I could just as accurately have titled this post the cardinal rule in life because I believe the principle applies to all areas of our lives.
My cardinal rule to growing your business is based on reciprocity – “Give and it shall be given unto you”. The psychology behind this concept is very powerful. Whenever you give anybody something that is perceived as valuable, they feel obligated to give you something back.
Actually, humans are driven to repay debts and would love the opportunity to return the favour – at least most people will. Human nature hasn’t changed so this simple rule works just as well today as it did when it was documented in the Bible.
Take a look around you, what is every successful business doing really well?
They all give something of value upfront even before you decide to do business with them. This removes the barrier and gives the potential customer the opportunity to sample your goods and services at no cost.
Everybody loves to receive something, so you’ll also be attracting more people, generating more leads for business.
People who love your gift will remember you for it and even share it with their friends and social networks – generating word of mouth referrals for your business. Tasters or samplers are also more likely to buy from you because they have tried your products.
You can give of your time, knowledge, sample products, referrals, introductions etc. The list is endless.
This rule is applicable both on and off-line so there really is no limit to the power of reciprocity in growing your business.
Abiding by this cardinal rule will also help establish you as a market leader in your industry.
Giving away free valuable and useful information on problems that you solve, makes your business more credible.
The British Psychology Society, in their study “Its Better To Give Than Receive”: http://www.bps.org.uk/news/its-better-give-receive-finds-study concluded that it is psychologically more rewarding to give than it is to receive. We all know this to be true but its always good to have our beliefs scientifically validated.
Savvy marketers have been abiding by this rule to generate leads for years. It is quite easy to implement this concept so don’t miss out on an opportunity to grow your business through giving.
People struggling to sell always say that “I know my products can sell it self”. If you strongly believe that your product will wow people then get them to try it for FREE.
“A sample gets action” – Claude Hopkins, Great advertising pioneer
What can you give people today that will cost you nothing except time to set up? Even gifts that cost, tend to pay for themselves several times over based on the sales they can generate.
To get the most out of this rule, you have to act first. Be the first to give. Secondly, don’t expect anything back :-).
What experiences have you had of giving only to receive even more back then you expected? Please share your experiences.