I feel honored every time one of my clients calls to ask my opinion about something. I consider that a result of the trust factor.
You probably think this article is about how admitting your mistakes can build trust. While that is absolutely true (and worthy of an entire book) I’m taking a slightly different direction here.
Throughout my years of consulting, I’ve sometimes been criticized by my peers for doing (gasp!) too much for my clients! Many wise entrepreneurs consider over-delivering a business mistake. I say the mistake occurs with the degree to which you over-deliver. If you’re washing your client’s car and picking up their dry cleaning, that’s a little much (way too much). But if your idea of over-delivering is texting on a weekend with a unique idea or sending photos of a billboard you know they would appreciate, that’s just good business to me.
I’m constantly thinking, doing, breathing ‘marketing’. Bad ads, good ads, clever twists, what-ifs. I relish the thought of helping my clients out-market their competitors with an idea that no one has thought of, let alone executed. Guerrilla marketing tactics turn me into a mad scientist in search of the perfect potion. I’ve spent countless hours to craft a poignant biography or search for the perfect images that best describe and display a client’s personal brand. I think through the pros and cons of every situation in an attempt to jump three steps ahead or perhaps just avoid wrong turns. I’ve extended contracts beyond their deadline at no additional cost when I felt our work wasn’t completed to my satisfaction.
I’ve always delivered more than my agreements dictate. And yes, at times I have done so for people who are unappreciative. Those are the mistakes I have learned from the most. But I always remember what my high school basketball coach used to say. “If you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t hustling”.
I can understand the practicality of those who believe that over-delivery is a mistake. After all, time is one of our most precious commodities. But I believe we would be remiss to say that it trumps delivering your very best every time. More often than not, the fruits of our labor are proof enough. And that’s a mistake I’m willing to live with.