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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

What Are You Promising Them?


Robert Stevenson Blog - Breaking or Keeping Promises

When I was getting towards the end of finishing writing my last book, one of the publishing houses I was considering working with asked that we set-up at face-to-face meeting to discuss it in detail. In the meeting I encountered an excellent question from their senior editor. We were discussing the book title, chapter arrangement, and final content when she asked, “Rob, what are you promising the reader your book will do for them?” She went on to say that, “Every page you write should deliver on that promise, therefore, everything should be predicated around what you are promising the reader.”


I believe her question was not only smart, powerful, and insightful for writing a business book, but is also extremely applicable to trying to figure out how to be successful in business. Ask and Answer this question yourself about your company: “What are you promising the customer you will do for them?”


Some companies may say “their promise” is in their advertising slogan. Here are several examples of corporate promises that are being made; I’ll let you be the judge if you think they are keeping their promise.

Disney - "the happiest place on earth"
KFC - “we do chicken right”
United - “the friendly skies”
FedEx - "when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”

A “Generation Y” (Millennial) might put it a different way: “What’s your deal, man?”

Well, that’s my question to you: What is your deal? What is your promise? More importantly, does everyone in your company know that? You should consider what it is you really do and how you want to deliver that product or service. What is it that you value most? How do you want to be perceived by your customers?


This “Promise” is the driving force behind all goals and the glue that unites your employees, keeping them focused on the performance they need to deliver every time. Success doesn’t come from good intentions - success comes from keeping promises. Identify what you are promising to your customers and make sure everyone in your organization understands that “Promise” and how you intend to deliver upon it. So many companies fail at getting everyone in the company to understand the “Promise.” Here are 7 questions most employees have difficulty answering. I’ll even go out on a limb and say most of your managers can’t answer them.

What's Your Competitive Advantage?
Why Should I Want to Do Business With You?
Is There Anything You Do Better Than Your Competition?
What Will Make Your Clients Tell Their Friends About You?
Are There Ways You Can Sell Value Instead of Selling Price?
What Are Several Ways Your Customer Service Stands Out?
How Can You Deliver More Than You Promised Your Client?

Ask them … have them write down their answers and get ready to be disappointed!

If you want to take your company to the next level, then decide what you want the answers to these questions to be and make sure EVERYONE knows them. Now decide how you are going to be able to make them happen.


How can anyone be expected to deliver what hasn’t been defined?

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