You have to raise the level of your guarantee.
It’s no longer sufficient simply to include a money-back guarantee with your offers.
There is nothing remarkable about a money-back guarantee, since all marketers include it.
The challenge is showing your audience that your guarantee means something, that it’s real.
The statement of Chris Farley line from the movie “Tommy Boy”, gives more insight into this…wherein he says: “Look, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will.”
That’s about how much credence your audience place in the word “guaranteed” today.
How do you make your guarantee mean something?
How do you make your audience pay attention to your guarantee?
What’s required today is a super-charged guarantee — a frank guarantee.
Nordstrom’s guarantee – Nordstrom Stores – is one of the most famous.
Nordstrom promises that you can return a Nordstrom product anytime and get a full refund, no matter how long you’ve had it, no matter how much you’ve worn it.
There’s a story (probably an urban legend) about a guy who brought in a set of tires to Nordstrom, asking for a refund.
Nordstrom gave the refund even though Nordstrom has never sold tires.
Though this story is probably myth, the fact that this story is so well-known just underscores the legendary fame the Nordstrom guarantee has achieved.
Everyone knows about the Nordstrom eye-popping guarantee.
The Nordstrom guarantee is so famous that it’s now part of the Nordstrom brand.
This extraordinary guarantee is what people think of when they think of Nordstrom.
The Nordstrom guarantee communicates far more than just that the purchase is “risk-free” to the customer.
This super-charged guarantee communicates that Nordstrom has confidence in the quality of its merchandise, and also that Nordstrom trusts its customers to treat Nordstrom fairly.
A relationship of trust is established.
Nordstrom is telling customers that the store is staking its entire business on the quality of its products and on customer satisfaction.
In a sense, Nordstrom has built its business and reputation on the attention-getting strength of its guarantee.
And what a brilliant marketing strategy this is, because without this memorable guarantee, Nordstrom would not stand out in people’s minds as any different from a dozen other department stores that offer the same merchandise.
The stunning Nordstrom guarantee is what makes Nordstrom different.
Ben Hart once said:
“I know an accountant who promises his customers that if they ever feel he has failed to save them at least double the cost of his fee on their income taxes versus what they would have paid if they had done their own taxes, he will refund his entire fee.
This accountant has no shortage of clients.
As far as I know, he has never been asked for a refund.”
One of the biggest challenges we sales letter writers have is to get our audience to read our entire letter — or to hear the entire pitch.
One way to generate interest in your letter is to build your letter around a stunning guarantee that might read like this:
This Letter Is Guaranteed
You might wonder: “How can a letter be guaranteed?”
It’s free anyway!
I don’t believe this guarantee has ever been made before.
So here’s how it works:
If you read my entire letter and if you feel, at the end, that it’s been a waste of your time, just let me know by writing a note on the back of this certificate and I will send you $20, or donate $40 to a charitable cause, whichever you prefer.
I am making this guarantee because I know you are very busy running your shoe making business.
I also know that I am asking you to take a few minutes of your valuable time to consider what the program I’ve outlined here can do to help improve the marketing of your shoe making business.
Since I’m sending out about 400 of these invitations, this potentially puts me at risk for having to pay out $16,000.
But I’m not overly concerned because I’m confident you’ll agree that my letter was well worth reading, and because I trust that you have integrity and honor.
I also know that you are a fellow entrepreneur who almost certainly wants to improve the marketing side of your business.
Sure, there will be a few jokers out there who will request the $20.
But most people (98 percent or more) truly are people of honor and integrity.
Nordstrom would have gone out of business long ago if the average consumer had any interest in cheating the store.
Contrary to the impression we might have, the wonderful truth is that the vast majority of people are decent honest hardworking folks who won’t take advantage of you and won’t try to cash in on your super-charged guarantee . . . unless you really are putting out a shoddy product.
The Touchstone (The Me Meme)
The Touchstone for selling yourself takes on a slightly different form.
If you’re selling yourself as a consultant, a verbal Touchstone will work as it would for any other product.
If you are the product in the professional world, you can be a little more overt about your offer, and you can get away with it.
Outside of the business world, your approach needs to be a bit less direct.
For whatever reason, we need to communicate our offers a little more subtly when it comes to personal interaction.
You can be up front about the nature of your offer, but you probably won’t get away with throwing it in someone’s face – depending on the context, of course.
Your Touchstone is a mimetic one.
When people first meet you, various pieces of information come together to form a mimetic expression of one idea: you.
When I first meet someone I’m aware that my appearance, my posture, my facial expression, my grooming, my clothes, the first words out of my mouth…
All of these things come together to form the Me meme.
Depending on what you want, your Me Meme may or may not serve your purpose.
If your intention is to find a hot date, you may want to adjust your Me Meme from the “trust me as your salesman” Me Meme.
How you adjust these elements is a totally subjective thing.
The following elements might make up the ME Meme under ideal conditions:
+ Clean, pressed, fashionable clothes
+ Impeccable grooming
+ Friendly smile
+ Confident posture
+ Outgoing and kind nature
+ My spirit shining through
+ First words: Something disarming and friendly
I found the following Touchstones on some products:
“Strong for maximum protection, sensitive for maximum pleasure…” (Gold Circle latex condoms)
“As smooth as silk, with a soft natural feel…” (Kiss latex condoms)
“You invest some money, we give you beautiful skin…” (Guthy-Renker superb skin care line)
Your Touchstone could be anything, but you would be wise to ask yourself: “is it serving my purpose?”
If your Touchstone tells people you are a stuck-up snob who only cares about appearance, and secretly you want to meet some very down-to-earth genuine people, then perhaps it’s not serving your purpose as well as it could.
On the flip-side of this, you should be careful about how you allow people’s Touchstones to affect your judgment of them.
The image most people are projecting to the world is not a genuine one.
At the same time, regardless of their intentions, the Touchstone they have chosen is theirs, and it will give some clues about what they’re all about.
That is, no matter what the reason, if someone always looks like a wreck, it might be indicative of greater levels of disorder in his or her life.
Then again, the best-groomed guy in the world could end up being like a wreck through your life!
Let’s discuss the new lessons you’ve learned here in the comments section below.