I am a consultant hired by agents who bid for contracts. I only have about three agents, but they routinely ask me to price out my work or say, "Hey, I'm making this bid, would you do this for $_?"

Now, AGENT X has disclosed their intended bid and the $_ they would pay me for my role. I didn't ask for the info, but I got it. Another agent (AGENT Z) is asking me to price out for the same project, his quote is a smaller/shorter bid than AGENT X's which is more involved/lengthier.

PROBLEM: I feel like I (and my price) is going to unduly influence which agent gets the project. I know too much!

What do I do? Do I say to AGENT Z - I can't quote you a price until you're awarded the job or you have to give me a price yourself. Do disclose that I'm involved in a conflict of interest - A competitor has already placed me in their confidence...

I would hate to get the job through AGENT Z and then AGENT X finds out. This is a small industry. The chance is high.

  • Have you signed anything yet? Or otherwise confirmed your committment with agent X? (BTW, we have agent X and agent Z. What happened to agent Y?) – MrFox Nov 15 '13 at 18:59
  • Don't use more than one agent at a time. Figure out which one is best, stick with that one until they retire or until it's clear they're abusing you. At that point, find the best available at that moment, and stick with them as long as possible. – Meredith Poor Nov 15 '13 at 21:02

Be open with both agents, but don't identify them to one another. Don't offer the amount, the size of project or who came up with the value. Let Agent Z decide what to do.

My company may bid on on the same contract with two different teams. We take extra precautions to hide data from one another and never have the same person on two teams.

You only have 3 agents; no reason to upset one of them. Let them all know you are a professional.

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