The nightmare scenario: A disgruntled client posts a complaint about you on the Internet. It’s so negative that it gains immediate traction on social networks. Soon thousands of consumers see it and pass it on to their online friends. Before long, your business reputation is dead and, thanks to Google, beyond resuscitation…forever.
Likely scenario? Probably not. I believe malicious reputation attacks are rare. More common are business owners and professionals generating complaints through their own negligence or neglect, which is tragic. They could have easily avoided reputation death had they acted more sensibly. But they didn’t, and the Internet was a cruel accomplice.
So who are these reputation killers? They’re all around us and fall into six main categories. Allow me to line up the usual suspects:
Reputation Killer #1: “The Shameless Narcissist.” He has a flawed character. He wants success a little too much. He doesn’t understand right from wrong and has little empathy or concern for others.
Reputation Killer #2. “The Black Hat Trickster.” He loves to market his firm in the shadows. He excels at misleading his prospects and concealing his objectives, the nature of his business and his business relationships.