I have working relationships with two larger companies. They do deals with other companies, then they pass the work over to me, and I fulfil it as a transparent representative. The client doesn't know I'm a subcontractor.
I was approached this morning by both companies asking me to take on a particular job that they are tendering for. I can tell from the description that it's probably the same job.
At some point in the negotiations I am probably going to have to speak to the end client in person. At this point it will be apparent that it's the same person. This will likely cause embarrassment.
What is the ethical way to handle this?
- Should I tell one company I can't represent them?
- Should I represent the first company who asked me, or the company I prefer to do business with?
- Should I let it ride, attempt to avoid facetime, and just let them fight it out between them? Only one company will get the deal, and I'll be there to pick it up.