Is Keeping Your Promise Obsolete?

Robert-photo-w-icon-150-4-7-10-FINAL4-150x150David and I were working to strengthen his company’s unique offering, the distinctive value proposition his company “owns” in the marketplace, when I asked:

“When you propose a solution, you are making a promise to your customer. Do you understand the emotional bond created when you call it a promise?”

“A promise?” he replied. “That’s a really jaded word these days. It sounds outdated or obsolete. Does anyone actually believe in promises much less use the word?

“Promise” is indeed a common, timeworn word. It is simple and everyone understands its meaning. It communicates an emotional, personal commitment. Making a promise expresses the most intimate responsibility, which is precisely why people now hesitate to use the word “promise.” What a shame that we are surprised when a promise is actually kept.

Customers don’t buy your product or service – they buy your promise that your proposed offering will produce the quantifiable value they need. Customers seek that emotional commitment, the obligation you bear, the responsibility you accept, to earn their business. Making a promise presents an opportunity to separate yourself from others who won’t go that far.

Promises communicate confidence and enable trust. Don’t make a promise unless you are certain that you will keep it. Ensure that your production folks realize that they are responsible for delivering on your promise, and don’t make the promise without their prior agreement.

The word “promise” is simple and straightforward – we all understand its clear meaning. Your customers respect the directness of it and they respect you when you deliver what was promised. Keeping promises earns you a trusted preferred position with those customers that endures in time.

“Promise” may be an old fashioned word but its power to touch customers has only grown stronger in this high-tech age.

How could using the word “promise” strengthen your customer relationships?

How do you ensure that your team delivers on your promises?

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