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How to Give a Guarantee That Attracts New Business… and Does not Put You at Risk


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How to Give a Guarantee That Attracts New Business… and Does not Put You at Risk

I was working with my client David (not his real name) – the principal of a sports psychology business – to review their marketing program. I asked David “Do you offer a guarantee?”

David thought for a moment and then replied, “No… We can’t really give a guarantee.” 

>> Do you think the same thing about your business? Read on to find out how to give a guarantee that attracts new business and does not put you at risk.

When I asked why they didn’t offer a guarantee, David explained that in their business it was up to their clients to achieve results. For example, David and his team couldn’t go out and play on tour for their clients.

All David’s competitors felt the same. No one offered a guarantee. 

You see, David’s clients are high performance athletes and sports stars, as well as up-and-coming junior players. David and his team felt they couldn’t guarantee what they did. They felt they were at the mercy of each clients performance.

But wait… I suggested to David that they were focused on the wrong outcomes – that is, that their clients would win more games, or win more prize money.

Sure, winning is important. I agree that David and his staff can’t play the game for their clients. Of course they can’t.

Then we discussed that many of David’s clients also had objectives about personal satisfaction, and improving performance when under pressure. It wasn’t always simply about ‘winning’.

Then I probed further. I asked David ‘if’ his clients followed the advice given, and ‘if’ they put in the required effort, would he be happy to guarantee that his clients would be more likely to achieve their goals.

>> Think about your business… If your clients give you honest and accurate information, follow your advice, and put in enough effort, (and other factors remain the same) can you guarantee they will increase their chances of achieving better results?

After a short pause, David said… “Yes, I suppose I can guarantee that”.

The key point here is that David can guarantee his ‘process’ works to help clients achieve results. Of course he can’t guarantee clients will always reach their goals. In his case, that is up to every client to work on.

Example of wording for David’s guarantee:

If you follow our guidance, put in the work required, and be honest with us about your commitment, we guarantee you will have better prospects of reaching your goals. We’ll do everything we can to help you realise your potential.

Important Note:

The guarantee includes specific information about what the client has to do for the guarantee to be applicable. You don’t want to make a general guarantee that requires no contribution or effort from your client, if that is in fact a critical part

of a successful outcome.

The main point of a guarantee is that you demonstrate faith and confidence in the process, services, or products you are offering.

The objective is to remove, or minimise, the perceived risk in buying from you.

Especially if you offer services where clients won’t really know if what you do works for them until they have received it. Prospects get worried about making the commitment. They think it is risky.

You need to encourage prospects to become clients by giving a guarantee.

Studies have shown that only a very small, tiny percentage of buyers ever call on the guarantee. From my own experience offering guarantees for my training programs – after hundreds of delegates I’ve never had one call on the guarantee.

(Of course you need a quality service, process, or product.)

What can you guarantee for your clients?

Stuart Ayling runs Marketing Nous, an Australasian marketing consultancy that specialises in marketing for service businesses. He helps clients to improve their marketing tactics, attract more clients, and increase revenue. For additional marketing resources, including Stuart’s popular newsletter, visit his web site at www.marketingnous.com.au


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