In Reciprocity

Reciprocity, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistDoes ethical bribe still work? How does the concept of reciprocity help you in generating more sales? Believe it or not, there are some social triggers that actually cause people to buy from you whether they like you or not. And that’s part of human nature. All this and more in our episode today.

The 7/11 Experience

I went to a local gas station the other day.I was going to buy a bottle of water but the whole system was down. There were three other stations around this area but I chose this primarily because of convenience. It was located on the side of the direction I was headed. So I went across the street where there was another gas station and I went over to 7/11. This gentleman behind the counter was super nice and we chatted as I was trying to check out.

After I got two bottles of water, a quick snack, and some gas, he took the plastic bag and handed it to me in a way that I can grab the handle easily, holding it with two hands, and he told me sincerely, “You’re a good man. God bless you.” Man, it was the way he said it. It was a very simple gesture. He simply thanked me but it was that sincerity that came through.

Customers Buy From Who They Know, Trust, and Like

I’ve read this concept before that if people give you a sincere compliment, you tend to feel a certain kinship or some kind of obligation towards that person and they become more favorable in your sight. This simple act made me think that I should come back here and I should be telling more people about it. I want to come back. I want to see him again. He made me good about myself. He made me feel good about spending money in his store.

Before, my criteria of purchase were based on convenience to me. Now, I’d have to consider whether they are like that guy at 7/11 across the street. Their price might be a little higher but he’s a nice guy so I’d chose to purchase from him.

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The Concept of Reciprocity –  A Social Trigger

When you go above and beyond your call of duty., this makes your customers feel some kind of obligation towards you. This concept is in the book, The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld.  And this book, David mentioned this study done by behavioral scientist Dennis Regan where he found that if people were given an unsolicited bottle of Coca-Cola just before they made a purchase for raffle tickets, they purchased twice as many raffle tickets as opposed to those who weren’t given a bottle of Coke. It was no longer a matter of whether they liked him or not but it was because of this obligation that they felt the need to reciprocate what was given to them. This person did something for me, so I should do something for them.This is a social trigger that’s part of the nature of human beings.

It was no longer a matter of whether they liked him or not but it was because of this obligation that they felt the need to reciprocate what was given to them. This person did something for me, so I should do something for them.This is a social trigger that’s part of the nature of human beings.

Do Bribes Still Work?

Yes, it does. I used to work in the medical field where we would normally give customers game tickets, food, flowers, little trinkets and whatnot. In my mind, it was a waste of money. But remarkably, it worked. It doesn’t matter what you give but it’s the fact you gave something. This pushes the individual to think that they need to give something back in return.

Strategies for giving value even before the sales process:

  1. Give out content.

Do research and come up with content, for example, 15 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Car or whatever is related to your business.

  1. Think outside the box.

A previous guest here on the show did a research on the potential prospects, specifically how many people were there in the marketing department. He went to Starbucks, brought some drinks and wrote their names on it. He then gave those to the security to deliver it. As a result, he was able to schedule a meeting with them. All this because there was something he gave prior to the selling process.

My friend, Jared Easley, sent a ball in the mail to a famous author and this author then he was able to connect with him. It wasn’t because of this author like the ball, but it was this simple gesture that made Jared stand out.

  1. Find out something they appreciate the most.

Go to Amazon and look for something they may like and send it to them. It could be a baseball hat or something representing their favorite football team. If the deal is totally worth it, go out your way to look for things. It’s this social trigger that happens to human beings.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Think outside the box. What kind of value can you bring to the table in the early decision process? Are you able to provide key insights before starting the process?

Episode Resources:

Join our online workshop this week, 5 Simple Strategies to Increase Your Win Rate and get real stuff you can apply and implement into your business!

Dennis Regan’s Study on Reciprocity

The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

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Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, r/sales subreddit