Overdelivering vs. Overcompensating

Dec 22, 2016

Originally posted on April 4, 2013.


Overdelivering is overrated in my opinion. This strategy of throwing in tons of bonuses and extra goodies for clients can actually set up some really skewed expectations that can ultimately get in the way of serving your clients.

How do you know if you are overdelivering or if you are overcompensating?

There is actually a very simple “test”…

Does it come from a place of joy or a place of fear?

Overdelivering comes from a place of joy – you know you are already providing great value to your clients and you want to give them something extra. For example, I love to send people in my Mentorship programs some of my favorite books… it is an unexpected gift, they love it and it makes me really happy to do so.

Overcompensating comes from a place of fear – when you wonder if you are giving enough value? Are you doing enough? They are paying you good money, so it should feel really hard and you need to bend over backwards right?

If you have any fear that the value of what you are offering may not match what people are paying, then overcompensation can sneak in… perpetually going over time on coaching calls, not billing for all the hours worked, letting clients break your boundaries, randomly throwing in other stuff along the way just to make sure they are happy.

Put simply, overcompensation will NOT feel good and in fact puts you in a highly stressful work environment.

If you aren’t sure that what you offer provides value then you need to either work on your mindset (to OWN your inherent value) or work on your packages (to ensure they are truly giving people what they want.)

Aim to keep it simple and deliver 100% on what you promised! That alone will be more than enough for most clients to be thrilled with you. Wow your clients with that FIRST and if it makes sense to throw an extra goodie in along the way and surprise your clients go for it – just make sure it brings you joy to do so.

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  1. Karri Flatla

    This is SO TRUE in real estate. The parallels are fascinating. I would dare say it’s so endemic to this industry that agents have trained the public to expect it as a matter of regular practice. Agents constantly compensate for the negative perceptions the public has of them… but it just makes things worse! Good video Miss Tina.

  2. Nancy Seeger

    Great Video Tina – I think we all do this every so often and may not even be fully aware of it. I think the value question is a very real one that I personally can relate to….. Always getting great perspectives from you Tina.

  3. Laura Nelson

    I love this! Thank you. So many ‘gurus’ advise over-delivering but they don’t take into account the issue you talk about here. Is it coming from a place of fear or love? So wise and refreshing to hear this true perspective! Puts us all back on track 🙂

  4. JoAnn Candelaria

    I love this perspective. Like a jolt of lightning, I see that I’ve been overcompensating due to fear. Thank you!!!

    • tinaforsyth

      So what would you do differently with this realization instead then JoAnn? What does it free you to do or not do?

      • JoAnn Candelaria

        Hi Tina,

        I’ve been thinking about this question for a couple days now. I constantly work more hours than I bill for and throw in stuff that my clients never even asked for, and wouldn’t miss if I didn’t. But I understand that they work hard for their money and I can help them, right? It’s time that I’m more realistic with my time and quit adding extras just because… I will also pare down what I offer to streamline my business structure. This will free me to get more accomplished and to add a service that I feel is essential in today’s online market.

        Thanks again!

        • tinaforsyth

          Great realization JoAnn – it is actually out of integrity to do more work than you are billing for (causes an imbalance in the value of the work and what you are getting paid.) I’m all for serving our clients well, but not at the expense of serving ourselves. Kudos to you for making this decision (and i’m sure your clients will continue to be thrilled with the work you are doing for them.)

  5. chrismccargar

    I’d say stick to what the REAL value is in your offering. Sure… all the bonus items may look enticing, but according to some very successful marketers, the “average” person never usually collects on them. I’m in total agreement with your last point… “deliver 100% on what you promised”.

    Personally, I would be very happy to have the main offering in the greatest detail and be fully supported, than have all the extras with so much piled on that it takes 2 or 3 times as long to get through the material.

  6. The Dynamic Divorcee

    I love this take on things. What a great barometer of intention: joy or fear. Clear and easy. No agonizing. Gosh, Tina, I just love your ezine. I always learn something great!

    • tinaforsyth

      I love that – no agonizing. It’s amazing how hard these things can be sometimes hey? Glad I was able to help make this clear and easy for you. 🙂

  7. Gary

    Well said! It happens that I was working with this very subject today. I appreciate your informed coaching.

    • tinaforsyth

      I must have been reading your mind… 😉


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