NVSBE 2017: Millie Miller-Hoover - Networking
My. Name is Millie Mueller Hoover I'm a procurement, specialist, with. The University of, Missouri Extension and. I'm. With the Missouri procurement, technical assistance center who's heard of P tech, okay. You all have and I. Happen to be here, in st., Louis and we. Have 10 counselors, here in Missouri. And I, happen, to be here and in st. Louis. What. I do is I assist. Small businesses and get getting government contracts, whether it's federal state. Or local and. I. Have currently, have like 250, clients come. On in. And. About 1/3 of them are getting government contracts, so I'm. Here to help and assist. Small. Businesses. Hi. Allen Allen, is my colleague and I said he is, operating. Out of the Springfield. Missouri. Section. So. How was your first day yesterday how, did, your networking go yesterday did you get a lot of contacts. Or. It's. A good day yesterday so hope today's a, good. Day also. So. What isn't it working, mean to you. Ok. You. Sir Kevin what. Is that working mean to you. Right. Ok, so. Everybody, has really a different idea so what networking is all about you know but according. To the dictionary. Networking. Is a supportive. System of, sharing, information. And. Services, among individuals, and groups having, a common interest, so those three words. Supportive. System. Sharing. Information, and. Having. A common interest that's basically, what the dictionary. Definition. Is so why network, so. We have insider, information. Learn. From those inside, and outside your industry. New. Ways of looking at things. Promote. Your ideas, and, what. Else what. Else do you think that's. There. Working, why. Do you network. Any. More, ideas. Create. Personal, relationship, that, is. The, most important, thing I think in networking, is is. Relationships. You're. Building, relationships, and that, is so important, no matter what facet, of business you're in whether you're government, whether. You're public private, industry, so that. Is so important, so do. You think networking is just about awkwardly. Starting. A conversation with a stranger, you. Just go to a complete stranger and say. That. Takes a lot of personality. To do that you know there's. A lot of strangers here in this in, this. Conference so do you just go up and talk to a complete stranger. Sometimes. But. Like this, morning you just get up and start in there working but. You'd be surprised a lot of people do. Not have that that. Courage, to just get up and they feel, more comfortable with, their colleagues. Or people they know and. So. Which one are you. You. Present this you know you, think, people are grouchy. But. Ellen, is always. Ellen. Always has a smile. What's, a. So. It's not good, to be like that you know but it's also not, too good. To be always a happy, face you, know you. Have to be somewhere. In between. Is. That working working. For you. Picture. Yourself there. In the middle. The. Red person, so, what. Do you do if. You enter the room and you, have all these groups talking, each other what would be what would you do. Okay. You would join one, of the group so which group though any, particular. Group. Okay. What about you Alan. Right. Where. You feel most comfortable. Joining. Right what would you do, same, thing. Okay. All. Right. Yeah. But. To be surprised a lot of people are very uncomfortable with networking you just joining, the group and just start, talking. Maybe, she should do a lot more listening to see what the group is talking about before saying. Anything but these are we're gonna we're, gonna look at the common mistakes and networking, okay. One. Of this you only think about your own benefit, do you ever notice people you go in there and all it's all about me what. Benefits, of them, if. You cannot contribute. Networking. There it is again relationship. You. Have to establish a, relationship, you're. Going to have a hard time finding and building long-distance. Connections. So. Relationship. Again and and you knew exactly what, what is needed. In the networking. Another. Mistake, is you don't follow up or follow through, so why. Would you do after, this conference. What. Would you follow up be what. Would it be for, you. Yeah. So you follow up right let me just don't drop everything you know and say well I think I better call this guy you. Know a. Month. From now he, probably forgot all about you, so you follow up as soon as you're able to do so and. And, this way they'll be. Remembering. Your. Conversation. And. I from the schools I'm, most from from, the old school I started.
My Contracting. Back. In the. 70s. Before. Computers. Before. I. Mean. It's electric I was, using. Selectric, typewriters, so that was up and everything you had to go to the bed to the library for research so. But I would always write, a thank you thank. You yes, exactly. That is so. You. You won't believe, how, much, that. Is so. Good. For a speaker, or someone that you're connected with to have a thank you card and you have one right. There your, boat you could probably teach this class right so. Show. Your is that a personal, note from you er. That's. A great idea. Do. You mail that or, do you. Wonderful. See that's. An ID you probably didn't think of that right that. Is an excellent, idea. Because. She thought she's following up before she even leaves the conference, you know so and you, aren't proactive, enough, if. You don't think you need to improve your, networking skills everybody, thinks, Oh. Networking. I know how to network you. Know. But. You. Might find yourself facing. Us, slow. Progression your career or miss connections, with the people you work with if. You're not proactive, enough I. Have. Clients small, businesses, and they're really good in their, business, but they don't know how to market so a lot of and here's, a one person small, business owner I'm. Sure you've experienced, this Alan you know they don't know, they. Don't go out there and networking they don't talk and they think I oh I have a great product I have a great service why. Isn't the, government breaking. Down my door to. Get to my product or service well nobody knows about you so. You need to go out there and sell yourself, and. Are. You adding value. Are. You adding, value, to your customers. To. The government. So. That is to, me is also the most important, thing you. Need to figure out are, you adding value, to that particular, company. I'm. The vice president of. The, Scott. Air Force Base in. Illinois. VP. For small business, in, in our it's an organization, we have for IT. Information. Technologies, and we have the big contractors, SAIC. General. Dynamics and. So. There was tell me you know Milly I can only small business is calling me up to. See what. How. They can how. They can be our subcontractor. Well. It doesn't work that way, you. Need to let them know what. Value, you can add to their contracts, so. You have to study and do some research if. They get a contract, you read through that contract, you thing where the contract you follow through hey I understand. You have this piece of work that we. Are really good, at so. We can really help you with this contract, so be more specific when, you're approaching. The. The large business, as far as even. Subcontracting. Or. Or. Even if it's a prime looking for subcontractors who looking for somebody that can really add value to organization. Right. So. That's. Important. And. Are you following up we ready talked about this you, are following up are. You being for a hack proactive. What's. The purpose of networking is for you to make as many quality. Connections. Quality. Connections, as you, can in one visit, and then prioritize, who. You should follow up with in the next 48 hours so, do. You prioritize you, could admit you could have met 10 20 50 people yesterday so. You're not gonna send thank you so. You you, prioritize. The. People that you talk to you that you want to follow up with right. So.
That's. What's important, you have to do it within the next 48 hours, so. People don't forget you. Meetings. With government purchasing, officers can, be difficult, to obtain especially. For small firms I used, to be a Contracting, Officer for. The Department of Defense I did that for 38, years. So. Contracting, officers, are normally. You. You're not going to be able to reach out the contracting officer that's. Why this small business specialists, were developed, back, in the 90s. When. They change the regulations, we. Stablish, the fossa, federal acquisition streamlining, Act which. Is part 13, of the far, but. Before, fossa. We. Didn't really have any small business but that's how old I am before fossa there was no small business specialist, I, mean. And then back then for, small businesses, the threshold, was anything under, $50,000. Were, given, to small businesses, but when. Fossa was. Implemented. It, went up to 150. K and, then that's when they established the small business and that's when they established moppy tech RP tax back in those days because, there's a lot of confusion as, to the change, this, drastic, change of regulations, now. We're, playing a you're. Probably, now. It's a brand new ball game and even contracting. Offers such as myself. It's. A new it's a new it's. A whole new way of doing business with fossa then, the set-aside starts. Coming in there so. You. Know and every year there's some minor change, what's. Going on over, nothing. Minor, it could be a major change, just. Like the kingdom where that was a big change for the VA so. Contracting. Officers are very hard to get to I never. Got involved with small businesses when I was contracting, office here because we had small business specialists, to. Work with the small businesses, so. That's why. Conventions. Like this, that's. When you meet the the procurement. Decision. Maker so. Take. This opportunity because. You don't ever see these people again. I, just met someone yesterday and, he's the PD m4. For. All of the VA for medical supplies well, guess what, I knew. Him back now he's gs-15, I knew him back when he was at just 11 we're. Both just Elevens working for the Army and, he. Went. Different, ways and I went different, way and and, I, haven't seen him in, we. Knew we knew these same people so. We had a lot of in common, we. Had he's, worked for the army I worked. For the army the Air Force. DCMA. I was an international I'd spent six years with the Middle East. Exercising. Government, contracts, over there. Awarding. And following, up with all these contracts, so take. Advantage meeting. These um this. Contracting, officers, and the decision, makers. So. And this is what we're doing right now matchmaking. Events is very important, you, take advantage I know you all paid money for this right so. You better better, take advantage of, the money that you. That. Either you or your company paid. For you now, app TAC we have this. National. Association. That we belong to and we meet twice a year, we. Just met recently in San Diego. And. We. Just met in DC so. So, in spring we went were in San Diego and and. We, just came, back from Washington DC, as a matter of fact so so. We have this for, example, if, you look at our website and, and you have my you have the slides that. Website, for, example January.
8th. 2018. In Atlanta, Georgia. There's. They're sponsored, by the Georgia, Tech, technical. Procurement, Assistance Center the advanced preparation you need to do to, qualify for government disaster. Recovery contracts. So. So. This. Is that one-day, conference. To. Acquaint vendors in the Southeast region of the United States with the agencies and the requirements, in advance of the need and this, event is designed to assist businesses who, wish to engage in debris. Removal, furnishing, of emergency, supplies and services reconstruction. Work another. Relief effort so that's one, that. You'll find for 2018, the other one is, 14th. Annual bridging, partnership, small business symposium, sponsored. By, the Department of Energy. So. You. There's so many websites, out there that you can you know you have to target your agency and just kind of figure. Out whether or not that would be applicable or worthwhile for you to go to these conferences and there's so many of course you can't go to all of them so, you have to kind of single that out according, to what, your. Specific. Targeted. Group is so. Here we are and this is this looks familiar from yesterday, right and everybody's talking to, PDMS. Matchmakers. Typically bring together acquisition. Officers, from a number of agencies are buying activities, to meet with aspiring. Vendors, so, this is happening now it's so take advantage of this. Invaluable. Opportunities. For making connections so here. US, government, prime, contractor, and subcontractor, so. Are you all prime usually are you your, prime and your prime prime. Sub. Who. Use your prime. Okay. And your primer. Sub. Sub. Okay. So. This, is a good way. To also. Understand. And, maybe. You can eventually by being a subcontractor, if you eventually hopefully get your own prime contract, right. So. That's the way in getting. Past performance. By working as a subcontractor. Small. Business owners and their staff are the primary, audience with. Workshops, offered, in basic contracting, issues as. Well as hotter the business with specific, agencies. Receptions. Brakes luncheons, are often, part of the agenda so take advantage of, this you know don't. Find. Out who your. Potential. Customers. Are and, and. Make. Sure that you get engaged with that person. Again. We talked about follow-up, so. Critical. If, you. Just. Listen you may come away disappointed you, can listen but, you. Can. Also make something happen and you. Can actually come away with some good contacts, valuable, insight and solid business seeds so.
These. Are networking, tips. Find. Out how you can help them. What. You give will come back to you 10 times so you need to find out how you can help your prime. Before, they can even, help. You you know to give you a contract so you need to know what you, can do to help them focus. Of the people that are right for you have. Five people in your network that can help you instead of 200 who just know your name, so. It's, really important, don't waste your time if. I, mean. Don't waste your time you can say hi but not spend a lot of time talking. With a person unless. That person is really, one of your targeted. Business. Don't. Leave networking, a chance take some time and define what your goals are for networking, and what, you're looking to get out of it. Objectives. Did anybody write some objectives, before coming to the conference what your objectives, are. Basically. In. Your head what, you want to do. Make. Sure the girl the goals are concrete and quantifiable. Terms. Go. Beyond your industry, connect, with people on a variety of levels from a wide range of areas. Try. To contact at least one person, per. Day five, per week is $250. 250. People per year. Understand. Their needs before you tell them about your needs. Also. Identify. Who's gonna be in the attendance, and research. Them in advance as much as you can, did, anybody do some research as to who's gonna be coming here the speakers, and what, you want to attend so you really can't just come to the first day and say oh. You. Know and just, think about what you want to do so. Peer so you know exactly what. To do. The. First hour that you're at the networking event. Marketing. Materials, who has a capability statement. Here develop. I'd. Like you have a copy with you I'd. Like before, you leave I'd like to have a copy or capability, statement, I can. Because. I like. To go over capable, of statements, and do some maybe. Review, it and make some recommendations. Oh. No. Ok, that's ok. That's so important, when you're networking. It's, so important. That's the first thing they show you, need to have a capability, statement, because it shows your core competencies. For example. I don't, have it in this light but it. Just shows. Everything even your business card you should have here if you have any contracts, GSA, Schedule, contract snakes. Goats caged. Goats numbers, so. That if you give that to a Contracting, Officer or somebody that decision-maker. They know exactly, what. You're doing by. By, having that cake and you can attach a business card with. The capability statement did you do that with anybody in the decision-makers, yesterday. You. Did yeah, so. It's very important, that you have that did you do that yesterday. The. Statement. Also. A, lot. Of people don't know to talk about pricing, but. As they represented. The company, they. May approach you about your pricing. Do. You know your pricing, methodology. For, example, from. Your company, you can be a marketer, but you have no knowledge about your pricing this, doesn't usually come, up with a networking, but you never know a large. Business would, probably, ask you well what's your pricing.
For. This particular, product. Or service has anybody ever asked you that and your pricing. No. Well. Like I said. You. May not need to and not a lot, of people don't. Like to give out their pricing, but, Contracting. Officer and many well what's your ballpark figure for for. This type of service but be prepared to give a ballpark figure or something. If. They ask anything, about pricing, what do you think about this Allen do you think. Yeah. Yeah, right. But, I guess just keeping, the back of your head right. Right. That's. A very touchy subject. Begin. To envision how your competitors at the show can be potential, partners, as a result, of the show. Potential. Partners you're always looking for teaming agreements, or. Mentor-protege. Arrangements, joint ventures, does. Anybody here, have joint, ventures or teaming. Agreements, you, have a giant vent oh you said you had yeah. 30. Second elevator speech it's, so critical. How. To present yourself, and make an impression in 20 30 seconds, that's how long it takes for, somebody to. Make. An impression on your 20 30 seconds. Right. And. If. You don't appear. Credible. Or if you don't appear. That you don't know what you're talking, about so, you lose your credibility pretty. Fast the first 30 seconds. Buyers. Don't like to have waste, time, they. Want specific information. Be. Prepared. Dressed. To impress and, wear comfortable, shoes I, know. When I was in my 40s. You. Know suit in high heels that was the norm, as a matter of fact when I got my job here in st. Louis back in the, early. 90s, I just. Came out of Hickam, Air Force Base I was a small business specialist, at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii first. In Hawaii we don't dress the same as st. Louis right I was going around with my dress and flowers in my hair and, and so. I had I had the chief of contracts. I'd. Like to talk to him you only in my office I say yes sir you know the. Big boss so. I walked in there. I'll. Never forget this and he said. Here. In st. Louis you have to dress, more appropriate, for. The st. Louis. Environment. Okay. What is it, that. You want me to do I said I want you to change. Away you, you. Know you. Dress. So. I. Had. To do that because. I was an auditor I was going to all the large defense, contractors, such as you.
Know I had the seven state. Audit. And I used to audit their purchasing, so. They told me I had to somebody, told me how to dress properly, but, now I mean, that's not really the case now is there I mean, it's not really I mean the man still wear suits but. The women I don't see women wear. Suits anymore. Like. I did an audit with IBM, everybody, had the same black. Outfit. With the white shirts and that's what that was what they were supposed, to wear but. I think most especially, the Millennials. Coming up you know they don't they. Got they walk around with their holes and their jeans and all of that so. So. It's. Not as it's not as common now to there, were suits, for. The women but you know we all dress. For. The occasion. Listen. To come to your competitors, and learn from their mistakes. Follow. Up follow up follow up. And. Lessons learned you, know for each for. Each. Networking. You should you. Know what you learned what, you think. You'll do better next time and. This. Is sort of like a networking, cheat sheet be yourself ask. Questions, listen actively follow up and be a giver that's. Basically what that is so. So. Ptex across the nation I just want to give them, present. RP. Tech we. Help, you with your registration, certification, some market research bit. Assistance, proposal, review, education. And training so if you don't have a P tech, counselor. Make sure you you, get one, because. We're all over the United States and. Every. State has ap tech counselor. Thank. You so much if you want to email me or keep movin states that I'll be more than happy to review, it and, you. To say Oh, two. Pages. Okay.