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Guarantees – A powerful sales tool

November 2, 2009

Guarantees reduce the risk for clients who are considering buying your services, and every business should use them.   However, very few business owners are willing to use dramatic Guarantees.

As a buyer, when someone offers a powerful Guarantee, it’s worth paying attention because it normally means they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is.

 So, when a potential client asked whether we guarantee a successful trade mark registration we gave it serious thought.  We wanted to be able to give such a dramatic Guarantee – especially because the vast majority of our applications proceed through to registration without any problems.

But while some companies might get away with promising the moon when chasing new business, only to risk breaking the promises later, a law firm can’t be cavalier about its promises and has to consider a number of other factors.  We have to make sure we can stand by any guarantee we give wholeheartedly.

In the end we decided against guaranteeing a successful trade mark for a variety of reasons.  For one thing third parties could object or oppose the application, so we would be guaranteeing something over which we have no control. It might be appropriate to give a dramatic guarantee like successful registration if we had created the name for a business, but if all we are doing is registering a name then it is less logical to guarantee its successful registration.  But an even more important reason for not giving the guarantee was our realisation that the client would lose out as there is an inherent risk of loss of impartiality.

What happens when companies guarantee trade marks is that their guarantees are subject to a satisfactory search outcome.  If the search is not satisfactory then they do not guarantee the registration.  So, if during the search they come across anything negative (and many names do carry some risk because the registers are overcrowded) the company will give the mark a poor prognosis for a successful registration.  It is then not in the company’s interest to give real guidance about the extent of the risks because if it were to say, ‘such and such poses a theoretical risk but is unlikely to be a real issue’ then the client would be thinking, ‘Well in that case why won’t you guarantee the registration then?”  To protect itself the service provider will tend to only guarantee the really safe jobs – hoping for the best that third parties will not object or oppose those applications (statistically the chances of such third party objections is not high).

The client could therefore end up without a guarantee, and also without an expert search and opinion, unsure about the reality of the risks.  The client also fails to get advice on whether any adjustments might have been made to the name to increase the chances of a successful registration.  So, a powerful trade mark registration guarantee has the undesirable downside of not giving the client what they need from the service provider. The reason for going to a professional in the first place is lost sight of in the process.

So we decided not to guarantee anything that carried a risk of conflict of interest.  Instead, in designing Guarantees we will focus on matters we can control such as on-time delivery, specific levels of performance, and client satisfaction.  There will be negative consequences for us if we don’t deliver.

As it does dramatically increase new business to give powerful Guarantees here is an example of a dramatic Guarantee which we will be giving for our seminar on 29-30 January 2010.

‘We are so confident that Azrights Creating, Promoting, and Protecting your Online Brand seminar will meet your expectations – and even EXCEED them, that we are making you an unprecedented deal.

After the FIRST HALF DAY of Creating, Promoting, and Protecting your Online Brand if you decide there’s nothing we can teach you, and that we cant help your business grow – let us know and we’ll refund you the difference of your ticket price for the remaining 1.5 days of the event. How much easier and SAFER could we make it? How much more could we possibly say to stand by the value generating QUALITY of our event?