You’re only as good as your reputation
When you’re just starting out, all you have is your reputation. Every impression counts and every action you make is giving off an impression of you to potential customers. Make sure you’re not sabotaging your own reputation by committing one of the following very common mistakes.
Avoid these mistakes that will ruin your professional reputation
Inc. Magazine just laid out these mistakes that we can all plead guilty to at one point or another. Don’t let these bad habits ruin your reputation. Once it’s gone, it’s really hard to get back and a bad reputation can spread like a wildfire. Be aware of how you come across. Act all the time as if a client is watching you. Because because they are watching you, and taking notes. And passing them around.
- Being negative – don’t confuse this with justified frustration or letting off a little steam to a colleague or partner every now and again. And who doesn’t like a good snarky comeback. Pick your moments, though. If you’re complaining about everything, everyone is going to get pretty tired of having you around.
- Dividing your attention – in short, put away your cell phones, tablets and other distractions if you’re in a meeting or on a call. We all do it, don’t even pretend you don’t. Whether it’s with your client, your boss or a big company meetings. Even if you think you’re safely hidden from view of the speaker behind a few other colleagues, put away your phone. Stop checking email and messages. Give your boss, your client and your colleagues your full attention. It won’t go unnoticed.
- Breaking promises – the most important promise and the one many people always forget about, is the promise to follow up on an introduction. Or worse, make a promise to provide information and then drop the ball. This is the quickest way to get a reputation as a flake. This one is hard to recover from. And if you got the introduction through an associate you could also be damaging that person’s reputation as well
- Being sloppy
- Sloppy dress – Casual is okay, but we’re not showing up to meetings in rags, sweats or flip-flops…yet.
- Sloppy spelling and grammatical errors
- Sloppy with time – There is no excuse for tardiness. Being late tells your client that you don’t value their time. If you don’t value their time, how can you value their business.
- Lying – We can’t believe Inc. had to put this on the list. But, the truth is that people lie all the time. First of all, this is the information age and you will get caught, so do yourself a favor and tell the truth.
We know it’s cliche, but it’s cliche for a reason: Actions really do speak louder than words.
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