Before you commit to a relationship, you date.

Dating allows for discovery. Is this person who he or she claims to be? Could I see myself with this person long term? Are we a good pair?

The same commitment-free discovery process should be permissible in business. Offer a money-back guarantee.

Think of it this way, if the lucky person you were dating was completely crazy and didn’t want to date you anymore, you’d let that person go. It’s his or her loss anyway.

If a client comes to you and is completely dissatisfied, you’d give that client a refund, right? My suggestion is to use this to your advantage and offer the guarantee upfront. This accomplishes a few things:

  • Gets customers in the door— Most clients are forced to marry their service provider before they date. Understandably, it’s this front-end commitment that scares away prospective clients. When you offer a money-back guarantee, clients can date you and then decide if they want to seal the deal.

With this commitment-free atmosphere, customers will be saying, Why not? If nothing else I’ll get a free meal. And let’s face it; once they go on a date with you, and see all you have to offer, they’ll never leave your side.

  • Improves your business— Since your client isn’t forced to marry you, you can’t “let yourself go.” When your client can leave at anytime, you must constantly deliver and keep the romance alive.

This is good for business. It forces you to continually improve and prove your value, which strengthens your union with your existing client and makes you a better catch for prospective clients.

But Andy, couldn’t this backfire? You’re allowing customers to choose if they want to pay their bill. Even if you do prove your value, clients could take the free meal and leave.

In my 20 plus years in business, a customer has never cashed-in his or her money-back guarantee. If it were to happen, it would be worth it.

The number of clients who decide to come on board because they have nothing to lose and then evolve into loyal paying customers, far outweighs the number of bad seeds who weren’t looking for anything serious. Plus, it’s best those bad seeds are weeded out.

If a client continually cashes in their money-back guarantee, without valid reasoning, you don’t have to continue to do business with him or her. You can focus your time and attention to those clients who appreciate you.

If you offer your clients a guarantee, I guarantee you’ll have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


This article originally appeared in The Tennessean 

Photo credit:  <a href=””>Adrian Dreßler</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>