Promises by individuals, business people, and politicians are quite easy to make in life. Keeping promises is not as easy. "Just tell them what they want to hear," some say, "and you will get what you want." Many business people do just that, knowing that they can't come through on the promises they make. Too often that doesn't seem to stop them from achieving some short-term success. However once their clients figure out their habit of over-promising and under-delivering, their slide downward can be quick and painful. In this lesson, we will discuss why it makes good sense to "always keep your promises."
I sincerely believe that if you are inclined to achieve long term-success, it should be a top priority to strive toward becoming a person of unshakable character that only makes PROMISES that you have every intention of KEEPING. Long-term achievers tend to under-promise and over-deliver consistently, in order to build solid relationships with others.
What are some of the downsides to breaking promises? The first is the tarnishing of your reputation in the marketplace. Your customers know people, who know even more people, etc. As the saying goes, word of mouth advertising for better or worse is the most effective form of advertising. With Internet sites that rate businesses launched daily, your reputation can be tarnished at Internet speed today. The second downside of not delivering as promised is a slow deterioration of your own self-esteem. It's not easy to look into the mirror and see a liar every day. One's self esteem has a lot to do with their success and happiness in life. Never take your self esteem for granted. A third downside is the unnecessary stress you will add to your life by having people chasing after you because they feel let down and cheated. Some may even bring a law suit against you because you reneged on your promises. Do you need law suits to keep you up at night?
In the marketplace, unlike in politics, there is no leeway for those that consistently lie or break their promises. A politician makes promises to get elected and then can do almost whatever he or she wants for 4,6, or 8 years. Removing them immediately from office is nearly impossible. But this is not so in the marketplace. Break a promise there, and your retribution is IMMEDIATE.
Let's say a caterer tells his client that he'll arrive at the party a half-hour before it begins. What happens if the caterer breaks his promise and shows up an hour late instead? Does the client do business with the caterer for the next 4-8 yrs? No sir! Not in the marketplace! The caterer will IMMEDIATELY lose that client's future business along with the POTENTIAL business of everyone at the party. A major lesson in keeping promises in the marketplace is that EVERYDAY your promises must be kept. You can't keep them only if you feel like it. Every business owner strives for repeat business. There's nothing more satisfying than obtaining and keeping a customer. The financial health of a business depends on repeat business from satisfied customers. But in order to do so, the business owner must keep his or her promises each and every time to separate the customer from his hard earned money. Break a promise once, and the money goes to the competition. Then trying to win back a lost customer can become a futile mission or very costly one at the least.
Now that we discussed the downside to breaking promises, what about the upside to KEEPING them? When a promise is kept, the benefits multiply exponentially. Satisfied customers tell their friends, family members, fellow workers and neighbors that your company is trustworthy. Referrals are the lifeblood of successful businesses. Those people tell their friends, and on, and on. An even greater benefit to keeping your promises is that your chances of repeat business increase. Your tendency to lose customers shrinks. People in general hate to change what's working for them. If they like and respect you, they'll stay a customer even if your competitor around the corner is offering slightly lower prices! Also by keeping your promises, you will enjoy your business more and want to go to work every day. You will attract better employees, who in turn will keep their promises as well, by following the leader. Honest people attract other honest people into their lives. They won't tolerate associating with liars very long. If your customers know that you're someone who comes through on your promises, they will usually remain a customer for a long time. That's your reward for earning a good reputation in the marketplace.
But don't restrict yourself to only keeping promises at your business or workplace. Always keep your promises with your loved ones; your friends; and everyone you come in contact with. By doing so, you will place yourself in a select group of individuals who bear the many fruits of health, happiness and prosperity; that result from living your life with integrity!