Steps to Management Success – Step 2: Underpromise and Overdeliver

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 27th, 2010


Underpromise and Overdeliver

This is the one thing you can always do to improve business relationships and reinforce your reputation for reliability: Deliver what you promise. In fact, you should even take it one step further. If at all possible, strive to deliver a little more than promised—or a day or two ahead of schedule. When it comes to being perceived as a reliable professional, there is no margin of error for keeping your word.

WHAT IT MEANS: It’s all about managing expectations. Whenever you make a promise, you have stated your commitment to perform something. As a result, you have created a certain level of expectation—and by scaling down this expectation, you can more easily create a positive outcome. Remember, when you provide more than what was expected by your customer, you enhance any good feelings they already have about you.

ACTION PLAN: Before you make any sort of promise, carefully think through everything you’ll need to do to deliver properly within the time frame you’ve created. Avoid the natural tendency to say yes to everything. If you make ten promises and fail to deliver just once, people are not going to remember your nine successes.

EVEN BETTER: When you think you’re done, and that you’ve kept your promise as well as you possibly can, don’t stop. Try and think of what you can do to do even better. Perhaps you’ll have some ideas that you hadn’t thought of earlier. Developing a reputation as someone who exceeds expectations is invaluable.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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