Business, Sales

How to Offer the Perfect Guarantee

money-back-guaranteeWhy is it that nearly every product or service that you see on TV or in print comes with a Money Back Guarantee, or a Better Than Money Back Guarantee, or a Double Your Money Back Guarantee? I wouldn't be surprised to see a Double Dog Guarantee just daring us to try it. Guarantees are everywhere. There is a reason for the ubiquitous guarantee… they work. Guarantees put customers at ease, giving them security in their purchases. But we can't just guarantee the moon there are things you can do to make your guarantees believable, effective and magnetic.

1. Never Guarantee What Your Customers Already Expect
Customer's expectations when purchasing your products or services are hardly the ingredients of a good guarantee. Why would you guarantee water would be wet? Same thing! If you guarantee something they are already expecting to get from your product, your guarantee is useless. Give your customer a guarantee that they consider a bonus. Like a $500 gift card if your real estate firm doesn't sell a clients house within 60 days.

2. Never Confuse Your Guarantee with Legalize.
Legal jargon and fine print are for contracts and mortgages. Your guarantee should be short, directly to the point and in everyday English. Don't hire a lawyer to write your guarantee so your prospects don't have to hire a lawyer to read it. Simple is always better.

3. Never Offer a Meaningless Guarantee.
Vague promises such as "We Guarantee Our Products and Services" means absolutely nothing with your customers. It is obvious that these words mean nothing to you so why would they mean anything to your customers? When you give guarantees like this it makes you sound like a politician making thinly veiled promises you never intend to keep.

4. Never Make Your Customer Jump Thru Hoops.
If your Guarantee is only valid if they have the original receipt, three box tops and the secret decoder ring, its not much of a guarantee. Your customer is counting on your customer service to make this as easy as possible. When you make them run thru a gauntlet of obstacles just to receive what you promised, they will not be coming back. And their friends may not either.

5. Never Make Your Customers Regret Your Guarantee.
Embarrassing your customers who invoke your guarantee is worse than not having one. Honor their requests gladly, quickly and with a great attitude. Making the guarantee claim process is a great way to keep a customer that is presently not happy with your product or service. Now is your chance to turn their experience into a glowing endorsement.

6. Never Offer a Guarantee That is Out of Your Control.
When your guarantee process is required to go through your "home office" or is handled by "management" or a third party the customer frustration level rises quickly. Make sure that your customers have the easiest process possible to receive the benefit of your guarantee. No one likes the runaround. Eliminate as much red tape in your guarantee process as possible.

7. Never Guarantee What You Can't Deliver.
The temptation to offer guarantees that are too good to be true in order to get the sale is very strong. Don't let it get the best of you. Make offers that are believable, but more than that, deliverable. If you can't give every customer that is unhappy a new car, don't promise that. Don't offer double the difference "low price guarantee" if you can't make good on the offer. Word will get around quicker now than ever.

8. Never Offer a Generic Guarantee.
If your guarantee is a industry standard, looks just like your competitor's and could be used in any industry, it's really not a unique selling point. The idea is to have one more weapon that sets you apart from your competition. You might name your guarantee something unique, or start treading into territory that your competitors fear. Make your guarantee so unique that your customers ask for it buy name. You might even build an entire campaign out of just your guarantee.

Your guarantee can be a powerful sales tool, don't sabotage your own efforts by offering one that hurts you. Think about what your customer really needs, what it would take to direct them toward your product or service, and build a bulletproof guarantee that will not only win your customers, but keep them. If you need help writing your guarantee or would like to bounce one off of my head, just write me a note. -- [email protected]. By Mark Combs,

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