Do You Offer a Guarantee? And, if So, What Kind?
by Chris King

This is the time of year when I re-evaluate my business and make plans and goals for the rest of the year. A good bit of the planning involves marketing - what has worked and deciding what might work even better in the upcoming months. So, I have been investigating ideas, reading other independent professionals' offers and talking with other freelancers.

One of the suggestions that appears often is that a business should offer a guarantee. Wow! On the surface, this sounds sort of scary. If I offer a 100% money back guarantee or even a partial discount, how will I ever make ends meet? Won't people take advantage of it and me? In this article I will discuss some of the ins and outs of guarantees and why I will be offering a guarantee, making it a win-win situation for both me and my clients.

What are the benefits of offering a guarantee?

  • A guarantee reduces the risk a client/customer feels they are taking by either hiring us for a service or buying our product(s). Ask yourself of you are ever swayed by a guarantee. I know I am, even though in all my years of buying I think I have only returned one item (and that was a retail store bought item).
  • A guarantee shows that we have confidence in our product and/or service. A well known speaker, Fred Gleeck, who sells thousands of tapes and other products - and, at a high price, too - says that if we are afraid to offer a guarantee, it means that we don't think our products are good enough. He offers a lifetime, money back guarantee on any tape or tape series. Very, very few ever come back.
  • A guarantee will make us work even harder to please. Subconsciously if we know that there is a guarantee, we will be adverse to cutting any corners or overlooking the small, usually insignificant details.
  • Every free agent, independent professional and freelancer who has started offering a guarantee has told me that their sales of products and/or services have at least doubled. Yes, a few people have taken advantage of the guarantee, but the extra sales have more than compensated.

I am worried that people will take advantage of the guarantee.

  • Yes, unfortunately, there are those who will take advantage of the offer. I know people who buy tapes, make copies and return them. There are others who will wear a gown to a party and then return it the next day. My feeling, however, is that the majority of people are honest and will appreciate our willingness to offer a guarantee.
  • For years I worked in a restaurant where we offered a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We had our own standards, and even if a guest didn't realize it, if their meal didn't arrive at their table by our time specifications, a manager would visit their table and tell them that we were buying everything. We did the same if they felt that something didn't taste the way they wanted it to.
  • We never had to advertise. Our message of excellent service was broadcast for us. Yes, some came in for a free meal, but most appreciated our working to keep to our standards, and when we said we would buy their meal, they often tried to argue us out of it. You see, because of the guarantee, we who worked in the restaurant worked even harder to fulfill our promise of satisfaction.

What are some sample guarantees? Following are several ideas for guarantees:

  • "I personally guarantee that if after trying out the amazingly powerful information contained within this toolkit, you are not completely thrilled, then I will refund you 100% of your purchase price without question or delay within the next 60 days. That means you'll receive the entire toolkit to test out, but then if you decide during that time - for whatever reason - that it can't work for you, then I will cheerfully refund your money, with nothing deducted from what you paid. It's my black and white guarantee to you!"
  • "Fathom's standards of academic and editorial integrity are ensured by an Academic Council, established by Fathom's Board of Directors, which advises and supports Fathom in its mission to have programming that is of the highest academic quality. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: If for any reason you are not happy with your online course experience, you may request a full refund (price paid net of any applicable discounts or rebates) up to halfway through the course. To receive a refund, please send an email that includes your name, email address, home address, phone number, course name, order number, and the reason you are dissatisfied with the course."
  • A guarantee may be accompanied by certain considerations. I know a psychologist who guarantees that he will rid a patient of a phobia. There are some limitations, however, on his guarantee. The patient has to fulfill his or her part of the bargain by doing the work and exercises given as assignments. He knows that with cooperation, his technique works.
  • For my Special Reports and my Presentations' e-book, I offer a 100% money back guarantee if buyers are not pleased with the quantity and quality of the information contained. And, for my Development and Design business of Custom Websites, I offer the guarantee that I will continue working and tweaking on the project until my client is completely satisfied - of course, they must do their part by giving me the needed feedback and information as we proceed.

What can you or do you guarantee? I feel that the stronger the guarantee, the more confidence and credibility we exude. If we are afraid to offer a guarantee, is it because we are not sure of the value of our work? And, if we are not sure of the value, how can we convince others to buy from us and/or hire us? If we do offer a money-back guarantee, and a large number of people use it, it probably means that we need to re-evaluate and upgrade our work, our prices and ourselves. Weighty questions, I know, but to jump to the next plateau, we need to ask them.

Do you offer a guarantee? Let me hear about it. I love receiving your FEEDBACK.


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Eastlake, Ohio 44095

Phone: (440) 918-1313




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