A Case For Guarantees and Endorsements
As we market our products, we're always trying to find ways to make our messages more convincing than those of our competitors. In thinking about this recently, I realized that two of the most convincing ways to communicate are the use of guarantees and endorsements.
Over the years, I've often used guarantees and endorsements but realized, as I thought about it the other day, that I haven't been using them lately as often as I should.
Why a guarantee? When you guarantee your product, you're saying to the public that you are so confident that they will like it that you're willing to refund their money if they aren't completely satisfied. This promise builds believability in the minds of prospects. The typical prospect thinks, “It must be good if they're willing to refund my money if I'm not completely satisfied.”
Many are afraid of giving a guarantee. Over the years, I've recommended the use of guarantees to many of my clients but was surprised at how many are deathly afraid of the concept for fear that people will take advantage of them. I've been involved in giving guarantees on many occasions and can say without a doubt that this is rarely a problem.
Because of the fear that the public will take advantage of them, some wrap guarantees in so many restrictions that the effectiveness of the guarantee is diminished. The public just doesn't want to be involved in guarantees that are so complicated and time-consuming that they aren't considered worth the trouble.
Testimonials/endorsements are effective. When someone else says something good about you, it's more believable than you saying something good about yourself. Almost every retail product being sold on television uses endorsements to sell.
SalesPro, the successful sales automation software company, typically provides prospects with a whole page of endorsements as part of the proposal. Each gives a short description of the company, the name and title of the person giving the endorsement and a meaningful quote that indicates how SalesPro fulfills the key needs of the customer.
Ratings and awards. Outside rating organizations such as Mobil, AAA, J.D. Power and others give you the perfect opportunity to use high ratings you receive to convince prospects and customers of your product's value.
The problem is that many hotels don't use the ratings to their full advantage in their advertisements, brochures and letterhead. If you've received the Mobil 4-Star award, tell the world about it in every way possible.
A slightly different twist. Years ago, when opening the Marco Polo Club at the Waldorf=Astoria, I learned a valuable lesson that I have used more than once since.
We developed a slate of well-known New York area officers and board of directors whose names we printed on the letterhead of the club. There's no question that anyone receiving that letter inviting them to join our new private luncheon club was impressed when they saw the names of the president of American Airlines, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, the most famous broadcaster of the time, Lowell Thomas, and a dozen other very well-known New York corporate names. We started receiving initiation checks sight unseen and sold out the club before the doors opened three months later.
Let's learn from those who promote their products all around us that every one of our messages should use endorsements and guarantees in some way to make our messages more convincing.
A good place to start is to outline the guarantee and endorsement philosophies and action steps throughout your 2006 marketing plan.
Tom McCarthy, CHME, CHA, spent half his career with Hilton and Marriott in sales, advertising and public relations and half in his own training and consulting business, Hotel Professional Education and Consulting of Falls Church, VA. He is a past president of Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and is a member of the HSMAI Hall of Fame.
Reprints and Licensing
© 2014 Penton Media Inc.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus
Enter a City:
Select a State:
Select a Category: