Commitments and Serving Your Customers

by | May 6, 2007

Commitments are at the heart of business, and it is important to make and execute them with integrity. When you make and keep the commitments that matter most, the ones that align with your values, utilize your talents, and satisfy your heart’s desires, you find it much easier to attract and serve the “just right” customers.

Here are some questions to use when reflecting on your commitments.

Why did you make this commitment?
Your reasons for making commitments change as your business grows and as your personal life changes. Loyalties shift, resources vary. This is natural, yet unless you take time to review your commitments you may fail to revise those that are no longer a good match for you.

What values or priorities are you expressing with this commitment?
It’s wise to check and see if the values you serve by a commitment belong to you or to someone else. Are these values in line with your company’s current mission, purpose, and resources?
What exactly have you promised? Be impeccable about specifying the conditions, extent, and duration of your commitments. When you make non-specific commitments you risk leaking energy and attention basis without experiencing a sense of completion or satisfaction. Avoid shallow commitments. Shallow commitments are those made casually, without due reflection as to whether or not you fully intend to fulfill them. Shallow commitments often conceal a hidden reservation: “I’ll attend the meeting if I don’t decide to play golf.” They undermine relationships.

Do you have the resources to keep this commitment?
When you are clear about what you are promising, it is easier to tell if you have the resources to keep the promises you make. This includes time! Be rigorous in evaluating how much time you really have before making a commitment. (A good test for this one is to ask what you are willing to give up in exchange for everything new you take on.)
Informed commitments are sturdy building blocks for your business, communicating your values, integrity, and ability to deliver goods and services to the people who want what you have to offer. That means the time you invest in making better commitments will make a positive impression on your bottom line.