Best Business Practices: Say What You'll Do, Then Do What You Say
This is so basic that no one should ever even have to mention it, but unfortunately, a whole lot of people in business don't do what they say they'll do.
In my copywriting business, doing what I say I'll do usually means turning in copy on time, or making a phone call at the appointed hour. But it can be other small things. For instance, when I'm promoting Active Rain (always, always!) I often tell agents that I'm going to send them the link to join. That's a promise I have to keep, so I do it immediately, before my amazing memory lets me forget.
A few years ago I had friends who interviewed several agents before choosing someone to market their home and land. Because they had hired me to write about their property, they asked me to sit in on some of the interviews, so I was witness to promises made.
The agent they chose promised SO much, and she even put it in writing...
- She would hold an open house once a month
- She would advertise monthly in a number of magazines - both homes magazines and local publications
- Their listing would appear on dozens of internet sites, including the paid commercial sites, since this property included commercial buildings.
- Her MLS entry would be a shining star!
- She would use the descriptive copy I had written
- She would use the extensive "photo gallery" the owner had provided of the house, the land, and the various buildings
And guess what she did? NONE of the above!
When they called her she didn't return calls. When they emailed repeatedly they finally got some answers. One month she had been on vacation. Another month her dog had died.Then she was getting the kids ready for back to school or helping with her husband's business. It was nuts!
The strange thing is, this agent was angry at the homeowner for asking her to keep her written promises.
The question is, WHY did she make all those promises?
Because she wanted the listing.
But WHY did she want the listing if she wasn't going to do anything to get it sold? It's not as if theirs was a high-traffic location where a sign (had she brought one) would have helped build her presence in the area.
Naturally, she and her clients parted in an unpleasant manner, and naturally she'll get no referrals from them. (Quite the opposite!)
Someone should have told her long ago: Make good promises, but ONLY make the ones you can and will keep.
Image courtesy of Dreamstine