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Anonymous Poster

How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/13/2009 5:32 AM

I have a product that I would like to try and sell to the US military.

It's a maintenance related product, designed to speed up certain kinds of work in difficult conditions.

Could anyone give me hints or tips on how to go about selling products to the US military, bearing in mind I'm a one man band with limited resources?

I have a fully functioning working prototype and a fully searched patent application.

I'd be grateful for any info, even stuff that may seem obvious would be helpful as I've never attempted this before so it's all going to be new to me.

Thanks in anticipation.

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#1

Re: Tips for Selling Products to the Military?

05/13/2009 8:49 AM

Answers would depend on who you are and where you are, so sign up, sign in and give us some clues - other factors that will impact this question:

Completely stolen from here

The first step in bidding to any part of the government is to become a Qualified Supplier. This process can be tedious and frustrating, but there is a unit of the Small Business Administration that will give you a lot of help. There are SBA Small Business Development Centers all over the country, usually located in or near a college. There's certain to be one within driving distance. To find the nearest one, go to the government pages of your phone book or go to their Web site at http://www.sba.gov/sbdc/sbdcnear.html. Here are two more Web sites that I think you will find interesting and useful: http://www.eps.gov/spg/ and http://www.business.gov/. These will help you find specific bid opportunities. But as I mentioned earlier, you won't be able to bid on anything until you become a Qualified Supplier, so contact your nearest SBDC at your earliest convenience.

Now having said that - the local commanders have been given remarkable authority for procuring things their units needs that is NOT in military inventory. So you might try guerrilla marketing by creating a website describing your device and then chase around every military discussion site specific to your "thing" effectively saying "Hey, look at this".

But I gotta tell you straight up, military procurement is complex, costly, convoluted, and liable to be expensive just to get in front of people who like it and don't buy it.

Be careful.

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#11
In reply to #1

Re: Tips for Selling Products to the Military?

05/14/2009 8:48 AM

Military QPL's are more for existing products. There may be some information available through the QPL site for new product.

Here is the site:

http://www.dscc.dla.mil/offices/sourcing_and_qualification/default.asp

But many departments have been moved to PRI so you may end up starting here:

http://www.pri-network.org/Qualified-Product-Listing-(QPL)-.id.28.htm

I think the easiest way to go would be to just call them and ask. They have always been very helpful when I have dealt with them. Contacts are available through the first link I posted.

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#2

Re: Tips for Selling Products to the Military?

05/13/2009 9:56 AM

Step 1 - get your congressman in your pocket. This is most easily done with cash.

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#3

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/13/2009 11:05 AM

Paint it green!

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/13/2009 11:37 AM

Uhh, we are kinda into tan right now?

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/13/2009 11:42 AM

Is it because it is cheaper than green right now?

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/13/2009 11:45 AM

There was a run on green, supplies ran low, price went up...y'know

Haze gray is still pretty popular

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#14
In reply to #6

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/14/2009 6:36 PM

And now you know why we moved out of the jungle wars and into the desert wars... pigment pricing

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#7

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/14/2009 12:04 AM

Show your product at a annual "weapon?" show to promote your product to the high military brass

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#8

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/14/2009 4:35 AM

The easiest method (if the costliest and most risky) would be to approach an existing military vendor with our idea. I'd suggest you look at someone that supplies in a related field but here you'd have to be careful or you run the risk of being ripped off.

Patent protection of your product is essential but in addition to this (but equally important) is a binding agreement with this vendor PRIOR to showing them anything of going into any details. This can be as simple as a non-compete or non-disclosure agreement but need to be clear and notarised.

Long term this is the route that'll make you the least money but the flip side is that it is the most likely to succeed. If you are confident enough in your product that you do not think access to market is vital - go it alone. If you have any doubts either in the product or in your ability to market it (and this remember would include setting up a manufacturing centre - very expensive) look at those existing vendors.

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#12
In reply to #8

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/14/2009 8:57 AM

Patent protection is only as good as your ability to prosecute it if there is a breach of your idea. If you don't have the resources to prosecute anyone that uses your patented idea, it doesn't do you any good against unscrupulous competitors.

A non disclosure with or without a non compete agreement with any possible suppliers of parts or assemblies is essential to helping protect your ownership rights.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/14/2009 10:44 AM

Argeed 100%, you need to be prepared to defend your rights throught the courts. However, without patent protection enforcing any other contract or agreement if more problematic and expensive.

Non disclosure and a non compete agreement are essential.

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#9

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/14/2009 7:36 AM

Since the Perry Amendment of the mid-1980s, DoD is purchasing many COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) items, moving away from Mil-Spec purchases of the past, so getting qualified won't be quite as expensive or time consuming as back then.

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#10

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/14/2009 8:35 AM

Google and research DARPA

Hooker

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#15

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

05/14/2009 9:13 PM

I feel your pain. Here is the hot tip. If you are fortunate enough to live near Florida, the AFB in Tampa [Mac Dill] has the ability to act like big Military.

This is the best advice you will ever get anywhere from anyone.

They have an office called TILO Technical Industrial Liason Office. here is the link http://www.socom.mil/soal/tilo.htm They look at technology that will benefit the military and cut through the red tape. If they feel it has merit, they will fund it!

Good luck and Godspeed, Joe

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#16

Re: How to Sell Products to the U.S. Military

07/07/2010 8:10 PM

Hello my name is Adam

I have a contact that can help, Contact me at aspaul007@gmail.com, Thank you.

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