Don’t make promises that you can’t keep

Tim Hardin sang:

“It seems the songs we’re singing
Are all about tomorrow
Tunes of promises you can’t keep”

“You promised me things that I need
But then the things behind it took away the chance forever
You’re telling me lies in your sleep “

It’s easy to promise

In our rush to please our clients we must be careful not to over-promise. We all want to do our best but sometimes time scales cannot be met. Clients will push but if we fail the consequences will be far worse than if we deliver in our own best time. Mistakes will be made. Things will go wrong. Our reputation will be damaged.

Of course if ours is not the best business to undertake an assignment because we do not have the skill, resources or staff then we need to have the courage to pass the work on by making a suitable recommendation of another supplier.


In business it is no good being a shrinking violet, and we must have the courage to say what we cannot do as well as what we can. We will gain respect by connecting the clients we cannot handle with those who can. We will often get business back from those referred. Over-promising is dangerous and shows disrespect to our clients. Do you not agree?

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