I am sure you will agree that price negotiations for a GSA proposal are the most difficult in the proposal process, this is not only true for the vendor, but also for the Contracting Officer. The agency’s CO has to adhere to regulations of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, as well as internal auditors, and rules of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). GSA’s motto is to award based on fair and reasonable pricing, for some the agency’s idea of fair and reasonable is not so fair and reasonable. F&R pricing will work well for a vendor who has high market prices along with documentation, but for a small business with already below market prices due to performing work as a subcontractor under a prime it is not a pretty picture. Here are four quick steps to ease the pain during the negotiation process:

1.Relax- Either win or lose although the agency is stern on awarding fair and reasonable pricing they are willing to hear what you have to say as a determinant.
2.Prepare- Prepare a strong price proposal that explains your terms and conditions and has justification as to why the agency should not receive your best discount.
3.Compile- Compile accurate, and honest documentation in support of your pricing strategies, e.g., current market prices via Bureau of Labor Statistics, competitors pricing, etc.
4.Be Stern- Stand your ground it will be hard for the agency to believe your case if you don’t believe it.

A small business in the federal market has a rough time so when negotiating price with GSA it is best that you ensure that you bring up every valid point that represents your business, for example you can incorporate into your contract that you may need time to build revenue once the contract is awarded so be creative the worst response you can receive is “No”, but you will also never know unless you ask. Whoever is your negotiator ensure that person is not meek in their presentation. If you win kudos to you if you lose at least you have a chance to start over and resubmit because many of GSA proposals never have a closing date.

If you are having challenges with your GSA proposal or its processes and are in need of more helpful information like this visit Ilene Giles your GSA Proposal Maven at gsaproposalmaven.com.