The Fine Art of Reciprocation

I learned the fine art of reciprocation many years ago while in the furniture industry. I had no idea the power it contained yet was amazed by its results. Results that seemed so innocent on the surface but were so complicated at its core.

In its simplest form, reciprocation is the act of you doing something for someone and in return they feel the obligation to do something for you. They feel the “pull” of Mother Nature to reciprocate. This is a natural response in most people and one that can be used to sell more products than you ever thought possible. Let me explain why. But first a little story of how I came across this powerful concept.

While working in sales at a furniture store, a new regional sales manager had started a new process while greeting customers to try shore up sagging sales. This process was very simple, when a customer walked in the store, greet them, give them a rose, and ask them “what can we help you find today?”.

The normal response prior to this initiative was “just looking”. This response was (and I am sure it still is to this day) so common place that it was a joke among us sales people. How many time are we going to hear ” just looking” today? You could bank on the same response yet we struggled to find a way around it.

Then we started the new process of greeting and giving the rose. What followed was astonishing. People were so taken aback by the act of kindness that they immediately started to talk and laugh and tell us exactly what they were looking for. This had a tremendously positive effect on our close rate and sales and left all of us trying to figure out why. The reason was very simple. The natural human response called Reciprocation!

The fine art of reciprocation is on display everywhere. Walk into a store or restaurant with a set of double doors and hold the first set of doors open for someone, nine times out of ten they will hold the second set of doors open for you. Reciprocation. Go out of your way to tell someone how nice they look today, some will say “thank you” and leave it at that but most people will compliment you back. Reciprocation. Do something nice for people and they feel the need to do something nice for you. It is everywhere!

Use reciprocation to increase your sales by giving your prospects something of value for free and watch what happens. I know you will be as amazed as I was trying to make a living selling furniture.

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