Rules for Developing a Guarantee


Here are the rules to take note of when developing a guarantee for your business:

Minimise the Conditions

The harder you make it for people to claim on the guarantee, the weaker your guarantee is and the fewer sales you’ll generate. Really weak guarantees are a waste of effort and they can actually detrimentally impact sales. That happens because potential customers feel you have something to hide.

Here’s an example of a very restrictive guarantee:

If you read all the material and apply everything inside the guide, and can prove to us that you have implemented the strategies and they have proven to NOT work for you, and you can verify that from two outside parties,  we will provide you with free guidance to ensure  you do get the results you are looking for. Then – if the ideas still don’t work (and you can provide us with proof to that effect) we will provide you with a complete refund.

Very restrictive, isn’t it? Would this guarantee excite you into purchasing from that company?

Maximise the Pain

The greater the pain to your business in offering the guarantee, the more powerful it is perceived to be by your customer. In other words, if you were to offer a “Double Your Money Back Guarantee” your increase in sales will be astronomical.

If instead you offered an “If It Doesn’t Work Bring It Back and We’ll Fix It Free” kind of guarantee, the power of that guarantee can be quite weak and the increase in sales will be nominal.

Other companies will use the word “guarantee” but not offer a guarantee at all. For instance, have you ever seen the words “Satisfaction Guaranteed” or “Quality Guaranteed” yet apart from those words, there has been no mention of a refund or replacement? The words are simply used as idle puffery. At the other end of the sale there are companies that offer double your money back, 110% guarantee and bottom-of-the-jar guarantees.

You can bet that the companies that offer these kinds of guarantees have a quality product or service to offer. Customers know that and they flock in -- in droves.

Consider how you can offer this kind of guarantee. It might mean that you need to first look at ways you can improve efficiency and quality within your business so you consistently exceed customer expectations. But once you do that, client delight will go through the roof, so  will productivity, and so will morale … not to mention the flow-on result of increased sales that the guarantee will generate.

Mention Reasons Why

The more of a story you can tell about the reasons why you are offering the guarantee, the greater the credibility your guarantee has. What that also means is the greater the increase in sales you’ll experience.

For instance:

We understand that purchasing a widget is a big decision. With that, you want to be sure that the widget you purchase gives you the results you’re looking for. Here at XYZ Widgets we’re confident that you will be delighted with our widgets, and we figure that the best way for you to experience the results that our widgets deliver, and see for yourself,  is to offer you a no questions asked, unconditional money back guarantee. So test drive our widgets in your home for 90 days. If at any time during that period, you’re not delighted with your widget (for any reason whatsoever) just let us know and we’ll provide you with a full and immediate refund.

Shout it from the Rooftops

Don’t be shy about mentioning your guarantee. Blast it out so absolutely everyone who has any contact with your business is blatantly aware that you have that guarantee.

Mention it in:

»   Outside signage

»   Point of sale material

»   Product ticketing

»   Email signatures

»   Brochures and other marketing collateral

»   Featured prominently throughout proposals

»   On your website

»   Spoken by your sales people in a sales presentation

»   On-hold message

»   Billboards

»   Fax campaigns

»   Print advertising

»   Radio and TV commercials

»   Online banner advertising

»   Pay Per Click search engine  advertising

»   P.R.

»   Client Commitment Statement

Maximise your Creditability with Graphics

It’s important that your customer perceives that your guarantee is REAL and that your company is credible. To further achieve this with customers, feature your guarantee inside a certificate frame, or with a seal and ribbon and an impressive motif. This has a significant psychological effect on the customer. They perceive that the guarantee is “rock solid” and as a consequence so is your company.

Lisa Ormenyessy

Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at

I help SME's gain leads easily without breaking the bank. Talk with me and discover how to spend your marketing dollar and achieve sales using simple, proven, low cost strategies. | SavvySME Members Only Offer - Request your Free Marketing Review Session (valued at $397) & identify the hidden opportunities in your business & put a stop to the expensive leaks in your marketing

Comments (3)
Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Great read and good points. Thanks!

Matt Antonino

Matt Antonino, owner & SEO consultant at High on SEO

So true. My current company is a pay-on-performance model so we know all too well the dangers of offering too little (or too much.) It's a great value prop but it works for AND against you so often.

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