One of the biggest ways builders and other tradesmen shoot...

One of the biggest ways builders and other tradesmen shoot themselves in the foot is over promising and under delivering. By the way it’s not just builders and tradesmen, most small businesses hamstring the success of their business with this one principle.

To a point its understandable why builders overpromise and under deliver, in an attempt to keep on side with customers in the moment, they can say things like “we should get it done by then” or “we’ll do our best to get it done this week”. The crazy thing is if you take into account what could possibly go wrong and give the customer the deadline that includes the “wiggle room” for contingencies, and those issues don’t happen, you end up over delivering on your promise, and get the opportunity to give them some good news to say you have completed the task earlier than expected.

Why this is often avoided is, because the builder doesn’t want to deal with the negativity of not meeting the customer’s expectations in the beginning. But believe it or not, you’re better off having them be a little disappointed with what you’re prepared to commit to and then having them pleasantly surprised by over delivering on that promise, than the other way round.

If you truly believe that your product is the quality of the customers experience not the house your building, you will make efforts to change the way you communicate your promises to your customers. 

It works just like a bank account. If you’ve ever read the “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, you will have read about his metaphor of the “Emotional Bank Account”. And just like a real bank account, if you continue to put small deposits in overtime you build up a good balance, which gives you a positive balance if and when a withdrawal happens due to circumstances beyond your control. But if you don’t make the effort to put those little deposits in, by under promising & over delivering, when that big withdrawal, that is out of your control, happens, you end up overdrawn. And that’s a lose lose situation for everyone!

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