Guarantees and Incentives

I previously wrote about risk reversal. When a prospect buys your product or service, he is taking a risk. Maybe it won’t work. Maybe it isn’t as described. Maybe he won’t like it.

If you want his order, you must assume the risk. After all, you’re the company that stands to profit from the transaction, and you know the quality of your product or service.

There are other ways to entice prospects into becoming customers. When you go to the local boutique and buy something … take it home and decide it isn’t what you want … you can take it back and get a refund or a “store” credit.

That’s not the way the mail order business operates. Mail order marketers have, for years, offered 100% unquestioned money back guarantee. But they haven’t always promoted or explained that. We should turn our guarantees into strong powerful statements.

Try it for X days, if you don’t like it … return it for a full, hassle-free credit. We’ll even pay return shipping.

Our experience is that the longer the guarantee period, the lower the percentage that’s returned. When you say 7-day or 14-day the consumer immediately tests the product, if they are unsure, they ship it back. When the guarantee is 12-months or AT ANY TIME they keep it around and try it again and again. There is no pressure to return the merchandise. And, much more often they end up keeping it.

This is especially true of gifts. I don’t want to give my friends a gift with the proviso “try it immediately because it only has a 7-day refund period”. So people prefer to make their purchases with companies that offer extended guarantees and warranties that are hassle free.

A good guarantee screams: “We know you’re going to love our product and never want to return it. We know our product will deliver all of the benefits we’ve promised you. We’re confident that our product will give you everything you want.” That builds customer confidence.

When you’re selling by mail, the prospect does not have the product in their hands. They can’t try it on. They can’t look at it and see how it works. They can’t see the product in each of its 5 colors. So they want to know that if to, doesn’t fit, if it doesn’t perform to their satisfaction, or if the color they selected looks awful in real life … they can return it with no hassles. Give them that … and they’ll make the purchase.

Don’t keep these promises and guarantees and warranties secret. They are critical elements in your presentation; don’t bury them in the fine print.