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Friday, 15 November 2013

Do you have a Promising Business...?

I do...
...the longest sentence in the World...

On the 4th October 1986 at 3.00pm, Lynn and I stood next to each other in front of our close friends and family and made a promise to each other, and the world, that we would live by and uphold our marriage vows...

As the years have gone by, we have seen friends get married, have children, get divorced and sometimes get married again - sometimes to the same person again...

When we get asked how we have done it, how we have stayed together so long (we have been together since we were teenagers - so over 34 years now...) we both struggle to find a simple answer that does the question justice...

It seems that one of the key aspects, apart from Lynn being very lucky to have got married to me, (I am in trouble now...) is that we simply made a promise to each other, and regardless of what happens we stick at it until it is sorted out...

Every day of our married life has been pure bliss - for me at least. When we were asked if we had ever considered divorce we both looked at each other and responded;

"Never; Murder yes, but divorce no..." 

Duty of Honour - the psychological Promise contract...

29 yr old Captain Robert Campbell was captured by German forces on the 24th August 1914 during WW1.

Whilst in the PoW Camp in Magdeburg, he learned that his mother was dying from Cancer. So he wrote a letter to the Kaiser asking for permission to return to England to be with her and say goodbye. 

The Kaiser granted his wish, on the understanding that he would return to captivity in Germany following the visit. So Capt Campbell travelled to Kent, spent a week with his mother and then returned to the PoW Camp as agreed. 

Simply put, he had made a promise and therefore had a duty to keep it. Interesting to note that according to records, upon his return he immediately attempted to escape, but only after he had kept his promise..

It is also possible that after the horrors of the Western Front in 1914, he decided that being in Magdeburg was a lot safer than being in France...

You have a Promising Business..

Business is a very simple process based on reciprocation. I will pay money for the delivery of a product or service that I perceive as equal to or superior in value to the amount of money I forfeit as a consequence of the transaction.

One of the key attributes of a successful business is that it keeps the promises it makes to its customers on a regular basis; it doesn't mean that the relationship has to be perfect, just that the overall value must exceed the price paid. 

The promises we make in business include our Marketing, Reputation, Agreements & Contracts - we have promises to keep on a number of levels, some of which are more obscure than others...

Plenty of promises are constructed in the mind of our customers before we even know, but our success will be based on us first recognising what promises our customers are anticipating that we keep - and secondly, actually keeping them...

1. Marketing - do you actually deliver what you are promising in your marketing. Is the quality, service and reliability you offer actually as described..?

2. Reputation - people will hear about you and recommend you to others. Providing you deliver consistently then the promise made on your behalf by others can be kept. if you let down someone who recommends you by not living up to their expectations, you may well lose two customers.

3. Product & Service - do you do what you say on the tin...?  In a crowded market, we need to deliver 110% of expectation to our customers. If I cannot be differentiated in terms of the quality and standard of the service I provide; the only differentiator will be price and I will simply be compared with the cheapest in the market.

4. Relationship - is the relationship with your company simply on the basis of a single transaction based on money, or can customers actually become long term patrons on the basis of mutual value...?

There is a psychological trigger that means humans fundamentally keep their promises - not everyone does, but overall we value agreements, contracts and promises. In business providing we deliver the promises we make, or allow our customers to perceive we have made, then business will be good.

Regardless of what business you are in, my belief is that we are all in the business of Customer Service and keeping our Promises...

The more quality promises we keep - the more profit we will make...

  • What Promises are you making and not keeping...?
  • Are your Team keeping your Promises...?
  • Do you need to make better Promises to clients...?
  • Is your business keeping it's Promises to you...?

David Holland is a Coach, Writer, Speaker and Business Educator. To find out how working with him and his team will benefit you, your business and your team - simply drop him a note to:

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