Can honesty bring clients, lead to additional deals, more closed business? Yes, it sure can by building your online reputation.
Giving truthful assessments, being honest about completing work, and simply doing what is agreed to is a great business practice, as well as just right.
An example recently occurred. A client contacted me about a problem with their online reputation and needed it repaired because three negative posts showed up on the first page of Google, and this severely impacted their business.
Free Evaluation: Take Him To Lunch
Before engaging the client, I offered some free advise as part of evaluation process: contact the blogger and politely request he take down the defamatory post. In my experience, this rarely works, but is worth a try. Be sure, however, to proceed with caution because it could inflame the blogger and make things worse in the long run.
My client took my suggestion, and after taking him to lunch, the blogger agreed to remove the post. So for a $10 hamburger, the client saved about twenty thousands dollars in professionals fees as well as lost business due to the negative reputation impeding business for months.
Honesty Leads to Happy Client, More Business
Needless to say, the client was extremely happy; I was happy that I could help and hoped offering some honest advice would build a good working relationship down the road.
And almost immediately, it did, and this lead to new business.
Several dead-links remained when searching for my client’s name, and he contracted me to remove them as part of repairing his online reputation.
But just as I received payment and was about to address the issue, the problem disappeared on their own. I told the client that the links were gone, but that since I didn’t go anything, I would give him a refund.
Again, he was extremely thankful and again offered me more work—at ten times the previous rate.
…Resulting in Ten Times More Work
Integrity pays off. Because of the trust and honesty built over the week, he wanted to work with Recover Reputation on another project, that was much larger in scope than the original engagement.
I was the only one knowing the project had resolved itself; certainly the client never would have known. But since I did, I could not take a client’s money in good conscience (even though I needed it since other clients were late in making payments) without doing any work.
The online reputation field—like many others—has, well, a bad reputation. As a professional in this field, I am aware of this. I usually get many clients who tried the big online reputation management firms but were dissatisfied and unhappy with poor results and a lack of integrity.
But being honest brings more clients—no matter what the industry. Its a good business practice, especially for fixing an online reputation, builds trust, and gives you a good feeling knowing that you are doing the right thing.
Online (and offline) integrity means businesses.