What would you do?

I recently went to a potential client who wanted a professional social media solution on their facebook. They are a big reputably company so I assumed they were serious.

I went to the meeting and I explained what I’ll do and gave them a proposal based on the time it would take to execute the task. Anyhow it seams they got my advice and are now replicated the results for themselves.

The question is simple:

What would you do?
Would you go again for another meeting with a company who did this to you?

Wow. That is a very good question. And a tough situation.

I would contact them immediately, acknowledge that they valued my advice and are beginning to execute on it, and offer to ‘assist’ them in the process.

There is no question on they valued my advice.

Their self-execution is so that they’d not pay for somebodies assistance. Window shopping in the digital age, only with a result

Ouch. I’ll site John Tabita once more.

First article:

Second article:

That would be for the future.

As for right now, you can’t do much aside from getting into an argument (which you don’t want).


My initial response was to black-list them and cutoff all ties responding to more solid work, to ensure this never happened again. This was my initial response.

I understand what ParkinT is saying, your approach might bring business in eventually. But in this game we have to be a good judge of character. Are those characters likely to bring you business or to simply leach of your knowledge attempting to replicate everything so they’d not spend any money. Either way I’d rather not find out.

I’d be interested to know what others would do.

Edit: I prob. take your advice ParkinT :slight_smile: but I have to sleep on it.

If it were me, I’d say, “Oh well.” And move on. You’ll always get clients like that. Just gotta search for better fish.


I agree, absolutely, about judging character. And your response to this situation will demonstrate YOUR character. I proposed this approach because it would demonstrate that:

  1. You are aware of their [less than honorable] tactics, will not simply ignore the injustice, and discourage them from trying it again (with you or someone else)
  2. You have a HIGHER ethical standard

It is gratifying that my advice was helpful for you.


My mother always told me to look at the end result and whenever anybody gives me advice I always see the end result. Having said this I am always open to ideas and your method does shed light to a potentially grey situation. What would your end result be? Why would you let them know? Would you be happy with return business from them, or would this simply to let them know you know diplomatically.

I think i like ParkinT idea.
Your character in such situation can determine your relationship with such company in the future. As for i’ll call them and acknowledge for making use of your advice, (cause its one thing to advice a client, it another thing for the client to use it or pour it back at you) and showed that you’re not some dumb ass. Then i’ll step up my game next time by implementing new tactics which keeps my ideas locked and safe; they tell me the problem, i provide a solution, but this time i’ll barely touch the surface. They’ll get the picture but its gona be confusing like its blurred.

I have a doubt, did you tell them every details and steps of your plan? If they just could duplicate your solution without any difficulty, then i think it would be better to come up with a better one.
In generall, if a company needs to find people outside to solve their problems, it means they don’t got enough technology or personnels, they need help from you. You just need to speak out the big frame, but not the crucial content.
So, if the company really copy your solution, i think you needn’t visit them again, they are just mean.

I can verify now that it was a setup. The meeting was only held for them to attempt to duplicate the proposal.

I did not give a complete breakdown, but I gave them an idea of what was going to be done and gave them an insight to how it would be done. So their attempt to copy what I said are failing miserable, and they’re doing something very basic with help from free websites which place adverts on their solution. Even so, it’s no wear near as good as what I had to offer, considering it requires technical knowledge.

What puzzles me the most is that the curprit was supposedly suppose to be my friend. The reason I can verify this is becase since the situation, I send a follow-up email as advice and I was shunned and told not to email or cc anybody in the company, who is apparently doing the changes himself. It is incredibly mean! Particularly in this kind of situation.

I am glad I sent the email so that the rat could expose himself. The entire notion of the meeting was a setup. It’s worse than price surfing.