Your success in your business or career is largely dependent on how your peers, employees and customers view you. This means that your reputation is of topmost importance. You must work at building and maintaining an impeccable professional reputation. Here, we discuss some ways of building a good professional reputation that will lead to success.
- Have uncompromising integrity
Without reputation you have nothing. Doing the right thing even when no one is watching is a way to build a great reputation. That is what integrity is. As long as your actions are aligned with your inner values, others’ perceptions of you won’t have a long-term effect on your personal and professional life. If you focus on a high standard of inner integrity, everything in the outside world will eventually work itself out—even when you make mistakes.
Prevent disputes by doing away with misunderstanding or lack of disclosure in your dealings. Make it a point in everything you do to be completely transparent and provide full disclosure. If a business deal is ever anything less than crystal clear, refrain from getting involved. Usually it’s the deal which seems too good to be true that ends up being the worst, be sure that everything is clear before you embark on it. Always behave in a transparent manner. Show the real you to everyone. Secrets rarely prove beneficial. You will gain the trust of those you work with by being honest and transparent.
- Manage and leverage your digital footprint.
People usually study your online presence before making a decision to work with you. What will they find when they look at your online presence? LinkedIn profiles should be optimized, reviews monitored and videos posted. At least the first page of Google should be directly influenced by you. It’s a digital world and managing what appears online about you is critical.
- Always own problems, then solve them
Take responsibility for your actions. People make mistakes, but when you try to hide those mistakes, your reputation can be ruined. Don’t make your client find out from someone else that you made a mistake. Own the problem, fix it, train your people better if you have to, then provide your client with a solution, not a mess! This can be done better when you put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Ask yourself questions such as how your service can best address the core issue at hand. You may possess a clearer understanding of a situation because of your background or because you are removed from emotions. Have the courage to ask deep questions and challenge assumptions.
- Look for opportunities to improve.
Regularly poll your customers and business associates on how you are performing. While the news may be painful to hear at times, it’s necessary to reach new levels of effectiveness. Customers will appreciate your dedication to excellence. Research more, study more and find out ways you can be more effective. You can’t expect to get better if you don’t put the work in.
- Be reliable
When you are predictable and reliable, you win the trust of your clients. Clients don’t want to be left wondering how you will perform on their challenge. If you say you will return a call at 3 p.m or make a delivery by the end of the week, do it! Leave the excuses for the “B” players in your industry. This is the big leagues! Always do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. Behave in a consistent manner. When people know what to expect from you, and you always act in the same way, you establish your reputation as a professional who is above reproach.
- Be strategically responsive.
It sounds simple enough, but establish a standard for communication. How soon do you respond to a request? Create a system such that if you are out of the office, someone can respond to the request effectively. What constitutes an emergency? When should your cell phone number be given out? These questions need clear answers. Speed is the number one priority.
- Have a sense of urgency.
Ever heard the saying, “Your lack of planning does not make my emergency”? That doesn’t entirely work in the business. Your customer’s emergencies are your emergencies if you want to keep them. Be the vendor who tackles every task quickly and sees it through to the end.