We have all heard the old cliché, “Under-Promise and Over-Deliver”. It’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Today, in these challenging economic times, many people tend to promise prospective customers more so they perceive the value as better than what a competitor can offer. Those same people also enjoy over-promising to make themselves feel more valued. Do they not think these actions will come back to haunt them? The overall point I’d like to make today is that we cannot build a reputation for ourselves or our company by what we say we can do. We build good reputations by delivering what our customers need.
Assuming you agree with me, and as our economy continues to transform to one where people are continuously being downsized, it is important for entrepreneurs to build and keep a good reputation.
Here’s how I coach clients on doing exactly that:
1. First of all, don’t try to seduce your prospects by over-promising goods or services to them. When you do this, you open yourself up for failure. You actually should try to reduce their expectations and give yourself some freedom to adjust where necessary. When you under-promise, you have the opportunity to continuously impress your client. When you over-promise, you can potentially stress yourself out and look like a liar.
2. Keep your word, but don’t make it your motivation to deliver. If you are one of those people that are always in the “promise mode”, slow down and consider some other options. Now, I’m all for giving and keeping my word, but I can’t guarantee results unless my client is fully engaged and actually capable of following through on what we’ve jointly developed.
3. Don’t let “busyness” drive your work style. Many people try to show people how important they are by how busy they are. Manage your workload and use effective time management practices, but don’t be an expert in “busyness”.
4. Deliver to your customers because you have the passion to do so. Don’t do it just because you said you would. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, find something to do that you can enjoy.
(There are four more tips…check in next week for the final portion of this article…)