Is underpromising and overdelivering worth it?

Many of us have long seen the old maxim regarding promises that attorneys are told to live by – underpromise and overdeliver.  After all, the theory goes, if you tell your clients something would be difficult or unlikely and then get it done, you look like a super lawyer (alternatively, of course, if you promise the moon and fail to deliver, you look like a fool, at best.

A new study, however, suggests that the old maxim may not be true… at least when it comes to overdelivering.

The study focused on customer reactions when promises kept not kept, kept, or satisfied early.  While failure resulted in anger (obviously), the study found that keeping the promise and going beyond expectations yielded the same basic response.

Perhaps this is why lawyers have made little head-way getting people to like them – the clients remember the broken promises, but not all the times the lawyer went above-and-beyond.

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