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Know the Red Flags with Your Consulting Client!

 In Blog, GovCon Tips

Know the red flags as Maria Martinez shares her experiences with a problematic consulting client and what she learned from it.


Maria Martinez found her client using our GovCon Giant strategy of looking for them in beta.sam and other government contracting databases. Then, Maria did further research by looking at the Florida Sunbiz.

“I looked up their business registration to make sure that they’re doing their reports from the year they established. It tells you everything.”

After months of looking for opportunities with this client, they were then given a contract in June but started it in the end of November. Their job was to replace the HVAC System and to refurbish the units inside as well as the 13 other VAV boxes at the National Hurricane Center in Key West, Florida.


The first red flag that Maria missed is the fact that her client is literally giving estimates on the project on top of his head, without even looking at the papers. Also, he didn’t even visit the site and the technician who did was not present during that time.

The second thing is that while they were doing this paperwork, she already saw how her client got mad at one of his employees, calling that person names, threw things all the way to the front door of his office, and then took a shot of his rum.

Lastly, her client didn’t follow the scope of work where they needed to replace the ten ton units of equipment and rather bought the wrong size and blamed Maria for everything. 

“It’s very important that you guys know who you’re working with and see some of the red flags that come up during the conversation before you take on a contract.”


1. Don’t work with companies like this. 

You should understand that no matter how huge your client’s company is or how long they have been in the industry, it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is if they can do the work while still gaining profit and without belittling you. 

“Moral of the story is make sure you know who you’re working with and don’t be so excited to get your first client, to get that first contract, to see six figure on there instead of— ‘cause my first goal is 25 thousand and when I saw a hundred and thirty-three, I was like, ‘Oh!’ I was excited. Like the excitement and the feelings and the emotions and everything took over the fact that this guy’s throwing all this stuff all over.”

2. You’re not supposed to run the contract.

In Maria’s case, she did everything from helping with the solicitation up to the hundred day inspection, because she just wanted this project to get done.

However, as a consultant, you should only do what your job says because your payment is not enough for the hassle in doing what Maria did. 

“I went in for a 90 day inspection. I went back for a 100 day inspection. Again, as a consultant, you’re not supposed to go and do those work, by the way.”

3. Learn to walk away.

Don’t be afraid to cut ties with your client if you already see all of these red flags because the more you stay on this relationship, the more you will suffer. 

“So, that’s why when I talk to some of you guys, when I talk to people calling in, I told them like, just be, like it’s not easy. It’s ve— It takes a lot of work and you have to be able to recognize and walk away at times because trust me, it’s not fun when it gets there.”


If you want to learn more on how to be a consultant and dealing with your consulting client, then be sure to click the resources below. You can also visit the GovCon Giant website and other social media platforms or the new GovCon Edu where you learn everything about government contracting!

Resource specialist Maria lands her first consultant client – Eric Coffie

Want to make money as a Government Consultant, follow these steps – Eric Coffie

How to Make Money as Government Consultant – Becoming Rich in America – Eric Coffie

How to get started as a consultant – no experience no money needed – Eric Coffie

Do you need help trying to identify your first consultant client?

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