I hope you don’t mind

Received a super weird request by a local service provider after I told him that I will be opting for another (internationally acclaimed) provider who was charging almost half for their services!

This person messaged me back asking me to forward the email/information that has a breakdown of the cost. Concluding the message with an annoying, “I hope you don’t mind.”

Well, I do mind. Particularly when it comes to information shared between a client and a vendor. Two reasons:

  1. The data is sensitive and individualised to my needs. Else it would have been on their website or public domain. Right?
  2. I’ve paid a premium to access this information, which will save me tons of time and money. Why the heck would I pay money for someone else to benefit? (Unless “giving” is the intent, which clearly isn’t the case here because the request came from someone who was about to rip me off!)

The most important question is this — would this like his quotations/sensitive information shared with his competitors? Nope. I don’t think so. Nobody in their sane mind would. Yet, this dude was bold enough to ask me the most idiotic question in the world of cutthroat competition.

Now, let me be clear — this isn’t about hustle or “just asking” because there’s nothing wrong with it. The challenge is that this person clearly knew they were slapping on a massive markup. Almost a 100% on what it costs me from a highly reputed agency! That’s maximising an opportunity simply because the prospect is unaware or is in dire needs.

I would have appreciated if this person was upfront about the rates and had told me that they would be charging a premium. I would have happily accepted the offer because to me getting things done is a priority. But I also want to trust this business to take care of my challenge. If they can’t be transparent about the pricing would I ever want to be associated with them? I don’t think so. (At least for now. I just might give them another chance in future but I’m not counting on it myself. )

Moral: stop ripping off your clients (or potential clients) and if they choose to move on to a cheaper service, let them go graciously. Otherwise, your prospects would know you were ripping them off and are desperate to strike a deal. (Not that I find anything wrong with the latter. Every business small/large goes through that phase.)

So, yeah, I think I do mind forwarding you that email from your competition.

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