A great reputation breeds success in every dimension of life, including business. Your business reputation has five elements:
- Reputation of company
- Reputation of product
- Reputation of service delivery
- Reputation of who you do business with, and
- Your personal reputation
Although your personal reputation is paramount, the other elements are essential as well.
Building a great reputation takes years; losing it can happen in minutes. Here are five things you can do today that will strengthen your and your employees’ reputation for the long haul.
- Become known for delivering everything you promise – on time, every time. This rule is all about dependability, reliability, and keeping your word. It’s about trust. No trust means…NO BUSINESS!
- Become known as friendly and easy to work with. Customers expect everything on their terms. And they expect it when they need it…not just when we are best able to provide it. The lesson is: Be friendly when you're there, and be friendly and accessible when you're not.
- Become known for proactive, legendary service. Listen carefully. Develop an uncanny ability to identify problems even before your customer recognizes them, and be ready with smart, unique solutions. Doing so will differentiate you from competitors. You’ll be discussed in a positive sense, often earning testimonials in the process.
- Become known for consistently providing help (adding value) to your customers. It starts by considering what is important to them, putting their welfare before the sale. Examples include increasing revenue, decreasing expenses, improving efficiencies, and anything else that will help them learn and grow.
- Become known as someone who finds business for your customers. Although not always possible, this is a valuable practice that will earn customer loyalty and a great reputation. So, find leads, make introductions, give referrals, and facilitate networking opportunities. Make the Law of Reciprocity work for you.