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Why overselling yourself is a bad idea

I went bicycle riding on both Saturday and Sunday (like I do every weekend).  On our Sunday ride this past week, we had a new gentleman who rode with us.  With our riding group, all are welcome.
 
Let's back up first and paint you a picture.  I created a group ride on Sunday mornings quite by accident.  My wish was to see if I could ride the entire distance of San Antonio's Mission Trail via bicycle.  The trail is about 18 miles round trip and connects the missions of San Antonio which have been around since the 1700's.  Each mission is somewhere around 3 miles or so apart from the next in the trail.  I rode it the first time a few years back and was so excited about my accomplishment that I shared the story of my ride with friends, family, clients.  Well, you get the picture.  Anyway, one of my clients asked if he could ride the trail with me.  That's how the weekly Sunday ride became what it is today.  One rider became two then three then so on until we are nearly 10 strong on a regular basis.
 
The newest rider oversold himself to one of us by telling how he rode 80 miles per ride in the past.  Working up to 80 is fantastic and a little ride like ours would be nothing.  If you ride regularly then our average speed would be considered slow (12 to 14 miles per hour).  Trouble was, the gentleman hadn't ridden in years and perhaps may have embellished a bit on his cycling history.  
 
He didn't quite make it to complete the ride but he gave his all before cramping set in.  You've got to admire the effort.  
 
We suggested to the fellow to begin riding in his neighborhood for two weeks straight and 30 minutes each day to work up to the demands of the 18 miles we travel each week.  He'll get it soon I'm sure and will hopefully join our ride on a regular basis.
 
The moral of this story is to sell what you know you (or your business) can accomplish and not what the client wants to hear in order to land the sale.  Sooner or later you will be forced to perform.
 
I am a CPA in San Antonio and provide bookkeeping, payroll, taxes and more.  We offer a free initial visit and look forward to serving your business needs.
 
 

Richard J. Garcia | 10/19/2010