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#350: Ethics of Critiquing Competitors

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Friday, July 16, 2010
I recently spoke to a former client and she informed me that her firm had just contracted with another consultant for a engagement. I know the consultant that she hired personally and have some doubts about his abilities as a consultant. I also know I could do a better job for her if given the chance. Should I disclose my feelings regarding this consultant to the client and attempt to get a shot at this work?

Principle 13.0 (Representing the Profession) of the IMCUSA Code of Ethics reads: I will represent the profession with integrity and professionalism in my relations with my clients, colleagues, and the general public.

As a member of the consulting profession, in general, and as an IMC member, in particular, you should avoid criticizing the work of other consultants, either directly or indirectly, in your attempt to secure business or in any other aspect of your professional work. How would you feel if the roles were reversed?

Tip: It is certainly permissible to draw distinctions between the approach you use and those utilized by other consultants. Put your best foot forward - stress what skills and expertise make you the best candidate for the client versus pointing out what makes a fellow consultant a poor choice. Remember, you and your competing consultants share the responsibility for representing the consulting profession and presenting it in the best light possible.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

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