[thelist] What would you do...

Green, Janet JGreen at DesMoinesMetro.com
Wed Apr 11 09:24:19 CDT 2001

>>>BTW, I'm surprised others objected to the notion of a bid being passed
outside of the client. <<<

I considered any communication between my client and I to be confidential,
ESPECIALLY when it came to my pricing, which was *always* a combination of
rate card rates, outside vendor charges, and pure estimating. As my
competitor, how can you stand there in front of my client and argue against
my price, when you have no idea *how* I work or what my relationships might
be with outside vendors? (Furthermore, I assume my clients would consider it
confidential if they were sharing proprietary business information with ME,
so I expect the same courtesy.) 

>>>Myself, I relish being able to size up the competition>>>

There's another way to do this that isn't as sneaky as accepting a
competitor's proposal. You can actually *befriend* your competitors and talk
to them about their business practices, pricing and everything else, and
give THEM the opportunity to decide how much of their information is shared.
Oddly enough, there's value in this for your clients too - when you find a
client whose project isn't suited to you, you can refer them on to someone
who fits their needs better, IF you know what your competitors are up to and
what kind of clients they are seeking.
>>>and am not embarrassed of my own bids.<<<

I certainly was never embarrassed by my bids either - I gave great value for
the price. But, the time and effort I put into my proposal was *my* work,
not to be copied or used as "background" for someone else. To me the whole
issue of sharing competing information among vendors is ethically wrong.
Just think if you were that original vendor who went to a lot of work to put
together a proposal, and your client shopped it around for a better price
and went with someone else, who then used YOUR document as the basis for
their work. I would not do business with that client again, nor would I ever
work collaboratively with the web designer who stole my pre-production work.
(Besides, I can't imagine *wanting* to work with someone else's
interpretation of the client's needs - that's just pure laziness on the
designer's part.) 

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