Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to sell anything using 'Guarantees'

Yes. I have been sold to that way. Many times.

I know folks who have been sold things to in the same ways. But it all became clear as day now.

Have you ever loaned someone N10, 000 (a high amount of money) just because when you loaned him N500 he paid back early without hassle?

I am sure you won’t think twice before buying something from someone who first gave you a trial of the product for free or offered you a guarantee before making a selling move on you.

Heck. Let’s get down to the familiar.

It is common knowledge that when you want to buy boiled groundnuts from hawkers anywhere in Nigeria, you take some first to taste. You believe doing that tells you if the groundnut is worth your hard-earned naira; even though it doesn’t cost much. But there’s something else you don’t know.

As with the groundnut seller, many sellers use the offer of a guarantee to sell you things. Some you may not need. And you end up buying. And happily too.

It’s funny how as human beings we react in certain mechanical ways without even realizing it.

The part you play

We most often jump at the play of buying psychology by skilled professionals without thinking. And most times, we even initiate it. 

Case in point being your insistence on ‘tasting’ the groundnut before buying. Right there, the seller played you a hand. 

You cannot finish the tasting process and discovering the groundnut is good without buying it. Guilt will not let you.

Well, or else you aren’t familiar with the word ‘shame’.

That was you initiating the play of simple buying psychology from the groundnut seller.


How many times have you knowingly bought an electronic gadget that doesn’t have a warranty? I’d guess, less often if at all.

If you have bought products on warranty, chances are you’d only cash in on that guarantee for very few of the products you have bought.

The warranty succeeded in doing one thing. Giving you the assurance to purchase that item in the first place.

Would you remember the warranty before it expires? Probably. That is if the product develops a fault within the period. But almost never, if you keep using the product or item in good condition.

In the meantime, the seller smiles to the bank.

Here’s why this method almost always works in making a seller happy.

The secret ingredient

Offer of a guarantee.

Yes, you read right. Offer of a guarantee can well work in selling any product or service. But there is a catch?

You must be ready and willing to make good that offer when the chips are down. Don’t ever lie. Make a guarantee you can live up to. Because some people will test you on that.

Some quick examples of ‘offer of a guarantee’ at work in selling random products/services.

·         Dress seller – tell the customer to buy a dress. Wear it to that party or to work and if it doesn’t fit perfectly, retain its quality and even turn a few heads within a given time period (say 20 days) they can return it for a partial of even full refund.

-          In the above example, if that customer is anywhere near decent, they’d never return that dress again. That is if it doesn’t wear and tear in the time period guaranteed.

What you have done with that is - you have built trust between yourself and that customer. They’ll come back and buy from you again.

·         Restaurant owner or chef – it wouldn’t kill you to introduce that new recipe you just discovered and are crazy about if you offer it free of charge in small quantity to your customers.

Let them savor the uniqueness that makes you happy about your new creation. And your guess is spot on. They wouldn’t mind paying for it the next time, if they enjoyed it the last.

But it’d be a gamble just introducing a new food on your list and expecting your customers to grab it. When they don’t know if they’ll even like it.

·         Writer – if you know your onion and are ready to stake a guarantee on it, then do it. If the publication you are writing for will be certain that paying you for an article will mean sure traffic to your column on their magazine/newspaper; which will in turn convert to sales, they’d use you every time.

I am not saying offer an article free of charge. I am saying when trying to get them to hire you (maybe as a freelancer), tell them to pay you a certain fee and guarantee returns or you quit.

Truth is, 5 out of 10 times people won’t go out snooping through to ensure your guarantee stands. 

The guarantee just helps reassure them you are the right fit for that job. 

"If he’s so confident and willing to stake the job on it, he’d have to be that good right?" And you better be good to avoid lying to yourself and others.

·         Plumber –  One plumber tells you : “ Hey, I’ll fix your burst pipes perfectly to avoid further gushes. If it opens up again within 30 days, I’ll refund your cash back plus repair it again free of charge.”

The second one simply tells you: “Hey, I am the right guy to fix your bad plumbing. You’ve got to hire me. I am good at the job.”

Yeah? Said by you right?

Be quite frank. Who would you hire for the job?

Do you get it now?

These are just a few minor examples of the offer of a guarantee at work in various ways and in different services.

See how we get wooed almost on a daily basis by offer of freebies or guarantees?

See how you can apply that in getting your leg in the door of a client you so badly want to sell?

I only just started to realize the use of this interesting ingredient in our everyday lives. The excitement prompted me to share this piece. I am sure there are other exciting ways to use this 'offer of a guarantee'.

What do you think?

Share with me some interesting ways to use this psychological trigger. Let’s learn together.

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