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Understanding how to respond to Sources Sought for Government Contracting.

Government agencies frequently use Sources Sought notices or requests for information (RFI) to survey the marketplace when acquiring products or services. Understanding how to respond to an RFI or Sources Sought notice can help your company win federal contracts.

What is a Sources Sought?

A Sources Sought is a public notice issued by a government buyer seeking capabilities, vendors, and pricing data for an upcoming solicitation. It allows agencies to gauge market interest and capabilities that exist for a certain requirement.

Sources Sought are typically issued through and FedBizOpps and allow 30-45 days for responses. They usually provide a high-level project overview and ask pointed questions to gather data about potentially available solutions.

Benefits of Responding

Here are some key benefits for contractors who respond to Sources Sought:

  • Gain early insight into an opportunity to get a head start on positioning your solution.

  • Demonstrate your qualifications and interest to the agency.

  • Contribute to shaping requirements by providing feedback on feasibility, cost estimates, etc.

  • Establish yourself as an authority and thought leader.

  • Identify potential teammates and roles for an upcoming bid.

How to Respond Effectively

Follow these tips for an effective Sources Sought response:

  • Provide clear, concise responses to all questions and requests outlined in the notice. Avoid vague or overly promotional content.

  • Summarize your capabilities, past performance, and experience as relevant to the potential opportunity.

  • Offer feedback on the feasibility of requirements, potential alternatives, rough order of magnitude pricing, and risks.

  • Use the response as a chance to ask clarifying questions about timelines, evaluation criteria, and the agency’s objectives.

  • Follow up after submitting to reiterate interest and see if additional information is needed.

Positioning your company to provide thoughtful input on Sources Sought for government contracting can lead to more federal contract wins down the road. Monitor and FedBizOpps and be ready to respond.

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