By Chia-Li Chien | March 8, 2011
I thought I was scheduled to be at the Charlotte SCORE office at 9 am, in fact, it suppose to be at 10 am. Well, there was not much activity other than having a nice chat with a counselor, Dave who was waiting for his 9:30 am appointment. Evidently the appointment was late and did not show until 9:50 am. There is only one appointment scheduled at 11 am that I was hoping it will be early.
In fact, the appointment was early at 10:30 am, his name is John. John was in a banker’s suits and his company is about 2-year-old and wants to gain access to federal government contract. John mentioned that after many bids submission, he requested to have contracting office explains why he did not get the contract.
John already made up his mind to do only federal government contract because it is long-term and stable contract. I think he just declared to be in the “bidding” wars. I asked if he knows anyone who currently provided the service or someone who is receiving the service? Apparently, he has no such luck. Jim, the main counselor recommended him to seek out a specialist at SBTDC, PTAC UNCC.
I can’t help it to think back my first business, I was given a subcontractor of Federal contract. I did not bid on any contract at all. I was already inside working on that federal contract, so it was easy to gain the contract without bidding. Although, I did not know anything about bidding nor federal contracting at that time. Somehow, my clients provided me all the places to fill in the gap.
Today, many of my clients do federal or state contracts and often resulted from the relationship they built over the year. I call that “marketing”. “Capacity” vs. “Capability” was one of my questions to John, he might technically far qualify to provide the work, as matter of fact, he mentioned including himself, total of 5 PhD on his team. Great, but does the company has the capacity to fulfill a 4-year contract? If I were John, I will partner with someone who already have the contract and act as a subcontractor. A Bidding War is not too much of a sales technique to have, not even marketing.
When TC and I were looking to buy our first home, we both agree not to enter a bidding war if someone put a bid on the house we like. We always walk away and find other available home. We still do that today in many investments or purchases. I believe there is always someone to outbid you, if its meant to be, it’ll be yours.
That may not be the best way to look at things when it comes to government contracting. So if you want to be in “bidding war”, I can tell you build the relationship FAST. Your relationship is far more important than just a proposal. Isn’t there a terminology call “relationship marketing”?
If you decided to have fortune 500 or government to be your market makers, well, weekly or monthly in-person or phone appointment is required! Get to know your clients and do your marketing.