3 Broken Promises That Hurt Your Authority Among Prospects

Alex Sobal
Posted by Alex Sobal on April 14, 2015
Top of a white ferris wheel

Whenever someone asks you to do something – whether it’s taking out the trash or finishing a project by next week – how often do you deliver on your promises? Do you frequently live up to other people’s expectations, or do you often find yourself making excuses and letting them down? We all have done it:

“I almost have it done, just give me another day.”

“I really wanted to finish it, but I got caught up on something else.”

“I tried to get it done yesterday, but I just ran out of time.”

Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, excuses like these are all too common in the workplace. And though you might think a little excuse here and there won’t hurt anything, you’re forgetting that your business is only as good as its word. If you’re constantly making excuses and not following through on your promises, it won’t be long before your clients and prospects start doubting your capabilities – and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what that means for your company’s bottom line.

In order to build a reputation as one of the top companies in your industry, you have to be able to deliver on your promises. Anyone can “try” to get things done on time or “try” to deliver the desired results, but there’s a big difference between almost achieving something and actually delivering – and that little extra effort is what sets the best businesses apart.

To help make sure that your company is delivering on all of their marketing promises, we’ll share three examples of how broken promises affect your reputation and impact your marketing results:

Tarnish Your Credibility

Every time you say you’re going to do something, but don’t actually deliver on those promises, your clients and prospects have a reason NOT to trust you. And if your broken promises become a habit, don’t be surprised when your audience makes it a habit to not believe a word you’re saying. Especially in today’s day and age where people are hesitant to believe everything they see online, it’s crucial that you not only avoid leading your audience on, but that you’re upfront and transparent with them as well.

Let’s say you manufacture a bottling machine that advertises bottling speeds nearly 2x faster than the industry average. What you fail to mention, however, is under what conditions. Once companies start using your machine under their own settings, they start to realize that it’s really only about 1.5x times faster than the industry average, and more expensive than other systems with similar production volumes. Rather than being upfront and transparent from the start, now your customers are dissatisfied with their purchase, warning others not to buy it, and excluding your company from any considerations regarding future purchases.

Bad Bounce Rate

If you thought your company’s reputation and sales were the only things that suffered from your broken promises, think again! Does your company use “clickbait” tactics to convince readers to click your headlines? If so, you might also be tarnishing your website’s SEO. Google factors dwell time, time on page, and bounce rate into their search engine ranking algorithm, and misleading visitors to click on a headline can result in unfavorable results for all three of those metrics. If your article advertises “3 Essential Tools Every Food Manufacturer Needs for Quality Assurance,” then it better list three essential tools for quality assurance. If two of the three tools focus on food safety, or the tools simply aren’t that essential, you’ll have a hard time keeping readers on your page and keeping your bounce rate down.

Missed Deadlines

Even if you’re fully transparent and 100% honest with your clients and prospects, you can you still hurt your marketing efforts by breaking promises about internal deadlines. Successful content marketing strategies are highlighted by strict blog publishing schedules, with a focus on posting at regular intervals. Even if you’re only publishing one new post a week, it’s still crucial that you hit that deadline and continue to give your audience (and Google) the content they’re looking for. It’s easy for missed deadlines to accumulate via the snowball effect, and before you know it your entire publishing schedule is behind and out of whack. If you need some helpful tips for beating all of your blog publishing deadlines, these two articles are great place to start:

Editorial Calendars: The Key to Attracting Leads 24/7

Stop Making Excuses and Start Hitting More Blog Publishing Deadlines

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “honesty is the best policy,” and we’d be hard-pressed to disagree when it comes to your marketing. Excuses, lies, and misinformation will only hurt your company’s reputation and progress, so it’s critical that you remain upfront and transparent. Fool your audience once, shame on you. Fool your audience twice, and you’re the fool.

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