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Risk Reversal – Eliminate Your Customer's Fear

by Robert Boduch

The Mission...To remove any obstacle that stands in the way of a sale.

Most of us has at one time or another been ripped off by some unscrupulous individual or a business of dubious character. Because of this negative experience, we’ve become fearful of it happening again and so we’re very careful about with whom we do business.

Your prospects are no different. They fear being taken in some way. This fear often paralyzes them from making a buying decision. If the fear is too strong, they simply run for cover and avoid the potential pain.

Your job as a marketer is to remove all the obstacles that may be stopping people from buying. By eliminating, or at least significantly minimizing all the hurdles, you are in effect eliminating or reducing the effect of a prospect’s objections.

People want to buy. They want to say yes. They desire what you offer. But the fear can often curtail even a strong impulse to buy.

You can overcome this problem and improve your sales dramatically by removing the risk from your prospect/customer and assuming the risk yourself. In taking the risk away from your prospect, you make it easier for him to buy. And the less the prospect feels he is at risk, the more likely he is to want to do business with you.


You can remove the risk by offering a strong, money-back guarantee. Guarantees are a great way to relieve buyer anxiety and increase sales. The stronger the guarantee -- the more effective it is. A 90 day guarantee will usually produce more sales than a 30 day guarantee, and a one year guarantee is better than 90 days. The longer and stronger your guarantee, the more effective it will be in improving sales.

Another way to apply the risk-reversal principal is to offer a payment plan instead of requiring full payment up front. Three monthly payments of $34 is a safer bet than one payment of $100 for your customer, because he actually gets to try out your product before having committed the full amount for it. As a vendor, you’re assuming the risk – you’re assuming you’ll collect on all three payments.

A third example is to accept a post-dated cheque as payment. You’re assuming the risk because the buyer gets full advantage of the product for free, until the cheque is redeemable. There’s always the risk that you’ve accepted a bad cheque, but from the buyers point of view, you must have a solid product that delivers what you say to make such an offer.


You can implement this strategy by improving your existing guarantee. Extend the duration or remove unnecessary restrictions that weaken your guarantee. The more hassle-free you can make – the better.

If you can create a guarantee that is far superior to that offered by your competition, you’ll capture more sales and you’ll baffle them in the process! They’ll be astounded at your audacity, but more customers will flock to you because of it.

Most buyers today have come to expect guarantees, so you might as well offer the best guarantee in the business. Make your guarantee a prominent part of all your marketing communications. Guarantees make it easier to nudge an undecided prospect in your favor.

The interesting thing about guarantees is that with a solid product or service, you’ll rarely be called on to honor your guarantee anyway. People tend to relax and forget about it. The longer a guarantee, the more likely they’ll leave it for later, which means they’ll forget and never pursue it. This is no excuse for putting out products of suspect quality, it’s merely an interesting revelation about human nature. So, you might as well make it the most power-packed guarantee in the marketplace and enjoy additional sales because of it!

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About the Author:

Robert Boduch is an author of dozens of best-selling books, reports and articles on the art and science of selling. A free newsletter targeted at anyone interested in selling more of anything is available at

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