Unfortunately, every situation is a political one. If your remove yourself from the process or feel as if you don't have to participate, then unfortunately you're going to have a lot more lost commissions and the clients won't believe that you believe that your talents are worth keeping - and so why would they keep you?
Being diplomatic, having tact and taking the other consultant out for a beer or lunch can quickly allow you to understand what, how and why the client may be requesting a second opinion.
In fact, why does the relationship with the client have to be all or nothing? Why just one consultant? Can there be a working relationship between you and the other consultant? Certainly, the client may only want one - however with the right business case they can have 2 and have the project come in faster?
It's surprising the 'us vs them' mentality that occurs especially where we feel entitled - because after all - 'we were there first.' Remember, no matter how valuable we are, we can always be replaced.
It truly pays to find out what's really going on...
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