Guarantee removes riskOften one of the things that stops people from buying from you is the perceived risk that’s involved in the transaction. If the perceived risk seems to big then the prospect won’t buy from you, but by removing the risk you can really boost your conversion rates.

When it comes to making a purchase it’s usually the buyer who carries most of the risk. This means that whenever a prospect is considering making a purchase there’s a tug of war going on in their mind. Attention grabbing headlines, benefit-laden copy, testimonials and calls to action pull your prospects’ in one direction while doubt and scepticism pull them in the other. They want to believe that your product or service will give them what you say it will, but they are skeptical.

Why people don’t buy from you

According to sales guru Zig Ziglar there are only five reasons why people won’t buy your product or service:

  • No need
  • No money
  • No hurry
  • No desire
  • No trust

You probably can’t do much about the first four reasons in this list, but you can build trust. Adding testimonials to your sales copy will help boost your credibility and adding a guarantee will minimise your prospects’ perceived risk. In essence, by offering a guarantee you’re reversing the risk so rather than your buyer carrying most the risk, you are.

What type of guarantee?

There are lots of different types of guarantees you can offer. You don’t have to offer a financial, money back guarantee, instead you should focus on the concerns your potential customers have about buying your product or service.

So what are their concerns? It could be that they are worried about wasting time, getting frustrated trying to get put something together or looking silly in front of their friends if the product doesn’t work. The only real way to know what your potential customers’ concerns are is to ask them. So when you email a customer satisfaction/sales follow up questionnaire to your customers include a question to find out if they had any concerns about buying from you and if so what they were.

Here are some examples of great guarantees:

  • Hyundai: Hyundai struggled with years with a reputation that it makes cars that breakdown. So they started offering a 10-year warranty. By doing so they were saying that ‘how can it be a bad car if we’re giving it such a long warranty?’
  • Dominos: If you’re ordering pizza then you want it as fast as they can get it to you. So Dominos offered a guarantee that your pizza will be delivered within 30 minutes or it’s free.
  • The Punctual Plumber: Benjamin Franklin Plumbing (aka ‘The Punctual Plumber’) identified that people didn’t want to wait in all day for a plumber to turn up so arranged appointments and offered an on-time guarantee or they would pay you $5 for every minute they were late.

Of course, you need to make sure you can deliver on your guarantee. Dominos ended up cancelling their 30 minute guarantee as some of their delivery drivers were causing accidents or speeding in order to the pizza to the customer on time.

Don’t hide your lamp under a bushel

Remember that we don’t read whole web pages these days, we scan them instead, so don’t hide your guarantee. Hiding your guarantee by putting it in small text, the bottom of a page or just a brief mention in the bottom corner gives the impression that you don’t really mean it. Which isn’t a great way to build trust and reduce the perceived risk. Give it the prominence it deserves by giving it its own web page or introducing it early in the sales process so that it’s ‘above the fold’. By doing so you’ll introduce it to as many readers as possible and potentially encourage people to continue reading your copy.

Offering a guarantee should be an essential part of your selling process and your content so give it the attention it deserves.

Do you offer a guarantee? How could you reduce the perceived risk your potential customers feel? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Read more: Guarantee Your Products and Service to Create Customer Confidence