Always leave a buffer. If it typically takes you 5-days to complete a certain type of job, say it’s going to take 7-days to the customer, and then deliver it in 5-days. It’s much easier to under promise and over deliver, than over promise and under deliver. This is what top sales reps do, and this is what you can do to start to give yourself an advantage as well.
Make them happy.
Leaving a buffer will leave your customers happy. Look at it like this, all you’re doing is setting the expectation correctly from the very start. I hear of sales reps and companies cornering themselves all the time because they didn’t leave enough time to properly get the job done, and it severely hurts their relationships.
Don’t hurt yourself.
You’re only hurting yourself by overpromising and under delivering. Just because you’re saying it’s going to take 7-days to complete, doesn’t mean you have to charge them for 7-days work. Give your customer a rebate for any unused hours and let them know they were a pleasure to work with and that you’d love for them to spread the word about their happy experience. Believe me, when a happy customer shares their happy experience with a friend, co-worker, or family member, this is way more powerful than any type of advertising you’ll ever do. Social influence i.e. social persuasion is the most powerful form of advertising there is. Your close rates will be through the roof if you can get happy customers to share their experiences.
Bust your hump.
Leaving a buffer doesn’t mean you’re going to get lazy and work slower, it means you need to get in there, bust your hump, make it all come together, and get on to the next thing. Keeping a customer informed and aware is vitally important as well. Communication is key during any implementation or build-out. Changes, updates, or any other relevant information must be communicated immediately to keep the project on time and under budget. The faster everyone knows what’s going on, the faster decisions can be made.
Be sure to over deliver.
Remember these points to have continued success: leave a buffer, under promise, over deliver, work quick, keep the customer informed, provide a rebate, and ask them to spread their happy experience. It doesn’t get much better than this in terms of providing a positive customer experience.