As a sales professional, it’s your job to get your customers to buy your company’s products and services. And your job is easier if customers come to you with a positive view of your company and your products. You are the face and the voice of the company and your customers will buy from you based on how well you treat them and how much they trust you.
But when customers come to you with a negative view of your company and its products—or have preconceived notions about how you’ll try and scam them into buying your products—you’ll have a much harder time doing your job. That’s one of the reasons reputation management should be a vital concern for all sales professionals.
Today, it’s easy for anyone with internet access to look up your company, find reviews, and read both positive and negative information about your company. And as a sales person, you should be concerned about the way your company is portrayed online. In fact, here are 4 ways a negative online reputation can affect your sales.
1) It scares away customers
First and foremost, if you have a negative online reputation (due to bad reviews, so-called “scam” reports, or negative online rants), the number of people who want to buy from you will decrease rapidly. Simply put: you’ll have less people coming to your store, visiting your website, or calling you on the phone.
2) It creates bad word-of-mouth
Negative information about your company online doesn’t just affect those who are searching for you. It affects the family and friends of people who have searched your company name online. If potential customers have already formed an opinion about your company based on search results, they are likely to pass that negative opinion on to others. Your online reputation isn’t just about protecting yourself from online attacks, it’s about strengthening your reputation online and off.
3) Customers are less willing to buy
Sales is a hard job to begin with, but when all your customers are coming to you with doubts about you and your company, it’s even harder. Even if they are still willing to buy from you after reading negative reviews, they will be more skeptical of your sales tactics and will want more assurances that they can trust you and your company’s products. All in all, with a negative view of your company, customers are much harder to sell to.
4) Customers are more likely to be dissatisfied with their purchase
Once a red flag has been raised in the customer’s mind, they will be more critical of the products they buy from you and are more likely to be dissatisfied with their purchase. Although you may think that returns are not your problem, each return results in a loss of profit and another dissatisfied customer who will share their opinion with their friends and family.
Reputation management is about more than simply optimizing a Google search for your name so you can get positive results It’s about building a positive image for your company—a trustworthy and positive image that instills confidence in your potential customers about the kind of service they will receive and the quality of the products you sell. Reputation management isn’t just the concern of the company executives; it affects everyone at your company. If you’ve been having a harder time selling, or you’ve had fewer customers than usual, do a search for your company online. You may be in need of some positive reputation management.