So, there is some knowledge you gain from your career and this information is important and valuable because it save the client big money.

For example, for OTP verification with a mobile number, there exist many free services which client is unaware of. He thinks that all services are paid and I told them that there are some free services which I can integrate.

Now before the proposal has been accepted, he ask me what service am I going to use for OTP verification which I claim to be free and reliable? I am afraid he will get the information from me and use it with some other Freelancer.

How should this be tackled, should I pass the information without knowing if I will gain the proposal or dodge it?


This is indeed tricky question and no one can give you a proper answer. I am always in doubt when I am faced with such dilemma. If I tell them, they may use this information and hire someone to do it, but if I do not tell them, they will not hire me.

From my experience, each time I told client that I cannot disclose my full portfolio before we have audio talk (when I am suspicious that he may be using my portfolio as his own), I was never contacted back. The same when I told them that I cannot disclose information before I am their official contractor, clients did not come back to me any more.

Was it because they wanted free advise? Was it because they thought that I am not as experienced as I am presenting myself? I do not know this!

So do like we all would do:

  1. if you are so desperate of work, disclose this information and tell him that there are a lot of things like this one which you are aware of and that you are sure that your knowledge will contribute to his project.

  2. if you are not desperate for work, tell him that you are not willing to disclose this information before you become their contractor and try to explain some other things that you can contribute to the project.

I am interested to see what others will say.

  • 1
    Just for a fact, I tried the if you are not desperate for work. I said that I can tell you many free services which can contribute to the project once we start the work. At least I got the project.
    – Shubham A.
    Apr 21 '17 at 12:17
  • Good. Now just do the good work and build long-term relations and you have 1 worry less on your mind.
    – Peter MV
    Apr 24 '17 at 14:37

Just because those services are free doesn't mean you have to give up the information about them for free. There's no benefit for you.

I'd tell my client the same thing, and offer a written report - a deliverable - that the client can review. But you make the client PAY for the report, separate of your other services. Set your own price, and be reasonable. Make it absolutely clear, right from the beginning, that you're not in business to be your client's "buddy".


It's not like it's patented information? And besides a contract, there must be a certain degree of trust between 2 parties or you shouldn't accept the assignment in the first place. Because you can keep adding to this list: What if he decides not to pay you?

The way I look at it: You are a business man and so is your client. You have a service he wants, or you wouldn't be sitting there. For him to pull weird stunts just to save on costs, will cost him more in reputation then he will save in costs. And good businessmen will know that you only have one reputation to spend. So in the rare case something like that would happen, rest assure that that guy won't be in business long.

If you go all secret on him, that won't do the relationship any good. So start from trust, be open, honest and transparent, untill you have actual reason to doubt. That will build a much better relationship and the chance for repeat business.

  • Well, I do not agree. Using your words, my question was what if the client is not a businessman? and just collecting some data to use with another person. Just like it will be wrong to expect client to trust you in first meeting, it is wrong to trust the client when we're first talking.
    – Shubham A.
    May 18 '17 at 1:47
  • You're making all kinds of assumptions about the person in front of you. Besides that, can't see anywhere in your question where you mention: "what if the client is not a businessman?". If I don't trust a client, or it doesn't feel good for any reason, I won't even sit down at the table. You ask an opinion based question, I oblige and give you an opinion. Why ask it in the first place if you only going to overrule it with a statement of fact? I do not know where you're from, but clearly we have a very different set of norms and values. In business and polite discussion it seems. May 18 '17 at 2:05

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