One basic tenet of great public relations is delivering on promises. One way or another, if you make a promise to a client or customer, you must make good on that promise.
Last Friday night, I found myself unable to deliver on a promise … I was having some friends over for dinner and decided to make “Caesar-Salad Stuffed Deviled Eggs,” a Rachel Ray recipe, to have with drinks. I set the platter of 16 halves (8 whole eggs) down on the coffee table. Soon after, my guests arrived and I quickly made them their drinks. We wandered back into the living room where the eggs were – and I noticed that 10 of them were gone.
The culprit? Fred, my Jack Russell, who, for the first time in more than a year since I’ve had him, scarfed something off a table.
While I soon laughed about it (and the dog never got sick – amazing!), I realized I was unable to deliver on my promise for a great appetizer. Sure, this might seem like a very minor setback. After all, I made enough food to feed most of North Dallas, but I still did not deliver on something I told my guests I would provide to them.
So you can see, if you make a promise, be sure to deliver the good to your clients, prospects, colleagues and employees. If you make a promise to give your clients the best tax advice possible, then do it. However, if you don’t think you’ll actually lower their tax liability, then don’t promise it, but find a way to communicate that you’ll work as hard as you can.
Promises and even something like a “guarantee” are great for PR and marketing, but you also have to be realistic.
For me, it’s back to the kitchen ….
Note: This post first appeared on AccountingWeb.com.