Promises You Can’t Keep

Mountains of Arizona
Sunny 75 Degrees
6:53 a.m.

A sure sign of someone who hasn’t been in business very long is a regular habit of making promises they can’t keep.

  • You’ll double your sales.
  • You’ll triple your leads.
  • Your website will produce 10X what it’s done before.
  • You’ll make a billion dollars!

This is either the mark of a dishonest person, a person who is clueless, or a person who has not yet realized that this type of behavior, even if well intentioned, really works against everyone.

If you’re in a results oriented business, it’s pretty easy to fall into this trap. You want to communicate to the world that working with you is valuable, that you can create results.

But promising things that are outside of your control is not the best way to do it.

If you promise something you don’t control and it doesn’t come to be, you look dumb.

Even worse, if you make that promise and it DOES work out, then the “legend” of you grows and the time when you will look dumb just gets pushed out into the future for you to experience another time.

Promises are an enormous opportunity if you use them well.

Promise things under your control.

So “I will double your sales…” transforms into, “I will work with you to build a system to help move us towards your goal of doubling sales.”

As Don Miguel Ruiz says in his book, the Four Agreements, “Be impeccable with your word.”

This is an example of that.

You might think this is a small thing, but my experience is quite the opposite.

This is profound if you allow it to become a habit. It will completely shift the way you interact with the world.

You will have no secrets. You will have no “gotcha” moments. You will sleep well at night.

This simple habit allows you to be real and stand in truth. It’s a powerful feeling.

And when the prospective client says, “Well what’s going to happen when we hire you? What type of results can we expect?” and then you say, “I’m not sure. I would never make a promise I wasn’t fully capable of fulfilling,” you WILL lose a few sales.

But those are the clients who wanted the big promise, even if it was one not in the power of the business owner to deliver.

You don’t want to work with those clients. You want the ones who are left. The ones who aren’t looking for a Messiah. The ones who are looking for an expert to walk with them towards the goal.