Avoid Closed Door Vendor Networks
02 July 2012
He's presented you the ring and you just said yes, now comes a litany of questions. When will you get married, where will the ceremony be, who will be in your bridal party, where are you going on the honeymoon are just a few of the hundreds of questions you will be asked. You'll also be taxed with deciding on this vendor who can do five things you want, or go with three vendors who can do those same five things. Or you'll have one vendor stand by a recommendation of this DJ or that photographer, while the other vendors won't even have that person on their list.
When you are put in such a conundrum, it can be difficult to decide, especially if you have a short amount of time in which to organize everything. But one question you should always ask of your vendors, "How are you compensated by the vendors who you recommend?" You can also flip this question and ask, "How do you compensate the vendors who recommend you?"
This is a hard, but very important, question to ask. You want to ask it so you can find out if it's a closed-door network vs. an open-door network. A closed-door network is basically a group of vendors who recommend each other and offer kickbacks to others in that same network who provide them business. These kinds of networks are basically pay-to-play and you may not be getting the best for the money you put out.