A strong guarantee can quickly take qualified leads and convert them into repeat customers. When you guarantee what you sell, you take away the purchase risk from your customer and assume it yourself.

But before you can guarantee any product or service you offer, you must follow the #1 rule...or as I call it, the "Law of Guarantees":

Never guarantee anything you don't believe in or that you can't deliver.

Before you even think about guaranteeing results or benefits, you need to make sure you stand behind what you sell 100%. You need to believe that your offering is a quality product or genuine service that is of value to your market. If you're concerned about the quality, consider making improvements internally before you promise anything to anyone...because the reality is you will get returns.

The point of offering a guarantee is to increase conversion rates (and revenue), so as long as the increase in sales is greater than the cost of the returns and claims, the strategy works. And yes, there will be a few people who take advantage of your guarantee but they will be few. And offering a guarantee can differentiate your business from everyone else selling similar products/services and make you stand out.

One of the best guarantees I've seen is L.L.Bean's (and I know from experience that they fully honour it). They state – and follow through on their guarantee by saying: "100% Satisfaction Guaranteed – and your satisfaction does not have a time limit. We do not want you to have anything from L.L.Bean that is not completely satisfactory." So if you were considering purchasing a backpack – or a pair of slippers – it only makes sense that you would look to LL Bean first! (Read L.L.Bean's full guarantee here.)

When creating your guarantee, ask yourself:

  • What does your target market value most about your product or service?
  • What frustrates your target market about your industry or product line?
  • What objections do potential customers raise most often?
  • What is the level of risk that your customers take on in a purchase?
  • How much time do customers need to truly evaluate the product or service?

You want to guarantee results, not features or benefits.

  • Be specific about timeframes. Give customers a realistic amount of time to experience the product or service – very few companies can guarantee any product or service forever. It could be 30 to 90 days or even 365 days. This gives customers a deadline, and protects your business. In my Kick Start Marketing Session, I offer a 100% money back guarantee...if my customer is not happy within 30 minutes, I give a full refund immediately (and to date, not one person has requested a refund because I stand 100% behind what I deliver).
  • Be bold, yet realistic. Don't be afraid to get a little unbelievable, after all, you're your guarantee. It will grab your customers' attention and may make you stand out above the competition. Just be sure to be realistic and make promises you can deliver on.
  • Clearly explain compensation. If the product or service doesn't do what you say it will, what will the customer get, or how will you resolve the situation? Make this a big part of the guarantee, be specific about money, and try to go above and beyond a simple money-back refund.
  • Be sure to have a plan to handle returns and claims. Create a system to handle any returns or claims you may receive as a result of your guarantee. Ensure your staff is trained to deal with upset customers, and that you gather as much information as possible from unsatisfied clients.

Your guarantee can differentiate you from others in your industry, so be sure to tell your prospects and customers about your guarantee.

Include your guarantees in your advertising, on your Web site, in store signage, and newsletters. A guarantee can't work, if no one knows about it. You may encourage past customers to return, and single-transaction customers to become lifetime customers.

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Referred to as a "Magnetic Marketing & Mindset Master," Susan Regier, owner of Vantage One Writing, is an in-demand marketing content writer, speaker, and "tell-it-like-it-is" coach/mentor to serious entrepreneurs who want to attract more clients and make more money. Claim your free guide: 15 Tips to Increase Your Influence, Attract More Clients & Make More Money at SusanRegier.com.