Friday, March 11, 2011

Your Reputation is Your Brand

Its been said you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat waiters and waitresses in restaurants -- and I agree that is a pretty accurate barometer. In the business of professional services the brand of a firm is so closely linked to the personality and character of its partners that it can be said the reputation of one partner will be the brand for all.

At one firm I've worked with there was a partner that was smooth as silk in his treatment of client executives yet, was a caustic, rude man to everyone else including the non-executive staff at his client companies. When a client would finally say (and eventually most of them did), 'enough is enough,' and went looking for new representation, there was nothing we could do as a firm to salvage the business. We were told quite often that any firm that allowed that type of behavior was not the firm they wanted to be with....

If you struggle to understand how to create or affect your firms brand, just look to its smallest parts; the reputation of your individual partners. What is their reputation both inside and outside the walls of your office? Ask your clients for their opinion of the people in your firm and then ask them about their opinion of your firm in total. You’ll find the two sound very much alike.

Your reputation is your brand.

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