Marketing Small Business

Reverse your clients’ risk – I guarantee it.


Why are so many businesses afraid to have a guarantee that isn’t full of weasel clauses?

You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re so full of exceptions that you end up getting a guarantee of almost nothing, or quite often a guarantee that you wouldn’t bother trying to use in a legitimate situation.

Back in my software company days, we started off with a 30 day money back, no explanation needed guarantee.

We might have taken back 3 or 4 returned packages in the first 4-5 years. Before long, it was 60 days, then 70 days (we had a thing with 7’s for a while), then 90 days.

By reversing the risk a client took by buying our product, it made it easier to buy. Each extension was more successful.

A few years later, we got together with an adviser from California. We were considering moving the money back guarantee to 1 full year from 90 days. The adviser thought we were nuts. They were sure that people would use the software for a year and then ask for their money back, costing us a fortune.

Our angle was a little different. We were convinced that anyone who actually used it for a year would be so hooked, they’d never even consider it and would likely forget all about the money back guarantee by that time.  We figured most of the returns would come in the first 60 days, because that was generally the timeframe for returns.

As you suspect from reading this, the year long guarantee was even more effective at neutralizing prospect concerns. It wasn’t really the timeframe, but the gesture. Clients thought that if we were willing to guarantee the product with a no hassle, no weasel clauses money back guarantee for a year, we must be pretty confident about the capabilities it had. Sales exploded, though I can’t credit all of it to the new guarantee.

What’s your guarantee like? Is it full of weasel clauses? How can you make changes to it in order to take away the risk a prospective client might feel when buying from you for the first time?

What would make them so comfortable with choosing you as their vendor that they simply couldn’t make any other choice? Your guarantee is a major piece of that decision making process.