In your business, your credibility – your reputation – is the most important commodity that you have.
It is more important than any piece of glitzy marketing you’ve ever put together. It’s more important than any piece of your stellar lead funnel. It’s more important than the design of any product or program you have.
If you are a small business owner, your credibility matters, your integrity matters, your reputation matters tremendously.
When I think back to many years ago, my younger sister was starting out in the corporate world and she came to me and asked if I had any advice for her. The number one piece of advice I gave her was, “Always do what you say you will do, and do it when you say you will do it. If you can’t do it when you said you would, ALWAYS tell people in advance of that time that you cannot do it AND what you are going to do about that.”
Pretty simple, straightforward advice right?
Do what you say you’re going to do. Do it when you say you’re going to do it. And, if you can’t do it – speak up.
It’s not rocket science people.
Have you every had a lunch meeting scheduled with someone and you’re there, waiting for them on time and they show up 30 minutes late with excuses about why they’re late? They didn’t bother to call, or text, they just show up late? And while you’re thinking, “hey, my time is important too!” you still let it go because it’s a one-off. Then the next time you’re supposed to meet them for coffee the exact same thing happens. Or better yet, you schedule a consultation with someone for 30-minutes of your time for free and the person is a no show. Have you ever had these things happen?
When you do those things to people you are chipping away at your credibility. When you chip away at your credibility you suddenly become a person who is lacking in integrity.
This is really important – if you cannot honor your commitments people do not trust you.
When people do not trust you, they do not trust you with their referrals either.
I’m a little bit anal retentive – when I say I’m going to do something, I do it and when I say I’m going to be somewhere I’m early.Early is on time and on time is late. Click To Tweet
If I tell a client I’m going to have them something by 5 o’clock they will have it by 4 o’clock.
If I can’t get it to them on time I’m going to let them know several hours before it’s due if not the day before AND I will tell them why it is delayed.
It’s that simple – but often people don’t do it.
We don’t communicate the hard messages.
If it is the exception that you cannot deliver then it is no big deal…if it is the norm then you have a huge problem.
Your word is the most important thing you have in your business.
Your capacity to do what you say you will do and follow through is the best way to generate referral business.
I have an entire division of my company that provides “Done For You” marketing services and it does several hundred thousand dollars a year of business. I have not marketed that once. It’s not even on my website. Every single client who does business with us there is a referral. It’s a referral from one who led to the next, and so on. That part of my business gets so busy that I have to turn business away! I don’t expand that part of my business because we’re so busy that I don’t want to jeopardize our ability to deliver what we said we would to the clients that we already have.
This is not rocket science – you’ve got to do what you say you’re going to do when you say you will do it.
It starts with you – you need to honor the commitments you make to yourself – if you can’t keep your word to yourself, you won’t be able to honor it for other people.