Apologies for the mysterious code, but there is only so much space in a title and it is the way I remember this very important concept….
Do What You Say You Will Do!
It is that simple! But as we all find it is also difficult to stick to.
This is one of the main guiding principles and values I live by in my business. I am not perfect, but I strive continually to keep this as a guiding value. Two reasons really:
a) I don’t like to let anyone down; and
b) There are so many business people who do not manage to do this on a regular basis.
How many times have you been promised something which has not appeared or you have not been contacted as someone assured you they would? It occurs a huge amount in business. Unfortunately if we hold up the mirror, we find we can be guilty too.
There is so much to do that sometimes things slip through the net.
It is particularly amazing when it happens with someone who you are looking to buy products or services from! I was recently looking for a new training venue and expressed interest in a venue. They said they would send me details. They did not until I chased them. I then sent back some questions and again there was no response. End result? I went somewhere else!
So there is an opportunity for us all here to make ourselves very different from the norm.
Here are some guiding principles that can help keep us all on track with this:
1. Manage the expectations of others – When you have been asked for something or promised something yourself, be aware of everything you have on and suggest a timescale for when you can provide what is needed. “Will it be okay if I get this to you by Friday?”
2. Make a note of it – Don’t rely on your memory, but put a task in your phone/laptop or write it down in your note book or diary. Check these daily to ensure you pick up all your important actions.
3. Say No – Simple again, but it is much better to turn something down than to promise and not deliver. This is especially important if someone needs something that will take some time to do and has a tight deadline. Unless this is really key to a sales opportunity, it is okay to say no and let someone down honestly, than to promise and let them down (and you!) later
4. Update people – Things do not always go to plan. If you are not going to be able to do what you said you will do, go back to the person as soon as possible. “This is going to be a day late – is that okay?”. Often this is not a problem and will take the heat off. It will again show your professionalism that you have not simply let a promise or deadline pass by without handling it. If your are told the matter is more urgent, you can feed it back into your own planning and look to defer elsewhere.
5. Deliver something – A part delivery is better than no delivery at all, so let the other party at least have some of what you promised, again with an apology and seek to reach agreement on the rest of the delivery.
Hopefully with DWYSYWD as a guiding principle and some realistic views on your workload, 4 and 5 will not occur.
Even more importantly, you will never promise something and just not deliver without communication.
Do What You Say You Will Do and it truly will make you stand out from the crowd.