“Can you guarantee your work?”
Surely you’ve heard this before. The answer, of course, is a large and resounding “no.”
That doesn’t mean there’s no way to predict a reasonable range of outcomes. A lack of a guarantee isn’t the same as cluelessness. You’re not clueless.
You’re in control of yourself and your process, and have stories you can share that demonstrate the results you get. These are not the same as guarantees, but they’re quite a bit different than blind guesses or coin flips.
The problem with guarantees is that there is too much out of your control. In any consulting engagement, your client is busy doing other things, and so are plenty of other companies. Tastes change. Markets change. And technology is perhaps the biggest disruptor and change agent of all.
The short of it is this: who could possibly make any guarantees? That’s not how life works.
Your job as a service provider is to inform your potential client about the possible risks and rewards through honest, careful assessment. Ultimately, it’s up to them to make their own financial decisions.
But no, you can’t and shouldn’t guarantee your custom consulting work.