(Time to read this Blog article is about 60 seconds)

Whether you sell a product or a service, one of the most powerful marketing tools you can create is a compelling guarantee.  The right guarantee will do these 5 things for you. It will…

  1. Clearly differentiate you from your competitors,
  2. Make you memorable…and perhaps ‘famous’,
  3. Create customer confidence,
  4. Focus every member of your team on delivering the compelling value that you guarantee,
  5. Increase sales and profitability.

To be most effective, your guarantee must include two things…

A)   Promise a specific level of performance or value that’s compelling to your target customers (and then make absolutely sure that you can deliver on it 99.9% of the time).

This could be a promise that something will happen if they do business with you (ie, “We guarantee that your parcels will be delivered anywhere in North America by 9:00 am the next day” …or, it could be a promise that something won’t happen (ie, “We guarantee that your car won’t rust for 5 years.)

B)   Be specific about what you’ll do for the customer if you fail to deliver your promise.

My favorite example is, “Your pizza will be delivered in 40 minutes…or it’s FREE!”  They don’t guarantee that it’s a great tasting pizza.  No, this guarantee is for people who value ‘fast’ more than flavor.

Hampton Inns has a simple but powerful ‘100% satisfaction guarantee’.  If you don’t like the room it’s free!

Years ago, when I was an award-winning retailer of ladies’ fashions, we created an outrageous and powerful guarantee that made us famous and grew out bottom line!

We came up with what we called, ‘The world’s most unusual guarantee!’    It went like this, “We’re so sure you’ll love our store that if you show up and think we’re ‘for the birds’…I’ll pay your gas mileage!”

This gutsy guarantee differentiated us and gave 1,000’s of new customers the confidence to travel up to two hours to try us out. And it focused our staff on delivering the amazing customer experience that made it worth the drive. 

Competitors, friends and our accountant all said, “Cooper, you’re nuts!  People will rip you off.”  To which I replied, “No, you don’t get it.  It really is an extraordinary store!”   In over 11 years, we paid out less than $200 in gas mileage!

A guarantee is a promise and breaking that promise will kill your business!  So, here’s how it works…perfect your delivery, then make the promise.  Don’t promise first, and then try to figure out how the heck you’re going to pull it off.  That will end badly.

So, what gutsy and powerful guarantee could you come up with in your business?  What could you promise to do, or not do, that would clearly differentiate you, excite your customers, create confidence, focus your team and grow your bottom line?

About Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper, MBA, CSP, HoF: Donald speaks and coaches in over 40 industries throughout the world.  He delivers the ‘straight goods’ on how to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line...and have a life!  To chat about ‘possibilities’ for your next business or Industry Association Conference, call me at 416-252-3703 in Toronto, or click here to connect to our ‘Enquiry Page’.  

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