You know how it is, you believe something for so long, everyone agrees with you, all the books tell you it’s true and then all of a sudden you have a blinding revelation – we’ve all been duped! You recognise like my gorilla mates were? (If you’re not sure regarding my gorilla mates then you in truth need to read the book – we’ve got a outstanding offer on at the moment!)
And you feel such a chump – how did I ever fall for that – the logic just isn’t there – I ought to have been a fool. Let me explain.
“Under Promise & Over Deliver”
You know the old saying “Under Promise & Over Deliver”? – well, here’s the idea behind it.
Buyers these days are ever more ready to complain when something isn’t to their liking (yes, even in the UK!) Customers are prepared to walk if you don’t deliver when you said you would. Clients are mobile and promiscuous and will alter provider if they may get better service.
So in order to meet these demands, for the last 20 years or so, we’ve all been applying the mantra “Under Promise & Over Deliver” – for example, tell them the occupation that’ll take 10 days will take 12 and then wow them when you deliver in front of schedule.
Now, in theory this sounds outstanding – your client can’t fail to be impressed at your over delivery! Or may they?
Now, think with regards to it for a little longer. Mr client comes along and you promise to deliver the project by 2pm on Tuesday, even altho you know you may get it finished by Friday. Hey, that gives you the weekend to reflect, Monday morning to add the polish and you may deliver it on Monday afternoon. A great under-promised and over-delivered job! But what actually happens?
The client is delighted – you delivered a day early. But then Mr Client has a few fleeting thoughts; did this mean it wasn’t such a perplexed project as you’d said? Or could you have genuinely got it finished by Friday? Perhaps you’ve over charged him?
Because he’s happy you did what you said and within the time scale, he pushes his doubts to the back of his mind.
However, the client now learns to “expect” (that’s his job) the service you invented in your fantastic beneath promised way. So, he gives you another project. You give him a timescale and price, again under-promising so you may confidently over deliver with a huge smile on your face. The client remembers his thoughts from the last project and asks you to “try a bit harder” on the timescale. You do, because hey, you like the guy. He was actually thankful last time.
And so, the next time Mr Client asks you to do something he expects it to be done as fast and effective and for the same price as before – now he won’t be impressed by your over-delivery – this is just his expectation.
And sadly, when you deliver on time and in budget, Mr Client wonders why it took so long. He wonders if he pushed a little harder he could get your price down or your timescale shortened. And he pushes, and he pushes…
You’ve taught your client that you may do it more quickly than you’ve told him. The doubts are there. He wonders if you’ve lied to him! The shame of it!
And what happens if something goes faulty – if you can’t deliver in the real timescale – or the price escalates? Or somebody lets you down, or the goalposts change?
Now, the issues are a little more wide ranging than the example above.
Some of our clients are even saying that these days in order to get a probability of winning work they have to make huge promises (and then work out how to deliver on them
Quite oftentimes the client needs to do her bit to make the project run well – and she’ll have her own clients and other things to do!
Increasingly, you’re not working on a project in isolation, there may be other suppliers in the equation
This may all lead to dissatisfaction for everyone involved.
So, What’s The Answer
Well, taking everything into account, you still need to make promises to your customers, but the answer is in the details. The answer lies in understanding what’s important to the client and working with the client to make sure that you may deliver on that. Then over deliver on something you have finish control over.
In our course “Coaches Can!” we talk regarding the divergence amongst control and influence.
So before I let you into our secret, I’d just like to clarify the divergence amidst Control & Influence. To me, misunderstanding the divergence amidst that which you may control and that which you may merely influence is the biggest reason for client disappointment and sensations of failure.
Control VS Influence (Outcomes and Intentions)
That which is beyond your prompt and finish manipulation is not, whether we like it or not, within our control. So what is within our control?
* Our Emotions and Motivation (although not all of us receive this)
* Our Response To Outside Influences (although not all of us receive this either)
* The Direction We Take In Life
* Every Action We Take
* The Way We Communicate
* What We Say and Do and Promise
* What We Choose To Believe or Ignore
* Inanimate Objects & Tools We Use
Everything else that is outside of us (especially other animals/humans) we may only influence. Here are a heap of examples of things you may only influence…
* Whether Someone Likes You
* Whether People Will Buy
* What Other People Find Important
* Whether People Believe You
* Convincing Someone of Something
* Getting Someone to Do Something (even if you’re a hypnotist)
Sure, you may exert sufficient influence that it seems like control. If somebody kept a gun to your head, they could in all probability influence you to do a lot of things. But in spite of that, they couldn’t get you to think dissimilar things or feel differently in regards to something because they still only have influence.
Finally, there are a lot of things we have no direct control or influence over… such as the weather, space, time, where we commence out in life, but there’s no gain dwelling on the things we cannot do – because it’s more endowing to focus on what we may do.
You cannot control how your clients feel, but you may influence this. You need to concentrate on explaining the value, rather than the cost. Understanding their real requirements, rather than the frequent trotted out time and budget ones. You need to work out what you are in control of and what you may plainly influence. And then you need to Over Promise & Deliver on the Promise on those things that are in your control.