Do you ever guarantee results to customers when you build a marketing funnel for them?

No, I don’t guarantee results

This is one of the most common questions I hear when I talk about pricing and building marketing funnels.

In this post I want to explain my process for guaranteeing results, when I work with customers.

What I do guarantee, what I don’t guarantee and why some customers might ask this (and why you should avoid them).

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You want to make the sale right?

Increasing your price

If you’ve ever increased your prices, you know the added pressure that comes with asking for more money.

If you are thinking about bumping your prices up, maybe by 20%, doubling them or even adding a 0. You might feel that you can’t increase your prices until you can guarantee certain results.

Flighty/difficult customers

If you’ve got customers that need lots of reassurance, or have lots of objections, they can question you about the results you’ve got in the past. This sometimes sets a precedence that you must be able to get them the same or better results.

Haven’t built a funnel before

If you’re new to funnel game, you might have no results to show previous customers. If you’re new and your first customers ask you “if you guarantee results”, it can be tempting to either jump ship, or say yes just to keep them on the line.

Customer asking to guarantee results

When customers ask you for certain results, they’re usually asking because they still don’t trust you. That’s the core of it. However you’re now stuck in a hard place.

Do you tell them that you don’t guarantee results and risk loosing them? Or do you tell them you can get results and risk lying to them?

Don’t want to lose the customer

Overall, the question about guaranteeing results, is our way to combat fears of losing customers. Also, there’s an element of impostor syndrome that creeps in when we can’t guarantee results, even though others claim to.

You’re under no obligation to guarantee results

A common misconception with funnel builders I work with, is the idea that you should be able to guarantee results.

It’s as if building funnels for a living, should give you a sixth sense as to what will work. Even the world’s most experienced marketers with years of campaigns and hundreds of funnels cannot possibly guarantee a result.

Part of this comes from hype-gurus (I’m looking at you Alex) who claim that “THIS IS JAMES SMITH AND IN 31 DAYS HE MADE $140 000 USING A SIMPLE SHOPIFY STORE”.

I’m going to tell you, what my gym coach tells me.

The only people that believe you can get results in 31 days, are people who have never trained for 31 days.

Customers that expect you to guarantee results like the above aren’t serious about their business. How so?

Because anyone who is serious about their business wants to be around longer than 31 days. They’re committed to running a long, successful business and they know it takes a long time to get amazing results.

Another reason that business expect guaranteed results is when they’re spending the last of their money in a “Hail Mary” attempt to turn everything right. We’ll talk about those customers in a bit.

“All customers need guaranteed results”

Except they don’t.

Many high quality, high budget customers don’t need guaranteed results. What they want is someone who can help them grow their business and use their knowledge to make the best decisions possible.

If you could guarantee results, every single time, and get a 2x or 10x return on any investment, you wouldn’t be reading this post. If ANYONE could ever guarantee a result or return, they’ve never be without customers.

It’s literally impossible to guarantee results, and I’ll show you a few examples of businesses that do guarantee results and where they are.

Just before we continue, if a customer insists that you guarantee results, you don’t need to recite all this. This is just for you. Anyone who refuses to work with you because you can’t promise a X% ROI is not worth working with. Just walk away from them.

Crowded market

As more and more funnel builders and funnel options (including AI) enter the market, it’s going to be harder and harder for businesses like yours to stand out.

Many businesses WILL try to promise results and it’ll just drive their margins and prices down. That’s fine if they want to do that, but people have been predicting results for THOUSANDS OF YEARS and it’s never worked out.

You get conflicting advice from “experts”

You also hear a lot from “experts” who say that customers need guaranteed results.

First, there is a massive difference between a guarantee and guaranteed results.

I guarantee that you’ll love my course, learn some amazing new skills and that you’ll be happy with it. If you’re not, I guarantee a 100% refund.

I can’t guarantee that you’ll earn $1m a year in revenue and be featured on the cover of Time magazine. Although many industry veterans tell me that their customers need guaranteed results.

OK, your customers might need you to promise results, because you let them. They’re low value and clearly looking for an easy way out.

I’ve got a story here about a woman who wanted a certain ROI on her investment and it did not go well for her.

I’ve heard every fucking excuse in the book about why people can’t land customers.

  • They can’t afford me
  • My prices are too high
  • My competition charge too little
  • They told me they need a guaranteed ROI
  • People use page builders now

The list goes on and on and it’s especially bad from people who add “I’ve been doing this 20 years”.

Well then you probably should have learned a lesson by now. Either, you’re bad at turning objections and you’re not persistent enough. Or, you haven’t built enough trust with you customer yet. Simple.

The only other explanation is that you’re only approaching customers who think/say these things. In which case – find better customers.

Do you ever guarantee results to customers when you build a marketing funnel for them?

The only people who guarantee results are con-artists and pyramid schemes

In 1919 Charles Ponzi set up an investment company that would give 50% back on your investment in 45 days. That means if you invested $1000, in 45 days you’d get $500 back.

Charles Ponzi working in his office. Source: Wikipedia

The first handful of investors DID make a return of 50%, some as high as $750 on a $1250 investment.

Which of course “proved” the system to pay out. This attracted MORE investors who wanted such a massive return and THEY also got their money back.

How was he doing this? At a time when banks could barely afford a 5% annual interest (you should see it now – hell, I’d kill for 5% at my bank), how was he able to double your investment in 90 days?

Simple. He would get other low level investors to “invest” and use that money to pay the previous investors.

Charles Ponzi is where we get the “Ponzi Scheme”. Better known as a pyramid scheme.

The leader has to keep getting more and more investors in to pay the previous round. It goes on and on until at some point, the system collapses.

If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.

Guaranteed results are like money lamps to greedy moths. The ONLY people who believe in guaranteed results are greedy people. People who are desperate to make as much as they can, with as little effort as possible.

Hence, they’re usually conned out of money.

What you can guarantee?

So what can you guarantee? As I mentioned, there is a difference between a
guarantee and guaranteeing results or return on investment.

It’s worth understanding what a guarantee is. A guarantee is a way of removing risk, not promising results. This is a very important distinction, as people often get mixed up between the two.

Removing risk from the transaction is a good way of building trust, and goodwill with a customer. It means that you are guaranteeing their satisfaction and that you’ll do everything you can, to help them.

Guaranteeing results in order to make a sale, is capitalising on greed and ignorance.

There’s a huge difference between me saying “if you’re not completely satisfied, I’ll give you 100% of your money back” and “I guarantee I can double your investment”.

One of those is removing risk from the investment, giving the customer a sense of safety. Sensible customers will look for a satisfaction guarantee.

Customers who are desperate, greedy or naïve, will look for a results guarantee.

There are of course certain results that you can guarantee. For example you can guarantee to build a Facebook campaign and to maintain it. Guaranteed to build a 3 page landing system and drive traffic to it. You can even guarantee expenses or costs such as cost per click (with caveats and experience of course).

But the truth is that customers don’t want a guarantee, and a guarantee won’t close a sale.

When people give excuses about how customers won’t work with them, because they can’t offer a guarantee, they’re not telling the truth.

Either the customer isn’t telling the truth, or the funnel builder. Because the true question that the customer is asking is “do I really trust you as a funnel builder?”

Think about the objections given when selling a marketing funnel. They are all based around trust. Do you have a portfolio? Have you done this before? Can you guarantee results?

These are all questions around trust. It’s not that you can’t guarantee results, it’s that the customer doesn’t trust you.

Which of course means you have to work on other ways of building trust with the customer.

It’s immoral to guarantee results

He’s a really interesting argument I’ve heard about guaranteeing results.

Aside from the fact that if you are guaranteeing results, you’re probably trying to con someone out of some money. It’s still immoral to guarantee results, because you’re clearly not working in the most important area.

When you guarantee results, regardless of how big the impact is, who would benefit most from that return?

If you truly are able to guarantee results, why aren’t you working with companies like UNICEF, the world health organisation or Médecins Sans Frontières?

Those are of course examples, everyone has particular organisations that they believe could use more help. So therefore if you are able to guarantee results, why aren’t you getting THOSE organisations results?

That isn’t to say that your work, when you aren’t guaranteeing results, isn’t important. Quite the opposite in fact.

Working in a capitalist economy, it is our job as entrepreneurs to raise capital and generate a return on our investments.

This of course also means helping customers generate a return on their investments.

If you’ve read my posts on money, the common myths around money and my beliefs around money, you’ll understand why I believe generating sales and revenue for businesses is so important and moral.

And when we aren’t able to guarantee results, we are entering a fair and competitive world, where we use competency and skill to provide returns. Instead of blind luck in gambling.

When customers ask “can you guarantee results?”

So what do you do when a customer does ask you “can you guarantee results?”

It’s very tempting to write a sarcastic and patronising speech, to appeal to my fragile ego. I could condescendingly explain to the customer how it’s immoral to guarantee results, or that their bank barely guarantees results with their interest rates.

In truth it’s not about answering the question of guaranteeing results, it’s about avoiding customers who believe you should guarantee results.

A customer who is adamant that I should guarantee them some kind of ROI, is not a customer that I want to work with.

But I understand that these questions do come up, even if you do everything you can to qualify these types of customers out.

When customers talk about guaranteeing results, it’s best to be honest with them.

“I’m afraid not Mr customer. In our experience guaranteeing results only leads to inflated expectations, which are impossible to match however, what I can guarantee is that we will work on your business with you for as long as you need, to get you the growth and results that you’re looking for.”

Most customers are pretty reasonable when you explain to them you can and can’t guarantee stop it easy for me to say just turn the question around and ask them “do you guarantee your customers results?”.

But of course were trying to win sales here, not win arguments. So if you’re honest with your customers, and explain a true guarantee, such as a satisfaction guarantee. You’re more likely to win the sale, because you’re removing risk, as opposed to increasing false expectations.

I don’t work with customers who want guaranteed results

Finally, here’s why a customer would expect you, or is looking for guaranteed results.

This is also the reason that I tend not to work with low value customers, or low-budget customers it also is the reason I believe sales training should be taught in schools as early as 5 to 6 years old. And it’s all to do with confidence.

An entrepreneur or a business that is confident it can make sales. Is not worried about money even if cash flow is low, or profits are down, they’re able to generate sales for their business. When you have good sales training, make more sales.

Businesses that are able to make sales, are confident about the future of their business.

Businesses that aren’t confident with making sales, aren’t confident about their future.

They are worried about attracting new customers, and making sales. Which leads them to make reckless and dangerous decisions.

Gambling on stupid tactics. Risking the little money they have left on Hail Mary passes. They’re trying to solve a 3 year problem, in the space of one month.

This is why low value customers are so dangerous. Because the expectations are so high, because they aren’t confident in their own sales future. When a business is confident about their sales future, and their ability to make sales, they’re more likely to take long-term strategic marketing plans, and happily adjust them continuously to get the best results.

Businesses that are on their last legs are looking for a saving grace.

That saving grace should come from the owner or entrepreneur. But it really does due to laziness, fear. Instead, they are passing the problem of sales and capital on to you which is not your job

Strong results take lots of testing

When businesses are in the top 5% of their industry, they’ve got there through long-term, repeated and consistent action.

Businesses don’t get a 25% conversion rate and 500% return on ad spend overnight.

Anyone who has told you this is quite literally lying to you

every guru on YouTube and Facebook add, Lamborghini in the background, book reading and wanker who talks about the incredible returns they get their customers-is lying to you

interestingly, Frank Kern did A great interview with a lawyer on quotes earning disclaimers”. Explaining how even a well written and watertight earning disclaimer, won’t protect you outrageous claims.

It’s like you same bolts telling you how he managed to run the world’s fastest 100 m race. Without explaining to you that he is already an Olympic athlete, with years of training and practice behind.

Businesses that get these results do so, because they have failed for years beforehand.

That’s not to say you can’t learn from them, of course you can. But there is no elevator to the top. Everyone has to take the stairs.

Your job is not to save businesses

As a final builder, your job is to expand people’s audience, generates sales and help grow businesses. Your job is not to save failing businesses.

I’ve often said that an easy sale is not an easy customer.

You could find customers that I desperate for results, and their businesses on their last legs, easily.

They’ll believe anything you tell them, because they’re desperate for their business to survive.

But that doesn’t make an easy customer or project. That’s why CEOs are bought into failing companies and paid millions of dollars per year to turn them around. Because it’s an incredibly difficult task.

You’re a fantastic funnel builder

You’re also already a fantastic final builder. You’re reading this blog, which puts you in the top 1% of all marketing funnel businesses. And your capable and competent at building marketing funds.

You don’t need to guarantee results.

What you need to guarantee is satisfaction and working hard with your customers

instead of guaranteeing results to your customers, start guaranteeing you’ll work on your business.

Your confidence levels and your customers confidence in you, is what makes sales, not guaranteeing results.

The inability to guarantee results, does not make you a bad final builder.

Find your first funnel customer training

If you’re looking to sell a marketing funnel to your first customer, there’s a simple set of steps you can use, to make the process easier.

Even if you’ve already sold funnels to customers before, check out our free training on finding your first funnel customer, to see if there’s an easier way to generate leads and sales.

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You’re doing a great job

You doing a fantastic job, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If there is ever a marketing funnel builder that tells you, you must be able to guarantee results, send them my way and I’ll set them straight.

Hell, if you have a customer tell you the same thing, get them to send me an email. You’re doing a great job you don’t need to guarantee results. Unless you wannabe as infamous as Charles Ponzi.

There are customers out there who aren’t hard to work with

The customers that are breaking your balls on “guaranteeing results”, do not represent every customer out there.

You have the potential to help businesses grow, and change lives.

Search for customers that value you. Don’t work with low value customers, who tell you that everyone is like this. It’s kind of like being in an abusive relationship, because their bullying you into staying, when actually it’s much better out there.

There are literally thousands of customers out there, who will value your experience, respect your work and pay you a fantastic your job is to find them, not continue enabling low value customers.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.