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Question: You spoke about buying a system back or giving money back to avoid an issue or negative comments in the market, but at what point do we as business owners stand up and push back? With Google and social media, the customers now have complete control, do we give them our financial control as well?

Weldon Long; EGIA faculty member and New York Times Bestselling Author:

I don’t look at it as financial control. I’m in control of the entire process. My job is to make them feel like they’re in control.

When they feel in control, they’re a lot easier to deal with. But I’m in control of the entire process, make no mistake about it.

The bottom line is, whenever I give a refund to a customer, there’s a very specific way that we do it.

“Mr. Homeowner, we understand that you’re upset. We tried to fix it. We just can’t make you happy. So, what I want to do is to extend our offer of executing our buy-it-back guarantee, which means we’re going to come remove the system or maybe a portion of the system.”

“We’re going to issue you a check for a 100% refund,” usually there’s some offer, “How about we refund you $1,000 and we part as friends?” Usually, that will work. Rarely, if ever, do we buy a full system back.

“Here’s what we’ll do, Mr. Homeowner. I’m going to come out and bring the check to you, all I need from you is a letter that states we honored our guarantee in the details.

Now, I’m asking for a testimonial letter right now but I don’t call it that because they’re in no mood to give me a testimonial right now. I want a letter that shows that we honored our guarantee in the details.

So, they’ll write a letter that says their system broke down and we didn’t fix it, we brought their check back and that we executed on the agreement.

That’s a testimonial letter to me because I’m going to polish the edges of a little bit. It’s one of the most powerful marketing tools that I have. Every dollar that I’ve ever spent on refunding, I look at as a marketing expense. It gets charged off as a marketing expense, not a refund.

I guarantee, you write somebody a check for $10,000 and you build that into the culture and you make that the foundation of your sales agreement, you’ll sell $10,000,000 off of that $10,000 refund.

It’s the best marketing money you’ll ever spend.

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