Do you remember Scotty from the original Star Trek series? Scotty developed the reputation of a miracle-worker. His secret was that he consistently under-promised and over-delivered. (Alright, he was also exceptional at what he did.) Captain Kirk would ask him how long it would take to fix something. “Three days, Cap’n.” “We only have three hours!” And Scotty would fix it in three hours (or whatever the time frame happened to be).
We can all learn a lesson from Scotty. This blog provides additional information to the attached video clip. The clip is from an assertiveness presentation I did for The Business Building Academy.
In my presentation on assertiveness, Don’t Act Like Prey!, I discuss the three R’s of assertiveness: relationships, rights, and respect. In this presentation, I used the customer/supplier relationship as an example and we discussed the rights of each party. In this clip, we are discussing that the customer has the right to expect what is promised and how the supplier can use Scotty from Star Trek to help make sure that the promises are kept.
It is imperative that promises are kept. And it is acceptable to build a buffer for yourself because things do happen. For example, if you promise a customer something in one week, and deliver in two weeks, the customer will be upset because you were a week late. If you promise it in three weeks, and deliver it in two, the customer will be thrilled because you are early. In each case the customer has it in two weeks. In the first example, though, you look horrible. In the second, you are a hero. Which will help your business more?
This concept can be used in your personal life as well as your professional life. Do you under-promise and over-deliver?