Call Joe in Florida
There are dozens of definitions of marketing. I certainly have my favorites, but one that many of us have probably heard is “Marketing is influence.” It’s the art of persuading your customers and other stakeholders to see your value and take an action that benefits your business—and hopefully them.
When it comes to influence, there are a number of proven principles you can leverage in your marketing efforts. One of the most effective is the principle of reciprocity. Reciprocity is the tendency for us to want to give something back when we receive something of value. It’s strongest when we perceive there is no expectation of us providing something in return.
Think about it. When someone gives you something as simple as a “thank you,” you feel compelled to respond with “you’re welcome.” In fact, not only are you psychologically compelled to give something back to the person that gave to you, you’re also compelled to eliminate any sense of indebtedness to the other person. It’s true. It’s in our nature.
Now, before you start accusing me of manipulating others, let me say this: There is a fine line between persuasion and manipulation. We all walk that line every day. The difference is in our commitment to persuading people to do what is also beneficial to them. Intent matters. Stay on the right side of that line, and all is well.
Given that reciprocity is a real force of human nature, there are very specific and practical ways you can put the principle of reciprocity to work for you in marketing your business. Here are just a few:
Give, give, give.
I often recommend advisors join a local networking group. Quite often I hear, “I’ve tried that, but it didn’t work. I wasted a lot of time for no business.” When I ask how many referrals they provided to the others in the group, the response is usually an unintelligible mumble. Reciprocity only works if you give first. Then, do it again and again.
Ask people for their biggest concerns.
For reciprocity to really work, you must learn to put the needs of others before your own. That’s the irony of this principle. Ask clients, prospects, and referral partners what keeps them up at night, and do it with sincerity and empathy. If they know you really care, just asking the question will trigger appreciation and a desire to do business with you.
Write a value packed blog or article.
To take the last point to the next level, write and share a blog or article that helps your prospects solve their biggest problem. Obviously you can only help with issues that can be resolved with your specific expertise. Teach them something of value they didn’t already know, and you’ll likely trigger the urge to reciprocate.
Offer access to your resources.
Show people where YOU go for information. Give them access to software tools. Do some basic research for them. Be generous with your best information. Find a way to create real value, and then give it to them with no expectation of anything in return. Do something nice like that, and most people will feel compelled to do something nice for you in return.
The principle of reciprocity can provide a real spark to your marketing efforts if you make it a point to follow a few simple rules:
Master the principle of reciprocity and you’ll be blown away by the impact on your life and business. Not only will selfless giving boost your business, it’s also one of the keys to happiness in life.
I call that a win-win.
For additional ways you can put the principle of reciprocity to work in your marketing right now, click here or call 877-512-9287.
Postema Marketing Group is a full-service Independent Marketing Organization (IMO) dedicated to providing world-class products and services to our clients. We have partnered with some of the strongest names in the insurance industry and proudly serve independent agents from coast to coast.
GET IN TOUCH.