Guarantee Library: Selling Peace of Mind

June 30, 2024

Tyler Suomala

Founder of Growthitect

Do you ever shop for clothes online? (Guilty as charged ✋)

There are inherent challenges when you shop for clothes online.

You can’t try anything on.
You can’t feel the fabric.
You can’t see how it fits.

Buying clothes online is a leap of faith.

But, you do it anyways right? (Yep, still guilty as charged ✋)

Why do you feel comfortable buying clothes online despite all of these challenges?

Because every online store has a (pretty generous) money-back guarantee and return policy.

If you don’t like it, you’ll get your money back.
If it doesn’t fit, you’ll get your money back.
If it’s too itchy, you’ll get your money back.

The peace of mind of this guarantee makes online shopping viable.

But don’t let e-commerce have all the fun. You can use a guarantee too. (But I do think there’s a wrong way to do it…let’s talk about the right way.)

What is a guarantee?

A guarantee is a promise or assurance from you to your client.

There are several types of guarantees, for example:

  • Satisfaction Guarantee: Promises that the client will be happy with the service, or they get their money back.

  • Performance Guarantee: Ensures that the service or product will perform as expected.

  • Time Sensitive Guarantee: Offers a full refund if the client changes their mind within a certain period following the purchase or commitment.

Why should architects use guarantees?

Guarantees are mutually beneficial - they make it easier for you to sell your services and they provide peace of mind to clients.

  • Building Trust: When you offer a guarantee, you’re showing confidence in your work, which reassures clients that they’re making a safe investment.

  • Reducing Risk: Guarantees make clients more comfortable with their decision to hire you by reducing their risk. This comfort can sometimes be the deciding factor in moving forward with a project.

  • Differentiation: In a competitive market, guarantees can set your firm apart. They demonstrate your commitment to quality and client satisfaction, making you more attractive than competitors who are less inclined to stand behind their work.

  • Client Satisfaction: When clients know they have a safety net, they’re more likely to be happy with the overall experience and return for future projects. (That means less client maintenance for you, too 👀)

How to implement a guarantee

All guarantees are not created equal. While a blanket guarantee (e.g. using the same guarantee for all clients) may work well for e-commerce businesses, it’s not the most effective approach for architecture firms.

Instead, try a more nuanced approach that is specific to each client. Because, as you already know, every client is a little bit different.

Here’s how you can create a library of guarantees to use with every type of client concern:

01 // Start with client priorities

What’s commonly top of mind for your prospective clients? Think back to your pain diving, objections, and priorities.

  • Do they often worry about staying within budget?

  • Are they concerned about meeting deadlines?

List out each one to help prepare for the next step.

02 // Create a unique guarantee for each

Develop specific guarantees to address each client priority. If a client is concerned about budget, how can you guarantee a budget? How can you guarantee a timeline? How can you guarantee quality?

For example:

  • Budget Concerns → Budget Guarantee: Promise to stay within the agreed budget as long as no significant changes are made to the design.

    • "We guarantee to stay within the agreed budget, provided there are no changes to the design."

    • "You’ll have no unexpected costs—our budget promise ensures we stick to your plan."

  • Timeline Hesitancy → Deadline Guarantee: Commit to completing the project by a specific date, with penalties or discounts for any delays.

    • "We promise to finish your project by [specific date], or we’ll offer a discount for any delays."

    • "If we don’t meet the agreed timeline, you get a [discount]."

  • Cold Feet → Money-Back Guarantee: Offer a money-back guarantee within the first 30 days to provide the client peace of mind if something changes.

    • "If you’re not pleased with the first 30 days of working together, we offer a full money-back guarantee."

    • "Get started with peace of mind—if it doesn’t feel right in the first month, you get your money back."

(This goes without saying, but PLEASE DO NOT make a guarantee or promise that you can’t keep. Only use a guarantee if you are confident in the outcome.)

03 // Identify the trigger that signals usage

Determine the specific scenarios or client statements that should prompt you to offer a particular guarantee. This could be during initial consultations, when a client expresses a particular worry, or at key decision points in the sales process.

For example, if a client expresses worry about potential cost overruns, then the Budget Guarantee should be used.

04 // Make it easy for your team

Make all of this content easy for your team to understand and implement by putting into a simple table.

Below is an example:

Integrate these guarantees into your sales process and ensure that your team knows when and how to present them.

TL;DR

Guarantees are powerful tools that can set your firm apart and provide your prospective clients with enough peace of mind to move forward with you.

But don’t use a blanket guarantee for every client. Instead, tailor it specifically to their priorities or concerns. Do this by:

  1. Identifying common priorities

  2. Creating a unique guarantee for each

  3. Use triggers to signal usage

  4. Build a table for easy implementation

Channel your inner Pam to get it done 😉

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