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Should I Offer A Guarantee? A Definitive Answer


I get a lot of questions about whether or not to offer a guarantee.

In the bad old days of selling timeshare, when I sweated and swore and quite possibly broke the law, we used to have a mandatory 10-day cooling off period built into the sales contract.

That meant that the buyer could change their mind and get their cash back after the sale.

The only thing was, our bosses (one of whom had a pet baseball-bat) wouldn’t let us mention it.

If our be-swimsuited prospect asked about it, we’d say:

If you’re even asking about this, that tells me you’ve not been listening to a word I’ve been saying[1].

If you’ve not been listening, then you’re not yet convinced[2].

And if you’re not yet convinced, then I won’t let you sign this contract[3].

In fact, I won’t let you sign this contract until you promise me that you’ve got NO intention of coming back in here in a few days and asking for your money back[4].

[1] power play/disruption: we’ve built a friendly relationship over the last several hours and now we’re threatening to take it away.
[2] it’s your fault and you’ve got to rectify it.
[3] authority (“I won’t let you”)
[4] consistency (“you’ve said you’ll do it this way, so you will”).

The only reason we did this, of course, is because we couldn’t, in good faith, stand by our product.

We wouldn’t have sold it to our grandmothers, so we shouldn’t have been selling it to anybody.

Since the School for Selling went live, 134 people have become students.

This week the first refund request came in.

It said;

Reason for refund –
I was not satisfied with the product. / Product did not meet expectations.

So we followed up:

So sorry, of course you can have your money back. Was it something we did or said?

And the reply was:

It’s not so much “didn’t meet expectation” (that was automatically completed!) but there is a change in what I am doing and I no longer need that training. I loooove Matthew’s stuff and will continue to follow him. It’s just the approach of the training is no longer appropriate for me in the moment.

And that is an example entirely valid refund request, for two reasons:

  1. It’s honest.
  2. It’s within the no-questions-asked 60-day guarantee period, which trumps any single other argument.

There are good kinds of refund request and shitty kinds of refund requests.

The only shitty ones come outside of the guarantee period. Everything else is ok.

  • “It wasn’t for me.”
  • “The product was defective.”
  • “It was the wrong size.”
  • “I didn’t use it, so I want my cash back.”
  • “I need the money.”
  • “I changed my mind.”
  • “I made a huge mistake.”
  • “I don’t like you.”

All of these are valid provided you’re treating the vendor with the same respect as you’ve been treated by them AND you’re within the guarantee period.

Guarantees: the definitive answer

As a vendor, if you can’t offer an unconditional guarantee for a limited time-period, then you need to go back to the drawing board and work on selling something that you can stand behind.

The School for Selling has an unconditional, no-questions-asked, 60-day guarantee period.

And a refund rate of 0.75%

Become a student today for lifetime access (including exciting future upgrades).


PS I realize that by drawing attention to the guarantee period I might be enticing you to buy it for the wrong reasons. Heck, my refund rate might go up. But I’m confident it won’t, not in a meaningful way. That’s because my customers – you – are chock-full of integrity, generally.

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