Why You Shouldn’t Underpromise and Overdeliver

“Underpromise and overdeliver.”

Have you ever heard this brief bit of business philosophy at work? It has to do with consciously managing the expectations of your clients and customers. The idea is that you set a comfortable scope and timeline for your service, and then “wow” them by delivering the results ahead of time and under budget.

The question is: Is it a good way to build relationships with your customers?

While the sort-term results of “underpromising and overdelivering” look great, your clients might come to always expect super-fast, super-cheap work from you. Suddenly, the whole “managing expectations” idea backfires completely; your client has learned to set them very high, and raise them each time you exceed your own self-set expectations.  You’re caught up in a mess that you created.

It’s not such a good idea to underpromise, overpromise, or – perhaps – make promises at all. To use another common work expression; maybe “honesty is the best policy.”

What do you think?

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