As business owners we all strive to increase our sales and profits. Yet often in our quest to get ahead, we can end up sabotaging our own success. We can lose our credibility in any number of ways through negative behavior–the stroke of a pen or key, a loose tongue or bad attitude. We can further damage our credibility due to a lack of credentials.

A case in point: after the presidential inauguration on January 20th, a black fashion designer blasted Michelle Obama for not wearing an African American designer’s outfit on inauguration day. I can only imagine the number of potential clients she lost as a result of that fiery criticism. It would have served her well to have approached the matter with an open mind. A better approach would have been to draft some designs suited to the style of the First Lady and sought out an opportunity to present them to her. Upon careful reflection, I wondered if she later regretted making the statement. After all, it has been said that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar!

It doesn’t matter how great a product or service you have, if you’re unprofessional in the manner in which you conduct your affairs, your business will suffer. Even if you are able to somehow ทางเข้า ufabet ภาษาไทย make amends, your professionalism CQ still takes a hit because you only get one chance to make a first impression. Be certain, however, that your CQ isn’t only impacted by first impressions. It can deteriorate over time as well.

Here are seven surefire ways of lowering your CQ and what you can do to raise it:

1. Bad networking habits. No doubt you’ve had the annoying experience of talking to someone at a networking event whose attention spanned all across the room. Or you were handed a business card that looked as though it had been through a wringer. Networking etiquette is essential for establishing credibility. Never leave home without a fresh supply of business cards! Place them in a nice case so that you’re not having to rummage through your purse in search for one. Give people your undivided attention when conversing. They are well aware when you are not engaged, but quite responsive when they know you’re listening and exchanging cohesively.

2. Dismissive attitude. I sat next a lady recently at a business meeting who owned a children’s clothing line. She said something to me to this affect: “I didn’t bring many business cards so I have to be selective about who I give them to.” Granted I don’t have small children, but I know MANY people who do. Don’t ever take anyone for granted! Sell your “stuff” to as many people as will listen. You never know who holds the key to unlock your next fortunes.

3. Not returning phone calls and emails. What a turnoff! Professionals expect to be treated in like-kind. Not returning phone calls or replying to emails will definitely ostracize you from the “quality” players. Your lack of professionalism signals that you are not a serious entrepreneur. Make every effort to return phone calls and reply to emails within 24 hours (no later than 48 hours). If you’re going to be on vacation or out of your office for an extended period of time, be sure your voice mail and email auto-responder relay a message as to when they can expect a reply.

4. Lack of education or credentials. It gives us comfort when we walk into a barber shop or salon and there are credentials hanging on the wall. It says that they’re qualified to do the job. Be leery of business people who don’t have the credentials essential to their expertise or cannot produce clients that can vouch for their work. Degrees, accomplishments and/or subject matter expertise make you more credible. Previous experience and a professional reputation add to your credibility.

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