Why Promote What You Can’t Deliver?


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siriuslogoSeems a valid question, and yet I see examples of it all the time. Maybe the people who are being pushed to promote something are unaware it’s not really available. Maybe what they are promoting is highly profitable, but if it isn’t available, how much profit do you make not being able to deliver it? How does this make sense? It is an example of the misalignment between operations and sales/marketing in too many companies.

A recent example came to me from Hertz. They are pushing the heck out of Sirius XM radio. They have signs for it; it prints out on the backs of the receipts. They want you to take it. Problem is when you do you are likely to be sorry, or delayed

I spent an extra 30 minutes at the Hertz counter (where as a Gold Member I should spend no time), while they tried to get me a car with satellite radio. The reserved car did not have it as reserved. As the counter person’s frustration mounted, she explained to me (what I already knew as I have seen this problem before), is that cars are listed as having satellite radio, but it may be expired, which is the same as not having it.

To get me a car with a working satellite radio she had to get ops to try the radio. Ops said they can’t tell if the car has satellite radio as there is no satellite radio reception in the garage (true). This stumped them. To keep from spending the night in the Hertz office or leaving without what I wanted, I told the ops person to turn on the satellite radio and even though there would be no signal, it would say “Preview” if the radio was inactive. He thanked me and got me a car with working satellite radio.

We discussed over-promising and under-delivering in a recent post. This situation is not dissimilar, except for it being worse as you push me for a cross-sell and then say … oops. Kind of like “would you like fries with that?” Good but we might be out of fries.


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mitchell Goozé
Mitchell Goozé is the president and founder of Customer Manufacturing Group. His broad scope of business experience ranges from operations management in established firms, to start-up and turn-around situations and mergers. A seasoned general manager, he has headed divisions of large corporations and been CEO of independent firms, always focusing the company strategy on the most important person in business . . . the customer.


  1. Excellent post Mitchell. Personally, I have always believed that it’s better to be honest than hype up your service and then being unable to deliver. It’s embarrassing for the company and dissatisfactory for the customers. Surprisingly, many still fall victims of overzealous advertising without substance.


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