I Want a Refund

June 19, 2019

“I want a refund.”

If you’ve been in business long enough, you’ve heard these four words.  And likely, you’re not too excited to hear them.

You’ve got the money in your bank account.  Maybe you’ve even begun to deliver the product or service.  Perhaps you’ve already incurred some expenses to deliver what was purchased.  And now they want their money back.  All of it.

Rather than working on what you do with the request, the better question is how can you eliminate them or at least reduce the refund requests you receive?  Is there a way to keep them from happening?


Refund requests happen because your customer has become frustrated.  Frustration happens because your customer believes there has been some unmet expectation.  The unmet expectation could occur because you promised something they didn’t receive or get fast enough.  It could happen because they believed something was to be delivered even though you didn’t make that commitment.

Your customers have expectations, expressed or not.

The source of the expectation can be found in several places.  Expectations happen because your customer made an emotional decision.  When the emotion wears away, there’s no logical foundation for their choice.

Perhaps a friend, colleague or spouse told them “that was stupid” after their purchase.  Emotional social validation of the purchase can trigger frustration.

Maybe they feel the product or service is too hard, beyond them after they’ve gotten a small taste.

Reduce or even eliminate the opportunity for frustration, and you’ll reduce or eliminate the request for a refund.

Try this…

Start your program or service rapidly after purchase.  If your program cannot start immediately, boost your communications to begin instantly.  Send some pre-program work for them to get started on.  Offer a bonus such as a consultation.

Engage rapidly.  The very first steps you take set the stage for what comes next from your customer.

Have you ever walked into a hotel room and the bed was yet to be made?  Or the bathroom hadn’t been cleaned?  You thought less of that hotel, didn’t you?  Perhaps you asked for a different room or even made a beeline to the desk to ask for a refund.

Your first impression wasn’t a good one.

Same holds true for your customers.

What is the first impression you make after the sale is made?  If you spend just a small amount of time boosting your first impression, refund requests could become a thing of the past.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams


P.S.  What more great tips and insights that propel your business?  You’ll find them in our new international best-selling book, Customertopia: How to Create an Easier, Simpler, More Profitable Business.

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May I Have This Dance?

June 12, 2019

The night of the 7th grade dance. You probably remember yours.

Boys standing awkwardly against the north wall of the gym. Girls against the south wall, pretending not to be looking at the boys.

One or two brave couples dancing together in the middle of the room.


It was love at first sight.

A boy and a girl lock eyes, and each knows that they were destined to be together. The boy gathers his courage, walks across the room and shyly asks, “May I have this dance?”  The girl nods and they begin dancing.

Flash forward to years later at their wedding. The song for their first dance? “Could I Have This Dance for the Rest of My Life?

It’s like that when you get perfectly clear about your ideal customer. You connect across a crowded room (or a crowded online space) and you just know….you were meant to work together.

Your first experience is so comfortable, it just feels right. And you move deeper into the relationship where they solve their problems and you fulfill your purpose.

Pay special attention to how you get ready for the dance of doing business. Make sure you look (and sound) like exactly what your ideal customer is looking for.

When they’re scanning the room, looking at the line of possibilities, you want to stand out…for their eyes to stay on you a little longer than they do on your competitors.

And you? You need to know exactly which one of those people on the other side of the room is the one you are meant to dance with. Then, you ask them to dance.

And if you’ve chosen well – and presented your best self – the dance is on!

When you continue listening to what your customer is saying, keep offering new and better things to meet their needs, the dance can go on for a long, long time.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams

Martha & Chris


This Isn’t Really Anti-Social

June 5, 2019

Social marketing has distorted the commonly-held beliefs about marketing.  Somehow in this internet/social marketing world, it’s overtaken us, gobbled up all our marketing efforts, slanted our view of what we should be doing.

Gurus make it seem so easy…like the only way to reach people is through social media. Or chat bots.

We’ve been conditioned to believe digital marketing is all of marketing.

It isn’t.

Social marketing isn’t the only way to reach your Ideal Customer.  It’s simply one way.

Nothing…and I mean NOTHING…will accelerate your results faster and more dramatically than when you begin to look at your marketing and sales programs in two distinct ways.


Two Ways to Prospects


Direct marketing and sales programs enable you meet, see or talk directly to your prospect.  They sit in front of you at an event or hear you speaking directly to them on a phone call. The person can see you, hear you and form an impression of you within seconds.  You’re in charge of the rules of engagement.

Indirect marketing and sales programs require an intermediary between you and your prospect.  Facebook is an intermediary.  LinkedIn is an intermediary.  Your website is an intermediary.  The person cannot see you or hear you without someone or something in between, always laying down the rules of engagement.

Certainly, there are pluses and minuses to both avenues.

Direct marketing often requires no skilled and knowledgeable team behind you.  It is inexpensive…often without any cost.  Yet, it requires you to “be out there” in front of a room of people or picking up the 2,000-pound phone to call. It demands you know what to say.

Indirect marketing enables you to operate behind a profile, an ad, or an on-line offer.  You might never have to speak with someone or pick up that heavy phone.  Yet, it usually requires a knowledgeable team to draft the ad and create the landing page.  You’ll need software to capture the leads, send the offer and follow-up with emails.  All that costs money.

The best, mature small businesses have marketing and sales program in both categories.  Brand new businesses find direct marketing and sales accelerates them the fastest, plus it matches their budget.

The tragedy today is too many small businesses have come to believe social marketing is the “only” marketing.  Now you see otherwise.

Examine your marketing efforts.  Note how many are direct and how many are indirect.  Do you have a good mix of both?  Are you leaning too heavily on social marketing?

What do your results look like for your efforts?

Mix up your marketing. Add some direct efforts into your work, and your results will perk up.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams

Martha and Chris