What Is The "Perfect" Guarantee?

6 replies

I've been reading through the discussions of various product launches, and one of the stickiest issues that comes up is the GUARANTEE, along with the associated little details in the terms of service.

Most of the time, the worry about guarantees is much ado about nothing - the TOS may have some confusing stuff that they copied and pasted from somewhere else, but the guarantee is pretty clear. Sometimes, the guarantee changes halfway through the launch.

It's not a secret that StomperNet launches products, and it's probably not a secret that we will do that again in the near future.

Before we do, I thought it would be interesting to start a discussion here about the "perfect" guarantee - not just what's best or most self-serving for the company or individual making the offer, but for customers as well.

We'd all love to be able to consume an entire course, spend several months taking (or putting off) action, and still be able to get our money back if we don't get the results we want, or if we just didn't bother to do anything with it at all.

But is that reasonable? Is it fair? Is it realistic at all? If you go for more than a 30-day return policy when you sell the product, the merchant account providers will complain, and with a long guarantee, they may even withhold funds.

What are some guarantee terms that you personally hate? What are some things you feel are "must have?" How should merchandise returns be handled? What's fair to the buyer, and to the seller?
#guarantee #perfect
  • You'd think this is something that a company such as yours would have down already!

    If you are shooting for whats best for the customer, well offer it free and collect payment after they successfully earn money.

    Well, except for one on one coaching, most of us know that model doesn't work well.

    What I've seen and personally like, is when dealing with high ticket offers, is to offer a fairly mild intro price (say $200 out of a normally $1000), and then either charge at the end of the month, or offer the option to cancel.

    Money isn't real, George. It doesn't matter. It only seems like it does.

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  • Profile picture of the author tomw
    Obviously, the best guarantee is to have an appropriately priced product that actually delivers what it promises.

    Personally, in the IM space, the longer the guarantee, which is generally coupled with outlandish claims of success or wealth, the less I tend to believe, and consequently, rarely if ever, purchase the product.

    To me it's simply a red flag of amateur risk reversal attempting to camouflage a below par product, to put it euphemistically.

    Regardless of merchant account provider's policy, I really do believe that 28 days from receipt of the product is more than sufficient time for a customer to evaluate it.

    "Must have" is a visible guarantee and visible top level terms thereof, not an asterisk and some five point small print hidden away somewhere.

    There are laws by territory concerning the "fairness" issue between buyer and seller. Distance selling and sales made on the internet have a whole host of weird and wonderful regulations. It can be a minefield!

    However, at the most fundamental level, what's "fair" is what has always been fair in any transaction. It's mostly common sense and based upon the adoption of a position of honesty on both sides. An honest offer at a genuine price taken up by an honest customer, genuinely interested in the product and prepared to pay the cover price.

    Of course, there will always be those dishonestly attempting to exploit this and on both sides.

    Online, the ease of anonymity leads many more such characters to do this, as there is no requirement of physically going into a store and pleading their case for a return, or on the part of the merchant there is an absence of a physical store for customers to visit. Often there is a total absence of any accountability or means for the customer to seek redress.

    It's too easy to file a chargeback on the part of the customer in the same way that it is too easy to scam someone with a sham product.

    In the IM space, I genuinely believe that, amongst other reasons, the countless idiots out there offering such sham products coupled with such ridiculous risk reversal tactics have led to quite an entitlement culture. Although I will admit that part of this is based upon all too frequent customer experiences, or something that is almost as effective at shaping a consensus of suspicion online - hearsay.

    As for returns, there are many ways to do this, but I guess the method you choose, and the cost thereof, should be proportional to the price of the product. I think that permanently monitored channels of communication and constant dialogue are a must right along the sales process and as part of any aftersales strategy, which is arguably more important. Adequate contingency planning is also vital. But hey, I know you know this...

    What can you do, Dan? Just your best I guess. I doubt anyone could have really predicted the outcome of the Net Effect launch. Particularly the volume. It was pretty spectacular. For sure, there where lessons to be learnt on both sides. It's great to see that you guys are doing your best this time around to ensure a smooth customer experience prior to launch by seeking feedback and conducting MR, as well as all the other stuff you and Andy mentioned both here and in your report the other day.

    The marketers around here really appreciate it. Never doubt it.

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  • Profile picture of the author Jobsande
    Hey good question Dan...I actually read in an internet marketing guide that it's kinda reverse psychology. The longer the guarantee is, its actually LESS likely that the people will ask for their money back.

    Think of it this way: For example, say you give a 30 day guarantee, which is fairly common. When a customer buys your product, they will have the end of that 30 day period on their mind, especially as it gets closer to the end of that time. They will feel rushed to make a decision, and there's a fair chance they will ask for their money back if they haven't "succeeded" by then. You could even have the best product in the world, but if the customer had been really busy that month, they might not have had time to look into it and just decide to play it safe and get their money back.

    Now, on the other hand lets say you give a SUPER LONG guarantee, like me. I give 365 days. When people have a FULL YEAR to try your product,its much less likely they will want a refund because...

    A. they have a year so they may put it aside and later forget all about it.

    B. they have a full year to try your methods, and are much more likely to succeed over a years time than in 30 days.

    And one more BIG REASON why a 365 day guarantee is better....

    The year guarantee shows you are super confident in your product. This gives you more credibility and when customers see this they are more likely to buy from you. This may be the final straw that makes them decide to buy your product. They can reason, "well, I do have a FULL YEAR to try it, so what's to lose?"

    In conclusion, Dan, it's a win-win for you and your customers. They get a really nice, looong gurantee. Your product gets more credibility and less overall refunds.

    If you want an example, take a look at my sales page (I can't post a url so simply put it together): www . drboy77 . com

    Hope this helps, and good luck! By the way, if you thought this was a useful post would you mind clicking "thanks"? Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author P_Cerrito
    Good points already made above.

    In many other industries non IM related and non branded items that sell themselves- it is common for a company to have a real phone number and business presence so customers can call and ask questions prior to making a large purchase for a service or item.

    Also every attemp to avoid buyer remorse and letting the customer "own" their buying decision. I think that's why high pressure/hype sales have high buyer remorse- online and offline.

    They feel like they were "sold". I don't mind good sales pitches and nudges and upselling.

    Is it hard to have a rep pick up the phone and thank someone(customer) for spending $2k on a purchase and do a little after sale feel good stuff?

    I personally would expect that kind of first class treatment if I was to entertain the thought of ever doing business again for anyone's high price products.

    $50+ e-book or membership or product- quality email support Pre-sale / Post-sale is fine with me.

    I know I'd feel better about my purchase- AND- future purchases too.

    PS- the perfect guarantee to me is to let me feel good about spending a bunch of money by letting me own the buying decision and that you will be there for me after the sale.

    That's just my take. We are allowed an opinion here aren't we?


    PS- Hi Dan, I've heard good things about your products- I was not complaining about you or anyone else for that matter. Just some things I like and other people too if it can relate to IM.

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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
      Originally Posted by P_Cerrito View Post

      Is it hard to have a rep pick up the phone and thank someone(customer) for spending $2k on a purchase and do a little after sale feel good stuff?

      I personally would expect that kind of first class treatment if I was to entertain the thought of ever doing business again for anyone's high price products.
      Unless the product comes with coaching or something that requires a phone call, I'd rather not get time-wasting calls like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Thanks for the responses, everyone.

    Outside of sales psychology, I can't see much of a reason to do anything different from the 30 days that the banks like to see, assuming people actually have access to the product so they can evaluate it.

    Free trials do work for some offers, certainly for software, but almost everything we do has a pretty substantial cost per customer baked into the product - physical goods, coaching, etc.

    Interesting difference of opinion about phone calls - I personally hate it when the phone rings, but I will probably spin up another discussion about post sale follow-up in a few days. There are certainly some best practices there that are worth observing, and this has been a weakness for a lot of folks, including StomperNet .

    Dan Thies
    Glorious People's Link Liberation Front

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