Nov 23, 2018
Reciprocity is the perfect topic
to talk about this time of year. Today’s behavioral economics
podcast is another foundations episode, and it’s all about
reciprocity. I explain how our brains process gift giving and why
we often give reciprocal gifts of higher value than the original
I talk about how reciprocity can
be used in your business and how it relates to generating leads. I
also share insights into Sheldon's theory of reciprocity on one of
my favorite shows The Big Bang Theory. I talk about how our
subconscious really feels about gift giving, three ways to use
reciprocity in your business, and more.
- [10:07] Ways to use reciprocity
in your business.
- [10:23] Reciprocity is what
happens when someone gives you something (whether you wanted it or
not, whether you really value it or not) and you feel obligated to
give them something in return.
- [11:37] One thing I really
appreciate about The Big Bang Theory (and Sheldon in general) is
how they apply complex scientific concepts in ways that they are
funny and relatable (although a little extreme of
- [12:22] Sheldon says, "I know
you think you’re being generous, but the foundation of gift-giving
is reciprocity. You haven’t given me a gift, you’ve given me
- [13:22] In reality, our brains
overestimate the value of the gifts we're given and
- [13:47] Tips go up when
customers are given a mint with their check. The gift of kindness
and a little effort goes a long way.
- [16:50] The subconscious feels
obligated to pay back for gifts it receives and it often gives back
more than it received.
- [17:10] Reciprocity presents
itself in many ways. I'm going to talk about three main categories:
the free gift, the small ask on the path to something bigger, and
the big ask to get something more realistic.
- [17:22] The free gift is like
mints or a lead magnet or the free content I put out on my blog and
- [19:15] The Brainy Business is
about providing strategy to make messaging more effective and
impactful. I've had many listeners reach out to me about partnering
after listening to my show. If you’re interested, I’d love to hear
from you too!
- [20:20] Free samples are also
great for things that are a little obscure. Samples have another
benefit of dopamine release with anticipation.
- [22:56] The free gift of a
sample for something that people might be hesitant about trying
(but you know is amazing) is a great double whammy of reciprocity
and the dopamine release with anticipation.
- [23:06] Reciprocity and free
gifts are often used when asking for donations.
- [25:35] Some other examples of
“free gifts” are sales or discounts. Sales and discounts need to be
offered strategically and not as a crutch.
- [28:02] I share a quick story
of how giving out gum made my high school life a little bit
- [29:46] My friend Nikki Rausch,
Your Sales Maven, has written several books on relationship selling
and she speaks on this around the country. One of her tips is to be
of service to other people.
- [30:39] A small ask to get
something bigger. Giving someone a button and a yard sign is more
likely to influence them to vote for you then just asking for the
vote. This is because of the escalation of commitment.
- [33:06] When asking for a
donation cold turkey, there's a good chance they will say no.
Asking someone like a store owner to put a small sign in the window
will actually influence them to donate to you.
- [34:34] This is because of the
“foot-in-the-door” technique which creates a small shift in the way
a person thinks.
- [35:26] This is also why
loss-leaders work in business.
- [37:19] You start with a BIG
(and somewhat ridiculous or unreasonable) ask to make the thing
want to ask for seem more
reasonable and appealing.
- [39:27] An example of using a
big ask to get volunteers on a college campus.
- [42:41] One obvious place to
use this is in negotiations of any kind. This concept of
reciprocity is why you hear concepts like “give and take” or that
people are expected to “meet halfway.”
- [43:46] An example from money
coach Mikelann Valterra on how to pick a “resentment number” when
pricing client work or bidding projects.
- [46:44] I have always been one
to reward people who ask for things (my own version of
reciprocity). It takes a little something extra to step away from
the norm and ask for something outside the status quo.
- [48:52] So here is a GIFT FOR
YOU: Anyone who commits to six strategy sessions before the end of
the year, instead of $499 a piece, they will be $450 – so you will
save almost $300. And you get priority space on my calendar, which
fills up pretty fast these days.
- [49:23] If you commit by the
end of the year to 12 strategy sessions in 2019, I will do them for
$400 apiece. That means you will save almost
$1200! That is two free
strategy sessions plus some gravy cash in your pocket.
Interested? Let’s chat.
Thanks for listening. Don’t
forget to subscribe on
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what you heard, please leave a
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