Business owners and entrepreneurs often tap into the law of reciprocity without knowing it.
They’re inherently pre-programmed to participate in the worldwide truth of give and receive. While there are those out there in this world who take take take, the vast majority of us swing to the other side of the scale and give give give.
Ever heard the quote its better to give than receive?
Sure you have! Not sure if its true because invariably when you give you do receive – it’s the law of reciprocity.
Whether you give time, knowledge, money or even tangible things you get it back tenfold.
Lets take a look at this law in action!
Influence and Reciprocity
If youve been in business for any length of time or even if youve just begun to research business models and strategies you’ve likely come across Dr Robert Cialdini and his laws of persuasion and influence.
They are, in no particular order,
– Commitment and Consistency – If people commit, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment. This is used often in sales. A sales person gets the potential customer to agree to a few ideas and thus sets the tone for the sale.
– Social Proof – People will do things that they see other people are doing. The bandwagon mentality. If other people are doing it then there must be some value or benefit to it.
– Authority – People will tend to obey authority figures. Establish credibility and authority and people will be more likely to buy from you.
– Likeability – People are easily persuaded by other people that they like.
– Scarcity – Perceived scarcity will generate demand. Buy now only 10 left enough said!
– Reciprocity – People tend to return a favor. This is often used in internet marketing by giving people lots of good content. Were talking books, reports, even products or at least trial versions of products.
The law of reciprocity at its most basic level tells us that if we give our prospects and customers something, whether it is a free product or service, excellent customer service, or even something as basic as tons of valuable information on a website or blog, then they will return the favor and make a purchase. Its a law that many business owners and entrepreneurs tap into without realizing it. They do it unconsciously.
Networking and Reciprocity
That being said, the law of reciprocity doesnt stop there. It extends to your community both your personal community and your professional community.
When you participate in your local community, whether it is through your church, through your childs school, your local community education program, local team sports, your home owners association, the homeless shelter, your communitys cultural events and so on, youre volunteering your time. Youre sharing your knowledge and experience with those who can most benefit from it.
For example if you own a business teaching copywriting strategies you can give back to the community by teaching free marketing writing courses through your local community education program or free university. You can assist at the junior high or high school and help during writing labs or workshops.
So how does the law of reciprocity work if youre volunteering your time in your community?
It just does. Not very scientific, right? Well the truth of the matter is that when youre out and about meeting people and sharing your knowledge and experience you meet people who need your knowledge and experience and are willing to pay for it. You meet people who are interested in your products and services and you meet people who present valuable business building opportunities.
Its basic networking without the focus being about your or your business. In fact, in my experience if you go out to help others with the idea that youre going to get something back monetarily it doesnt work. Instead, go out and help others, give back to your community and enjoy the feel good rewards you receive. The wealth will follow naturally.
The same holds true if when you are networking professionally. However instead of shaking hands and kissing babies with the hope that these same folks will come knocking at your metaphorical door (unless you own a brick and mortar business then its not so metaphorical?) connect with fellow business owners and entrepreneurs in an effort to education and to learn. Networking by and large is about sharing knowledge and helping each other become better.
When you network professionally the more charitable your approach the more you will receive. In todays competitive marketplace the ones who survive long term are transparent and authentic.
The Universal Law of Reciprocity
The universal law of reciprocity pulls us out of our day to day actions, our day to day giving and receiving and puts it in the hands of whatever you believe is out there affecting your life God, The Universe, an energetic force – it doesnt really matter because the law is the same. When you give, you receive.
It isnt a matter of faith. You dont even have to believe in this law for it to be true. In fact if you go into the world giving and expecting something back then its just not going to be as effective. If you look at each good deed you do as a money in the bank well youre taking all the fun out of it. Instead, rest assured with the knowledge that every time you give you will receive.
Seriously. This isnt some new fangled spiritual, hippy, approach to wealth. People have embraced and prospered with this knowledge for centuries.
So how can you use the law of reciprocity to prosper?
Become conscious of it. Know that it is an influential factor in sales. When you give away value, people are inclined to reciprocate. That means integrate it into your sales and marketing strategy and tactics. Use the law of reciprocity to influence your customers and prospects.
Network. Get out and get involved both in your personal life and in your professional life. The people that you meet are wide open doors of opportunity. Greet them as such and be an opportunity for them. The wealth you will receive both personal and tangible were talking about both the joy of giving as well as the joy of the monetary benefits you will receive, will astound you.
Finally, simply accept that the law of reciprocity works. Dont force it. Enjoy it. Sit back from time to time and ask yourself Am I giving enough? Take stock in the opportunities that have come your way simply by giving. And then make a plan to give more.
The law of reciprocity is always in motion. Dont let it slip between your fingers use it to generate the great wealth you deserve.
To Your Success!
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