You want your business to thrive, and for that to happen, it’s key to have a good marketing plan to support your fantastic products or services.
What you may not have been aware of, though, is that psychology also has a part to play in helping you achieve success.
Marketers have long been using the principle of reciprocity, which Dr. Robert B. Cialdini explained in his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”.
Alongside commitment, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity, this is one of the principles that will help you sell more products or services and allow you to breed long-lasting loyalty!
- 1 What Does the Principle of Reciprocity Stand for?
- 2 5 Tips for Using the Principle of Reciprocity’s Potential
What Does the Principle of Reciprocity Stand for?
In life, it may seem like you’re always giving something away and expecting to get something else in return. Business-wise, we follow the same behavior model, so the principle of reciprocity works in that case as well.
Simply put, we as humans are wired to show our appreciation whenever someone gives us something.
The gratitude we feel when we receive gifts or anything beneficial is immense. It spurs us into action to do something for the other person in return!
How to Use This Principle for Business
In exchange for those gifts, your customers will show their appreciation by being more inclined to buy your products or hire you for your services.
But the story doesn’t end there. Reciprocity is also a powerful tool if you’re looking to build a loyal client base and nurture long-lasting relationships.
Once again, giveaways play a key role here, especially at corporate events. You will make a positive impression that will stick in the recipient’s mind by giving away high-quality, practical gifts at marketing events or trade shows.
At the same time, the gift itself will gently push the recipient into buying something to express their gratitude!
Still, don’t think that the only way to win over clients and customers is by giving away free stuff. Even something as simple as good service can influence people to appreciate you and your business more and want to do something as a show of thanks.
And curiously enough, you may have already been on the receiving end of such marketing tactics. If you’ve ever accepted a free appetizer at a restaurant, consider how you felt at that moment and how inclined you were to return and eat there again.
The care the restaurant showed may not have cost much or taken much effort, really. But the payoff was probably huge; you likely felt extra-special and eager to leave a big tip or a fantastic review — and even become a regular there!
5 Tips for Using the Principle of Reciprocity’s Potential
Eager to use this principle on your target audience? Here are five tips that should help seal the deal faster with your customers and ensure they see your business in a positive light:
Always Initiate the Giving
If you were to wait for someone to ask about your giveaways, it might seem as if they had to beg you to provide them with some gifts. Instead, aim to initiate this exchange by offering freebies first.
You should be the one to reach out and surprise them with your kindness and care. In return, their response will be much more positive — and definitely more sincere.
Ensure the Gifts Are Valuable to Your Target Audience
There is no point in offering trinkets and useless gifts that your audience is hardly ever going to use.
You should put more thought into it and go for products that can benefit them daily and somehow resolve some of their problems or concerns.
Above all, aim to give away useful, high-quality products such as professional notebooks branded with your corporate logo that adds value to their lives!
Personalize Your Gifts or Offers
No, you don’t have to stamp someone’s name on all the products so that they would be impressed. What you should focus on is making the offer seem special and even tailor-made for them.
The gift or service you want to give away should be relevant to your audience’s lives and in line with their wants or needs. One way of ensuring this is by getting to know your market better and researching their habits, preferences, and lifestyles.
Allow Your Audience to Reciprocate in Different Ways
You may be eager for your audience to return the favor by buying one of the products you’re looking to push. But even if they don’t want to, you shouldn’t be disappointed and see the giveaway as a waste of time.
Instead, provide your audience with a few options that may pique their interest more. By communicating with them, find out which products may be more up their alley and offer those instead!
Continue Building the Relationship
Finally, know that your job isn’t done once someone buys a product or service from you to express their gratitude. You’ve set up a great foundation for a loyal relationship. Now, keep nurturing it so that it stays alive.
Remember to continue showing you care about your audience even after you get what you want. Ideally, make them feel special every time they step into your shop or buy something from you online.
These small giveaways (such as special offers, loyalty cards, etc.) may not seem like much to you right now.
But to your customers, they prove that they’ve chosen the best business to work with and should strengthen and preserve the bond and relationship you now share!