Never overlook the value of networking.
If you are looking for ways to boost your public procurement profile, networking gives suppliers the chance to interact with the buyers with whom they want to win work and learn more first-hand about how they can offer solutions that are valuable to these buyers.
There are many ways your business can use networking strategically in public procurement; we give advice on how suppliers working with the public sector can do this.
Engage with the right buyers
You’ll read many blogs that will advise your business to put itself out there by attending networking and industry events. This is good advice. However, the trick to success at events is attending the right ones.
If you want to win more opportunities with the public sector, make sure that you are considering events where public sector organisations are exhibiting or attending.
Events like Procurex have sessions across the UK, which are public sector procurement focused. Suppliers can attend these events and gain specific insights about the regions that they want to work in and engage with buying organisations (Crown Commercial Service, Ministry of Defence, NHS, local authorities) face to face.
Gain a social media presence
If you have missed a procurement event or plan on attending next year, it’s never too early or late to make connections and gain the attention of buyers through social media.
Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn give suppliers the opportunity to expand their networks wherever they are based; whether they are looking to network with buyers in the UK or the rest of the world.
That said, it’s not all about finding buyers. Our parent company BiP Solutions recommends getting involved with procurement discussions via social media to gain insights from the wider procurement community. BiP Solutions’ ‘How to use networking strategically in public’ blog argues that:
“Twitter is a great way to participate in these industry-wide discussions and to follow the pulse of public procurement by connecting with others who are asking the same questions and have similar priorities.
“LinkedIn is also a great platform to expand your knowledge on public procurement by joining relevant groups.”
Reaching out to buyers
One of the myths around networking is that suppliers cannot reach out to buyers, when that’s not the case.
Tracker’s Market Leads tool can support suppliers that want to engage earlier, as it gives users access to named buyer contacts, before they have officially tendered for goods, works or services.
Don’t be afraid to reach out! It’s important to build strategic relationships with those working in the public sector as this can help your business to understand their needs better and puts your business in a good place to make any adaptations to your product or services before any future opportunities arise.
Find more opportunities through networking
If you would like to learn more about how our business intelligence tool can support your networking efforts, get in touch with a member of our expert procurement team to find out more.