I have a question for you:
Which people or companies do you publicly associate with?
The reason I am asking you this, is that potential customers and clients often look at the people or businesses we associate with, as a short-cut to determining the kind of people WE are.
Trust and credibility can either be destroyed or boosted in seconds, depending on the individuals and companies we are aligned with or associate with.
I recall being at a local business exhibition, when a young man joined a small group of people I was speaking informally with, before we entered the main exhibition area. He introduced himself and joined our conversation. One of the guys asked him what line of business he was in and he said he owned a local printing company. After about 5 minutes, the group dispersed.
Interestingly, just before the printer joined us, one of the guys said he was looking to get some promotional flyers printed and needed to find a local print company. I was curious why he never asked for the print guys business card, so when I saw him later, I asked him.
“I noticed he arrived with (persons name.) That guy’s little better than a conman. If he hangs around with people like that, I don’t want him near me or my business.”
It’s possible that the print company owner never knew about the reputation of the man he arrived with and later sat with. He was almost certainly unaware that he had just damaged his reputation with a large number of people in his local business community – his potential clients.
The bottom line: We need to be extremely careful before we associate our name, brand or reputation with another individual or company.
It’s just the same online
I am not an active user of Linkedin, but have an account there purely as a way to study it, for my work as a marketing coach. It’s a good service, which is why I study it, but one that I have zero need for right now.
However, I get emails every day from people via Linkedin, whom I have never heard of, asking if I will join their ‘network’.
The thing is, at least 90% of these invites claim that I’m someone they have worked with, even though they know it’s a total lie and I don’t even know them!
Why do they do this?
Because IT WORKS!
If they send that spammy message to enough people, some will accept, in an ill-judged attempt to build their own network.
Guess what kind of people send those requests? Right – the kind you do NOT want to be linked with!
Here’s a great question to ask ourselves
If a stranger wanted to build a picture of the kind of person I am, JUST by looking at who I associate with, what kind of a picture would that be?
If you are not happy with the answer – disconnect from your toxic contacts and replace them with honest, credible people like you!