The Business of Authority

Are You Overdelivering?

Episode Summary

Overdelivering—giving your clients and buyers more than they expected or contracted for—is a seemingly thoughtful and helpful practice that is anything but.

Episode Notes

Our tendency (especially in proposal situations) to acquiesce to client requests—and how to re-direct that for the good of all.

The power and status dynamics surrounding consultants serving clients and what happens if we start treating clients as higher status.

How overdelivering can seep into your firm’s practices and where to nip it in the bud.

Developing a healthy mindset around service delivery, providing value and decoupling your fees from effort.


“Your clients are a choice, just like your boss is a choice, but people often forget that walking away is one of the options.”—JS

“You could say: ‘Listen, if we take out this step, I can't guarantee the transformation, and therefore I can't do that for you.’”—RM

“The way to provide value to your clients is not to be obedient—it's to deliver results.”—JS

“The proposal is the dress rehearsal for the engagement.”—RM

“If you let prospective clients push you around in the sales process, it should come as no surprise when they push you around during the project.”—JS

“The more that you consider yourself low status relative to clients, the worse you're going to feel about it.”—RM 

“There's so much ‘the customer's always right’ psychology. "Wouldn't it be better to give them more than less?" No, it really wouldn't.”—JS

“This is about leveraging what you have—not playing status games that have you overdelivering and creating relationships that don't work for you.”—RM


Tara McMullin's Instagram piece on over-delivering