Making Promises… Part II


So, if separating yourself from the crowd is as simple as making promises and then keeping them… a good rule of thumb would be to ONLY make promises you know you can keep!

Another way of putting it is the old admonition to “let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’… and your ‘no’ be ‘no’.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking… this isn’t rocket science. And, of course, you’re right.

But a lot of people mess this up… even those who probably should know better. No, it isn’t rocket science… it’s MUCH more important than that.

I’ll say it again… make promises you KNOW you can keep.


I was at a client’s office yesterday morning, and he was lamenting the fact that one of his vendor’s was habitually late.

This particular supplier is one of the top three national providers in their industry… a multi-billion dollar company… and yet they seemingly have trouble honoring their commitments.

“It’s so frustrating…,” said my client. “If they weren’t the cheapest, I’d go somewhere else in a heartbeat.”

Hmm…, I thought… I wonder why they are the cheapest… and is the cheapest really the least expensive when ALL things are considered?

That’s not rocket science either.


So here is this vendor… who told my client they would TRY to arrive to service their account yesterday morning between 10am and noon.

Imagine that… a two hour arrival window.

They got there at 12:07pm. Now, the fact that they have the reputation of ALWAYS being late tells me that someone figured they’d get there shortly after noon… certainly that’s what my client thought!

It would appear that they were aiming at the latest possible time… which they missed by minutes… and never had any intention of being there at 10am.

The question is… why not pick a time you know you can make… and then make it. And if you really need a two hour window… why not aim for the front instead of the tail?


Last week, I spoke with a charity who was going to swing by to pick up a gift.

“We’ll TRY to get there before 4:30pm…,” they said. “Otherwise, we’ll be there sometime tomorrow.”

So, I clarified.

“Are you coming this afternoon… or tomorrow?”

“Uhh… I’m sorry, Steve…” came the response. “We’ll be there this afternoon at 4 o’clock.” And they were right on time.

Not rocket science… but integrity, service, and character.

I look forward to speaking with you soon.



Do you ever find yourself using words like “try…”, “might…”, or “maybe…” in your business or personal relationships?

When others use those phrases with you… what are you thinking?

Do those words inspire confidence? Or something else?


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