How To Know If Your Bid Is Wired

I frequently get the question of “how do I know my solicitation isn’t wired for the competitor”.  Well, the simple answer is.. you don’t.  But before we start our analysis, let me pose this thought —

Government is risky and adverse and they are very reluctant to change vendors when the vendor is… Click To Tweet

Think about it – you have a favorite car mechanic and he/she consistently returns your phone calls, takes your appointments within 24 hours, does a great job every time AND fixes your car right the first time!  A new mechanic opens up down the street.  Would you change vendors?  Well for me – you have to do all those things PLUS concierge, for me to even consider switching mechanics. (although that would be a nice touch :-))

My point is that a business would need to do the whole nine plus provide a few additional perks, to persuade a buyer to change.  The government operates the same way.

The truth is there are subtle and not so subtle ways of analyzing solicitations so that you can quickly weed-out those solicitations that seem a little fishy.

Here are the MOST 5 obvious and subtle signs to help you determine if a bid is wired for your competitor:

  1. If the solicitation is for onsite work and the contracting officer gives you limited access to a site, incumbent employees or specification documents. Best be sure, it’s for someone else.
  2. The response turn around time for the solicitation is less than 10 days — on a multi-million dollar job, yep, it’s not for you.
  3. The proposal response requirements are laden with exhaustive proposal deliverables  (that only an incumbent would have) AND fall just short of asking for your great grandmothers birth certificate and your first born’s shoe size, nope, it’s not for you.
  4. The scope of work for the solicitation is so cryptic and vague that only a bloodhound could detect a solution.
  5. Or, the scope of work is so detailed it would take 11 scholars and a dolphin to devise a proper solution.
  6. BONUS: The procuring agency slips up and actually includes the incumbents’ name in the solicitation requirements.  Believe it or not, I’ve seen this happen on many occasions.  Make sure you READ the solicitations in their entirety.

Knowing the signs before you pursue a bid will save you thousands of dollars down the road.  As a matter of fact, use this Bid/No Bid Matrix so you never waste your time on a bid pursuit again.

The beauty of this bid matrix is to help you ditch solicitations meant for someone else, and help focus on bids truly in your wheelhouse.  By bidding smartly you never have to worry about chasing opportunities that are not meant for you to win.

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