WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

Blog archive
Nick Wakeman

11 signs of a dangerous customer relationship

Among the comments I've received on the topic of contractor-customer relationship was this list from Michael Lent, publisher of Government Services Insider, a newsletter that covers the government market.

Perhaps it is something worth printing out and tacking to your office wall.

They are good bits of advice and show that there is plenty of gray to go around.

11 signs of a dangerous relationship

1. You’d be embarrassed by a Washington Post article describing, for example, government information disclosed to you by a client, or, the client tolerating and absorbing the costs of any subpar performance.
2. Client would be fearful of the agency inspector general learning what is disclosed to you.
3. Competitors can complain, with available factual evidence that implies or shows you are favored with information, e.g., on a recompete.
4. Anyone would construe that white paper you gave the client as a draft for a contract modification or recompete statement of work.
5. Social relationships appear like personal conflicts of interest, vulnerable to inference, however unfairly, that you benefit from inside government information.
6. Client becomes convinced that you are unique and irreplaceable — and acts that way, e.g., quashing a competitive recompete. (This can happen, of course, but a justifiable incidence is probably rare.)
7. Your total price is just shy of the government cost estimate. (This can happen fairly, of course, but a chain of such events is suspicious.)
8. Client helps repel your competitors, with vigor.
9. You hire an excessive number of client-agency retirees. (Excessive equals whatever number appears suspicious to overseers, client, and your own common sense).
10. Government can see evidence of bad team play within your team, e.g., competition between two managers or company units.
11. You fear defending your firm’s mitigation measures for disclosed organizational conflict of interest — to a congressional committee, Government Accountability Office or an IG — because you sense the measures are not stringent enough. 


Posted by Nick Wakeman on Aug 11, 2009 at 7:22 PM


Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close

Trending

  • POWER TRAINING: How to engage your customers

    Don't miss our Aug. 2 Washington Technology Power Training session on Mastering Stakeholder Engagement, where you'll learned the critical skills you need to more fully connect with your customers and win more business. Read More

  • PROJECT 38 PODCAST

    In our latest Project 38 Podcast, editor Nick Wakeman interviews Tom Romeo, the leader of Maximus Federal about how it has zoomed up the 2019 Top 100. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.