The best reputation management definition for salespeople: monitor your online presence as you would your brand

The internet–particularly social media, blogs and review platforms—has changed the old reputation management definition from big to small. Name brands are not the only ones monitoring online presence. Every sales professional needs to keep track of personal information available, viewable, and shareable online.

In today’s world, your online reputation can make or break you. Prospects, customers, contacts, friends, family members, acquaintances – all of these people – have the potential to search for you online. And what will they find?

If they find something disappointing (bad review) or insulting (politically-charged social media rant), the chance of gaining new business or securing current customers is slim.

But how do you know if your online reputation is good, bad, or nonexistent?

Reputation management definition: what salespeople need to know

Take it into consideration that every piece of information you share online is permanently available. The same principle applies to people who share things with you.

In simple terms, you are influencing how your online viewers – both business and personal – are perceiving you. Their perceptions are formed by what’s available, and what’s not available, online.

If you are monitoring your online reputation correctly, people will see:

  • Search results that show you and your profiles.
  • Information that reinforces what people know about you (job title, interests, work experience, expertise, etc.)
  • Showcased knowledge and active participation in relative online discussions.
  • No illicit or image-damaging content (embarrassing photos, comments, reviews, etc.)

If you are not monitoring your online reputation, people will see:

  • Search results that are inaccurate (finding other people or businesses).
  • Negative reviews and comments that stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Personal expressions of anger, hatred, foul language, or offensive opinions.
  • Photos showing inappropriate or unlawful behavior.

Even worse, they may completely fail to find any information about you.

7 tips for creating a positive reputation online

1. Search yourself and assess the results

Do a Google search for your exact name and see what results come up. Do you see anything that could be potentially harmful or is there a lack of information? Keeping digging and use different search engines, like Bing and Yahoo!, too.

Pro tip: use quotation marks around “your name” to improve accuracy in search results.

2. Damage control and removal

If you find any photos, Tweets, posts, or status updates that are damaging your reputation and professional image, work on removing them immediately.

  • Untag yourself from Facebook photos or request friends to do it.
  • Delete Tweets, videos, playlists, and blog posts that do not match your business persona.

3. Respond to negative reviews with proactive service

If you’ve located a negative review of your services (or the business that you work for), read through it and identify how to solve the problem. Make your response genuine, apologetic, and positive.

Here are the two main reasons why positive responses and follow through are important:

  • You have a chance to make it up to the individual customer. In doing so, he may be moved to replace his negative review with a positive one.
  • You have the opportunity to showcase your ethic to people you don’t even know yet. Other people will see your response and efforts to fix the problem, and develop faith in you.

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4. Be consistent across all platforms

Make sure that every platform you utilize is consistent with your personal brand. Your brand is not only what you do, but who you are, and how you present yourself. If a potential client visits your website, company, or social media profile, they should see a consistent message.

  • Professional photographs (with similar or the same picture) displayed in every platform.
  • Description of services that sticks to the same idea.
  • Your name is the same everywhere. For example, don’t list your name on Facebook as James Darwin and then a Twitter name as Jimmy Darwin. Stay consistent.

5. Show your expertise and authority

If you want search results to be accurate, publish and share content. Your reputation will strengthen as web visitors begin to read your expert knowledge. Give people a reason to have confidence in your abilities and show you are passionate about sales and service quality.

  • Start a blog on your website and write posts about sales tips. Share these posts across your social media channels and engage in conversation.
  • Join forums and online communities specific to your industry.
  • Give advice on sites like Quora and Reddit.
  • Comment on articles from bloggers and professionals you admire.

6. Engage with social media and other platforms regularly

If you have your profiles set up and looking good, then use them! You have to connect with people if you want to build a good reputation. Show that you are an excellent communicator and connect with audiences.

  • Develop a schedule to post, share, or comment throughout the week.
  • Respond to feedback as soon as possible and keep a positive tone.
  • Be a good networker and share other people’s ideas and posts.

7. Think before you post

Last but not least: think about every action you take. Be fiercely committed to keeping your professional reputation clean. Before you take any action–like, poke, tweet, favorite, re-tweet, publish, or comment–make sure it supports the brand and reputation you’ve built.

Ask yourself:

  • Does this post have the potential to offend or confuse my audience?
  • Why am I commenting on this article? Is it appropriate?
  • Does this action support my image and brand?

The reputation management definition for you: show up every day

Maintaining a strong reputation online requires constant monitoring. You have to keep an eye on what you do, but also, what others share with you. Understanding the basic reputation management definition will help you think like a brand and strategize your online presence.

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Online reputation is about impressing leads and new business contacts. But how do you manage those relationships effectively? Sign up with Blitz today for a 30-day free trial of our sales automation software and turn leads into customers with less work!

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What’s your opinion on maintaining a strong reputation online? Do you have any tips to add for salespeople? Share your experiences in the comments!