Exceeding Expectations

Exceeding Expectations

You can make an impact with your business relationships. You can. But can you really do business and have fun at the same time?

Yes, but only if you manage expectations, set them appropriately, communicate them effectively, then achieve them and hopefully exceed them.

Do you design exceeding expectations into your business model?

It’s a paradigm shift to think this way.

Most businesses are just trying to get customers and then manage their expectations.

But what if you could build exceeding expectations into your plan? In other words, every client you do business with walks away feeling like you understood them and exceeded what your relationship was all about.

Underpromise and overdeliver.

It’s a bit of reverse psychology maybe. But it’s really about knowing what value you bring to the table, communicating it, and then saving a little cherry on top for a bonus surprise at the end.

Let me give you an example…

Construction sites are incredible things. Big earthmovers and excavators shaping ground and laying foundations for people’s investments, hopes, dreams, and futures. But they’re also notorious for missing deadlines and making a bit of a mess. And it’s rare after someone builds a new home or remodels one that they leave it looking clean and polished.

Our friends own a construction company. They weren’t our friends at first, but after we worked with them, now they are.

We started talking about designing Exceeding Expectation into their business.

So here’s what they did…

They started hiring the best cleaning company and the best maids to come into their projects when they were nearly complete. They would detail the house like it was their own. Spiffy, bright, sparkly, and brand new.

And then, they would contract with that cleaning company for a few months and offer deep cleans to their clients at no extra cost. So you would get an amazing new project, and they would clean it for their clients for the first 6 months that they lived there!

That’s unheard of. And it made a splash for sure. Their clients loved it.

And guess what, their clients referred them to all of their friends! It’s their best referral plan because they are exceeding expectations. And it’s all designed into their plan.

People love secrets, surprises, great deals, and over and above treatment.

What about if you showed up at a conference and they greeted you like this, “Welcome! Here’s a custom name tag, a special coconut water, a seat at the head table, and a huge greeting from our team that makes you feel like a million bucks." That’s an expectation exceeding greeting for your conference attendees.

OR "here’s our proposal on the project we discussed. We went ahead and included a distribution strategy in this document. Feel free to have that even if you don’t work with us, but we’ll be able to partner with you and help you get your message out because we get what you’re trying to accomplish."

The main point here is that you have to know your customers better than they know themselves. And, then be able to communicate that in a way that instills confidence and trust in you as a valuable partner.

Some exercises to think through:

  • How do you visually show your customers the value that you produce for them?
  • Do you have a process or a step-by-step gameplan for them to follow so expectations are managed?
  • Do you state the expectations from the first meeting? This is what you can expect from us…
  • Do you have an exciting cherry on top bonus that you can include when delivering your product or service?

Now it’s your turn, how can you exceed your clients’ expectations and then design that into your business?

(photo via dragan)