Why Guarantee Specific Outcomes:


by Burt Dubin on May 29, 2013


Why Guarantee Specific Outcomes:



Don’t market your services or your program. Market the outcomes you and your program deliver.

Reach ‘em where they live! Grab ‘em where the hair is short. Create a 2-prong penetration into your customer’s consciousness. Experience a double-edged blockbuster benefit.

First, guarantee specific outcomes. Don’t market your program. Instead, market what your customers identify as their desired outcomes of your program. Bingo!

Second, beat your promise, right from the gitgo. You gotta deliver when you market outcomes. So, give more than your previous best. Raise the bar again. And again. Raise the bar on you.

I’ve been doing this since Day One. Promise a real, measurable return on your client’s investment in your service. (Call it that. It’s not a fee. It’s an investment. It’s an investment in the outcomes of your work.)



Why market outcomes instead of programs? Because programs are commodities. Outcomes are not. Outcomes are far more valuable. For example, a $4000 program may easily expand to a $25,000 intervention.

Research the value of the desired outcome to the client. Then, when you’re with the person who can say yes, rub salt in the wounds of the way things are. Make it hurt.

Now, romance the outcomes you can deliver. Be an evangelist. Compare what they have now with what you are prepared to deliver. Ask which they prefer. The answer is obvious.

How about your handouts? They aren’t handouts any more. Now, they are Learning Guides. Prepare, for each person in your audience, something bound with more than a staple. Or 3-hole punched.

Or even in a 3-ring notebook. Make it a detailed paint-by-number System that, when wisely engaged, produces desired outcomes. Title it The _______________ System.

Or call it The ______________ __________ Operating Guide. Make it easier and more natural to succeed in creating desired outcomes. Build accountability for taking prescribed actions into this implementation instrument.

Some interventions may be beyond your skill level, beyond your experience level. Be judicious. Before you accept an assignment, consider whether you can guarantee desired outcomes. Don’t go in over your head.



Measurable outcomes:

Guarantee a real return. A measurable return. A bankable return.

Here’s an example. In the early 1980’s I delivered a lot of sales trainings. I guaranteed decision-makers a 12% increase in sales within 30 days of my program.

If they didn’t get this measurable result I’d come back for expenses only and do some more training free. This promise cost me nothing.

That’s because I not only showed my students how to paint mouth-watering, alluring, seductive (and true) pictures. Pictures of the benefits of the benefits their customers would enjoy after taking recommended actions.

Then I went well beyond that. I showed my students their personal benefits when they sold the way I modeled.

When you speak or educate, always cause your audience members to imagine, to picture, to envision, to visualize themselves experiencing their life after they do what you want them to do.

Like this: See yourself, you, reader (and I do mean you,) after you allow yourself to accept—and to don—the mantle of your true power. See yourself lighting up the faces of your audience members when you

illuminate them with your how-to’s and your why-to’s. See your audience members inspired. See them breathing hard. See them eager to get out there and use the ideas you gave them.

That vision you hold inside you enlivens the inner you. It reflects on the outer you. You carry yourself differently. You stand taller. You move more dynamically. The look in your eyes is more steadfast.

Your voice has a new and bolder ring. You reach people at a deeper level of their consciousness. You vivify your audience members.


Non-measurable outcomes

Some topics, (example: Managing Diversity), are hard to quantify. Let success be as seen through the buyer’s eyes. If the decision-maker who brought you in does not see the desired difference in performance, effectiveness and results, be willing to return and do more of what you do for expenses only.

There’s magic in this, real magic. You, having guaranteed your work, go the extra mile. You do your advance research with more care. You probe. You diagnose more deeply. You identify the points of pain.Then you prescribe with more care.

In your early discussions with the decision-maker, you may ask, How will we know this program is a success? What outcomes, outcomes we can see and touch, will tell us you got the value you desire? What will have improved after I do my job?

You then develop your program with even more care. The intervention you recommend may expand to include one-on-one, in-depth interviews with different management levels.

You, as the outside expert, may recommend an Executive Retreat to dig deeply into possible high-level policy changes. Why?

Without senior management buy-in, your training won’t stick. This Executive Retreat requires your presence, of course, as leader and moderator.



After your program for the troops, a Management Overview is appropriate. Why? Because, as Ivan said in a program at NSAA, it takes management/supervisors support after your program to keep the troops on course. The Management Overview naturally includes you as guide and facilitator!

Lavish your essence on delivering desired outcomes for all concerned. Arrange to be available to respond to audience members questions for a full year after you complete your work. And for down-the-road consultations with management as needed.

Develop a fee for your intervention based on the value to the client and not on the time you invest. This is called value-pricing. It’s the only way to go. After all, you’re the Doctor. Your client is investing in your experience, your know-how, and your wisdom, not in your time.



Blue-sky fantasy outcomes

Some problems are unsolvable at the level of the problem. The roots of the distress may be at a higher management level. There may be deeply seated philosophical challenges requiring major management surgery. Intervention may be appropriate at the Board level.

You may choose to recommend—or to bring in—a specialist to share the challenge.You may choose to decline an all-but-impossible assignment.



Take these profit-boosting actions now:

1. Resolve that effective now you do not market programs. You market outcomes exclusively. Outcome delineation is the source and the root system of six-figure speaking and consulting.

2. Target senior management exclusively. This level has the budget and the willingness to invest in the outcomes they want.

3. Pour your heart and your energy into in-depth pre-program research. You uncover hidden causes; you discover new insights; you create golden handcuffs; you get to know and understand the key players. What’s more, key decision-makers get to know and appreciate your true value.

4. Expand your speeches or workshops into interventions. Once you master this art form, you live your personal and professional life at a whole new level.

5. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Decline challenges that are over your head.

6. Produce graphic support tools that are works of art. Make these too valuable, too dense with wisdom, too physically handsome to toss out.

7. Set outrageous penetration goals for each target client. Your goals are in the service of your mission. Your missions are in the service of your destiny

Burt Dubin works with people who want to  be speakers  and with speakers who want to be masters.

Check out the wisdom of applying for Burt’s personal Mentoring.

Actions To Take:

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{ 1 comment }

Erik K. Gibson June 5, 2013 at 4:35 am

Once you have devised your programme outcomes, you need to make sure that their attainment is clearly achievable through the module outcomes on the programme. If your programme covers more than one level (such as a Bachelor’s degree) you may find it useful to break down the aims of the programme over the levels so that you can verify that students are progressively working towards the programme outcomes throughout the course.

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