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Managing Client Expectations

“Under-promise and over-deliver,” is an oft-used maxim for a successful business strategy. It makes sense because it allows you some wiggle-room and is more likely to lead to a delighted customer, and to increased referrals for your service.

In the real world of gaining customers, however, it can be somewhat trickier. There can be a temptation, particularly if you are competing for work, to over-promise what you will deliver. This “get the contract and figure out the details later” approach can lead to disaster. You may end up under-quoting just to get the work and discover you can’t deliver what you promised with the resources you now have.

rocket take offResearch has shown that an unhappy customer is more likely to tell others about you than  a happy customer. So, how can you get the job? In a word – CONFIDENCE.

Give your potential clients the confidence that you above all others will deliver what they want. If you can do that well, price becomes a secondary factor.

Confidence starts with you – do you know you are great at what you do? Your confidence transmits itself to your customer. Remember that most communication is non-verbal so it’s not just in the words you say or write that this confidence will be transmitted.

Social-proof is important too. Can your potential customers see that others have used your service successfully? Nikki Smithson Birch of MTS (see video below) who offer motorbike lessons in Sussex says that having testimonials on their company website made a huge difference in the number of enquiries they received.

“We decided to add testimonials and include photographs of students who had successfully passed their motorcycle training with us. This led to an immediate rise in calls and emails through our website.

“For potential customers to be able relate to our successful students, either through age, gender or geographic location, appears to give them the confidence to pick up the phone knowing that perhaps we can do the same for them.”

Regular communication is important with your customers. Building a relationship of trust means that you are more likely to ride out the inevitable rough times when things may not be going to plan.

If your customers have a direct line to you then they are also more likely to call you if they begin to look at competitors. A call with you may be enough to help you retain their custom, which is much nicer than seeing them simply disappear without a word.

People love to do business with other people, so regular contant and tokens of appreciation for their loyalty can go a long way to helping you build a base of delighted customers.

Thanks to Nikki at for help with this article