Ruth Thirtle
Ruth Thirtle RUTH THIRTLE is a relationship marketing experts who loves nothing more than to see people transform into even more successful versions of themselves. Ruth made the leap from the corporate world to business ownership in 2007 after 15 years of management, sales and recruitment experience when she realised that she had more to offer to business owners than she could deliver as an employee. Ruth is all about “Inspiring Profitable Conversations” and an in-demand speaker. She has individual business coaching clients both in Australia and the UK. She is also a contributing author in The Law of Attraction in Action and The Power of 100 books and a regular contributor to the Business Blogging Network.

Ruth Thirtle has written 13 article(s) for us.

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Reputation and Business Relationships

August 16, 2012 | Ruth Thirtle

Thinking of doing business in China. Make sure you do your homework.

Most people would rather risk their life than their reputation.

You may think that is an exaggeration but I will set you a task to discover this for yourself.

Go and stand at a busy intersection and observe. You will not have to wait long before you see someone dodge traffic and cross the road without a green man or walk signal. As that person gets to the other side of the road, ask them to refer business to you. They will not do it and the reason for that is that they value their reputation – more than their life.

Now, do not get me wrong. I am definitely not saying do not guard your reputation. It is vital that you do so. What I am saying is that as you build your business through relationships, you need to know that this is the case.

Some of the ways that you are asking people to put their reputation on the line in business are asking for:

  • Referrals
  • Recommendations and Testimonials
  • Endorsements
  • Introduction to a contact
  • Strategic Partnership Arrangements

There are five things for you to consider regarding relationships and reputation.

  1. Treat every piece of business with respect as you never know where it will lead and who they know.
  2. Be honest and authentic when dealing with people – if you can’t help someone, tell them – don’t just ignore it.
  3. Edify people that you are dealing with – social media is a great way to do this.
  4. Interact with your network, prospects and clients and get feedback all the way.
  5. Act on the feedback that you get – adapt where you need to.

In following these five things, you will guard and improve your reputation while taking care with the reputations of other people.

I will often do a test piece of business with someone in order to decide if I will refer business to them. This might not be lucrative in the first instance but when I send repeat business, business from clients and business from my connections their way, it can be very lucrative. However, I will not risk my reputation if they do not do a good job of looking after me in the first place.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”  – Warren Buffett