as I was reading through all the stuff that is happening with his company and all the people that they’re able to help, I was like, we have to have you on our podcast and we need to release it ASAP. Hence you being here today. And I told worry, I was like, this is, this is timely, it’s urgent. RV: (03:20) And when mama says this is how it’s going down, this is how it’s going down. So tell us Jack, like what, what is going on? What does government sales mean? What does gov spend do like your company. But like why is this all matter? Just like give us the context. Cause I think for most entrepreneurs, like at least the ones that we know and we hang out with a bunch, the idea of selling to the government, it’s like [inaudible], JS: (03:47) Right? We’ve already lost half your audience, right? RV: (03:50) So walk us through like high level. What does that mean? JS: (03:53) Sure. So I would tell if anybody, you’re just listening don’t hang up or don’t click off or whatever it is. So just hopefully we’ll simplify it. So obviously we’ve all heard the stereotypes of selling to the government. It can be long and complex and challenging and red tape and it’s, it can, you know, historically can be a challenging to go win some of that government business. So about 10 years ago we took on this challenge of Hey, how can we make that process simpler for companies that are trying to sell the government? If your audience does not know that the government combined, there’s 90,000 government agencies, they spend over $7 trillion a year, they’re by far the largest prospect in the entire world. It’s a ton of money. And, and the current events, we’ve all seen that the government just actually approved another $2 trillion in government spending. JS: (04:38) So there is a ton of money in the system. And one of the things why it’s so important from our conversation the other day with AJ is that now sometimes when the U S market slows, then folks go internationally. Well now with the pandemic, there really is very few opportunities internationally. And really the main opportunity for most companies over the next two quarters is going to be selling to the government. And so that’s really been our messaging over the last week or two. It’s our businesses exploded as folks realize this can be the saving grace for probably most middle to small businesses across the country. Across the world. RV: (05:13) So who can, who can sell to the government like that? It’s such a nameless, faceless, massive entity. JS: (05:21) Sure, sure. JS: (05:22) Plus, it’s like per our conversation, there’s over 90,000 government agencies that you can sell to. Like what are these and how do you know as an entrepreneur, a small business owner? RV: (05:33) Like does my stuff apply to them? JS: (05:36) Yeah. First off, the government buys everything, literally everything. So if you make it, the government buys it. And so I would just encourage folks, even now, folks here, we hear a lot about this medical stuff. The government’s also buying a ton of nonmedical stuffs to support all of this infrastructure that’s needed for the COBIT 19 effort. There’s a ton of nonmedical stuff being purchased. Okay. So the second part is folks are like, Hey, how can I go sell to the government? How do I, how can I win some of this business? Well, once that we always give to folks is 80% of government spending does not go through the bid. An RFP process, 80% so that’s 7 trillion. And this $2 trillion they’re going to put out 80% of it doesn’t go through the bidding or RFP process. So there’s about 10 ways that the government will buy that expedites the entire process. JS: (06:20) So here’s one. So there’s a platform called Gulf quote. Where literally government agencies will go out, they’ll put things they need on Gulf quotes. It’s a release, an RFQ [inaudible]. They will literally award business in just a day or two once they get a sufficient number of quotes. So that’s happening real time right now. So agencies go to Gulf quote, we’ll say, Hey, we need and 95 masks. We need a laptop computers, because we’re going to be e-learning. We need hotspots for some of the stuff we’re doing. We need infrastructure for these test stations. Literally, once they get three, four, or five quotes, they will award that contract. Sometimes just a couple of hours. It is amazing. We have folks, government agencies, to list that RFQ in the morning and then awarded later the day or the next day. So the one thing that everybody on this podcasts can do, you can go to Gulf quote.us, register your company, you’ll see the RFQ that are coming out. It’s free, it takes 15 minutes and you can see a flow of government contracts that are happening right now live. It’s amazing how quickly it’s happening. RV: (07:21) This is services too. Does that include like educational, educational services and training and all different eyes? JS: (07:29) The government buys everything from a commodity, a phone to a laptop to services, construction, engineering, you name it. Like in New York, you know, they’ve built all of these now offsite hospitals, they need engineers to lay out the room engineering of Hey what’s all the facilities? It has to be, you know, say for all the patients. So there is an array, an array array of services and products mean the purchase right now, and I used my pitchers to behave. Government sales used to take six to nine months and now it’s down to weeks or days. So our company has been told, Hey, you can win a government contract and weeks and days. We’ve been saying that for a long time and then the last three weeks I’ll just say we’ve now gone to hours. We literally, you can win a government contract in just a few hours. It can literally save your business and just a few hours. We had a tool, one store to AGA the other day. We had a, we had a Midwest public university had an RFP, RFQ out for 174 laptops. They needed because their student body went off campus, right? Like all of the schools, they released that on Thursday morning. They awarded on Friday morning. So in 48 work hours, 48 business hours, they awarded $150,000 contract that fast on the Gulf quotes site. JS: (08:41) It’s happening super fast. It’s amazing cause everyone’s in this hyperspeed try to accommodate them. AJV: (08:48) Now tell us, do they need personal brands? That’s what we need to know. I do government aid. JS: (08:56) Well listen, you know what’s, you know what’s really interesting is that I think this time is, I think everyone looks back, you know, we were talking about just before we kick this off, that having a personal brand and having folks that are aware of you and this digital only age is, can be so important that government does everything. Like there’s no doubt government agencies that have a higher social media following and have spent some time building followers are no doubt more prepared for this crisis because they can outreach to their community, their constituents much faster than someone tried to put that together. You know, if you’ve been doing this kind of digital thing and communicating with your community virtually, this is a much easier process than if you’re trying to start that thing from scratch. So there’s no doubt even for the services that brand builders offers, there’s definitely a need for communities to outreach and inform their constituents. That’s a real, real [inaudible]. AJV: (09:44) Yeah. So there’s, that’s really fascinating. So a ton of our audience are people who are consultants, trainers, speakers. What, what, what would you recommend to them to do two access? Some of this opportunity? Like what w what would be the easiest, fastest thing to do? JS: (10:04) Yeah, so I think again for everybody, I would just go to GovQuote.com, Register your company. Just cause it’s, it’s free and it’s simple. It takes 15 minutes. It’s there. It’s an autopilot that have you. Then I think your, the organization, whatever organization of the person has fear like, Hey, where potentially is the best fit for me? Right? What, not every, everything is for everybody, right? Am I, I would, I would just encourage folks to always start. If you’ve never done anything with the government, start state and local, start local. When you go to the federal, it gets very complicated. There are bigger contracts at the federal level, no doubt. But if you’ve never done any government business, the easiest business is closer to you. Just like a regular mom and pop business, right? It’s, it’s easier to reach out, communicate, have great affinity towards your local agencies because you can talk the talk of your area, your state. JS: (10:48) So I would encourage folks, Hey, where would I potentially best fit my services? What I offer? I’d encourage you to start state local. And then once they do, there’s really, we’d say there’s two options if you’ve never sold to the government. Like you want to learn some of that, right? Because like all things having the intricacies of it can be important. And so there’s some of that, there’s govsalesuniversity.com you can go on and learn how to sell to the government. So it’s just like all these online classes, a chance for folks to go. What are some of the nuances of songs to the government? AJV: (11:16) And that’s govsalesuniversity. JS: (11:18) It’s called sales, sorry, it’s gov sales university.com so anybody can go on there. It’s a one line on demand set of classes. They can learn how to sell. The government’s a couple hundred bucks for some free ones on there now. So it’s just chance for you to get your feet wet on how does it really work? Right. Okay. Then. And then once you do the selling to the government part is really like selling to a an enterprise. It’s like, Hey, who do I contact and how can I reach out and send them my value proposition because again, everything that private industry goes through, the government goes through. So for the consultants and the folks that are in development and there is no doubt that this crisis is going to create an array of needs for staffing infrastructure. How do I use these online platforms? How do we connect with our community? JS: (12:03) I have like all the things probably that most high tech executives and I assume most of the folks you’re dealing with take for granted. I’ll just tell you the folks in the government, some of them are like, how do I do a zoom meeting? How do they all connect? How do I get it on? How do I, the stuff we have room for this call. How do we get infrastructurally and how do I get all my stuff set up? How do I reach out? All of those things. So maybe it’s not in the wheelhouse of what you’ve historically done, but looking at the community and saying, Hey, how do I help my government agency interact with the community? If everybody’s at home for the next 90 days, like how it’s going to be new ways to reach the community, inform them, when are we back to work? JS: (12:41) Where are we going? How is my website? How can I communicate? How can I creatively? If you watch governor Cuomo, he’s done an amazing job, right? He’s turned his press briefing, kind of. Have you seen any of them kind of into this kind of almost inspirational message every day, right? He mixes in the update. It also sends a message of, Hey, here’s what’s happening in the community. Here’s how you can stay calm. He talks about his communication with his daughter and all those things. It’s been really amazing to watch. And so I would say that all the folks that are in the brand builders network, there’s a chance for you to take your skill set, probably most of the things you take for granted and offer them to your state and local agency to help them deal with the communication struggles and the all the connections they’re going to need to make over the next 60, 96, you know, 180 days. So that would be my encouragement. AJV: (13:26) You said something there that I think is really, really important and I want to draw people’s attention to, it may not be what you’ve always done, but it’s a skill set that you already possess. How are you utilizing that in these unique times? And you know, I was just, I was dying laughing inside because, you know, there’s that viral video going on of poor Jessica who was on the zoom meeting who didn’t realize that they could see her going to the restroom for Jessica. But to that point it’s like even using brand olders in example, that, you know, we don’t offer online training skillsets as a service of ours. Yeah. But we know exactly how to set up all of the online infrastructure, what you need and what you need to do to be a good host. How do you have good sound quality quality? How do you make sure everyone knows what they’re doing? How do you host an interact and online meeting or an online training? Those are service skill sets that we don’t currently offer, but those are also skill sets that we already possessed that we could be offering to innovate and create during this interesting time. RV: (14:37) Yeah. This is just a whole opportunity if you are struggling, like if you’re in, where can you go and you want to follow the money, right? Like there’s, there are people, there’s always people spending money. It’s just where are they getting money. Yeah. JS: (14:52) Yeah. I wouldn’t, I, I’ve seen you guys like you moved, some of, you’ve had a lot of onsite moving online, but, and I encourage it in the sales world. I would just say this, I’m very biased. I think we’re all indebted now with Hey virtual this and virtual conference and have a tell them, you know, all these LinkedIn line. But I would just say most of it is very pithy. I think a lot of folks, this took them by shock. And so they’re like, Oh, let me just get online and get my face in front of people and let me talk about feel, felt, found and Hey, be empathetic. And you know, and I think a lot of it is to me a little empty to be quite honest. And so if you can find a way to inject yourself into the process with some facts and some data and some hardcore information to help people get through it, huge, huge, huge opportunity. JS: (15:33) Like one, I was talking to one of my friends of mine who’s is in ministry and you know, we hear so much about work from home, right? But what we don’t hear I, I’ve seen no training or feedback on the family dynamic of work from home. Hey, get me set up for work from home. But now what happens to your family with your kids are home and how do you balance all your days and the meals and also trying to teach them and education. It’s like I haven’t seen one thing yet where it’s like, Hey, how do I now immerse work from home with my family and you know, almost homeschooling. Like, so there are so many opportunities to like help people in this dynamic. And so I’d encourage just be the brand builders group or what are concrete hard deliverable as you can give folks because the world said, Oh, I’ve got to go online, let me do some pithy things. And so the more meaty, the more data, the more concrete it can be, I think the more valuable folks will find it. And we’ve certainly found out at our company because we were blessed to have the shoot dataset and it’s been invaluable to companies here over the last several weeks. RV: (16:32) So, Jack, the, to clarify one thing, so you know, you said go to gov, gov, quote dot U S right. And that is, that’s basically agent government agencies that are looking to spend money actively, potentially within hours where they need something done. So those would be kind of low hanging fruits. But then you’re saying additionally [inaudible] [inaudible] in parallel with that, you could just reach out to your local government agencies and try to con just like you would just like you would reach out to any new customer and offer whatever you know, market, whatever your services are. So that’s kinda, is that what you were saying? There’s like two different ways to kind of go about it. JS: (17:14) Yeah, the, the government buys in a variety of ways. So just for the, just to kind of level set a little, the Gulf quote thing is happening live. It’s exploded because of COBIT 19 the traditional way folks always hear about, it’s kind of this big new RFP thing, like go out and get a bid, an RFP. So government agencies will still put out bids and RFPs and during this time it’s somewhat hard to reach government people. So one of the things we’re going to do is actually make all the coven 19 type efforts. We’re going to make them free online and we can talk about that again. So it’ll be available to folks. The key three shouts at agencies is going to be the contacts. Like, Hey, how do I reach people? How do I get ahold of them? So one of the additional things we’re going to be doing is if you reach out to gov, spend.com we actually within our database, not only did we have all this historical spending and we have the bids and RFPs, we keep this whole set of contacts for folks to reach out to because we’ll, we’ll give you actually their name, title, phone number and email. JS: (18:07) So it can, in the sales world can be super beneficial because not everyone’s on site when they go to emergency, state of emergency, it’s only site. Essential personnel is how they define it. So not everyone will be around. So it’ll take a couple cycles. But I would encourage the listeners to start reaching out because we all know this in sales and marketing, you have to hear from you seven to nine times, right? And if you wait, so this thing settled. So if I have a lot of folks that work with schools and they’re like, well, the schools are gone, the schools are out, the schools are closed. Well listen, it’s a great time to start marketing to the schools, reaching out to the schools because you know, they’ll start to get your stuff. They’ll see your name the first time you write. They may be like, I don’t want to hear it, but they’re going to fire that thing back up. JS: (18:48) And when they do, if you’re not one of the names, they think about if you haven’t done some marketing and some selling and some ranting for yourself, when they go to fire the schools back up, they’re just going to go back to their old vendors. Right. They’re going to, I know, I know Bob. I know Susie. I know Mike. I’m going to go back to them, but if you can find some time now to start marketing to them and have them know your brand, know your logo, they’re your service when it comes back because it is going to come back. You were then you’re way down the road of your seven to nine times, right? Folks who have seen your own, Hey, I saw that company, they were around here, they offered us some free services, they did this for us. Let’s give them a try. So strongly encouraged folks, even if the short term deal flow does not work, start planting seeds in the government world that could pay off 10 X 20 X down the road because we all know the normal stats of sales and marketing that applies to government agencies to letting them see your brand. Now in a time where it’s much more quiet and they’re not inundated with opera, they’re not inundated operationally could be a huge, huge win, you know, later this year. RV: (19:47) And so just just to be clear, Jack, so, that’s what govspend is. So your company is actually a data, you’re basically a database you keep and people pay for access to this database and they can say, you know, whatever, I need this zip code. Like what agencies are close by to me. And then you, you providing that most UpToDate information like of, of who they would reach out to. JS: (20:09) Yeah. So for your audience, just to clarify, so gov fan. Really what we do is 10 years ago we started to go to agencies because we watched them. You’ve watched some of the government contracts and they don’t make sense, right? You’re like, wow, why did I do that? That doesn’t really make sense. We started to gather purchase orders from government agencies across the country, federal, state and locals. We gathered their purchase orders. We put in this online database and in this database it looks, it works like Google. You could put in any product and you could see every government agency that’s buying that product, who they bought it from and what they pay it is, it almost feels like corporate espionage. It is. It’s very, very informative. It’s 250 times bigger than Wikipedia. And so what, what happens with that database? Like all things in life, if you just follow the money, then the transaction makes sense. JS: (20:54) So for instance, when a government agency pays 20% more for a product that you bid, maybe as a company, you’re like, why don’t they do that? We were low cost. What happened? Well, when you go into our database, you see they’ve worked with that company nine straight years. You’re not unseating that company that RSP was on the street that it was on the street as a formality, right? They love that company. But if you find out as a company, Ooh, I have a been RFP that’s open, and that agency has used a different vendor every other year, you have a much better shot at that deal, right? That’s a deal. You can actually win because they are looking for the best provider overall. But again, if you go look at it, a purchase of an agency and they’ve had the same vendor for nine or 10 years, the chance of you winning that business is so small. So that’s what our database does. It allows you to really go in, find the product or service that you sell, find out the agencies that are buying it, and then you can make a subset. These are our deal target, this price point. This set of agencies work great for us. It’s a huge, huge win at that point. It’s kind of like shooting fish in a barrel on the sales side. JS: (21:51) Yeah. I think too though, it’s just helping you have the necessary sales data to know where should I spend my time and invest my time versus where’s my best chances of winning versus, Hey, I’m, I’m putting in all of these proposals and there’s no chance of me ever winning these because they use the same vendor for the last decade. This gives you the insight to know where my best chances. JS: (22:14) Definitely. It’s, it’s, it’s this database is amazing because we as sales reps, we have this thing like we kinda like, you use our gut feel, you know, we’ll see it. We’ll see, Oh, Google posts, we’ll see our press release and we kinda like follow our intuition. But always say, just see if you’re dealing with the government, imagine this. If you’re a salesperson trying to target a government agency and you sell iOS, right? So you spend three or four months, you’re trying to get into the city of Miami, you spend three or four months trying to get this meeting set up, you get it set up. You’re so excited, your best suit, your best stuff. You walk in there and the first 10 minutes you start talking about what you do and they go, Oh, we’re totally on the windows platform. Literally that whole meeting, that months and months of effort is wasted at that point because now that product is done on Iran, but they’re not going to change their entire infrastructure for your product. JS: (22:55) So being able to look at the legacy purchases and know exactly which agencies are the best fit for you and what you’re selling. When you guys mentioned earlier, not every agency wants to blow out their social media. They don’t. They don’t want to necessarily communicate the way, communicate that way. But I promise you there are a bunch of agencies of the 90,000 that do. So you guys can go in and check, Hey, what are all the agencies looking for? Additional social media connections and using your firm that would be a great fit versus trying to target all 90,000, which could be very challenging. RV: (23:25) Yeah. Well, and I think, you know, [inaudible] and for our clients, right? Like brand builders group, we’ve had a, fortunately for us, we’ve had a very, very strong, like we’ve got, I think we’re sort of counter market what’s going on right now because people are going, I need to make money online. But I’m thinking about like, you know, somebody who teaches leadership who sitting at home or a JS: (23:45) Web designer or photographers or you know, people, fitness instructors, home designers, all of JS: (23:55) It’s all, it’s all happening. If you guys watch on Fox has it was interesting. One of the shows on Fox at every intro and outro break. There’s a photographer that’s taken shots of empty in New York city. I don’t know if anyone’s seen that and that’s how he goes into break and out of break every single race. It’s amazing. So there are opportunities. It’s creative. No one would, no one had thought about, there’s a videographer that goes around New York city and he tapes what would be the subway, you know, normally populated nine 11 Memorial areas and he put some music background to it and he shows how empty it is and it’s so compelling. It is super compelling, which again, is an innovative way to take your skillset and apply it to what’s needed today because folks are in dire need of, JS: (24:38) Yeah. The big idea is what are you doing differently to innovate during this time period and government selling is one of those things specifically right now. Yeah. They’re prime to spend more money than ever over the next two to four months. So how are you going to capture some of that market? JS: (24:59) Yeah, my heart, my heart, my heart for all of your folks who are listening are please, please, please, if you, if you’ve kind of dismissed, the government thought it was annoying. Are government buys very, very quickly. There’s 10 ways they can buy. Now is the time. Don’t wait until Q three when your business is upside down and you’re at the break, now’s the time. The U S government, the federal state, local is going to be spending more money the next two quarters in anybody’s ever spent ever. And so they are spending a quicker, it’s more like private industry. You must, must, must take a run at it because a lot of other things are going to get locked up and if you wait, so it’s, you know, a couple of months it could be too late for your business. So I can’t encourage folks enough. Please, please, you don’t have to come to golf, spend or do anything we’re doing. Please go out. Look at the government marketplace. It’s a ton of money. They need a ton of services, products, medical and nonmedical. Super critical for most companies in the United States for the next couple of quarters. JS: (25:50) Yeah, and I just have one last thing because I think so many of the people out there are inundated with media and news. Talking about how business or businesses are suffering. And the prediction is that tens of thousands of businesses are going to go out of business over the next six months. And there’s so much talk around that there’s not a lot of talk around [inaudible]. At the same time, there are businesses that are succeeding or businesses that are winning. There are opportunities to be had invented, businesses are being invented. And you know, I love this post I saw from Lewis house between 2008 and 2010 the, see that was Uber, Airbnb, Venmo. There was a whole list of, other ones were in, were, were invented, but golf spend is one of the companies right now, but you’re not just maintaining your tripling sales and revenues right now in this unique time period. So I want just to, I think it’s important for people to get the counterbalance of, yeah, there’s a lot of people hurting and struggling right now and a lot of businesses, but there is also an opportunity to innovate and change and win during this time period. So can you give us just a quick highlight of how gov spin is winning right now? Is it, RV: (27:10) And also give us, just like as we’re wrapping up Jack, make sure we’ll, we’ll put a link to, to what you talked about gov quote.us, but then also where should people go if they want to connect with you? JS: (27:21) Sure. So I would encourage folks to kind of stay in touch what’s happening in the government. If you go to my LinkedIn account, which is Jack [inaudible], S I N E Y is probably the best way to follow because we’re constantly putting a, every day we’re putting out government opportunities for free. Oh, on my LinkedIn site. And that’s where you get all the connections. Probably the easiest way. And as Aja mentioned, we’ve been really less humbly, I’ll just say during this time, you know, we’ve been in this market niche and it’s kind of funny previously when we’ve done PR and other things, we’ve kind of been on the back burner and folks don’t want to talk about government procurement. And they’re like, Hey, I don’t know how to, I don’t know how to weave this into, you know, some marketing cycle, some newspaper article. And then in the last three week has been just the opposite. JS: (27:59) We have been inundated, spun, crazy spokesman, reaching out all the time. Hey, how can I win government business? How do folks settle the government? How do I find some of this $2 trillion previously, the $60 billion, all this money? How do we, how do we access it? How can we find it? And so, yeah, our business has exploded. I’ll take that, you know, just the grace of God. We’re so thankful for that. And, and so it’s been amazing. So I encourage all your listeners, if you go to my LinkedIn, it’s Jack [inaudible], S. I. N. E. Y. You’ll find all the links and everything. We put out several things a day. We’re going to, we’re having a live link, we’re having a LinkedIn live coming up. We’re kind of a couple different other free services we’re going to be offering. So it’s probably the easiest way to follow what we’re doing. RV: (28:39) Awesome. Well, Jack, thanks so much for the energy and the insight and the perspective, and then, you know, thanks for being one of our customers and, and being willing to contribute to the whole community here. It’s very, very timely. JS: (28:51) I bless, they say, thank you all so much. Speaker 1: (28:54) Thanks so much.