membership - support balloon education
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 15:37:09 EST
Subject: A Question of Ethics

Greetings and Thank You to everyone who supports and posts to this board.  
You are providing a wonderful service as a business mentor to those of us 
starting out.

OK, here's the latest burning question for the young balloon business:

While volunteering at a local community center, I met someone who helps 
coordinate a corporate event where he works.   He strongly urged me to 
approach the committee in charge and even offered to set up an interview for 
me;  an opportunity to display my work, offer ideas for the new theme, and 
submit a bid.

This event has been serviced by the same balloon company for a number of 
years.  I have, in fact, been contracted out in the past to provide a small 
crew to handle a specific wing of the event by the woman who had the contract 
- I am very familiar with the job.  I don't know a thing about what she 
charged - if I submit a bid, it will truly be blind to any others they have 
received in the past.  (I should note that they don't invite companies to 
'bid' on the job, they just always go back to the same company).

The question is - when do you draw the line between "stealing" someone else's 
client and ... well, being a good sales person for your company - going after 
a great job?? 

I have new clients that used to 'belong to' established balloon businesses in 
town - I didn't go after these accounts knowing who serviced them in the 
past, they were simply a solid corporate name which I wanted to land - or 
they sought out my services.  But in this case, I know the person, I've seen 
her work, I know the scope of the project.  

Thanks for your comments on how to handle a delicate situation,

Madelon B.
Twistin' Shout BALLOONS!
Campbell, CA