There’s magic when you do just the right amount of under-promising.
It’s a Goldilocks thing. And it’s a super-shero thing.
- Too much of an under-promise makes me wonder if I’m going to get what I need from you. Excessive under-promising will for sure under-impress me. And probably ensure that I don’t sign on with you in the first place.
- When you over-promise I feel like I can’t trust your promises at all. If I sign up for your over-promise, it’s going be really hard to impress and delight me because you’ve set such high and probably unrealistic expectations.
There’s a middle ground that is “just right.”
It’s subtle. Stay close to the middle with this.
Here are some tips:
- Add a PITA factor to the time and fees in your proposals. PITA = Pain In The Ass. Because shit happens. Avoid the temptation to promise the fastest possible turnaround for the lowest possible fee. Whatever you estimate it will take, add another 1/3 — time and money. This way you can’t lose. You can get done quicker and end up charging a bit less and look like a super-shero to your client. Or shit can in fact happen and you won’t have to go back to your client asking for more time and more money.
- Sometimes shit will happen in a spectacular fashion and you’ll fail to deliver. This is a lovely opportunity. (Yes, really! Read on, sister.) When you do everything you can to recover and make good even after a world-class failure, you will surprise and delight your client more than you would have if things had gone as expected.
What kind of word of mouth are you going to get as you do and deliver your work to your clients?
Under-promise and over-deliver — in this age of word-of-mouth marketing — is a great credo for solopreneur business women, healers, and changemakers. You give your clients something solid to lean on and lean into, and you maximize your potential to surprise and delight because you gave yourself room to do so at the start. Yay you!
How does this land for you? Are you using this tool in your business already?
What do you think? Let’s talk in the comments.