Risk Reversal: Let’s Get Creative

I recently did something that seemed really stupid: I bought a skillet from a company that I had been unhappy with.

I bought a non-stick skillet from the same company a few months earlier and was unhappy with it. The only way the food didn't stick was if I kept the heat so low that it took 20 minutes to cook an egg.

However, when I went shopping for a new non-stick skillet I bought another kind from the same company.

Why did I do such an irrational thing?

For one thing, the new skillet met all my requirements:

  • It's big enough to cook food for my family of five (It's 13 inches in diameter).
  • It has a lid.
  • It's free of toxic substances that eventually peel off and get into our food.
  • It's affordable at under $50.

But here's the thing that really closed the sale: I knew that if I didn't like it, I could return it to the store and get my money back.

With the earlier skillet, the possibility of returning it didn't occur to me and I foolishly threw away the receipt.

Not this time. I kept the receipt neatly folded in my wallet as I put the new skillet through its paces. I tested it with omelets, pancakes, rainbow trout fillet, fried rice and — the ultimate test — eggs sunny side up. All within the first seven days of buying it.

It stays non-stick, even at moderately high temperatures. It's a cinch to clean. It passed the test.

A Marketing Lesson

Here's the marketing lesson in my kitchen shopping experience:

You can make more sales if you remove the risk from your customers… the risk of wasting their money and time… the risk of looking foolish… the risk of feeling like they've been sales-talked into buying.

The common way of doing this is by offering a money-back guarantee.

In fact, the 100% unconditional money-back guarantee has become so commonplace that is has lost its appeal.

We need to think of better, more compelling ways to guarantee our customers' satisfaction. Here are a few that I've found:

1. Unlimited-time Guarantee

Most vendors offer a 30-day or 60-day guarantee. Why not offer a longer guarantee, such as a 365-day guarantee? Or even unlimited time?

Many marketers have observed that their refund rates actually go down the longer their guarantee is. With a short guarantee period, your customers tend to take note that they have a deadline for requesting a refund. So even if they haven't actually tried your product, they'll ask for a refund anyway because the deadline is looming.

On the other hand, if you give a long or even unlimited time, your customers won't be so vigilant about it. They will probably keep giving your product/service more benefit of the doubt, or give it more time to work.

2. Double Your Money Guarantee

Another compelling guarantee is the double (or triple, or any variation) your money guarantee. With this guarantee, you promise to pay your customers on top of what the product/service costs — if they show you proof that they tried your product, followed all your instructions, but didn't get the results you promised.

This is a very compelling guarantee, because it removes all the risk from your customers. At the same time, it motivates them to actually use your product. Sometimes, customers are unhappy because they haven't really followed the instructions for getting the promised results.

3. Pay ForĀ  Results

I came across another compelling guarantee recently for a product that promises to teach you how to make your first $1,000 online. The guarantee is that, when you make your $1,000 and send the program creators a video testimonial of this result, they will give you your money back.

As with the previous guarantee, this removes your customer's risk and motivates them to take action. In addition, this approach gives you powerful testimonials that your product works.

These are just some ways we can attract more buyers through risk reversal.

Next Steps

1. Review the sales pages for your products and services. How can you improve your guarantees?

2. When you browse sales materials, look at how the vendor removes the buyers' risk. Collect a swipe file of approaches that are new, exciting and truly guarantee satisfaction.

If you have creative risk reversal techniques you'd like me to add to this lesson, please send them to me by emailing me at lexi at alexisrodrigo dot com.

Thank you!

PS: Feel free to share this with your family and friends. Or better yet, invite them to sign up for the “7 Keys to Attract More Buyers Online” at https://www.AlexisRodrigo.com. Thanks!