Tip 26: Do what you say you’re going to do

Do what you say you’re going to do. Do what you say you’re going to do. Do what you say you’re going to do. Do it!

This is just the basics, but you’d be surprised how many businesses aren’t able to do this well. It is critical. Sometimes the simplest of things bring all kinds of delight. No matter what else you do great, if you don’t get this part right, everything else will be a long uphill battle.

Let your word mean something. So if you say you’re going to call at 3:00pm, call. If you say you’ll be finished on Wednesday, do it. If you say you’ll email…. well, you get it.


  1. A while back while traveling in India, I came across a lovely touk touk driver. I let him know that I’d be back the square sometime the next afternoon with my friends and he would be able to take us to a local market. The next day when I arrived with my friends, to my pleasant surprise, there was my friendly driver Anil. He was in the exact spot where he said he would be waiting for my arrival (even though he didn’t know a specific time I was coming!). Anil did exactly what he said he was going to do, even in the most not ideal situation. And I so appreciated him for it.
  2. I signed in to attend a webinar recently at 12:31pm. It put a smile on my face when I heard the speaker talking already. It showed me they respected the time of all those in attendance by starting the session at 12:30pm as advertised. Instead of when they had an “adequate” number of attendees on the line.


  1. Map out how long it takes you to complete each task in your business. That way, when you have to plan out how long it will take you to get a commitment done for your customers, you’ll be able to adequately schedule the time on your calendar, rather than guesstimating how long something will take. Because we have a tendency to underestimate how long it will take us to do something, it gets easy to get into trouble with estimates. So it’s best to know.
  2. Build in buffer time to help guard you against unexpected events and challenges. When you plan for the unexpected, you’ll be in a much better position to deliver on your commitments to your customers no matter what pops up.

Application for your business

  1. Take three tasks that you have to complete frequently as a part of your daily work. Create a system that allows you to track how long on average it takes you to complete the task.
  2. Brainstorm a back-up plan you can set into motion if you find yourself behind schedule or in danger of not meeting a customer commitment. When you know what resources you have at your disposal in advance, it puts you in a much better position to get them in place and working for you when needed.

Previous tips

1-22. Build a relationship with your customers (series)

23. Solve your customers’ problem

24. Know your stuff

25. Add value