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How to Speak to Buyers: The Structured Conversation

22 Nov 2017 09:14 | Valerie Ormond

Last week, I met with Tom Leney, Executive Director, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSBDU), and he discussed the importance of “The Structured Conversation” for vendors seeking business. I was in his office as a member of the Board of Directors of the Southwest Veterans Business Resource Center (SWVBRC) to discuss his, and his office’s, participation in the SWVBRC’s February 27-28, 2018 Business Summit.

Besides the great news that Tom and VA Procurement Decision Makers (PDMs) will attend the Summit, he provided insight into how vendors should come prepared to speak to the PDMs. He speaks not only as the leader of the VA OSBDU, but also as a former small businessman and Government contractor, and a U.S. Army Veteran. He offers this advice to provide the best possible outcomes. Following is the outline for “The Structured Conversation.”

1. Show the buyer that you understand his/her business problem

2. Tell the buyer what your solution is to the problem

3. Demonstrate why the buyer should believe you can deliver your solution? (Ex. CPARS, testimonials, reviews, past performance, and/or proof you have done the work before)

4. Let the buyer know how he/she can get to you to purchase your supplies and/or services (Ex. contract vehicle)

For those interested in additional tips on being procurement ready, please see the full Pre-Summit Series as part of the SWVBRC’s Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Series (VETS) at this link:

We hope to see you at the 2018 Business Summit ready to do business!

Valerie Ormond

Chief Executive Officer, Veteran Writing Services, LLC

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