Practical Ways to Stop under promising and start over-delivering

You’ve heard the expression “underpromise and overdeliver.” When you underpromise, you’re being honest about your capabilities and keeping expectations in check. When you overdeliver, though, you’re being too honest—and setting yourself up for success. 

Underpromise and overdeliver meaning:

Underpromising means that you promise what is truly possible or realistic. Overdelivering means that you stretch your capabilities and exceed expectations.

What will be the result of a promising and over-delivering sales strategy?

Your team has a customer who requires a website redesign. Your boss asks you to estimate how long it will take to complete the project. You estimate three weeks. Once you start the planning process, you schedule the work to be completed in 2 weeks and take the last week for any changes or edits that may be required. Once you complete the process you review the project, you are left with 4 extra days in hand because of your efficiency and planning. It is when you are overdelivering concerning deadlines.

Overpromise and Underdeliver meaning:

You may have heard the expression, “Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.” The idea is to avoid making unrealistic promises, which can lead to disappointment.

Instead, promise what you can deliver with the assurance of you giving your best efforts.

What should you do?

  • Share a clear picture of what you are going to deliver:

To thrive in life, doing just enough is not going to be satisfactory. You always have to strive for excellence. You need to be honest with yourself about how much work needs to be done on each project—and then go beyond that amount if needed!

  • Find methods to surprise:

Surprise is a good thing. It can be achieved by exceeding expectations and delivering something that adds value to the proposition.

What not to do?

  • Overpromise & underdeliver: 

Relationships are the foundation of every successful organization, and optimism leads you to create a better relationship yet the worst killer of relationships is when you overpromise and provide less than you promise.

Overpromising and underdelivering can cause distrust in your customer base. It will affect their willingness to refer business to you or buy from you again in the future. It makes them feel like they are not getting what they deserve from a company that has made promises about what it will do for them but doesn’t follow through on those promises once it gets there.


Remember, the only way to truly succeed is by setting the right expectations while planning and ensuring you are communicating your enthusiasm towards the commitment and while executing stretching yourself entirely, and striving to deliver excellence. 

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