How the Law of Reciprocity Impacts your Business


42054534 - reciprocity word cloud concept

42054534 – reciprocity word cloud concept

Do you ever get that feeling if a new concept, idea or image shows up in your awareness three times then you should pay attention? Well, the Law of Reciprocity has been showing up everywhere in my awareness the past few days.

What is the Law of Reciprocity?

I like the way Gary describes it in his Reboot Authentic blog: Social psychologists call it The Law of Reciprocity – and it basically says that when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return.

As a matter of fact, you may even reciprocate with a gesture far more generous than their original good deed. You can try and resist this law, but as a human, you will more than likely still feel that you need to respond in kind to a good deed.

As I was listening to Aubrey Marcus talk about how he structures business in a way that always feels generous and positions him powerfully in negotiations, I thought about conversations with my clients around money. I often hear my clients in service-based businesses say they struggle with sales conversations and with charging what they are worth.

In thinking about my own business practices I realize I have always operated from the Law of Reciprocity when it comes to structuring my offers. Give more than I receive is my modus operandi. It feels good. It feels generous. It feels authentic.

When I am working with clients who are struggling to charge what they are worth, I often encourage them to see the value of what they are offering as an even exchange of goods and services for cash – just like any other service. And then to consider what else they can offer that adds value – but doesn’t necessarily add time.

You don’t ask your dentist to discount his services, and you probably don’t go to the cheapest one but to one
a.) you like
b.) you were referred to by others
c.) has years of training and experience

Our dentist works from the Law of Reciprocity. In exchange for my money and my time not only do I get clean teeth, cavities filled, etc. but I also get dental floss, toothpaste and a new tooth brush. When we started with his practice a few years back, we also got really nice new metal water bottles. He gave more than I was expecting – plus the staff was warm, friendly and on time! I actually enjoy going to this dentist’s office. What?? It’s true, never thought I would say that.When it comes to your own business, ask yourself:

When it comes to your own business, ask yourself:

  • How can I use the Law of Reciprocity to grow my business?
  • How can I raise my rates while still feeling generous by offering extra value?

Here are a few examples of how we do this at our Dream.Design.Profit workshop. I know I am going to deliver great training and content that people will love. But above and beyond that, I want them to enjoy the experience while learning as much as possible without feeling overwhelmed.

So we also include:

  • A gorgeous workbook for the event with coloring pages included
  • A goodie bag with a beautiful journal, crayons, nuts and chocolate
  • Coffee and tea all day long
  • Buckets full of markers on every table
  • And we create a beautiful space with art, music and plenty of elbow room.

I don’t like to attend events where I am crammed into a row of chairs with hundreds of other people and I can’t move. I want a table to write on and breathing room! I know what I like so I bring that to my events.

Robert Cialdini, in his book Influence shares 6 primary rules of influence and reciprocity is rule #1 – give first, but also make sure what you give is personalized and unexpected.

When you look at your marketing, how can you implement the Law of Reciprocity?

What small touches can you add to personalize your services?

Now it’s your turn, share below how you use the Law of Reciprocity in your business or how you can start using it. And if you aren’t sure, come spend 3 days playing with me, coloring and eating chocolate. Dream.Design.Profit is just around the corner.

Minette Riordan, Ph.D. on EmailMinette Riordan, Ph.D. on FacebookMinette Riordan, Ph.D. on InstagramMinette Riordan, Ph.D. on Twitter
Minette Riordan, Ph.D.

Dr. Minette Riordan is an award-winning entrepreneur with 17 years experience in media, marketing and sales. She is a lover of art, poetry and mythology and a complete geek who digs discussing how businesses work. One of her core values is continuous improvement; she is a seeker, wanderer and adventurer who loves dragons and coffee. Most days you can find her supporting her creative clients to build profitable businesses. And on other days you can find her in her art studio covered in paint.



About Minette Riordan, Ph.D.

Dr. Minette Riordan is an award-winning entrepreneur with 17 years experience in media, marketing and sales. She is a lover of art, poetry and mythology and a complete geek who digs discussing how businesses work. One of her core values is continuous improvement; she is a seeker, wanderer and adventurer who loves dragons and coffee. Most days you can find her supporting her creative clients to build profitable businesses. And on other days you can find her in her art studio covered in paint.

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