If I gave you something, would you feel obligated to give me something back? Of course you would. That’s reciprocity. We unconsciously feel obligated to give when we get. (If you don’t believe me, ask any woman who hates to cook and is invited for dinner at someone’s house. The first thing she thinks is, “Oh no. Now I have to cook!”)
Reciprocity is a very powerful selling tool. That’s why the promotional products industry is so powerful. Yet, I never understood why salespeople gave out the item at the end of the sales call. Why not give your item at the beginning? Create that sense of obligation when you start the sales call. That’s when you need it!
If you’re negotiating with someone, throw out the first offer. That’s a form of a gift. When someone comes to your office, give them something to drink. That’s another form of a gift. Time and choice are also forms of gifts that tap into our sense of obligation from reciprocity.
Think of other ways that you can incorporate the principle of reciprocity into your selling.