Jane Pollak Logo

Feb 5, 2018

Be Careful What You Promise

I’m changing banks and was at the new branch office this morning for 90 minutes to open my accounts. Standard. I had allotted plenty of time for this activity. My Financial Services Rep dialed HQ’s to get further information. The recorded message that came over the speakerphone said, “Hold the line for our legendary service.”

I was very excited to experience this. Then, the recording explained that “All of our representatives are currently assisting other customers. A service representative will be with you in 6-8 minutes.”


This reminded me of a promise made by a colleague I met decades ago. At a networking event, a woman with a new-ish marketing business said,”I’d love to schedule 15 minutes of your time during which I will dazzle you with my offer.”  Who wouldn’t want to be dazzled? She came to my home office within the week. Not only was she not dazzling, I remember nothing about her services other than a canned offer. Please note: When something is outstandingly false, it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons.

In case you haven’t heard this one lately, Under-Promise and Over-Deliver. Not only is that dazzling, it’s also legendary in today’s environment.


A Possible Comment Tag Line Here


  1. Lynne Marino

    In case you’re still in the market for a new banking relationship, if you have $250,000 or more deposited with Merrill Lynch, you have a private banker at Bank of America who’s on our team. She’s very good and you can do everything without coming into a branch. Would love to help you, Jane.

  2. Elizabeth Cottrell

    Great advice for both business and personal dealings.

    As chairman of a community bank board, I particularly resonated with this post. As our bank grows in both size and geographic footprint, we will be struggling with maintaining our reputation for personal service and trying to continuously redefine what “legendary” means to a new generation of consumers. I want personal service. Many from the younger generations want convenience and 24-hour banking from their phones — they’d just as soon not see anyone in person. Another lesson here, I think, is we have to still ask our clients what they want and what they expect when they hear the words “legendary service.”

    • Jane Pollak

      @Elizabeth – Ah, a voice of reason. Ask the customer what they want. Brilliant! Thank you for your comment!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.