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Tips on Developing a Reputation as a Credible Businessperson

No matter your field of business, your reputation is a very important attribute to maintain and to market. Becoming credible or reputable in your particular field will take hard work and discipline. With some discipline and creative marketing, you should be able to develop a powerful reputation that will bring a lot of business your way.

First and foremost, you have to be honest! Honesty in business will speak volumes about your character. If you can be trusted in and with a business transaction, word-of-mouth advertising will become your best friend. Referrals will start pouring in and making money will become second nature. If you “tell it as it is” (even if the truth is something the other parties do not want to hear) your clients, business partners, and/or customers will respect you for that.

Second, you have to know when to play “hardball.” Negotiating a contract (or any other item) can be a nasty, time consuming monster. You always want to get the best deal for your client, and this can sometimes mean that you and the other party may get into a heated debate. These can be avoided with some calming conversations, however, I can almost guarantee that this situation will happen at least once in your business career. If you represent your client to the best of your ability (whether in real estate or some other business) your client will know that you are looking out for his/her interests. The client will pay you back two fold: first, you will be paid your rate (whether commission or hourly) and second, you will receive referrals from that client.

Third, do not nickel and dime your clients. Whether you work for commission or an hourly fee, your clients are going to scrutinize every item on their final bill. If a client disputes a legitimate, significant charge you probably should not give in to their dispute. What is legitimate and significant? That decision is yours to make. On the other hand, you do not want to argue over something small if it prevents the large from being paid. Keep things in perspective and decide where you are flexible on billing arrangements.

Last, you have to know when to cut your losses. Not every client you meet or do business with is going to be all “roses and sunshine.” You are going to meet some clients you cannot stand, are not highly intelligent, and/or never listen to a word you say, which translates into you having to constantly clean up his/her mess. Sometimes you have to tell a client “no.” They might not like you in the short term, but when they discover that your decision was in their best interest (assuming your decision was in their best interest) they will develop a greater respect for you.

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