Water Cooler

This is your area to ask questions, start a discussion, or just post whatever is on your mind.  All comments are allowed, so long as they do not include abusive language and are relevant to this site.

  1. When meeting with the “right” resource at the agency – its not about you – how do you get those insights about the next 6 months?

    • Sherry… your question has three part. Part 1 is finding the “right” resource, which is seldom the CIO or a senior official for smaller contracts. And, it might be more than one resource, as there are technical, program, contracts, and small business contacts who can provide different perspectives. I have found that the small business office is often a good place to start, even if you are a large business, as you can quickly get information if you are willing to work with the small business objective.

      Part 2 is getting the other person to talk about their project and themselves. I don’t mean personal chit-chat, which is good to break the ice, but significant discussion about where they want the program to go, what would make them successful, and how they would pick the winning contractor. This is something that must be learned over time and an former insider is not always the right resource. I find it best just to be myself and to make sure I do not talk too much about myself and, most important, do not go in with a canned presentation – nothing is more a turnoff to potential clients.

      Part 3 is to identify “real work” that will happen in a reasonable timeframe. This is a more difficult task. I have found that “educating” the client in techniques that might allow them to accomplish their objectives helps. Even more so when they align with your capabilities. With the push to use existing IDIQ vehicles, customers need help navigating the multitude of vehicles. You can become their partner and help them in this effort.

      I have found organizations, such as ACT-IAC, provide a back channel to understand Federal agencies. By interacting in a non-threatenting manner, contactors can learn what agencies think. I will write a future blog on this.

      Long response for a short question, but I always appreciate a straight line.

  2. Congratulations! This is great.

  3. Another phrase that should be eliminated from the lexicon of proposal platitudes: “We are uniquely qualified…”.

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