Reputation (Issue 676)

In which we are reminded to nurture our reputations on the Web.

I had a wonderful time in Phoenix, visiting friends and participating in a conference. In contrast to the still cold and snowy Boston, the cactus and red rocks, blue skies, and soft desert air felt wonderful.

Within a few hours of my departure from Phoenix, I received an email from AirBnB, inquiring about my experience in the condo in which I had stayed, inviting me to “Share Your Story”, asking whether I’d like to any private feedback for the host, and requesting ratings on Overall Experience, Accuracy of Listing, Cleanliness, Check In, Communication, and so on.

A few hours after that, I received another email indicating that my host had provided a rating of me as a guest on AirBnB. “Fantastic Guest. Very Kind, Clean, and Courteous. A++.”  My parents would have been pleased!

The speed and clarity of the feedback, both ways, is amazing. I take very seriously my opportunity to give feedback to my hosts whose efforts to provide comfortable accommodations for me are always appreciated. Similarly, I am very careful as a guest to take care of my hosts: I communicate frequently, I clean up after myself, I leave thank you notes, and I do their reviews quickly.

As a result, over nearly two years time, I have established a very strong reputation as a guest and my prospective hosts are delighted to receive me. They check my ratings before they agree to accept me as a guest. (I know this because they comment about my ratings when they respond to my request for accommodations.)

Wouldn’t it be interesting if, as sales people, we enjoyed that same level of communication and feedback, both ways, with our prospects and clients? Wouldn’t it be neat if a prospective client could call out to other people’s ratings of us – our preparation, the quality of our questions, the value we injected into the calls, etc., and making their decisions about who to see and who not to see based on those ratings and comments?

Well, I’m tempted to launch such a site… AND… while it ain’t perfect, LinkedIn is that for us.

All of us, me included (lest you look at my profile), can do a better job of asking our “hosts” to rate us and give feedback so that others who might look at our profiles will know how great we are… or are not.

And, just as AirBnB and my hosts ask their guests to rate them, quickly, to build their reputations, so should we become more comfortable asking our clients and prospects to rate us or comment on LinkedIn.

Now… We just need a site where we can rate buyers – who is great to work with, who are the pits.  Oh, boy, wouldn’t THAT be fun!  I’ve got a few on my list.

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