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Don't trash talk your client, or suffer the consequences

September 23, 2009
by Pete Rivera
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Recently a Medical Insurance company (managing a Medicare Advantage program) put out letters to its senior citizens about potential cuts to Medicare. On the surface you would think that this is a service provided to its customers or that the company was simply covering themselves against changes to the current Healthcare system. Either way, the government responded by sending a letter to the insurance company telling them to stop lobbying their customers against healthcare reform.

Anyone that has administered government contracts or worked for the government knows that you are at the mercy of the changing winds of Washington. You also know that with your big government contract, comes certain responsibilities. One of which is not any different than any private contract; don’t make the client (who pays you to perform services) mad.

There are screams of “freedom of speech” and “gag orders,” but the reality is that your customer is the one that pays the bills. If the client is paying you to be an intermediary between them and their customer, then you become part of your client’s organization. This is like becoming an interim CIO and then trash talking the C-Suite. If you don’t like the client; then terminate the contract and seek business elsewhere.

On the other hand, the government just showed their poker hand. We see a bunch of trump cards that will be played against anyone that does not like the government healthcare plan, current or future. Caveat Emptor “Let the buyer beware.”

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