Mastermind Monday: What is a Micro-Purchase and How to Use These?
Here’s what you need to know about micro-purchase and how to use these to let a federal buyer purchase up to $10,000 from you!
A warranted federal contracting officer or someone with buying authority may purchase goods or services through a credit card worth up to the value of $10,000.
These things are called micro-purchases. It can be anything— from cutting grasses to a lunch and learn session.
This even happens with virtually no competition, no small business set aside, and the Buy American Act does not apply.
“The people want to make it easy— to give you a little bit of a try to do a project that they don’t have to run a big fancy competition for.”
So, why is this relevant?
Well, as a small business or a business that is just new in the federal marketplace, the chance is so low for you to win a huge contract because you have no past performance yet.
The good thing with these micro-purchases is these are the ones that most big contractors don’t look at.
Apart from that, the federal buyer is also encouraged to award these contracts to local suppliers.
Let’s say you provide interior painting services. If you’re close to a federal installation or an agency that buys your specific service, then you can talk to this federal buyer and be directly given the job.
Most importantly, consider that business begets more business. A specific buyer won’t give you large contracts, if they don’t know that you can execute it well.
So, what should you do? Take advantage of the micro-purchases and show the end user that there’s a low to no risk working with you.
NUMBER ONE SECRET TO WIN MICRO PURCHASES
The number one thing you need to win a micro purchase is your phone.
Here’s what you need to do… leave a voicemail.
It doesn’t have to be a two-minute voicemail. It can be a 30 second, with a maximum of one minute.
With that in mind, make sure that you treat your voicemails like gold. Remember, you have 30 seconds of someone’s undivided attention.
Most importantly, give it with the amount of loving care. Here’s an example voicemail for you:
“I’m so glad that we’re connected. So sorry I missed you. Here’s what it is that I’m calling about. It’s Colin calling with assessment services that you can use and the best value anywhere. Check your email, I’ve got details. Missed you today. I’m going to call you back Thursday at two. Talk to you soon.”
Then, once you make that voicemail, you make a note on your calendar and call them back. Pay attention to what time zone they’re in and call them when you say you will.
Consider that you might have to reach them through voicemail many times before they answer your call, but just be patient and persistent.
“You’re going to think about three or four different things that represent the best value that your company provides, what sets you apart, why are you memorable, why do they really want to talk to you.”
THINGS TO CONSIDER IN TERMS OF MICRO PURCHASES
1. These are not posted.
Micro-purchases are not posted online or in any database; these only happen through conversations with the federal buyer.
So, if you’re looking to do business at the micro-purchase level, you need to form a personal relationship with the players and layers of a specific agency.
In most cases, you can first build a relationship with the small business specialist.
This person might not be able to lead you to the person with the micro-purchase power, but they can advocate and help fine tune your navigation in building relationships with the end user.
2. These are location-specific.
Micro-purchases are location specific because you’re delivering a product or a service to a specific location.
3. These don’t need fancy agreements.
Micro-purchases don’t need a contract agreement because the exchange about a specific purchase mostly happens through email or by conversation.
Still, if you want to use an agreement for some purposes, you can download an agreement for micro-purchases online.
ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
1. Find someone with a specific need.
Behind every contract agreement is a real federal human who has everything on the line when they choose you.
So, if you want to sell a specific service, start close to home and find someone with a specific need.
Consider that if you have never sold to anyone in the federal government before, they’re going to want to see that you’ve sold the product or the service to another organization or customer that has a size and scale of requirement really similar to theirs.
2. Take time to know your federal buyer.
2.1 million federal employees are already on LinkedIn, so why not start with that to learn more about them and build relationships with them?
Consider that this is a great time to do this because once the fourth quarter of the fiscal year starts, your federal buyer may already be looking for companies to do some micro-purchase with.
Also, a lot of information about federal contracts and your players and layers are publicly open, so take advantage of those.
3. You have to do the work.
It’s critical that you invest your time and effort in learning government contracts and building relationships.
It’s not enough that you watch a 10-minute video and say you figured everything out because you still need to do the work. You have to watch the content and you have to apply it.
“You can’t do half of the activity and expect to get the whole result.”
If you want to learn more about what micro-purchase is and how to use this to your advantage, then check our full Mastermind Monday video with Judy Bradt.
What is a micro purchase and how to use them?