In many ways, it's gotten much harder to build a reputable business in our modern world. Marketing hacks have stolen every good and honest word you could use to describe your product or service, rendering otherwise great messages obsolete.
Do you provide the best service in your industry? Too bad -- you can't say it because nobody will believe it.
Is your product truly faster, better or cheaper than your competitors' products? That's unfortunate, because they're all saying the same thing about theirs.
It's no wonder that some businesses are returning to old fashioned networking and relationship building to drive new business. But even then, how do you cut through the clutter and gain instant credibility with a prospect?
To solve this at my agency, we turned to a bold solution: Provide a guarantee.
And before you argue that you could never guarantee your business, take a moment to consider how powerful it would be if you could find a way.
Especially in the marketing industry, conventional wisdom would suggest that guaranteeing any services could be suicide. After all, when is the last time you heard "guaranteed" and "marketing" in the same sentence?
But that's exactly the point -- when we thought about it, we realized that we believe in our abilities so much that we're willing to put our money where our mouth is.
You can imagine that the typical reaction we now get is, well, in that case, how could I say no?
And to anyone in sales, those are magic words.
Here's how to design your own guarantee, no matter what industry you're in:
1. Divide your products and services into categories so you can assess where a guarantee makes the most sense.
When we took our services and arranged them in the order in which a client progresses through our system, we decided that identifying and solving our client's sales and marketing inefficiencies was the very first thing that occurred. So we knew that if we could guarantee the first service, we could build a relationship to keep the client through the rest of the process.
2. Package the offering in a way that makes sense for both you and your client.
We know exactly how long it takes to begin to provide enormous value to a new client. So with that knowledge in hand, we decided to package an offer for a two-hour strategy session paired with a four-page report that finds and fixes the most pressing gaps in a client's sales and marketing.
Since every executive can spare two hours to find and fix thousands of dollars of inefficiencies, the package allows for a minimal time investment from the client. Similarly, we know that it's enough time for us to provide huge value and minimize the likelihood of having to refund any money.
3. Figure out the terms of your guarantee (and make sure you're guaranteeing something you can deliver every time).
Guarantees can come in all shapes and sizes -- for instance, you could guarantee that you'll give extra time, give a discount on continued services, or give a partial refund.
We ultimately decided that we were going all in, so our current offer is that if you look at all of the inefficiencies we find and the solutions we provide and you still don't feel like you got value out of our session and report, we'll simply refund your investment.
Sure, this strategy takes courage, but it will immediately make you more trustworthy. And if you ask me, trust is the main element that separates those who win consistently in business and those who get stuck.
So if you're constantly hitting a wall in your sales, try to figure out how you can incorporate a no-risk or low-risk way for your prospects to say yes. Or, at the very least, start to wonder how they could possibly say no.