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Offer a Guarantee for Added Client Confidence

I can feel the chill in the air. You’re thinking, “Guaranteeing a lawyer’s services? You must be crazy.”
Sears built a retail empire on six words, “Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back.” Today, most online and offline retail stores and mail-order companies give you a prompt refund, exchange or credit for anything you buy that doesn’t meet your expectations.

You may be familiar with these, which I copied from their websites:
You Can Count On It: The L.L. Bean Guarantee “Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We will replace it, refund your purchase price or credit your credit card. We do not want you to have anything from L.L. Bean that is not completely satisfactory.”
Here at omahasteaks.com, we stand behind our products ... “If you are not absolutely thrilled with your purchase from us for any reason at all–we’ll replace your purchase or refund your money, whichever you prefer.”
“When you order from omahasteaks.com, your satisfaction is always unconditionally guaranteed ... so you can order with complete confidence. If at any time you have problems with an order, simply contact Customer Service. Our Toll-Free phone number is 1-800-228-9572.

Imagine you are the prospective client. You have the field narrowed down to three attorneys. One guarantees his service in writing. Which lawyer would you hire?
A guarantee gives you a substantial competitive advantage over other lawyers who would never dream of guaranteeing anything.
The important thing is what you guarantee to do: refund their money, reduce your fee, correct the situation.

When you can’t guarantee the outcome of a case, let’s look at what you can guarantee. To be a meaningful competitive advantage, guarantee things that concern your prospects and clients. And since this is for marketing purposes, you want the guarantee to be as broad and all-inclusive as possible. Here are a few examples, with sample language you might use in your guarantee.
We guarantee the quality of our legal services. You can be sure that all legal work that comes from this office will be of the highest caliber. If you ever find anything that does not meet your needs or expectations, please bring it to our attention. We will correct the situation immediately.
We guarantee to return phone calls promptly. For a positive, productive lawyer/client relationship, we must communicate openly and freely with each other. We promise to return your phone call within two hours. If the lawyer you want to reach is in trial or otherwise detained, his secretary will call you and schedule a time when you can speak with him.
We guarantee the fee we quoted you. No one likes financial surprises. That’s why on every project we will provide you with a written fee quote. No matter how long it takes us, it will never cost you one penny more. Once we quote a fee, we stick to it, no matter what. You can depend on it.
And so forth. You could look at everything you offer clients, and then put that in the form of a written guarantee.

What’s next?
You could go as far as offering a money-back guarantee for fees. Yes, it does happen. In years past, three of my clients have said in so many words either you like what I do or I’ll refund your money. I’m not aware that a penny has ever been refunded, but their clients sure felt good knowing the lawyer would return their money if they asked.
Usually, the value of a money-back guarantee is so great that you should seriously consider offering one. The point is, you might double the number of clients you attract just by offering the guarantee. And even if you do issue a refund once in a while, the fees you earn from your new clients would greatly surpass the amount you return.
Also, remember, if you offer a guarantee and then decide it was not a good idea, you can always go back to your previous policy. So, don’t feel the guarantee is etched in stone. It’s for as long as you wish, and nothing more.

I urge you to put your guarantee in writing and make it an integral part of your marketing materials and website.
Accountability is often lacking in business today, especially in the area of professional services. You create a substantial competitive advantage for yourself and your firm when you write down all the things you guarantee to provide your clients.
Then when you promote your guarantee—asserting that you do it for your clients’ protection—prospects will see immediately one more important way you differ from other lawyers.
And emphasizing your competitive advantages is what marketing’s all about.

Trey Ryder

Trey Ryder specializes in Education-Based Marketing for lawyers. He offers three free articles by e-mail: 11 Brochure Mistakes Lawyers Make, Marketing Moves Most Lawyers Miss, and 13 Marketing Misconceptions That Cost Lawyers a Fortune. To receive these articles, send your name and e-mail address to trey@treyryder.com and ask for his free packet of marketing articles.

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Filed Under: Featured StoriesMarketing

About the Author: Trey Ryder specializes in Education-Based Marketing for lawyers. He offers three free articles by e-mail: 11 Brochure Mistakes Lawyers Make, Marketing Moves Most Lawyers Miss, and 13 Marketing Misconceptions That Cost Lawyers a Fortune. To receive these articles, send your name and e-mail address to trey@treyryder.com and ask for his free packet of marketing articles.

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