I own a small custom cookie business in Los Angeles, and have begun to do more outreach, networking, etc. with other wedding and event vendors. I have met a few vendors that I really like, who I would all be happy to "endorse" or link to on my website (if we decide to add that section).
My question is--how do you respond if someone approaches you to "endorse" or list them on your website, but you do not think the quality of their work is what you would want to lead others to? (this has not happened to me yet)
My inclination is that I wouldn't want to associate my busines with a company that doesn't do good work, difficult to deal with, etc. but are there any good and tactful responses that you have used in the past? Or, is it best to network/affiliate with as many people as possible and let my work speak for itself? Or, take the easy way out and not endorse/suggest anyone (in writing)?
I helped start the Louisville Wedding Network. We're very organized, incorporated, have officers and an application process. Perhaps you might want to organize something similar in your area. www.LouisvilleWeddingNetwork.com
My first full year int he Network, my business doubled.
I am interested in other's responses as well, since I know a wedding planner that really wants me to refer her and link on my webpage but she is soooo unprofessional.
If you don't want to add their link to your site, why not just say no. Do you know how ticked off I'ld be if I went with a vendor that was terrible who was reffered by a vendor I trusted. Yeah, I get it. Potential business loss, but there are others ways you could lose business as well. At lease your reputation remains intact.
If a business is asking you to endorse them and you don't really know that much about them but have second-hand information that they're unreliable, unprofessional or just plain bad, tell them you only endorse companies that you know personally and have first-hand knowledge of their business.
Now...if it's a business that you DO know personally and have first-hand knowledge that they're not what you desire when referring clients, you might want to tell them that you have a waiting list of businesses who want to be endorsed and that right now you're at your limit for endorsing other businesses (after all, you're not an advertising service) but you'll add their name to the wait list. However, it will go at the bottom of your list so that others who have asked prior will be considered first. You might also let them know that before you endorse a business you check them out thoroughly, including any complaints with the BBB - I'll bet there will be some people who say, "Oh ok - well that's fine, never mind."
Maybe that will put them off until you can come up with a better response???