The one topic that the referral handbooks don’t cover is the question of … internal disputes. When partnerships fail and the rogue is uncovered … the apple-cart tips!
As a referral partner, should I shout about it? Whisper the warnings? Maybe report the offending operator as a dud and not worthy of anyone else’s’ attention – or all of the above?
Our Business Forum is a great place to be – even more so now we’ve just recently introduced a reporting process for grievances and it’s working well…
Here’s a recent example …
In this case the offender had withheld payment for services completed by a long-standing referral partner. (Yes, someone within the same Group.) Usually the work provided is paid by return and there is a clear understanding to the working relationship (to a point!)
The supplier (referral partner) had recently moved locality through necessity and advised the offender although with this change the offender saw opportunity and decided to renege on the existing long-standing relationship by withholding the outstanding dues.
Now it goes without saying that the outgoing supplier was/is on good terms with the Network Group, with many solid relations and as an influential figure, he is someone that others, when in doubt, looked toward for guidance.
Our Network now have in place a simple direction for resolution:
Reporting the issue by email to the Network ‘Chair’ and copying in to the solicitor/mediator within the Group quickly had the desired effect, supplier paid, lessons learned and job done, we move on.
So what of the alternative?
Would you shout about the situation to anyone listening … that the offender was to be avoided and certainly never trusted? Unlikely, although this could happen.
Bringing the organisation into disrepute through malice has a devastating effect and should be avoided although no one is happy being ripped-off by those who were once trusted.
This is one instance where we see that ‘business is indeed personal,’ and that even long term relationships are scuppered when greed rears it’s ugly head.
Shut that door!