GITOMER: Build your reputation
Your reputation precedes you. Your reputation creates or destroys sales. What’s yours?
With the onslaught of social media, good and bad actions and comments relating to quality of product, quality of service and quality of experience are at the forefront of corporate awareness.
Many companies are reluctant to get into social media for fear customers will say or post negative things about them.
REALITY: Those companies and their leaders are unaware that customers are going to post those feelings anyway.
WORSE REALITY: Many companies are under the influence of shallow lawyers who warn executives that the sky is falling if someone tweets.
WORST REALITY: Even more ridiculous are the companies that “forbid” the use of social media at work based on the fear their employees will waste time searching for their old high school romance.
NEWS ALERTS: Social media is now a mainstay. The floodgates of social freedom are reshaping the world and at the same time reshaping – or at least redefining – your company, your product, your service and your people through the voice of your customers.
Social media, when combined with word-of-mouth advertising and stories that may appear online or in print, determines your fate and your future. All of that combines to equal YOUR REPUTATION.
1. Become known for doing everything you said you would do – on time or sooner. To have any prayer for a reputation, you must be known as a person who does and delivers what you promise.
2. Become known for being easy to do business with, and for being friendly while you are doing it. Customers expect everything and they expect it when they need it – not just when you can offer it.
3. Become known for being proactively remarkable. When you stand out from other vendors, you will be talked about, and earning a reputation (and a testimonial) will be simple.
4. Become known for providing consistent help. If you get my weekly email magazine, Sales Caffeine, you know it is all about sales help. Each week, I provide my customers information of value – information that helps them learn and grow. And I do it for free. As a result, my customers and followers are loyal, they think of me often in a positive way, and they proactively send me referrals on a regular basis.
4.5. Become known as someone who gets business for customers. Figure out a way to help your customers by providing them leads, referrals and networking opportunities so they have an opportunity to get new business.
RESULT: The most incredible reputation will come your way.
Here are a few more things you can do to create and build reputation:
• Establish WOW! empowerment for employees who face customers’ concerns and complaints. Give them specific things they can do (offer free product, free gift, gift certificate, free shipping).
• Create a Wikipedia page that boasts your accomplishments and generates more key words.
• Design and post a YouTube channel filled with testimonials. Make sure the titles are searchable and contain the word “testimonial.”
• Start with YES! Train all people in your company to tell customers what you CAN do, not what you CAN’T do.
• Write an article that contains several examples of what you’re doing to build your reputation. Post it on your Facebook page and blog it.
• Encourage your customers to post their opinions of a transaction or interaction.
When you let your positive words and actions speak for themselves, your reputation rises in the process.
Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached by phone at (704) 333-1112 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2011 Jeffrey H. Gitomer