It’s especially British to be reserved.
Get your head down. Work hard. Be polite. Build it, and they will come.
But is this actually a culture driven out fear? fear of making mistakes, looking stupid, failure and public ridicule?
Are we playing small by under-promising?
The assumption is that when you under-promise, you set yourself up for success? You can add more value. You can pleasantly, British-ly, surprise your customer.
But could you argue that there’s less accountability in under-promising? The less expectations you set, the less you can fail.
Whilst over-promising could put stress on you to deliver, could you turn that stress into pressure, into positive stress, and commit to greater delivery?
Could you OVER-promise, and over deliver?
If you under promise, your competitors immediately look like they have a better offer.
If everyone is shouting and making big(ger) claims, how do you even get SEEN? Visibility is credibility: no attention, no action, no business.
There’s on attention war in media right now. Everyone fighting for it on social media. Social media platforms fighting for it. Ad platforms fighting for it.
NOISE. White noise.
Under-promise, and you aren’t even IN the conversation. Out of sight, out of mind. You can’t have a voice if you can’t be heard.
People EXPECT more and more and more and more.
So over delivery is not a surprise any more. It’s the new normal.
Behavioural scientists in a UC San Diego study “Worth keeping, but not exceeding”, discovered that exceeding a promise resulted in a negligible amount of increased appreciation. A promise is a social contract that clients expect to be met, but do not anticipate it to be exceeded. Therefore, if you want to build goodwill, you should put more effort into meeting and keeping your promises than trying to exceed them.
What do you think? Is under-promising and over delivering an antiquated, fear based methodology? Should you make bigger promises to create attention, interest and accountability to deliver on them?
Over promise, over deliver is the new under promise, over deliver.