Your clients hire you because they trust your capabilities and your judgment. If you regularly and truly delight them by giving them what they didn’t even realize they needed, you’ll foster a positive relationship, which can get you paid on time, every time.
What is Over-Delivering?
Let’s say a client hires you to create several MailChimp mailing lists for her business; she already has the email addresses and just needs you to create the accounts for her and set up separate mailing lists.
Since you are an email marketing expert (in this example, at least), you know that she shouldn’t be using separate mailing lists. What she really wants is separate groups on one big mailing list. She is hiring you to create the account, but she’s also hiring you for your expertise in this niche. With her permission, you create these groups and teach her how to use them effectively.
You have “over-delivered” because you gave her more than she was originally paying you for. The client asked you for one set of services, and you delivered services she didn’t even realize she needed.
How Does This Help?
Over-delivering is important because it keeps the client happy to pay you.
In this example, this client feels passionate about your services because you helped her in a way she didn’t realize she needed help! When you deliver the invoice to her this month, she will want to pay you for a job well done.
In an ideal world, clients would always be happy to pay you for the work you do, as long as you deliver what you’ve promised. But in reality, surprising and delighting your client is the best you can do to get her closer to the state of wanting to pay you.
Walking the Line
It’s important, however, to remember what over-delivering is, and what it is not.
It is not forcing an up-sell on your client, insisting that some additional product or service you offer is necessary. It is also not telling your client how to run his business and insulting him in the process.
Perhaps most importantly, over-delivering does not mean you need to under-promise in the first place. An old business cliche advises us to “under-promise and over-deliver,” but under-promising in a crowded marketplace is a surefire way to lose clients.
Instead, promise exactly what you think you can achieve for your client, no less. But in the span of the project, find little ways to give even more than you originally realized you could. Share your expertise in the most constructive way with your clients, and they’ll continue to return for more – and to pay you on time!