The Naked Truth: Incumbent Contractors Win Repeating Contracts

A 13-part installment series.
Richard White explains how federal sales are really transacted. 

Installment 7 - Incumbent Contractors Win Repeating Contracts

Service contracts invariably repeat themselves after a three or five year contact period ends.

In spite of an insider's inherent advantage, federal agencies allow incumbent contractors to bid on the repeat contract.

Why? Transitions from the incumbent contractor's employees who are providing the service to new people is messy, costly, and fraught with risk. You could make the point that it's unfair but the government's interest rules.

No one knows the statistics but our guess is well over 90% of incumbent win rebids.

Moral of the story: Don't bid unless you have intelligence that says the government is open to change contractors e.g., the incumbent is not liked or is under-performing. Or you want to try to win with a price lower than you think the incumbent contractor will bid.

About Richard White
Richard White has 45 years of experience in federal contracting and has published three books on federal contracting:

The three books are available for purchase through or complementary copies can be downloaded by clicking on the titles above.

The books attempted to inform readers about how the federal sales game is played in the trenches. They present "how-to" information, the information is still relevant, not much has changed in government contracting over the years.

Like the earlier books, this installment series is focused on selling services and complex hard goods, and software (selling commodities is a low priced crap-shoot).

Series Installments:

  1. The Government Has All of the Cards
  2. It's Not as Bad as it Appears
  3. Trying to Become an Insider by Cold Calling is Expensive
  4. Insiders Use Their Contracts to Sell to More Customers
  5. Becoming an Insider Costs Time and Money
  6. Public Bids
  7. Incumbent Contractors Win Repeating Contracts
  8. Multiple Award Contracts, the Tidal Wave of the Future
  9. How Big and Important are MACs?
  10. GSA Schedules: The Biggest and Most Sought After MAC
  11. GSA Schedules are Expensive to Get and Not for Everyone
  12. The Subcontracting Channel
  13. Conclusion 

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