G is for Guarantee

G is for Guarantee


A guarantee may have all sorts of legal and financial definitions depending on where and how it is used. But in the selling process it’s purpose is to affect the psychology of the prospect.

This is true of any marketing and selling process, wherever it is carried out – and online we work in a pretty hostile environment.

In online marketing we have no idea:

  • of the circumstances affecting our prospect,
  • how easy or hard they may find the navigation around our website,
  • if they are seriously interested or just window shopping;
  • or any number of other factors affecting our prospect as they are viewing our offer.

Basically, we don’t know anything about our prospect. Yet we have to deliver an offer to suit the prospects circumstances and that’s pretty hard to do.

Your prospect may be anywhere from a red-hot ‘I’m ready to buy now, take my money’candidate to a passing browser who is only mildly interested in your offer – but could be persuaded to buy in the right circumstances.

Listen to copywriters who write all those magic words that persuade people to buy and they will tell you that you need to grab their attention, identify their greatest need, magnify whatever their problem or pain may be and then offer them your solution. That’s assuming that you’ve caught your prospect’s attention at some moment when they are amenable to your offer.

If you are lucky, you will hit all the right buttons and your prospect will agree with your selling points as you lead them through the selling process up to the point of deciding to buy.

But then the ‘yes, but…’ questions start popping up in their mind. They start reminding themselves of all the reasons that they should not buy. Anything from what the wife or husband will say to the fact that they know they can’t afford it.

So you need to ensure that there as as few reasons for the prospect to persuade themselves NOT to buy as possible. You set out to make the barriers to entry as low as possible.

Make the price as low as possible as you lead them into your sales funnel. Give them as many buying options as possible; give them multiple bonuses; but ultimately the best way is to persuade your prospect that whatever decision they make, including a decision to buy your product, they are never going to lose their money.

A guarantee that if they don’t find that the product does what you promise then they can have their money back completely removes the financial risk to the customer. Indeed, some marketers even go as far as ‘risk-reversal’ and offer to pay the customer if they are unhappy for any reason.

So in marketing terms a guarantee has nothing to do with the technical or financial or legal obligations of either party. It is everything to do with influencing the psychology of the prospect – to remove what is probably the biggest ‘yes, but...’ objection to a sale by ensuring that the prospect understands that if they are unhappy with their purchase they can always get their money back.

Bruce Bird

Bruce is an Internet Business Consultant and specialises in Local Search Marketing i.e. ensuring that local, off-line businesses get found online by their local prospects who are most likely to become their customers.

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