Craig Garber is known as the King of Copy. I enjoy reading emails from him because they always tend to resonate. The most recent email I received from him included this:
So last weekend I was up in Orlando in one of those
mom-and-pop tourist shops. I was pretty
astounded when I saw a sign in BIG BOLD letters right in the front when you
walk in, that said “NO CASH REFUNDS.”
I couldn’t believe someone would approach their business
and be as concerned about their customer’s experience with as much tact as a
spammer selling high-end timepieces, but there it was, right in front of me.
Of course, the big problem here is that you’re alienating
your customers before they’ve even had an opportunity to start a relationship
with you. There’s no seduction here, and
as you know, sales is all about seduction.
And the best way to make sure people are available and
open to being “seduced” or persuaded, is to make sure they’re open to
YOU as a sales person in the first place.
Making someone feel defensive, and having them question your business
practices (“Why can’t I return something I buy here? Are there problems with what he sells?)
doesn’t make people open, it makes them guarded and defensive.
That’s why one of the SMARTEST things you can do is to
not only allow returns, but to make sure your customers know you allow
returns. After all, if you’re OK with
this, the natural conclusion is that your prospects have nothing to worry about,
they’re less defensive, and most important — they are open to being
I know what Craig is saying, and it reminds me of the OPPOSITE reaction one might have at Trader Joe’s – where they ENCOURAGE you to try new products, and return anything if you don’t like it. Simple. When my husband and I are looking at new wines, for example – we see what we can get at Trader Joe’s, knowing that it is not a big risk if we determine we don’t like it.
We didn’t like the low-end Charles Shaw wines but we find many new products at Trader Joe’s simply because they took the risk away, they encourage us, and welcome us every time we’re there.
Yesterday we stopped at Walgreen’s – and got that negative feeling again. I had to show I.D. when using a credit card – something I sure don’t do at Costco – it’s a little thing, but coupled with feeling like I was interrupting a conversation between clerks rather than being a customer — it reminds me that I do have choices on where to spend my dollars.