Vendor Guide

Step 9 -Successful Marketing Tips

As we indicated earlier, we want you to be our business partner and conducting business with you is important to us. In this section, we will provide you with some fundamental marketing tips that will assist you in marketing your product or service to the New York City Department of Education.
Be Smart
Know the products or services purchased by the Department of Education.
Understand the different methods of purchasing available to you.
Learn to locate individual sales opportunities.
Be entered on the appropriate bidder's mailing lists.
Attend Department of Education or New York City sponsored procurement fairs and vendor conferences.
Be Practical
This guide was designed to assist vendors who wish to explore the feasibility of becoming successful New York City Department of Education contractors. It is written with the new vendor in mind, and is based on the practical experiences of other such vendors who have marketed their goods and services to the Department of Education.
Be Careful
When a vendor fails to perform on a formal contract, the Department of Education has the right to terminate that contract for cause and "buy against" for that portion of its remaining requirements. This means the Board can go to the next lowest bidder, purchase that product or service at a higher price, and charge the difference to the first contractor. A contractor who does not perform may be placed on our "caution" list and may risk debarment for up to four years from doing business with the New York City Department of Education.
Be Efficient
There is no single formula for winning a Board of Education contract. Each vendor will need to develop their own strategy in order to determine its chances of being successful. Follow the practical steps outlined in this guide and certainly meet and discuss concerns with the appropriate purchasing agents.
Backtrack to the Buying Source

When the point of purchase for an item is not easily located, consider another strategy. For example, go directly to a school or administrative site and ask questions about your product or service. Try to locate a potential user. Use common sense. Be practical.

Ask questions like . . . "Do you ever require________?" If that person indicated yes, then ask them, "How do you obtain it? Do you order it from a storehouse? Can you utilize informal purchase procedures? Can you buy it locally with imprest funds? Who does the actual purchasing? What's their name? . . . Phone number?"

It is at this point the vendor should begin to backtrack, recreating the chain of events along the purchase trail. This track will eventually lead to identifying a school, or other point of purchase.

Eventually the buyer's name, a telephone number, and additional details about the purchase of the item will surface. This process of backtracking works well in marketing complex, technical, and/ or unusual products and services.

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