In the sales profession, you're going to be dealing with the general public. You've probably had an experience with a shady salesman before, and it didn't sit well with you. Think back on that experience for a moment. This salesman probably over-promised on a lot of things. You expected a lot more things to happen in a timely manner, and they didn't happen. The salesman may have also under-delivered when it was time to come through on those promises. This left a terrible impression in your mind of the salesperson. They said whatever they needed to say to close the sale, and then they went looking for the next sucker that they could take it to. If you've ever had this experience, you probably didn't keep quiet about it. You probably didn't call the company to complain, but you did tell pretty much everyone you know besides that. You told your family and your friends to stay away from this company and salesman regardless of what they needed. They didn't take care of you, and you don't want your family and friends to be submitted to this torture.
Negative impressions are something that you can't afford to give out when you are in sales. Much of your business could come from referrals if you're going to be successful. Yes, you might be able to get by on the traffic that comes into your store, but if you ever want to take it to the next level, you're going to need referrals. In that case, you don't need people out there talking negatively about you.
So how do you develop a good reputation? The most important thing that you need to do is do what you say you will do. If you tell someone you're going to be somewhere at 8:00 a.m. you should be there by 8:00 a.m., if not a little early. If you tell someone that you're going to give them a special price, give them a special price. Regardless of what you promise, you need to live up to it. Don't promise anything you cannot follow through on.
Listen to the customer and give them what they want. If you bend over backwards for them with a good attitude, they will remember you the next time they need something. They will also do their best to drive business in to see you.
Overall, your reputation as a sales professional is the most important thing you have. Be sure to protect it as if it was your life.