Why is it so popular to try to make a success of NOW – with no thought for the future? Maybe I’m just showing my age but I think Over Promise, Under Deliver is the scourge of the 21st Century In business, this is often true of the sales approach. The push to get the deal now means people can almost feel bullied into business and if the aim of the supplier is always to drive on for the next customer, the last customer can feel let down. As a result, we get a self-fulfilling prophecy. The customer can feel ignored and let down so next time they look for a different supplier. The last supplier loses the business so they are constantly looking for the next new customer – and so the cycle repeats! If you believe your customers aren’t going to stick with you, you will always be focussed on finding the next customer – yet doing this makes it even more likely they won’t stick with you! It’s scary and whether you are in business (or politics!), if you over promise and under deliver, keeping going will be tough. This may be what gets the headlines but underneath, in the real world that doesn’t tend to make the headlines, good business relationships do exist. They are typically based on the trust, confidence and respect that is earned when someone aims to Under Promise and Over Deliver – they deliver real benefit and make things better for everyone. A powerful win:win. If you are after a quick buck then join the rat race and keep chasing the next new customer but without delivering real, sustained benefit, it is hard to grow true business value. Good, long-term business needs trust, confidence and respect. It’s not about being perfect, it is about relationships and how you respond when maybe things don’t quite go according to plan. Poor service is never good. I recently found that my energy supplier had let me fall onto their standard tariff which was around 15% more expensive. I’m sure they sent me a letter but I missed it. Then there was nothing for nearly a year until I happened to pick up on it. I don’t want to spend my life checking on suppliers. They know they have a cheaper deal but don’t make any effort to tell me. They should have communicated regularly (using some of the extra we were paying them!) They know they could deliver better value but made no effort to make it happen. Needless to say, we have now switched! I believe in the principle of Under Promise, Over Deliver. We all have the choice – but I know which I prefer!