Reputation management is a 24-hour a day job
This month, I've been helping a friend show an apartment he has for rent. He's in the hospital so I offered to post the ads, take the calls, set the appointments, and show the unit. At the time, I had no idea that would mean fielding a minimum of 20 calls a day and showing the unit 75 times over the course of two weeks. The process has taken over my life, but it's very interesting to have contact with so many different people. Even more interesting to see how many of those folks are incredibly challenged when it comes to basic social skills.
People who are interested in the apartment call me outside of the times I said I would accept calls (phoning me at 11:45pm isn't gonna win you any brownie points). I've had several people get short with me because I was unable to show the apartment at the time they initially suggested. Yet, others, just leave vague messages; not identifying themselves or leaving contact info. And, don't even get me started on all the people who are no shows and don't have the courtesy to call me so I don't waste my time waiting.
So, what does this have to do with business? Well, it got me to wondering what kind of employees or proprietors these people are. Are some of these problem children as self-involved and unaware in their workplaces? Do they act entitled and demanding in meetings? Are they disrespectful of their supervisor's time and uncaring as to whether they inconvenience their peers or customers?
I've met many talented people during this process. Some of the folks work in professional capacities where I might be able to send some potential work their way. Others are people who would probably benefit from some good word of mouth about their businesses. One guy I was excited about meeting because I had heard of his restaurant and was eager to try it (his assistant set up the appointment with me). However, when the man showed up, he was rude and dismissive to me. Rest assured I won't be patronizing his establishment after that encounter.
Remember, in its most basic form, personal branding is about reputation. Who we are is reflected in our daily actions and interactions, whether we think about it or not. How we spend our time, the company we keep, the way we treat others. It all conveys something to those around us. Do you want that impression to be good? Or do you not care?
What are you doing to ensure that your personal and professional reputation is the best that it can be? Remember, everything you do is yet another opportunity to outshine the competition! Will you seize that chance or let it slip away?