Your reputation is critical to your success in business. It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur and are your own boss, or you are an employee for a corporation. It is even more critical when you are a network marketing professional.
Warren Buffet famously said – ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you’ll do things differently.’
The most common mistakes that end up destroying your credibility are actually easily avoidable.
Mistake #1 — Being Late
Punctuality matters. It shows that you respect time – yours and of the person you are meeting. Whether it is a face-to-face meeting or a phone appointment, showing up on time makes a huge difference. When you are late, you set a negative tone for the meeting. Instead of beginning your meeting from a position of strength, you are beginning with excuses.
Sometimes, unexpected circumstances get in the way and you just cannot avoid being late. Such situations are exceptions. But when they become the norm, you have a problem in your hands.
Mistake #2 — Overpromising and under-delivering
When you are setting or accepting a deadline think about it carefully before committing to it. Once you commit to it, make sure you meet it. When you say you’re going to send something by a certain time and you fail to follow through, you are proving that you cannot be trusted.
Don’t make promises you know you cannot keep. Nothing brings down your credibility more than your inability to follow through on your word.
In case of network marketers, this is especially true. Do not make claims that are not backed by your company. Do not make claims about unreasonable or unsubstantiated benefits in your enthusiasm to close a sale. It is an irresponsible way to do business and not only does it ruin your personal reputation, it also directly affects the company you are representing.
Mistake #3 — Overemotional reactions
Things don’t always go how you plan. Adversity and failure are part of the journey. It’s how you react that determines whether or not a situation is going to become a crisis. When you react emotionally instead of having the patience to work through a situation rationally and logically, you risk burning your business bridges.
Bring your emotion, your heart, your soul, and your energy to the table, but do that with balance and without being overly reactive.
Once you have been labeled a hothead, it’s hard to undo that reputation and it will only deter your prospects. Who wants to work with a hot mess?
Mistake #4 — Engaging in gossip
When you talk about other people behind their back, it is likely the person you are speaking to is thinking, “I wonder what he/she says about me when I’m not around?”
Be mindful of the words that you choose when you are talking about other people. You can totally sabotage your own reputation and how people feel about doing business with you.
Mistake #5 — Bad social media manners
Almost everyone you know is probably on social media today. It has become an important communication tool for both business and personal networks. How and what you express on your social media accounts says a lot about you. In a digitally connected world where people are constantly bent over their phones and tablets, they are watching what you do online and forming an opinion about you.
As a network marketing professional, often the lines between your social circle and business circles can be blurred. This is all the more reason for you to stop and think before you think about posting something impulsively – “Is this what I want my next customer to see when they check out my social medial profile to decide if they want to do business with me?”
Avoid using social media as an outlet for your frustration for every little thing that goes wrong in your life. You need to ask yourself — Is this helping me or is it hurting me?
Your reputation is a reflection of your character. These five things above are fundamental characteristics that define the image you project. If you think about it, none of these are particularly complicated. It involves common sense, basic human courtesy, and good manners. It’s that simple!