How many of us enter into relationships with colleagues and vendors only to be disappointed by the quality and quantity of their deliverables?
Because we don’t want to offend them.
Because we assume responsibility for their not performing as advertised.
Because we are optimistic that they simply are running behind schedule.
Because they are well-known in the marketplace and we were so jazzed to be working with them.
Because we’ve excused them for being inaccessible and non-communicative because we understand they have such crowded schedules.
So we pay our money and take our chances. Because we wanted to.
And we are disappointed – and also have incurred some considerable out-of-pocket expenses in the process.
But we continue to say nothing. Because we don’t want to offend them.
The mantra DWYSYWD (Do What You Said You Would Do) hangs on the wall of my office. It’s the iPhone wall paper of more than a few of my friends.
It’s a constant reminder to follow Dr. Tony Alessandra’s Platinum Rule: treat others the way they want to be treated.
And while the vendors we hire may neither in sync with 1) doing what they said they would do, nor 2) treating us the way we would like to be treated, well –
Let’s lead by example, shall we?
Let’s develop relationships with folks we are interested in working with because they are the folks we do our best work for.
Let’s develop realistic deliverables and anticipate – and articulate – what we do and do not understand about our customers’ requirements.
Let’s state clearly and concisely what our customers can expect to receive and, in turn, won’t end up receiving, within a succinct timeline.
Let’s be willing to take responsibility for our shortfalls in deliverables to our customers by offering realistic fee-for-service and be the first one to offer reduced pricing should we fall short of doing what we said we would do. (Yes, I just wrote that).
Because we can intimidate our customers, or perhaps they are simply too polite to communicate their disappointment to us.
Because perhaps we have ingested too much of our own Super Sauce and are disconnected from our real marketplaces.
Because taking on new clients and projects involves assuming responsibility and accountability for our deliverables and output.
Because we still care a heck of a lot about what we do and how it impacts our customers. And their customers. And their networks.
Because we are not complacent. We like to keep ourselves on our toes. We don’t know it all. We are lifelong learners and we learn from our clients as well.
Because the overall experience of working with us is critical to growing our business.
Do What You Said You Would Do and lead by example.
What are your own experiences working with vendors who fall short on what they promise?