Can’t We All Just Get Along?
I recently met with a bride and, while discussing the vendors she was considering, she told me about a disturbing interaction she had with a very reputable vendor at a bridal show. There was a photographer there who was offering a pretty good incentive to book with her at the show and this bride was very interested. However, while visiting the booth of another vendor, that vendor inquired about who she was considering for other categories. When this vendor learned that this particular photographer was on that list, she pulled this bride aside and said something like…”Well you didn’t hear this from me but I’ve heard that this photographer uses other people’s pictures to advertise their business.” And just like that, the bride wasn’t sure anymore and the photographer lost out on the opportunity to make a sale.
This photographer has been around for years and has a great reputation and does excellent work. There’s no question in my mind that this rumor is either a fabrication or based on some type of misunderstanding. What gets me is why on earth does this other vendor feel the need to step in like that? Reputation is so important and is so hard to build yet so easy to destroy. Why participate in destroying someone’s reputation when you don’t know all the facts?
Unfortunately this happens all the time. People are so quick to jump on the gossip train and pass around untruths without checking their validity. The golden rule applies here for sure.
My policy is that I never, ever talk badly about another vendor, not even my competitors. It’s not my place. Now if I personally have had a bad experience with a vendor, one that occurs often or has the potential to negatively impact the outcome of the event, I may diplomatically discuss it with the client. But I approach this with an attitude of overcoming the challenge instead of avoiding the vendor.
My job is to prove my value to my potential brides, not destroy what others are trying to do. We need to all get along. We need not to be so quick to gossip. We need to be respectful of those out there trying to make a living. We need to be willing to give the benefit of the doubt. And if an issue arises, we need to address it directly with that person.
I approached the photographer and let her know what happened. She was pretty upset about it. It turns out she had a second shooter shoot in her place as she was out recovering from an emergency medical issue. This second shooter claimed the picture she used in an ad was his although it clearly came from her partner’s camera. So instead of discussing this with the photographer, the second shooter decided to vent to other vendors. These other vendors in turn shared it with other vendors and apparently brides in search for a photographer. My photographer friend will recover. Her work speaks for itself but why should she have had to go through this? Be nice people!!
-Feature image by Richard BH