The dangerous power of expectations


The problem with promises, implicit or tacit, is that they create expectations.  So what?

Here’s the problem with that:

As business owners we make promises, whether you want to or not.  When we make a promise we are creating the future for other people.  People come and expect that something will happen within a reasonable delay and with respect and a fair price.

I have stopped using stores for numerous reasons, all related to failed expectations.

One of the local sporting stores wanted to charge me for warentee support for a product that they sell and carried a lifetime guarentee!


I had to chase after the regional distributor and then finally the manufacturer in Germany to get warranty service from my local vendors.  It took me almost two years of intermittent effort to get a lifetime guarantee honoured.

This is exactly the opposite of what we expect of a company that offers a strong warranty on their products.  No one said to me when I purchased my product that the service would be fast and easy.  They just said that they would replace them if they broke due to manufacturers defects.  But our expectations turn around something will happen within a reasonable delay and with respect and a fair price.

So the only way for us to satisfy our clients is to allow them live fulfilled expectations.  So it is up to us to manage the things that we can.

We have to justify:

  • the time it takes
  • the price
  • and the relationships

If you can manage those things then you will be able to have happy clients with fulfilled expectations. They will thus have nothing but good things to say about them because you held up your end of the bargain.

Be proactive and control the promises and turn any tacit agreements into voiced agreements so that people won’t be surprised by their own expectations being unfulfilled!

Good luck and take control.

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Warm when it counts!

Brit and Chips WC

One thing you should know about me is that I am both resilient and fussy. I can spend a week on an icy mountain and complain vociferously when my chair is cold at the house. This is just one example of how context is everything!

But it shows you care when you know what the context is and you think about how to make sure your client is being taken care of. But Aaron what do you mean? Example please!

I went to a fish and chips joint in Montreal with the family and the place was BUSY, there were people coming in and out every 6 seconds and the outside temprature was about -4,000°C outside and the interior temperature was not very warm. But as you may have noticed I had to use the water closet. (Ergo the picture above) and it was tropical! It was great.

Think about this, in what other room in your establishment to you ask your clients to get naked and sit down???

And one thing I have noticed is that most small restaurants like to keep their bathrooms at about freezing! So this was a delightful change.

If you think this is the least used room in your business so you can cut in your budget by keeping the heat low, think again. It is the room where you take people in and host their most intimate needs. So consider this when you are saving money what it is costing the people who have to undergo your icy porcelain challenge.

Ask instead, how can we make the money to cover that cost and not where can we cut that no one will notice; because they always notice.

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