Reputation Defines You

It is not just famous people that have a reputation, everyone has one. People pay far more attention when someone says they have a good dentist or lawyer than any sort of advertising.

The strength of your relationships with clients and stakeholders is the key to a good reputation. Developing this is harder than it looks. Networkers who spend their days sending emails, texts, and organising lunch dates are of little use to your organisation. Knowing how to use your networking skills to shift and develop ideas is key to enhancing long term relationships and strategic alliances.

Creating a strong reputation

There are a lot of skills and techniques that can be adopted to improve and sustain your relationships. Put yourself in the shoes of the client or stakeholder and look at what needs to happen from their perspective. Then identify the bad habits of your organisation and look at ways to change them. The key is to develop and use a system to review decisions and learn from mistakes. Part of this process is identifying ways to engage your clients so they tell you what they think and suggest improvements.

This philosophy needs to be embraced by your whole team, so empower your staff by giving them responsibility and let them make decisions.

Working with stakeholders

There are some things you cannot change or influence. You cannot be liked by everyone. The perceived wisdom of "the customer is always right" is out dated. But you do need a system of dealing with complaints, a way to try and solve them and a way to say that we can't help anymore.

Problem solving becomes easier when your relationships are sound. If people know you and like you they will be willing to work through issues with you.

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