There *IS* Such a Thing as a Stupid Question

June 5, 2015

Dear prospective government vendors:

When in the presence of buyers, you should at a minimum know the “federal” structure of the U.S. federal, state, and local governments.  Especially in a seminar setting when you raise your hand and the whole class is listening.


It’s ok not to know a procedure, or have a question about micro-purchase thresholds.  But do yourself a favor and learn the difference between federal and state governments, understand the differences between executive, legislative, and independent agencies.  You will spare yourself and the room the head-desk-hitting embarrassment of an inquiry such as “why don’t local governments just post their solicitations to FedBizOpps”?


You have not only made a fool of yourself in front of the buyer, but also lost credibility with a roomful of people who may be potential partners, buyers, and resources.


Or maybe it doesn’t bother others as much as it bothers me. Blame 6 years of law school and a modicum of respect for a federal system of government.

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