by Archie R. Lawhorne
When you minimize risk in purchasing decisions a lot more
people are willing to say "yes". Once they sample your
product or service, if it performs as you say, most customers
will keep that product and continue buying again and again.
Here's a little story to illustrate my point.
A farmer wanted to buy a hunting dog for his son. There were
two for sale in a nearby town. The first seller told the
farmer he was asking $300 for his bloodhound, non-negotiable.
The second seller told the farmer about his bloodhound, long
before he mentioned a price or asked for a commitment. He said
the puppy was from a long line of champion bloodhounds,
well-known in the area for their tracking skills. And he
brought out the puppy's mother and father and explained that
they were like members of the family - very loyal and constant
companions for the last six years.
The man went on to tell the farmer that he wanted the farmer's
son to try out the puppy for a month before he had to make
any decision. He offered to provide an extra kennel and a
month's worth of food for the puppy. Finally, he said, at the
end of 30 days, he would drive out to the farmer's house and
either take back the puppy, or ask then to be paid.
Which puppy do you suppose the farmer decided to purchase for
his son? Obviously there was no question. And there will be no
question for you if you apply strong risk reversal into every
sales offer you make. What exactly do I mean by a strong risk
reversal? I'm referring to an iron-clad guarantee that eliminates
all, or most of all of the customer risk in the transaction.
The clearer, stronger and more detailed the guarantee, the more
credibility and impact it will have on a buyer. Consider how
much more powerful it is if instead of saying, "your satisfaction
is guaranteed," you say, "we unconditionally guarantee performance
for a full 30 days." That's better, wouldn't you agree? But,
what if you went a step further and said, "No questions asked,
100% money-back guarantee anytime within 60 days if my product
doesn't perform exactly as promised." That's even better. But you
could go still further by saying, "No questions asked, 100%
money-back guarantee. If you don't experience noticeable and
measurable improvements in your speaking abilities, a wider
vocabulary, and bolder voice delivery, if you don't get the results
we promised within 90 days of using our system, we'll gladly give
you a complete and immediate refund of your full purchase price,
no questions asked...that's our guarantee to you."
Notice the difference a strong and specific risk-reversed performance
guarantee can make? When you apply risk reversal this way, your
sales almost always skyrockets, and stays that way. You make more
sales, sell larger purchase units and sell more frequently when
people don't worry about making the wrong or bad buying decision.
When you incorporate risk reversal, you essentially eliminate your
prospect's fear that they will make a bad, incorrect or damaging
purchasing decision. That's an extremely powerful, persuasive point
to make. It moves anyone who's indecisive or mildly interested and
turns them into highly favorable prospects. If people are trying to
decide between you and one or more of your competitors, it tips the
level of the playing field significantly to your advantage.
Just adding risk reversal and a purchase strong guarantee to your
sales offer makes a powerful difference.
There are a variety of approaches to the risk reversal strategy.
* A software vendor guarantees its product will reduce manufacturing
costs by at least 10%.
* A copywriter offers his services for free if his direct mail package
pulls less than a 5% response.
* A commercial water filter distributor offers to buy back any
filtering units not sold in the first 3 months.
* An interior decorator agrees (in writing) not to be paid until her
customers are completely satisfied with the work she's done.
If you don't employ some form of risk reversal, start doing it right
away. If your current guarantee is short and vague, enhance your copy
with more specifics and more attractive terms.
If your product or service is high quality and meets performance
expectations, the longer the guarantee and the more specific the
performance promise you make, the more people will buy. It's that
Typically a 60-day guarantee will out pull 30 days by 20 to 100%.
Test it yourself and see what results you get. The more specific you
get in describing what "satisfaction" means, the more compelled they
become to act in order to experience that benefit for themselves.
If you're concerned that employing a strong risk reversal will cost
you in product returns and lower profits, don't be. Typically, unless
your product or service is flawed or just plain inferior in terms of
meeting customer expectations, the number of people exercising a refund
guarantee is negligible. But the increase in people taking you up on
the initial sales offer is anything but negligible.
Archie R. Lawhorne, APR, , is an accomplished writer, author and
marketing consultant. For detailed information on his powerful, highly
successful online MLM sponsoring system, send a blank email to:
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