In a nutshell, this entrepreneur had a very clear (and very clearly stated) guarantee policy on her sales letter, but she wanted to know what to do about people who wanted an “exception” made for them — specifically their lives changed since they bought the program (maybe they were in a car accident or their mother got sick or they had decided they decided they didn’t want to be an entrepreneur anymore and were getting a job) and now they wanted their money back even though it didn’t fit under the terms of the guarantee policy.
And when they were told no, they would sometimes get upset and say things like “well I thought you were heart-centered.”
Now, on the surface, this seems pretty cut and dried. There’s a clear guarantee/refund policy stated, therefore the entrepreneur was perfectly within her rights to turn them down and think nothing more about it.
However, not only did she decide to post this in the group but it ended up sparking a massive conversation/debate concerning all aspects of handling refund requests and guarantee policies, including why all this angst about refund requests is so common in the coaching/transformation industry.
And that’s what I wanted to talk more about — WHY is this such a hot button in this industry? In other industries, businesses have policies in place and in most cases simply follow them. They may occasionally make an exception, but overall the topic doesn’t come up very often. So, why is it such an issue in this industry?
My personal feeling is it’s because we’re bumping up against new ways of being in business and doing in business, and we’re not sure how to reconcile it all.
For instance, we could look at this as yes, just because we’re love-based, doesn’t mean we don’t have boundaries. In fact, precisely BECAUSE we’re love-based we DO have boundaries. Therefore, following a clearly stated guarantee policy is the perfect, right thing to do, no matter what the students try to argue (including saying something fairly shaming such as “I thought you were love-based.”)
But, I’d like to look a little deeper. WHY is this even question? Is it because, as love-based business owners, we haven’t completely bought into the idea that we SHOULD have boundaries? Is it because we feel like, since we are love-based and we do care, if someone comes to us with a sob story, we don’t have a heart if we don’t give them their money back? Or maybe we have a bit of the rescuer in us and this is our way of rescuing them. Or is it maybe we even still struggle with that little “I’m a fraud” feeling, and when we get one of these refund requests we think “Doh! They found me out.”
I’d like to invite you today to take a deeper look at your guarantees and refund policies. Really feel into them. Are they policies you feel good about? (As one entrepreneur said in that group discussion, would you feel good holding your family members to that guarantee?) And, while you’re at it, feel into the feelings that come up when someone does ask for an exception — what emotions come up? And what’s underneath those emotions?
Really feel and breathe into that. Because that, my friends, is what’s driving you. If you can start to integrate the deeper emotions, that’s when you’ll be in charge of your business, rather than your emotions being in charge.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this. And how you handle refund requests as well.
Until next time.