Client Wants Contractor
Jenny sent us this article Client wants Contractor.
New Project from Jenny
Hope you can help me with this. Maybe my problem is one you didn’t hear of before.
At the beginning of the year they offered me an extremely good contract. Yet, due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, they relocated the contract to another office.
The client called my agency a few months later and personally requested my services for a new project they were about to start in the summer. I was asked if I was interested in attending an interview.
I hadn’t heard anything from the agency for many weeks.
Project Manager at Client Company
This confused me as the client sounded very keen to see me. I phoned the agency many times only to be stonewalled with ‘the account manager was not available.
“He’ll call you back”.
However, recently a mate at the client company told me that the project manager who wanted me to come in for a chat was told I was not available when this was clearly not true.
Why would they do this?
Let me know any feedback you have on my situation.
Dr McLaughlin’s Contractor Surgery
Well that’s a rum one. I’ve never heard of an agency turning down business before – and I doubt if they have. Normally client wants contractor, client gets contractor.
I wonder if they were a preferred supplier to your client.
What I suspect was happening here was that they were trying to put someone in there in your place – someone who they would make a greater margin on.
This was a straight lie that they told to the client. You could actually sue them for loss of business if the client will back you up.
They probably wouldn’t though.
What is clear though is that in refusing to represent you with the client, the agency is negating any clause that they had in your contract stopping you from contacting the client about new business for a certain period after the contract is up.
I’m often told that this clause isn’t legal anyway as it is restraint of trade, but it’s never been tested in the court.
However, this gives you an opportunity here. I don’t know if the particular contract is still a runner or not.
However, it is clear that the client likes you and would like to hire you, if not now, at some time in the future.
Contact the Client
Contact the client, saying that you are available and asking them to contact you when there is something available (leave your email and phone numbers), and if it would be OK to contact them any time you were available.
You may find that they have something for you now, but it is better not to be that direct.
If they say that they need to contact you through your agency, say that you were available at the time that they wanted you, when the agency said that you weren’t available.
Say that the agency no longer represents you.
If the client says that they only take people through agencies, find a cheap one that will do you a good deal.
If they only take through preferred suppliers, ask them which preferred supplier agency they would recommend, and then get in touch with them.
An Opportunity When Client wants Contractor
As I say it is a very rum do for agencies to turn down work like this.
In fact it is virtually unheard of. So that means there must be something behind it.
This however, could turn out to be an opportunity for you to turn yourself into a real business and not just a one-woman band.
Once you are in there, without any agency restrictive clause on your contract, then you can start looking for other business and other opportunities from the client.
See Dr McLaughlin’s Contractor Surgery for more contractor advice articles.
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