August 15, 2016
How to respond to “Do you guarantee your work?”
If a prospect comes straight out and asks if you guarantee your work or offer refunds, it probably means that they don’t wholeheartedly believe that you are capable of delivering the desired results. This is a sign that you need to add more “street cred” (aka social proof) to your marketing, and do a better job uncovering value in your initial sales call.
That said, you do need to decide if and how you will offer guarantees in order to prepare for questions like:
“Will you refund our money if we are not happy with your work?”
How and when to offer guarantees for the kinds of work that software developers typically do is a touchy subject. I offer different sorts of guarantees for different sorts of services.
- Software projects - Case by case, but usually my guarantee is along the lines of “I’ll keep working until we’ve reached the stated goals” rather than “I’ll refund your money.” (This only works if you give a fixed price for the project, of course.)
- Monthly retainers - I offer full refund at any time during the first month to make sure we’re a good fit. No refunds after that.
- Private speaking gigs - I do not offer refunds, even if client cancels prior to the event. They are allowed to reschedule at no charge, however.
- Online training classes - No refunds, but student can retake for free.
For fairly fixed scope dev work (e.g., a productized service) that I can finish quickly, I’d offer a 100% money back guarantee on my sales page.
(I’d also price the service accordingly, but that’s another story.)
So, for something like a half day of SQL performance tuning, I’d offer a 100% money back guarantee if my work didn’t improve their condition.
I see this type of service as analogous to bringing my car to a mechanic to have it tuned up... if the car is still running rough when I leave, I’d expect them to either redo the work or refund my money.
Do you hate tracking your time? Of course you do... Hourly Billing Is Nuts.