ReciprocitySelling is perceived to be the toughest profession.  But on the flip side each one of us is a salesperson.    Every day we sell; we sell ideas and we sell products.

Salesperson is taught sales process, negotiation skills, proposal writing and objective lessons of selling.  But customers in their overloaded life take short cuts to making decisions.  And these shortcuts are abstract lessons called INFLUENCERS.  Having said that most organization miss on these abstract lessons wherein you influence people to move towards you.  For example will a mint influence TIP value when you visit a restaurant?  Study says that when a waiter puts in a mint the tip goes up by 3.4% and if he places two mints;  tips Quadruples.   Surprisingly if the waiter places a mint and pretends to leave and then turns back saying that you are a special customer and here is the second mint.  The tips shoot up to 23%.  He has influenced your decision for bigger tip and this is called LAW OF RECIPROCITY.

LAW OF RECIPROCITY:  It basically says that when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted urge to do something nice in return.   It’s in our DNA; we feel obligated to return gift or behavior we have received from others.  The research also says the more unexpected the favour;  the bigger is the return.   And the people who violate the principal are despised by the society.   Zig Ziegler – the great motivational speaker rightly said that “if you want to succeed in life help enough people succeed” which is reiterating the LAW OF RECIPROCITY and its application is limited by your imagination.  Let me share few ideas that you can implement with your customers or prospects

  1. Don’t sell but find opportunities wherein you can genuinely gift or help your customers.  That is like making a deposit in your account.
  2. Share new piece of business information.
  3. Share new product announcements.
  4. Help him with his personal problem such as getting his son admitted to school, referring his kids for job, giving him shopping coupons or even dropping him home when his car is in the garage.
  5. Send him greeting cards recognizing his important dates such as birthday, wedding anniversary, his promotion and others.
  6. Any kind of genuine favour will work wonders.
  7. For maximum impact  make your favour UPS ie. Unexpected; Personnel and Special.
  8. When sending a gift big or small; gift wrap it.  Hire professionals for gift wrapping ideas.
  9. ACTION PLAN: Every morning plan and help your customer or prospects.  Repeat the exercise for next 30 days till it becomes a habit.  And suddenly you will observe pay back.  Customers and prospects coming back to repay you with additional sale.
  10. Now there is a twist;  when you extend help or service and the recipient says THANK YOU.  There is a moment of power just after he says THANK YOU.  This window allows you to put in a request or call it foot in the door for a sale such as requesting for a referral or recommendation letter.
  11. Similarly there is moment of power when he says NO to your larger request.  When he says NO to your larger request, he feels bad, it’s like cobra strike and that’s the moment you can put in a smaller request.
  12. Caveat:  be honest, sincere and genuine in your transactions because customers are no fool.

Hence sit down and decide what gift or service you will extend to your customer tomorrow.  And remember when someone says THANK YOU or NO to your larger request there is a moment of power just after that;  call it foot in the door use it or lose it.