We have all heard the phrase "under promise and over deliver
", but how many of us really understand what it means or for that matter, how to practice it. I can immediately see business owners cringing when they think of all the extra work 'over delivering' requires.
I recently asked a client what "under promise and over deliver" meant to them. Their reply was, "It means that you do not promise the customer the world - you only promise what you know you can deliver - and if you find out along the way that you can deliver more - you do so". This was an interesting version of the definition.
When I define "under promise and over deliver", I think of promising less than I know I can deliver and then surprising the client with that little extra.
matter on which side of the fence you sit, client or business side, the expectation is that you deliver what you say you will deliver.
With a philosophy of under promising, it does not matter if times are tough - because a business will gain the reputation of always over delivering. This builds trust and assures current and referred clients that they will always receive exactly what they were promised.
In a tough economy, however, when sales appear to be slumping the first thing most business owners will do is begin adding value to their product or service to differentiate themselves. The problem is - is that they are often unable to deliver some of the things that they promise and that is when consumer discontent begins to erode their business.
The other effect that this philosophy has on businesses is that they now have added more 'time' to each job they perform. Because they are adding value this often means they must spend more time and energy with each client and the result is that they now have to put in more hours to make the same money. The result: burnout.
The trick to going above and beyond when it comes to business is to blend the client's and businesses understanding of "over under promise and over deliver".
- Determine the client's needs
- Discover what the client expectations are about service delivery
- Assess your ability to meet the expectations.
- Promise to deliver what the client needs and expects (even if you know you can offer more)
- Then add your value or "over deliver".
In this scenario, the very definition of "over delivery" varies according to each client's expectations and the business owner does not burn themselves out going 'above and beyond' to ridiculous levels.
The difference between a client's and a businesses understanding of over delivery may seem slight - however when we begin to look at our businesses from a clients point of view we may realize that "under promise and over deliver" becomes how we do business every day and it does not make our lives more difficult - just a little more satisfying.
It really is all about communication and understanding your client. And when you can do this effectively, "under promising and over delivering" just becomes how you do business every day for every client.
This business strategy is one that will set you apart from many other businesses, build loyalty and trust and encourage a steady stream of referrals.
"When the customer is happy, everybody's happy!"
Have you surveyed your client lately to determine what it is that they really want? Learn effective survey methods by booking an appointment with one of our business coaches on Free Coaching Fridays. Learn more here.