As anyone who’s hired a plumber, joiner, builder – most tradespeople, in fact, will know, they seem schooled in the art of over-promising and under-delivering. This is 100% of my experience hiring about 25 different tradespeople in the past three years, as well as that of my friends.
8AM doesn’t mean 8AM. It tends to mean two weeks later and lots of unanswered voicemail messages if you’re in the trade. And this always leads to disappointment when you’re promised one thing and receive another.
Yet there’s a really easy, quick and painless way to fix this problem. And it’s one I suggest us freelancers employ.
Simply err on the side of caution
Give realistic, sensible (conservative) predictions of when you can do something by (the actual work or when you’ll contact someone) and to what standard.
All you have to do is avoid saying what you think someone wants to hear. Instead, give it to your clients straight and honestly. If you’re busy but want the job, just say it. That way you’re more likely to keep your promise – crucial when most business is done on trust.
If you manage to do something for a client earlier, more the better.
Under promise, over-deliver. It pisses less people off.
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