Deciding whether or not to recommend your supplier can be a tough decision for a number of reasons. Will the supplier perform as well for my colleague as they did for me? Will sending new business my supplier’s way detract from their capacity to serve my needs?
Then there is the question of how well you know your supplier, and what can be expected of them for the long term. Perhaps they performed well on the first order, but how will they respond when things go wrong? Have they been just as attentive on your recent orders as they were on the initial one? What if there is an unexpected disruption or delay – will they give you a heads-up, or will you have to call to find out what’s going on?
When considering whether or not you would recommend your supplier to someone else, ask yourself these questions, and think about whether or not you should still be using them. If you determine your supplier relationship is really strong, why not reward them with a referral or a recommendation? If your supplier requests a reference (good suppliers should ask first) be sure to think it through. If you have a solid partnership with your supplier, you can ask questions like, “Will the gain in new business adversely affect my deliveries?” A quality supplier will answer your honest questions with integrity because they understand the value of business relationships built on trust and respect.
If you feel confident in your supplier, but feel reluctant to risk your supply base, remember that rewarding companies who work hard for you strengthens them, and deepens your partnership with them.
Finally, keep in mind that your recommendation is your word and your reputation. You should be proud to recommend your supply chain partners.