In our professional lives, our days consist of delivering value in one form or another. Depending on your craft, your deliverables may take the form of a research report, sales presentation, prospecting outreach, email response, customer interaction, financial model or legal brief. Or maybe you build handmade wooden furniture, corned beef sandwiches, or industrial drill presses. Regardless of chosen profession, we’re all in the business of delivering work-product of one kind or another.
With the stakes high and competition fierce, how do we optimize performance? Enter Rule 105, a remarkably simple approach to enjoying sustainable and meaningful results.
Rule 105: Consistently deliver 105% on expectations in every unit of work you ship.
This simple habit unlocks massive rewards because of two basic facets of human nature:
Surprise and delight – With under-delivery being the norm, your customers, colleagues, or investors will be blown away if you regularly deliver more than expected. It doesn’t have to be 500% over-delivery, just a puny 5% will do the job quite nicely. That 5% could be finishing the job 5% ahead of schedule, delivering 5% more of whatever you promised in the first place, coming in 5% under budget, or adding 5% better service. Rule 105 will catapult you above the competitive pack and help you shine in a big way.
Relationship currency – Think of each 5% over-delivery as a deposit into a relationship bank account. Later, when a mistake or setback inevitably occurs, you’ve already built sufficient reserves so that your client, boss, or colleague will quickly understand and forgive. If your favorite restaurant that always blows you away has one bad night, you let it go and have no problem returning. On the other hand, if they fell 5% short several times without ever beating your expectations, you might be on the hunt for a new taco joint.
You’ve already developed the skills, landed the job, and are doing the work, so the extra 5% really doesn’t take that much more effort. But Rule 105 delivers a disproportionate return in the form of customer loyalty, competitive advantage, and sustainable growth. Simply put, that extra little something makes a gigantic difference.
Before you hit send on your next email, make your next presentation, or ship your next product, ask yourself what a 5% over-delivery might be. If you make Rule 105 a consistent habit, you’ll be amazed how your relationships and business will transform. This habit will help you get promoted, grow key customer relationships, delight colleagues, and stand out as a top performer.
Rule 105 also applies in your personal life. Consistently beating expectations by 5% with your spouse, kids, community, health, friends and family will drive positive change in a meaningful way.
The rule is simple and accessible to us all. Challenge yourself to add a small dose of something extra, and you’ll enjoy oversized success as a result.
Now that’s a rule worth following.