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#426: Make Promises You Intend to Keep - No More or Less

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, November 1, 2010
Updated: Monday, November 1, 2010
I've heard other consultants advise "under-promise and over-deliver". Is that a good approach?

This sounds like logical advice, but "under-promising" might not be the best way to secure business and please your client. A better approach might be to make a meaningful, realistic promise of delivery and then work very hard to over-deliver on that promise. Business people appreciate when a consultant knows his or her business well enough to give realistic and predictable estimates of work effort.

It is better to be seen as a reliable and straightforward partner than possibly as trying to "game" the client. Avoid under-promising on a deliverable thinking you will look really great later - you might not be granted an opportunity to deliver on it at all.

Tip: There are ways, however, to produce the intended effect. Single out one facet of the assignment on which you can make a strong commitment, perhaps even making your fee partially or totally contingent on its delivery.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  client service  communication  engagement management  goodwill  practice management  reputation 

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