Makeup itemsWhile at the dentist’s office getting my teeth cleaned, the dental hygienist mentioned something we both found shocking: The dentist got his sister-in-law to buy everything for his wife’s Christmas stocking.

Okay, so spinmasters will say Dr. P. was “outsourcing” the work because he was so busy working. Oh, please.

I say he should be able to spare 10 minutes to duck into the drugstore and buy a few simple things. He can show that he pays attention: knowing/buying the cosmetics his wife uses, the chocolate she likes, the perfume she’s been wanting…you get the picture. His wife has a right to expect something from him and it’s just not the same if someone else does it.

At a networking event the other night, we were talking about entrepreneurs who use “& Associates” with their name. Someone wondered if it’s ethical if the contract says “I will do X” but then we subcontract the work so someone else actually does X.

The answer, of course, is “it depends.”

Is the client “buying” you and you alone, or just a product or service? Is the client the kind of wife who wants her husband to pick out a personal, meaningful gift, or the kind of wife who just wants an expensive gift?

Sometimes the client truly wants you; for instance, you’ve made a name for yourself in your flair for media relations, or your ability to put someone at ease and get a great interview. If you’ve promised that you will be the one doing this, the client is buying YOU. You should do the work.

But sometimes the client just wants the work done. Your firm of “& Associates” has the reputation for getting things done, and the client is happy to hire you, knowing someone will look after everything. So if you write a media release but you subcontract media calls to someone else, that may be fine. In that case, though, you should make it clear — specifying in your contract or letter of agreement — that you occasionally work with others and “we” will handle X. And you certainly should review your subcontractor’s work and make sure it meets your standards.

Do you agree?

Image from kinkate and Pixabay.