Want to become a brand leader? Have prospects want you over the competition?
Give a balls nailed to the wall guarantee. Something that makes you sweat and go, “Oh no! I could never do that”.
And then I’d insist you feel the fear and do it anyway.
Why? Because as customers our number one fear is “Will it work. And if it doesn’t will they fix it.” Answer that comprehensively and you’ll remove that barrier to a sale.
I received this from one of our readers, a home improvement specialist:
“Our commitment to each and every customer:
Do we get things 100% right all the time? Well, to be frank, no we don’t. But you know what, we’ve been in business for over 40 years and we haven’t been here this long without knowing the problems in advance that are likely to happen on your job when you’re installing it and we have a team here who are willing and waiting to help you!
And if we do make a mistake ourselves, whatever that may be, we’ll fix it! GUARANTEED!!
You’ll not have to put up with an inferior job from 2nd rate tradesmen, whether they’re installing or manufacturing your job and as we are the manufacturer too, we know how your job goes together.
We have the expertise to get it right… even if occasionally that’s not the 1st time!
With over 40 years of experience in steel fabrication, you can rest assured that your garage, shed, carport, veranda, rumpus room or whatever it is you buy from us… ‘IS BUILT TO LAST!!’”
Which is a great lead in to the subject of guarantees or risk reversal.
One of the biggest barriers to a sale is risk. Your prospects want to know you’ll stand by your product or service if things go wrong.
And obviously in most cases the answer is a resounding “yes”.
But ironically, just about every business fails to communicate this to their prospects and clients.
Why? Two main reasons.
They think it’s obvious that the client knows the terms of the guarantee or…
They think clients will take advantage of them and invoke the guarantee even when the client is obviously at fault.
Let’s take these in turn.
One of the most important rules in marketing is “state the obvious” and tell people what it is you stand for. If you stand by your product or service and will fix things that go wrong, regardless, you need to shout it from the rooftops.
Now I can hear some of you cringing at the thought, thinking you could never do that and it’s a sure way to go broke with the flood of customers wanting stuff fixed even though it’s their fault.
But you know what, it rarely happens. Here are some examples from our files.
Pixel Perfect – one of Australia’s leading professional photographic labs, is fanatical about colour management (i.e. what the photographer shoots is accurately printed), Pixel would print and if necessary reprint work till it was just right.
14 years ago, it was a crowded market, and Pixel needed an edge. We told them to offer a 110% money back guarantee.
“No way, we can’t do that! We’ll get taken to the cleaners” was the response. “But what happens if something goes wrong with a print?” “Naturally we fix it” “So why not tell people?”
Suffice to say, after a lot of kicking and screaming, they implemented the guarantee and splashed it across all their marketing. And you know what? In 14 years they have NEVER had anyone take them up on it. And they are now one of the few professional labs in Australia who are still around and the business is extremely healthy.
How about “All Heads Service”, who provide car cylinder head replacements to Auto Mechanics around Australia.
They provide an unheard of triple guarantee…
If they make a mistake, they guarantee to either fix it or replace the cylinder head and reimburse the mechanic for all reasonable expenses.
The exclusive no fault warranty where they guarantee to fix the cylinder head even if the mechanic makes the mistake!
If at ANY TIME during the cylinder head warranty, the head gasket blows, they’ll fix it and provide a new head as well.
That takes balls! And it’s no coincidence they are a booming business because of it.
Now if you’re still feeling fearful about offering a guarantee like this, go back through your records and look at the facts. See how many times you’ve been called on it. And see how much good will you’ve generated once you’ve fixed the issue.
I’m sure you’ll be surprised at the relatively few times (maybe even never) of being called on the guarantee.
Case in point is a conversation I had with a New Zealand Landscape company.
We were talking about outdoor construction and paving and I asked if they guaranteed their work unconditionally.
“Oh, we can’t do that – what if it’s the customer’s fault – say they back a truck over the pavers and break them.” “Oh, and how often does that happen?”
They’ve been in business over 25 years and only once had a problem with tiles. And the manufacturer admitted liability and fixed it!
Given these odds, why wouldn’t they differentiate themselves from the competition by proclaiming they’ll fix any issue regardless of who or what’s at fault? These companies have builder’s insurance anyway – so what’s the problem?
Just feel the fear and do it anyway! Your business will go forwards in leaps and bounds.
And if you’re wondering what our guarantee is, “If you implement everything we recommend and still not get the results we stated, we will work with you for free until you do.”
Finally, if you’d like help articulating your new guarantee, drop us a note and we’ll help you implement a guarantee which will help you become a leading brand. Guaranteed!