When I least expect it
And you will win my respect.
When you’ve set my expectations
And I will be hard to recapture.
Making promises and living up to them is extremely difficult because there are always extenuating circumstances beyond our control.
The goal should always be to under-promise and over-deliver.
But all too often sales people and companies fall into this trap. It’s in our nature to get excited at the prospect of a new endeavor and it takes incredible discipline and strategy to curb that enthusiasm. But this is critical when it comes to managing expectations and winning respect.
No promise is better than a promise not kept.
- When Apple launches a new product – it is full of surprises, and I respect that.
- When Virgin Airlines launched – it was full of surprises, and they won my respect.
- When 3M launches a new product – it is full of surprises, and I respect their innovation.
- When a company announces the launch date of an innovative million dollar website, and it is delayed (with nothing innovative), it can only be a disappointment.
- When a software company makes promises about a new and better browser that pales in comparison to the market, I’ll be surfing elsewhere.
- When a salesman promises a certain level of success to a client, and comes up short, it destroys their credibility and trust.
We are living in a world that moves faster than any other period in history. A technological revolution. Innovative ideas spread like a virus. But only if the idea is innovative, remarkable and exceeds our expectations.
In 1973, Barbara Corcoran created what was eventually to become New York City’s top real estate brokerage company. Her entrepreneurial mind, common sense approach to building a business, creativity and tenacity set her apart from the field. She sold the company seven years ago and started applying her creativity and knowledge into other endeavors. She has written two books and is widely considered a pre-eminent expert in the real estate and business world. I had the pleasure of speaking with her about the company she created and eventually sold and the general market.
Shaun: What was the most challenging part of starting your real estate brokerage company?
Barbara: Coming up with the cash, absolutely, because I was working as a waitress at the time and I lived off of what I earned in tips. Coming up with the cash to start any business was a major obstacle. But fortunately, my (what was soon to be boyfriend), came into the diner. I met him and he gave me the cash to start a brokerage firm. A thousand dollars.
Shaun: That’s a great story.
Barbara: That was a stroke of good luck.
Shaun: So you never became a real estate agent? You started your own company immediately and you never went to work for a firm?
Barbara: I started my brokerage firm in New Jersey immediately because my boyfriend had a friend who was an attorney, and as an attorney he was able to license me. So I just went and took the test. In those days, you have to appreciate 35 years ago, there were no barrier entries at all. If you could walk and talk you could pass the test. And I could do both, so I sailed through it.
Shaun: Is it any different now?
Barbara: Of course. It’s a pain in the neck now. In New Jersey, in New York, any state. Top of the list of course is California where fifteen years after I went to California five times to attend the courses I failed my brokers license five times in a row. I never got to move to California because I already had the Corcoran Group. I wanted to just move to California to just start all over again, but I couldn’t because I couldn’t pass the damn exam. In answer to your question; “Is it more difficult today?” It’s more difficult in terms of education, because you have to take courses and pass the exam, which is a pain in the neck. (more…)