Make Over-Delivery a Way of Life

For a long time now, I’ve erred on the side of giving my clients a little bit more for their money, instead of a little bit less.

I used to be very concerned with “managing money.” And therefore, by necessity, “managing expectations.”

(Nothing could be less attractive than managing expectations.)

It was only when I flipped that calculus on its head and started asking “how can I give more/ provide more value” that my businesses really took off and started generating serious income.

I’m generally a big-picture thinker. When it comes to money, I’m not looking to nickel-and-dime my clients.

I would rather deliver just a little bit more value even if it costs me a little more.

Not only is creating better work far more rewarding than salivating over that extra 0.75% of money I saved, but it also leads to bigger and better opportunities for me in the future: people have a good experience working with me, and they want to come back or refer a friend.

On top of that, oftentimes going the extra mile doesn’t actually cost anything. It’s just a question of having a positive attitude and a focus on solutions for the customer.

This is an ongoing, continuous process. What constitutes an “over-delivery” will vary from client to client and from year to year, as technology and expectations evolve.

So over-delivery is a mindset that you must adopt and seek to implement all the time.

It’s not a short-term tactical maneuver. It’s a guiding philosophy that will affect everything you do.

And it will lead to much greater business growth and more profitable relationships over time.

This is true for employees looking to raise their salary or position themselves for promotion, as much as for business owners.

In The Art of Seduction, Robert Greene describes a number of “anti-seducer” characters, among them:

The Tightwad. Cheapness signals more than a problem with money. It is a sign of something constricted in a person’s character—something that keeps them from letting go or taking a risk. It is the most anti-seductive trait of all, and you cannot allow yourself to give in to it. Most tightwads do not realize they have a problem; they actually imagine that when they give someone some paltry crumb, they are being generous. Take a hard look at yourself—you are probably cheaper than you think. Try giving more freely of both your money and yourself and you will see the seductive potential in selective generosity.

Over-delivery makes everything easier:

  • Negotiations are shorter and more lucrative because your negotiating partner sees that you are making a good-faith effort to provide as much as possible and solve as many problems for them as you can. The best negotiators are creative problem-solvers, not crotchety stick-in-the-muds who dig in their heels and try to extract as much as they can from the other guy.
  • Persuasion comes much more naturally because people are already disposed to like you and want to please you from the beginning. You have given them value many times over, long before you ever make your request.
  • Pricing strategies and product development become very simple: just seek to deliver more, and figure out what it will take to get there. Don’t worry about cutting costs or saving pennies on the back end. Just try to give as much as possible to your audience and set prices accordingly.

Be known as someone who delivers tremendous value to your employer, clients or audience.

Err on the side of generosity and creating great work, not of “managing expectations.”

You might be surprised at the results.

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