Reputation, Integrity And Trust: Hard To Earn, Easy To Lose!

By | December 23, 2015

Article Summary c/o Ben FranklinIt takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.

If reading the title your mind immediately went to Chipotle and the current crisis that the firm finds itself in, you are half right!

For those who may not be aware of what that crisis is, the restaurant chain is facing its second E. coli outbreak and is still trying to determine the exact source, cause and solution.

Chipotle (CMG) is under pressure once again following news that the Mexican restaurant chain is linked to a second outbreak of E. coli. Shares were down around 4% in midday trading.

The Centers for Disease Control said it is looking into an outbreak of a different DNA fingerprint of E. coli that sickened one person in Kansas, one person in North Dakota and three people in Oklahoma. The customers reported eating at Chipotle restaurants between Nov. 18 and Nov. 26.

This comes just weeks after 53 people in nine states were sickened by a rare strain of the bacteria, with 48 of the 53 reporting they had eaten at a Chipotle in the week before their illness started. Also earlier this month, one of the chain’s locations in Boston was forced to close after an outbreak of norovirus sickened dozens of Boston College students…‘ (Source)

Many market experts, particularly when comparing the Chipotle response to other corporate crises of the past (the 1982 Johnson & Johnson Tylenol poisoning comes to mind), feel that the company has done an inferior job of addressing customer concerns!

For Our Businesses, Integrity, Trust and Reputation Are Three Key Words!

Having ‘cut my teeth’ at the beginning of my career on Wall Street the following was a critical lesson to be learned… While the three words, integrity, trust and reputation took hard work and time to earn, by violating any one all three of them could and likely would be lost!

And lost much more quickly than the time that they took to earn! And once lost, they are extremely difficult if not impossible to get back!

For many of us who sell a product that can be purchased from any number of firms, what is it that draws people to us and makes them comfortable that we will do the correct job for them and their clients?

On-the-other-hand, what is it that might lead a client or a prospect away from us?

Once again it’s these three words, integrity, trust and reputation, that cannot be emphasized enough in the decision-making process!

To repeat one last time: It takes time and hard work for an individual or business to earn these three words in the minds of clients, prospects and the marketplace!

Treasure them and take good care of them because once lost, they can be very difficult if not impossible to get back!

Michael Haltman is President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York. He can be reached at

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