Being dependable is an essential factor in the business of building your reputation. Whether you are a consultant, a mechanic or a banker, it’s impossible to enjoy a good reputation without dependability.
Being dependable is really very simple and can be summed up in one sentence:
“Truthfully say what you’re going to do and then do it.”
Failure to follow through on what we say has become such a dominant pattern of modern life that most of us aren’t even aware when we don’t follow through.
You meet someone. You exchange business cards. They say they’ll contact you with some sort of relevant information or business contact. You don’t hear from them. Of course, the next time they see you, they’re very apologetic and tell you they’ll send it to you this time. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. I’d bet this has happened to you. I’d even bet money you’ve done it yourself once or twice! This probably won’t kill your reputation. But I promise you that if you overcome this problem, it will do wonders.
The solution to this is really simple. It’s one I’ve tried and found to work. Just don’t go to bed at night until you’ve handled all your follow-ups. You must do three things:
1) figure out what the next step is to deliver whatever you committed to.
2) put the step on your schedule/calendar/to-do list for the appropriate date.
3) contact the person, and tell them when you intend to deliver what you promised..
Just watch how people respond to this-you’ll be pleasantly and profitably surprised!
So, what does this have to do with networking? Everything! You sign up to attend an event. You don’t show up. How dependable does that make you? You promise to send information to someone you meet at a networking event. You get busy and ‘forget’. How dependable does that make you? Just food for thought!