If you need to lie before striking a deal, don’t bother
Posted Monday, July 30 2012 at 17:56
Mothers say, always tell the truth.
It sounds so simple and really, it is. But so many businesses lose sight of this. They spend their time focusing on making themselves popular instead of being valuable.
I was reminded of this as I have watched the G4S saga unfold in London.
The private security firm G4S said a few weeks ago that it would be unable to completely fulfil its contract to supply guards for the London Olympic Games. As a result , it will incur a loss of up to 50 million pounds (Sh6 billion).
Jeff my co-director always reminds me that it’s very easy to remember the truth. If you tell a lie, you’ll often end up having to tell more lies to protect the original lie. But how do we always end up in a situation like G4S’?
It starts very innocently. The short-term results of “under promising and over-delivering” build your clientele base.
And the business starts going great. Then the same clients come to start expecting super-fast and super-cheap from you.
Suddenly, the whole “managing expectations” idea backfires completely; your clients have been used to high expectations, and they raise them each time. You’re caught up in the very mess that you created. It’s very easy to overpromise.
The temptation to shade the truth a little bit and deliver a little bit less to save a few bucks will always be there. Who will notice?
But the consumer always notices.
Loss of credibility
How often do you return a product that’s not working properly for whatever reason and the company refuses to give you a refund because you forgot your receipt?
Even if they actually served you and it may have been the same day, they’re more interested in hitting their targets than providing top quality service.
I too would like to make promises and keep them, but I can think of a few instances where I’ve dropped the ball. When we were a young business, we’d do anything to boost our presence and drive our sales.
But we soon found out that not keeping our business commitments led to loss of credibility with our customers and clients. The long-term effect was loss of business and a bad reputation—the very thing we were striving for.
When you give more than expected, you will find your clients are quick to recommend you. You will have pride in the services and products that your company offers, and life gets easier. The negative energy it takes to try to take advantage of your is simply not worth it.