Just as reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic were important when we attended elementary school, the new 3R’s, representation, recommendations, and review are equally important for business. Your personal brand ultimately depends upon taking this into very serious consideration.
As you take on new clients, are you giving them 100% of what you promised plus a little bit more than what is expected?
Some people choose to cut corners or hope that their client will not demand all of the committed time agreed upon. In this way, the business owner believes will see a greater profit but the opposite is true when enough disgruntled clients begin a negative movement.
Sometimes disappointment will set in when you recognize someone you trusted for their expertise is instead “winging it”. This is detected by less than stellar outcomes leading to further investigation of what is truly put into place.
Poor word of mouth travels far more quickly than good word of mouth, particularly with social media sites connecting us to thousands, if not millions, of people in our networks. A pristine representation of who you are, what your business stands for and proper implementation of services including professional interaction with clients will lead you to a returning and referring clientele.
In this instance, the recommendations being referred to are the ones you provide for others. Do you know the person whom you are recommending both personally and professionally? Are you familiar with both their personal values as well as ethics for conducting business?
Recommendations should not be just about the fact the person is excellent in their profession. They should also cover whether you were treated fairly, if expectations were met and exceeded, and degree of satisfaction with the outcome of having worked together.
On occasion you may have a poor experience with another. When a third party asks your opinion, proceed honestly and cautiously. When needing to explain a poor experience, do so privately over the phone. Pointedly ask the conversation be kept private before you proceed.
When you are asked to recommend the business of another but don’t actually know much about them, the next step is to research their work prior to proceeding. Research their website and social media profiles. Does it sound as if you might be in alignment? For example, if the asking person is a coach, ask to experience a thirty-minute coaching session to better understand how they work and to gain insight on the outcome others might derive. If sampling the service is not feasible, but you still wish to proceed with a testimonial, write it so that you are not jeopardizing your reputation.
When someone trusts your judgment only to realize the recommended party isn’t so terrific, you become far less trust-worthy for future recommendations. On the other hand, when the overall experiences are similar to yours, then your reputation blossoms.
For future give and take of reviews, work with those you know, like and trust to avoid any missteps.
When a business owner exemplifies a sound reputation, what follows next is the Smooth Sale!