The Law of Reciprocity

Hello! Today I want to talk to you using a law of influence that salespeople often miss and it is something that has been taught by Dr Robert Cialdini in one of his influence books – the Law of Reciprocation.

What the Law of Reciprocation teaches us is that when someone does something nice for us, we feel obligated to do something nice for them.

What I want to explore today is how you can apply this in generating more clients for your digital marketing, social media marketing or any other business.

We make a common mistake in our outreach, whether it is via email or when we are calling prospective clients. The mistake is that we try to sell to them from the get-go, without really understanding their problems.

So how can we apply the Law of Reciprocation in our outbound activity?

You will see a lot of professionals, such as accountants or lawyers provide a free consultation. What they hope to gain from that is that by providing value in advance from the consultation, you will trust them, you will like them, and you would do business with them.

If you look at the free consultation model, I would argue that it has pretty much been done to death. That is why a lot of business owners have started ignoring offers of free consultations. Their inbox is full of marketers offering a free consultation.

What you should be doing is looking at how you can be provide value in advance without conducting another free consultation.

Now, there’s quite a few different ways to do that and one of the ways that I have done this is I go out and I look for businesses that are spending good money on advertising and driving traffic to their website.

This could be people who are advertising online using Google AdWords, Facebook or even using offline methods to drive traffic to their website.

What I like to analyse is the user journey when somebody lands on their website.

Often what I find is that small business owners [and even larger businesses] don’t think from a user’s perspective in terms of how difficult or easy it is to navigate through their websites, to complete a form or to make a purchase.

So what I like to do is look at that journey, audit that journey and once I have audited the journey I would go back to the business owner or whoever the decision maker is cand I like to set up an initial call, where my approach is that I have been looking at some of your pages from a customer’s perspective. I was doing this search as a customer and I came across your website and have found some issues that I would like to discuss with you.

If you have got a spare 15-20 minutes, I will make sure that you stop wasting your money on ineffective advertising.

Now if you do this step correctly, they will probably ask you how they could fix this or “how can you help me fix this?”

This is one example of how the Law of Reciprocation works! You provide value upfront, build that rapport to the point where the business owner feels compelled to work with you.