There is one almost guaranteed way to lose even the most loyal of customers.  And that is to make promises that you cannot keep.

It is often in our nature to want to do the best for everyone and to never say no, but this can ultimately do our business more harm than good.  If you are already stretched to breaking point, trying to squeeze in just one more client or fulfil just one more order could well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Or it may be that we promote a product or service where we simply do not have the capacity to supply to enough people

I have been searching for a business mentor for the past couple of weeks.  Even though I mentor others, I still need someone to be accountable to and to use as a sounding board myself.  I have decided to invest in myself and my business and so was prepared to pay to get the right person.

I watched a few webinars and did some research and came up with a shortlist of some apparently highly qualified and highly sought after individuals.  The two it boiled down to have both just opened up spaces to take on clients and have been promoting this heavily.

I contacted my first choice.  I was promised a comprehensive plan and if she was not available at any time, her support team would there for me.  I decided to check out the support team and went on live chat to ask a simple question.  The smoke screens and lack of ability to answer my questions was quite ridiculous and after giving them every opportunity to redeem themselves, they failed miserably to give me what I wanted.  I then emailed the mentor direct and after no response tried to gain her attention through social media.  But the only thing I got in return was silence.

I then went to my second choice.  After many promises of how wonderful she was and what a perfect fit we were we decided to book a starter session together by phone.  But the call never came.  I waited and waited but was met with silence again.  I emailed and was told by her assistant the appointment was not put in the diary.

I felt completely let down and if this was the way these people ran their businesses, they certainly didn’t meet the standards I have for mine.

So if you tell someone you are going to do something, simply do it.  If you offer a free call to try and gain a new client, treat it with the importance it deserves.  If you say you are going to deliver a product at a certain time, make sure it arrives precisely then, or even better, before.

It is far better to tell someone that you cannot fulfil their wishes at this moment in time than let them down and gain a bad reputation.  I have spoken to a number of people today who have all been let down by another particular business advisor and word is spreading like wild fire locally that this person is unreliable.  This is undoubtedly going to damage their business.

Remember the adage to under promise and over deliver.  At the least, make sure you invest efforts to keep your promises and then exceed them if you have the time and ability.  Stand out from the crowd and gain a strong reputation for all the right reasons.

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