In the last year I have had three occasions where I have made significant purchases for services and all three had very compelling offers. Unfortunately all three have not delivered on all their promises. They have delivered the core of their offer but some of the extras have either been forgotten or have not lived up to expectations.

One person offered something which has still not been delivered 8 months later. Each time I ask I am given an excuse and a promise that it will be with me soon. Let’s just say I am not holding my breath! Another offered “mentoring” as part of the package which turned out to be a series of recorded webinars with content he had already delivered. The third thinks they have delivered what they promised but it failed miserably to live up to the expectations set before the sale.

The important thing to note is that all three of these items were not part of the core offer. They were extras that were designed to ‘tip the balance’ and get people to go ahead and buy. In each case there was no faulting them delivering on their core proposition. They clearly do not realise that having set expectations about these bonuses, they have to deliver on these too. And the same rule applies with setting expectations:

It is better to under promise and over deliver rather than over promise and under deliver

What does it matter? They won my business. My cash is in their bank account isn’t it?

From a client point of view it is a disaster. They have lost my trust and I will not be spending any more money with them. What’s more I will not be recommending them even though their core service is actually quite good. That’s not all, I have been asked questions about my experiences with two of the suppliers from people thinking of spending money with them. Needless to say I have given a full account of my experiences.

The point is that we should all be very careful what we promise. If we want to make client development easy and get people not only buying more from us but also giving testimonials and making referrals we need to make sure we deliver on ALL our promises. That includes bonuses. We need to make sure the bonus is better than expected rather than feeling like we have been conned.

When we do over deliver on our promises on a consistent basis we start to build trust and loyalty and that is more important to client development than any sales technique I have ever come across.