The Sales Promise You Can’t Keep

Scarcity Thinking Leads to Over Promising

There’s a common trap in sales that good people are falling into, and it could be killing your business.

Fingers crossed, over promised, under delivered

Abundance is an ideal trait that all top performers have. It’s critical to your success. Are you familiar with the idea of an abundance mentality?

Stephen Covey popularized this idea in his essential Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and it’s a valuable way of looking at how we interpret and interact with the world around us. An abundance mindset is one of my core values, and every day I teach my clients about abundance and its counterpart, scarcity.

Since this framework is part of my DNA now, I recognize little red flags that indicate a sales professional is operating with a scarcity mindset. One of these red flags is doing anything it takes to close a deal.

Over Promising: Everybody Loses

“Close the deal, no matter what” might sound proactive and positive, but this common attitude has a dark side. It can lead to missed start dates, proposal deadlines that your team can’t meet, underperforming products, and unprofitable price points. Is closing the deal worth pushing your clients, your profits, and your team under the bus? Absolutely not!

If you have a scarcity mentality, you believe the pie is shrinking. You want to win so others can’t. You rely on no one, and keep everything to yourself.

My team’s gonna kill me!

Maybe your development team will take months to add the functionality you’ve promised, or your installation team is booked solid until next quarter, but you do the deal anyway… thinking, “My team’s gonna kill me!”

Unfortunately, when over promising leads to under-delivering, many people are tempted to make scapegoats out of their teams, their company, or the product itself. They sacrifice the company’s integrity, and their personal integrity, just to “win” a deal where everybody loses.

Sell your team, not a promise

I’ll make it real simple for you; if your gut says, “My team’s going to be pretty upset about this,” you’re overselling. But selling big promises is not the only way to win a client.

It actually impresses a client more when you can sell the integrity of your team instead of empty promises. If you’re selling a premiere product or service, you know the client already wants your business—and if they have to, they’ll wait!

Looping in your Client Success Team early can keep you from begging their forgiveness later. You get to show off your team’s ability to come up with achievable solutions, and you won’t have to go back to your client with your tail between your legs because your promises weren’t based in reality.

Sharing is a key feature of an abundance mindset. Someone who brings their team on board in the client’s interest gains much more respect than a salesperson who tries to “hoard” the deal and go it alone.

Trust your gut

The fear and stress of a scarcity mindset can make us feel like winning is the most important thing. But over promising isn’t the way to build lasting success. Your integrity is what will keep them coming back. Trust your gut, and remember that honesty goes a long way.

Until next time—go sell some stuff!


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