is not brought to you
or given to you;
it’s something that you fight for.
You can forget that, especially
if you've had some success.
Getting an audience is HARD.
Sustaining an audience is HARD.
It demands a consistency of thought,
of purpose, and of action
over a long period of time.”
It's Sunday night
and almost time to close up shop.
I was reviewing some projects
I’m working on and saw some things
that may be helpful to you.
Some weeks seem to have a theme.
This past week has been
about trust and reputation.
When you work with people,
there is nothing more sacred
than someone's trust in you.
Your reputation isn't the image
You can have the best looking website.
You can dress better than fashion models
and be a billionaire.
That might get you attention.
But your reputation
comes down to one question:
Can people count on you or not?
I work with a client in corporate finance.
I've worked with them for years
and I love them like family.
When we work with outside companies,
I watch them like a hawk.
If we’re counting on them for something,
they have to deliver.
Two weeks ago,
we met with a partner company
that handles some of
our most important business.
Important as in
millions of dollars on the line.
Our main contact left
and a new person took over.
Will this person be on top of everything?
I’m not leaving that to chance.
So I picked up the phone
and helped catch him up.
I told him what we’re most focused on
and what to avoid.
Takeaway #1 –
If something is important
and someone else is handling it,
YOU are the backup plan.
If he drops the ball… that slows us down.
I can’t manage everything.
But if I’m sharing the stage,
it’s up to me to back him up.
When the curtain closes,
we can settle up and debrief.
But not when the lights are on
and the show has started.
He took my advice.
The meeting went great.
Takeaway #2 –
Know who your audience is
and treat them like they’re special.
When Bruce Springsteen
is playing to his fans,
They all love his music.
So what does he have to know?
Just play Springsteen songs
and everyone’s happy – right?
On his last tour, he mixed it up.
In Australia, he covered a song
by Australian natives AC/DC.
When he was in New Zealand,
he sang a song by Lorde
(from New Zealand).
Bruce tailored his show
to the people in front of him.
I took the time to help the rep
get on the right foot.
He treated it casually.
A polite thanks but not much more.
Takeaway #3 –
Thank people profusely for their help.
A college professor once told me:
“good will is a commodity
you never want to waste.”
I can’t babysit the rep.
And he’s acting like
he’s got it all under control.
Now it’s up to him to deliver.
He has to do his homework
and the next meeting is all him.
So how’d he do?
It starts off with
his first weekly report for us.
Front page of the report:
our company name is spelled wrong.
That doesn't look good.
When they bill us,
the name is spelled perfectly.
I know – you might be thinking
of all those cool emails you get
where people misspell words.
Does spelling really matter?
If it’s for a major presentation, yes.
Plus, It’s really hard
to spell things wrong.
Think of anything you write in:
iPhone, Chrome, Firefox,
Gmail – they ALL have spell check.
You'd have to get into a fistfight
with your computer
to spell something wrong.
On top of that, maybe you spend
10 seconds to paste it into Word
and triple check it.
When we saw the company name
being spelled wrong,
the red flags went up.
What ELSE did he miss?
He missed a lot.
He gave us ideas for things
we had already done
with his company months ago.
He could have gotten this information
with a little digging.
Or he could have asked us directly
a week before the meeting
and we would have been happy to tell him.
But he didn't.
And our confidence in him dropped.
If you don’t know, don’t pretend you do.
Ask for help. Do your research.
He has so much help available to him.
We are invested in him doing well.
"He who asks,
is a fool for five minutes,
but he who does not ask
remains a fool forever."
Takeaway # 5
is either making
someone else look good
or making them look bad.
If you get someone to do business with you,
they’re taking a chance on you
and giving you something back.
It could be their attention,
their respect, their cash or all three.
If they take a chance on you
and you make them look bad,
prepare for problems.
Unlike our rep,
we’re hyper focused.
Sometimes we have
a meeting before the meeting
to plan out what we're going to cover
in addition to what’s on their agenda.
And we always have
a meeting after the meeting
to plan our action steps.
We decide who’s going
to do what and by when.
If you’re constantly sloppy with the little things,
you don’t get trusted with the big things.
If we're paying you to do something
and I'm more on top of it than you are,
thanks for your time. We have to part ways.
That doesn't mean it happens instantly.
We’ll still work with our rep.
And I’ll still do what I can to help him.
If people are counting on you,
always give your best.
Everyone has a list of people
they can count on and people they can’t.
You do too.
It’s 2am and you have a major emergency.
You have to talk to someone about it right now.
Who’s the first person you think of?
Whoever you just named,
there’s a reason why
that name came up first.
How many seconds
did you take to think about it?
I’ll bet it that name came to you instantly.
Because when the chips are down,
you have to know who
will be there for you no matter what.
Now think of the one person
you would NEVER call for help at 2am.
They’re great at a party,
but not when it counts.
THAT is the power of reputation.
It applies to every area of your life.
“Never be an option.
Always be the choice.”
More to come,