Friday, January 06, 2006

Underpromise. Overdeliver.

Lately, as I've been talking with Geoff, Dr. Warson, and a few others who I hope to do teleseminars with in the near future, I've been stressing the concept of overdelivering on our content. Fortunately, I don't have to do a hard sell of the concept. All the experts I'm working with understand the importance of going "above and beyond" what's expected.

Alex Mandossian, who is teaching the teleseminar course I'm taking, talks about "overdelivering" a lot. And I have to say, he certainly practices what he preaches. I've easily gotten 10 times the material that I've paid for in bonus e-books, audio files, .pdf files, and bonus teleseminars. It will keep me busy learning for years.

Though giving away more than you promised may seem counter-productive to a culture that believes in putting a price tag on everything, I think it's an important part of any well-run, above-board business with a desire for longevity. It's simple: satisfied customers return. Unsatisfied ones don't.

So, to my esteemed experts, my advice for our first foray into the audio information age is to keep our audience in mind and give away as much information as possible in our allotted time. Each teleseminar is only 60 minutes. You can't possibly tell people everything you know in 60 minutes. But you can get people to love hearing your voice as they realize that you deliver lots of content, rather than teasing them with bits and pieces.

In my opinion, offering a little bit extra is one of the fastest and easiest ways for writers and othe professionals to build a dependable, loyal client base. (Incidentally, this does not mean that if an editor requests a 1500 word article, you turn in 2500 words. It could, however, mean turning in a tightly edited, well-crafted 1500 word piece, with a relevant 1000 word sidebar included just in case there might be a use for it.)

Case in point: I contacted one of the vendors recommended during the course of the teleseminar -- a very nice guy named Gary who provides phone bridge lines and call recording services, among other things. I requested his rates for recording three simple calls.

What I need him to do for me is on a very small scale, compared to some of the complex multi-line teleseminars he handles. He hasn't seen one dime of my money yet. Yet he immediately got back to me, answered my questions, and directed me to a FREE bridge service -- even though he operates fee-based bridge lines.

Furthermore, as we started talking about times and dates, it became clear that the times that would work best for me and my clients just happen to be very slow times for him. So he offered to make matters easier by adding an extra service that he normally charges for at no extra cost.

I haven't even conducted a single teleseminar yet, and already I know I'll use Gary's services again. I know he comes highly recommended. I know he'll give me the time of day. And I don't feel like he's out to take my last penny.

Underpromise. Overdeliver. That's all it takes to have more work than you can handle!