I recently saw an Indian based movie with a piece of dialog that stood out to me. It went something like this:
"Politics isn't about who you are;
it's about what people hear about you."
Successful politicians always keep track of what people hear about them and what kind of impression they create. After all, public appeal is a strong factor in winning any election. In the same way, businesses should always strive to track and control what people hear about them; this habit can make or break sales.
PR & Reputation
Every entrepreneur is familiar with two things: PR and reputation. In today's highly competitive market, it takes more than a catchy tagline and good reviews to convert ideal clients into buyers.
With the rise of social media, consumers made a bold statement to every current and future business: they want to see the people behind the brand, and they want in on the action.
The truth is it can take years of hard work to establish and build a quality reputation, but it takes mere seconds to ruin it. Politicians are an excellent example. Consider former President Clinton. His reputation was safe until the scandal with Monica Lewinsky went public. In the time it took for a newscast to televise the story, irreparable damage was done to the President's reputation.
Monitoring Your Reputation
When marketing your business, you no doubt took care in selecting your target demographic and catering to their quirks. You've worked to build a reputation around your marketing plan, and you've toiled tirelessly to leave a focused impression—one that will encourage potential clients to learn more about you, join your community and ultimately make a purchase.
It's vital to track your reputation. How? The best method is often to flat out ask! Most people respond favorably to surveys. Consider building some of the following questions into surveys or social media polls for potential, current and past buyers:
- Where did you hear about us?
- How did you find our website?
- Based on what you heard about us, did we meet your expectations? Why or why not?
- Would you refer a colleague, friend or family member? Why or why not?
You can also track your reputation by keeping an eye on your media. What are people saying about you, your business and your product or service on social media channels? Are people writing reviews or blogging about you? What are they saying?
If you leverage the power of a blog on your website, consider engaging your readership. Ask them to share their impression of you and your company. By actively engaging your ideal clients, you will be promoting a positive impression and reputation. The more actively you display your care and concern for your community, the more readily you will make a positive and lasting impression. Prospective clients love customer service and care. They want to feel like individuals, not mere sales on a report.
Creating and promoting a positive self-image for both you and your company is invaluable. Stay tuned for more tips!