I Guarantee Your Unconditional Guarantee Can Be Improved – Or Your Money Back!

Unconditional Guarantees Don't Work As Well As You Think They Do

Unconditional guarantees are everywhere.

30-day return guarantees. There are 100% satisfaction guarantees. Even 200% satisfaction guarantees!

Whatever name it goes by, an unconditional guarantee lets the buyer return a product or service for any reason and still get a “prompt and courteous refund” (or more).

Unconditional guarantees do improve conversions. They reduce risk for prospects, so they feel more comfortable buying. Improve your guarantee and conversions go up. It sounds great!

But I guarantee that if you’re just offering an unconditional guarantee, you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect with your prospects. You’re leaving money on the table and missing a huge opportunity to connect with your customer.

How Unconditional Guarantees Leave Money On The Table

Think about it. Unconditional guarantees cover everything.

Look at the wording of many unconditional guarantees: “If you are unhappy for any reason…”

But what am I really worried about as I buy stuff? I’m worried that my new laptop will be a lemon. I’m worried that my service repairman won’t show up. I worry that my accountant will miss obvious deductions on my tax return.

In other words, I’m worried about specific things.

If customers are worried about specific things, then an unconditional guarantee doesn’t help because it doesn’t directly neutralize specific objections. So it doesn’t make prospects think that you’ve anticipated their concerns.

And that’s where unconditional guarantees fall short. They don’t neutralize specific objections. In other words, unconditional guarantees are lazy.

“Unconditional guarantees are a lazy response to your customer’s specific objections.”>

How To Create Specific Guarantees That Work Hard For You

There’s an alternative to unconditional guarantees. I call them Specific Guarantees.

Specific Guarantees neutralize specific objections from prospects by guaranteeing you will end up with a specific desirable outcome.

A Specific Guarantee for the Specific Objection About A Repairman Tracking Dirt Into Your Home (click to enlarge)

Let’s say you were going to hire an air-conditioner repairman. Maybe the last time a repairman entered your home, he tracked dirt all over your home. This happened to me once, and it more than annoyed me.

So our specific objection is that we don’t want a repairman to track dirt in our house.

The solution is to create a Specific Guarantee that neutralizes this specific objection.

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning offers this exact Specific Guarantee:

No Mess, and No Hassle

We wear shoe covers and clean up afterward or you don’t pay. Air conditioning and heating repair shouldn’t be messy.

This is a perfect Specific Guarantee, although I wish they had just called it the “No Mess Guarantee”, as the word “guarantee” gives instant peace of mind. Also, the “, and No Hassle” part doesn’t add value here, just more words and an extraneous comma.

These quibbles aside, this Specific Guarantee perfectly neutralizes this specific objection. If lots of prospects share this objection, this guarantee is sure to boost conversions much higher.

Can you imagine how good it feels for a prospect to feel like you understand them? That’s the true power of a Specific Guarantee. And if you create multiple Specific Guarantees that neutralizes every objection in the prospect’s mind, your prospect will feel like you understand them fully and happily buy from you.

There’s another hidden way that Specific Guarantees outperform unconditional guarantees. Specific Guarantees ensure that you are meeting your customers’ real needs in a way that unconditional guarantees do not. For instance, even if you honored an unconditional guarantee and refunded me after your repairman tracked dirt all over my apartment, I’d still have a dirty floor to clean up.

Finally, I have to point out that this Specific Guarantee costs almost nothing. I looked it up and a 100-pack of shoe covers costs $9.86 on Amazon. So a pair of shoe covers costs 20 cents per job. Sounds pretty cheap to me!

“A Specific Guarantee boosts conversions by neutralizing a specific objection in your prospect’s mind.”

The 4-Step Formula To Creating A Specific Guarantee

It’s pretty easy to create Specific Guarantees that neutralize specific objections at a very low cost.

Just follow this 4-step formula:

Step 1: Find Common Specific Objections

If you’ve had a landing page for a while, you probably already know the common specific objections that prospects have. If not, just check your email inbox and look for questions and concerns from prospects.

If you’re just starting to sell a new product or service, search Amazon or Yelp for negative customer reviews of competitors. Ironically, you want to ignore the positive reviews, because they won’t list common customer complaints. Also, when searching on Yelp, you can ignore the location filter because you’re just interested in finding common objections which arise everywhere.

So let’s try this strategy for, say, “appliance repair”. I searched on those keywords on Yelp, and came across this negative review:

I had a tech (Russian) come out to look at my dishwasher (he was four hours late and tramped dirt all over my house).

OK, so there are two specific objections here. The first is that the repair man was four hours late. The second was that he “tramped dirt all over my house”.

So read a truckload of reviews and tally up the most common specific objections you see. In particular, pay attention to the first objection that customers mention. That’s always the one that upsets them the most, so if you neutralize that objection, you’ll increase sales the most.

Step 2: Brainstorm a List of Specific Guarantees To Neutralize Each Specific Objection

Let’s say you’re an accountant. You’ve read a bunch of negative reviews like this:

I used a CPA once thinking that she would find deductions that I couldn’t and that she would give me valuable advice about future tax avoidance. She charged a large fee, but when I checked the return, she missed a number of large, obvious deductions.

Then brainstorm a bunch of Specific Guarantees that would let the customer stop worrying about that specific objection. Here’s are some crazy ideas I just came up with:

  1. If you or another tax preparer finds a deduction we missed, we’ll refund your filing fees and refile your taxes for free
  2. We check your returns against a checklist of the 500 most common deductions. If we miss one of these deductions, we’ll pay you $500.
  3. If we miss a deduction and you have to refile, we’ll pay you the interest you would have earned on that missed deduction

TurboTax' Offers A Specific Guarantee: "Maximum Refund Guarantee" (click to enlarge)

By the way, I just did a quick search and found that TurboTax almost offers the exact Specific Guarantee I wrote in #1, except it doesn’t refile your taxes for free.

Step 3: Evaluate Each Specific Guarantee Idea for Effectiveness sand Cost

Next, rank your list of ideas by effectiveness and cost.

By “effectiveness”, I mean, the degree to which your proposed Specific Guarantee neutralizes your prospect’s specific objection. You can do this by putting yourself in the shoes of the prospect, but it’s even better to just ask some prospects or customers what they think.

By cost, I mean to calculate how much it will cost for you to offer that particular Specific Guarantee. My experience is that many times prospects value more expensive Specific Guarantees less than you think. So don’t automatically choose for the most expensive guarantee.

Sometimes, you can drastically lower the cost of a Specific Guarantee by making small changes in the way you offer your product or service. For instance, if you offered that No Mess Guarantee, you’d just have to buy some cheap shoe covers, hand them out to your repairmen, and train them on how to use them. You could ensure your employees complied by tweaking your incentive plan by using bonuses (“get a bonus if you wear shoe covers on ever job in a month!”) or penalties (“your paycheck is deducted by $20 every time you don’t wear shoe covers”).

Step 4: Pick The Best Specific Guarantee and Name It

Now choose the Specific Guarantee that neutralizes a particular specific objection, balancing effectiveness with cost. If you’re scared to offer a guarantee, try starting with the least costly guarantee. You can always work your way up to more ambitious guarantees over time.

You should definitely name your Specific Guarantee. It’s easy, especially with these formulas:

  • The [Specific Objection] Guarantee. Come up with a pithy name for your specific objection like “Missed Deductions”. Then name your guarantee “The Missed Deductions Guarantee”. (Except don’t use that exact name because TurboTax uses it.)
  • “Our No [Specific Objection] Guarantee”. If the specific objection was that customers hate their cars getting scratched at the car wash, you could call this “Our No Scratch Guarantee”.

You can also use other words instead of “guarantee” like “promise”, “pledge”, or “warranty”. I have to admit that I’m partial to “Guarantee”, because it’s such a powerful word.

Once you’ve named it, have a designer create an official looking seal emblazoned with the name of your Specific Guarantee. Seals convert.

OK, you’re done!

Next Steps

  1. Follow the 4-step process above to create a Specific Guarantee and then split test to see if your Specific Guarantee improves your landing page’s conversion rate. For best results, try testing the Specific Guarantee in the main flow of your page right after you describe the specific objection your Specific Guarantee neutralizes. Once you see positive results, try creating multiple Specific Guarantees for a very powerful stacking effect.
    As always, I’d appreciate it if you let me know how this strategy worked for you!
  2. If you found this useful, please share it with your friends. 🙂
  3. Let me know what you think in the comments!