Unleashing a mob of eager customers

The funny thing is – most people are scared out of their wits to do it

A Tale of Two Ponies –

Kalani was a very sweet six-year-old girl about to celebrate her seventh birthday. She got straight A's in school, did her homework every night and still found time to get her chores done. Her proud father asked her what she really, really wanted for her birthday. She said she really wanted a pony. Well, if she wanted a pony, she would get a pony!

So, her dad got the Sunday paper and called on two different ads. Both had a pony for sale and her dad called the number on the first ad. The gentleman on the other end said: "I'm sure your daughter would love this pony. She's really good with kids and she is very gentle. Why don't you come take a look at her? If you like her, you can pay me the $500 I'm asking and take her home with you today."

Then the father called on the second ad. The gentleman he spoke with said: "My pony is kind and gentle. She's really good with kids and I'm sure your daughter would love her. But, I'd feel a lot better knowing for sure. If you'd like, I can bring the pony over to your place and let your daughter try her out for a week or so. I'll bring plenty of hay and I'll even have my son come out and check up on things and clean up a little. If, after the week is up, your daughter decides to keep her I'll stop by and you can pay me the $500 I'm asking for her. She's worth every penny."

Which Pony Would You Buy?

Well, almost everyone on the planet will choose the second pony for the very obvious reason. There is no risk on your part to choose pony number two. Both ponies may be kind and gentle, but only one pony comes with a "try it before you buy it" guarantee.

Okay. Let's walk up to two different pizzerias. We won't go inside, we're just gonna take a peek at the front door. Door number one has this on it: "No shirt, No shoes, No service. No checks. No refunds."

Door number two says this: "Yes shirt, Yes shoes, Yes – service! Checks welcome. We absolutely guarantee each pizza we make. If you should ever be disappointed for any reason we will cheerfully refund your money."

Hmmmn? Where are we going to get pizza today? Who is going to get our money? Who do we think is going to make a better pizza? Yeah, I thought so. We're going to pizzeria number two. And guess what? So will everyone else!

A Strong Guarantee – Guarantees Success!

Funny thing is, most businesses have some sort of guarantee, but they hide it! They are afraid to let people know they can get their money back if something goes wrong. That is wrong, wrong, wrong!

Because: The huge increase in people who buy from you because of your guarantee will dwarf the amount of people who ever take advantage of you and your guarantee. Your guarantee creates a "safe harbor" where people feel they can do business with you because you have removed their risk. You shoulder the responsibility of making sure the customer gets what they paid for.

People by nature are averse to risk and the minute you reverse the risk and put it on yourself, you will open the floodgates, allowing a surge of business to flow into your establishment.

Risk reversal is one of the top-gun techniques that will instantly zoom you past your competition, but it only works when you blast it across everything: menus, front door, door-hangers, flyers, Yellow Page ads, boxes… everything.

It is a radar beacon that calls out to all people who do not want to risk their hard-earned money on the unknown, and it is a security blanket to regular customers, reassuring them that they are safe doing business with you. If there is ever a problem, you will make it good. They won't get "stuck."

Now I can already hear a few of you whining, "people will just call and order a pizza then get their money back." You know what? You're right. They will. Let me share my own personal experience with you.

I put my guarantee on everything. I mean it was everywhere! I left myself wide open to go bankrupt and here's what happened – my sales skyrocketed. My sales growth looked like a Microsoft stock chart from the 90's.

But, here's the bad news: I did have people ask for refunds. In fact I gave two refunds for every 1,000 orders taken. For those of you who flunked math (like I did) that's 2/10ths of 1 percent! That's right, I only had two people out of a thousand ever scrape up the gumption to ask for a refund!

What I find amazing about that is this: We screwed up about three orders per 100 orders that we took. (You know – wrong topping, wrong pizza, undercooked, etc.)

So, we screwed up 3 percent of the time, but only gave refunds 2/10ths of 1 percent of the time. Puzzling as it may be, those are the numbers.

Now I had a powerful "no questions asked" money-back guarantee. Here it is:

"We make the finest pizza you will find anywhere. And, if you should ever be disappointed – if we should ever fail you in any way or let you down for any reason – please let me know. If I can't make things right – I'll give you your money back – every penny!"

And, Big Dave Ostrander's "Ultimate Guarantee" is legendary! This guy guaranteed every pizza place in town! Here's Dave's bold guarantee:

"I feel a strong commitment to quality. I believe that no one needs to settle for an inferior pizza. Therefore, if you ever purchase an unsatisfactory pizza from any pizzeria in our area, call me at once on my personal line, 739-7033, and I will immediately exchange the uneaten portion of their pizza with a Big Dave's Pizza, of the same size and Toppings…FREE!"

How's that for being brave? Big Dave pulled in 300 new customers his first year using that. Three hundred customers will mean about an extra $60,000 a year to you, and, like Dave says, when someone took him up on his guarantee, "He looked like a hero, and caught his competition at their worst."

I will guarantee you this: Risk reversal will boost your business; steal customers from the competition, and keep you at your finest. Okay, ready for the biggest kick-butt guarantee in the world? Here it is. It's called the "Better Than Risk-Free Guarantee." Let's look back to the "two ponies story."

The better than risk-free "kicker" would go like this: "If, after the week is up, your daughter decides to keep her, I'll stop by and you can pay me the $500 I'm asking for her. She's worth every penny, but, if she decides things just didn't work out, I'll come and pick up the pony and give you $50 for your trouble."

Whoa! Now that is compelling! Let's try it with a pizza guarantee. You come home and discover two door hangers swinging from your door. You're not familiar with either place.

One says: "Hottest Dang Special I Ever Ran! Buy From Me! Only $9.99!" The other one has this on it: "We make the finest pizza you will find anywhere. And, if you should ever be disappointed – if we should ever fail you in any way or let you down for any reason – please let me know. If I can't make things right, I'll give you your money back plus an extra $5 for your trouble." Which pizza would you buy?