How’s your reputation and credibility?
Thursday, June 19, 2008/
Is it time to look from the outside in? Because credibility can make or break your business. POLLYANNA LENKIC
By Pollyanna Lenkic
About six months ago I was contacted by a chap whose company wanted to break into the Australian market and it reminded me how important our reputation and credibility is and, once damaged, how very hard it is to be trusted and taken seriously again.
It also reminded me what a mistake it is to quickly jump into recommending and connecting people before you know them well enough to do so.
The person, let’s call him George, arranged a conference call with me, lots of compliments about who I was, my achievements etc. We all like being talked up, so going well so far.
He gave me an outline of what he was doing and it sounded quite interesting; when it came to drilling down to details it started going south.
George made lots of promises, probably made in the moment reacting to a business opportunity – understandable. This became less so as time went on and there was still no follow through or delivery on any of the actions agreed.
He then put one of his senior people on the case due to being too busy with other business opportunities – they also did a poor job of following through.
What was the impact?
- A lack of trust of both individuals and their company.
- Serious doubt and concern about introducing them to any of my contacts.
- A loss of interest in the business proposal.
- Annoyed at their lack of consideration for my time.
- His incongruence made it very difficult for me to take him seriously .
Now George is a nice guy, he runs a successful business overseas and may have even felt bad about missed calls and not sending through the follow up information. And none of that matters because there is more chance of him being knighted than me ever taking a business proposition seriously through him or his company in the future.
A very timely and great reminder about how important it is to safeguard our reputations, to treat people in business how we expect to be treated, and to never become complacent with the relationships that we already have.
I listened to Carolyn Creswell from Carmen’s Fine Foods talk yesterday at a business lunch, a very busy and successful business woman and mother. One of her clear messages was that she always got back to people, even if it was a short response, because she was never too busy to respond.
I think I should send George some of Carolyn’s business tips.
Pollyanna Lenkic is the founder of Perspectives Coaching, an Australian based coaching and training company. She is an experienced facilitator, certified coach and a certified practitioner of NLP. In 1990 she co-founded a specialist IT recruitment consultancy in London, which grew to employ 18 people and turnover £11 million ($27 million). This blog is about the mistakes she made and the lessons she learned building a business the first time round and how to do it better second time round. For more information go to www.perspectivescoaching.com.au
For more Second Time Around, click here.