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The Four P's in Government Purchasing

If you have ever spoken with Jim Neighbors, you might have heard him refer to something called “The Four P’s”. This is a term he coined to represent the four important “people” or functions during a government purchase that must be aligned before you get a “yes”.

The first “P”

There are different people behind any transaction, the first being the person with the pain. This person has a need, requirement, or problem that your business can potentially fix. This pain point is usually codified in a requirements document of some kind.

The second “P”

The next p in this equation stands for power. This is the person who has the authority to make the decision to purchase your product or service. You’ll need this person on your side, for obvious reasons. This person is also responsible for setting the standards or criteria needed for your product or service to meet the requirements of purchasing.

The third “P”

This is the person with the purse. This person understands the amount of money it would take to fund the requirement and when that money becomes available during the fiscal year. It’s important to understand this person has many bills to pay, so understanding the government budget will be helpful for you and your business.

The final “P”

Procurement. This person is from the contracting office. They are trained and certified in the myriad of ways there are to procure your product or service. How you interact with this person depends on your company’s market strategy.

When preparing to sell to the government, these four people need to all be perfectly aligned. A lot of our consultants come to us for help finding and reaching out to these people, if this sounds like something you need guidance with, reach out to or call (571) 309-5884.


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