The Danger of Over-promising and Under-delivering

The number one goal of the economic stimulus plan is to create 3 million jobs over the next two years, less than 20% of which will be government jobs.” ~ Barack Hussein Obama 

While I’m finding it difficult to find people who actually WANT A JOB right now, I’m not really writing about unemployment or job creation, or promises President Obama made over two years ago that haven’t panned out. I’m writing about the issue of over-promising and under-delivering. We hate it when politicians do it, fans hate it when athletes do it, and customers hate it when businesses do it. Unfortunately, just as it somehow magically became acceptable to be morally corrupt during the Clinton administration (after all, if the President does it, it must be okay for me to do it), it seems overpromising and under-delivering is now becoming acceptable. The media and many voters seem to have completely forgotten about all of those over-promising promises. While that may be true in the political forum, it’s not yet taken hold among customers and I don’t believe it ever will.

In any sales related business, it can be difficult not to over-promise. After all, you know you are competing with other companies out there for a potential customer’s business, and if you are confident that you have a better product, offer better customer service, and can overall better meet the customer’s needs, why shouldn’t you say so? Well, in fact, you should. You owe it to the potential customer to let them know they need look any further – that doing business with you is the best choice they could make. But then, you must be able to deliver on those promises.

A customer’s happiness really revolves around expectations. It’s no different than that Christmas when you were a child expecting all those great toys for Christmas and ended up getting mostly socks and underwear. Then contrast that to that favorite Christmas when you really weren’t expecting much and your parents totally exceeded your expectations with a new bicycle or BB gun. If you leave your customer expecting a new bicycle, you had better not try to give them underwear!

I still remember how I felt that Christmas morning when dad said it was time to thin out some of the mice that were nesting in the grainery and sent me into his bedroom to “bring me the bottom gun on the rack”. The surprise and elation I felt when I first saw that new Daisy BB gun on the gun rack is the same feeling we want our customers to feel when we exceed their expectations. You will never make a customer feel that way by over-promising and under-delivering.

Find things you can do for your customers that they will never expect, like meeting them at their car with an umbrella when it’s raining. Not only will you wow them and win them over, by always under-promising and over-delivering they will soon come to know that if you say something, you mean it. If you tell them what you will do, they can consider it done, … and then some. What can you do today to under-promise and over-deliver?

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About montyrainey

Public Speaker and District Manager. Mission: To empower and inspire others professionally, personally and spiritually to elevate their lives to a higher level.
This entry was posted in Business, Customer Service, Politics, Public Relations, Sales, Team Building and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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