The fine art of making promises


It’s difficult to land a sale without making a few promises. Every business owner makes promises to his or her customers. They make promises about delivery, product quality, pricing, guarantees, performance, expertise and results.

After all, promises are part of the selling process and customers need to feel reassured you’ll do what you say.

However, some small business owners go too far and over-promise a customer just to land the sale. Filled with high expectations, it then becomes extremely difficult for the business owner to please that new customer — and relations can sour.

Stick to under-promising your prospects and customers by:

Putting it in writing

Document what you’ll do or supply for your customer, so expectations of both parties are clear.

Stating what you won’t do

dentify things that are beyond the scope of your contract so your customer doesn’t assume that work will be included.

Staying real

You’ll actually be more believable if you keep your promises and timelines reasonable. People get suspicious of “wild claims,” so the more you under-promise, the more likely a customer will trust you.

Your goal in business should actually be to under-promise and over-deliver — not the opposite. It will be easier for your company to perform and you’ll enjoy a positive reputation in the business community.