The Law of Reciprocity

7 habits book

Selling online is a lot about psychology and more specifically, the science of understanding what makes your prospects and buyers ‘tick’.

By the way, and just in case you find this somewhat worrisome, let me tell you that this has nothing to do with the manipulation of people.

Assuming you are an ethical marketer, have the highest integrity, and only sell things that you would buy yourself and genuinely believe they will help people, why wouldn’t you want to assist people to get the information?

Today I want to talk about just one of the key principles Dr Robert Cialdini sets out in his famous book ‘Influence‘.

This is the law of reciprocity.

But, before this I want to touch on a related subject which is discussed in another great book called ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People‘ by the late Dr Stephen Covey.

Habit #5 in Dr Covey’s well-known book is ‘Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood’. He refers to the tendency in our communication with others to get our own point across to someone else, without first understanding fully the other persons viewpoint.

This approach at its worst can and does lead to serious disputes among people.

Highly effective people do the opposite, they want to discover as much as possible about the other person(s) before they express themselves. This approach in human relations is more likely to lead to understanding, agreement, and leads to a win/win situation which benefits all parties.

So you might ask: “Mark, what the heck has this to do with online marketing?”

Well, I would strongly suggest that if you get to know your prospects really, really well, you can find out what their problems are, so that you can develop/or source products that would certainly help them. Instead of just offering products that they’re not interested in.

I may tell you more of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits in future posts; although his book isn’t about internet marketing, we can learn a lot from his teachings to help people buy from us.

So let’s get back on track … The Law of Reciprocity.

Yes, we all want to make lots of money from online marketing. But, if that’s your sole reason for wanting to do this stuff, then you aint gonna frickin’ succeed, period. Your prospects will smell that stink from a mile away, and that’s where they’ll stay, a mile away from you and your offers!

So, my sincere advice to you is to be a GIVER. Then give, give, give, and give more and then keep giving. “Give what?” you may ask. “Your Help” I say. So be a HELPER too!

The great thing about online marketing is the ease with which you can communicate your knowledge and experience to others. You can do this at little cost, save your time and energy.

Giving your followers a PDF of helpful content that you created, a free tips booklet, or pointing them to your latest blog post is of little financial cost, yet these things have massive leverage when done systematically.

Your credibility, sincerity, and authenticity are raised hugely among your subscribers. They know you want to help them and aren’t all sell, sell, sell. You create a tribe of people that really like you, and ultimately RECIPROCATE and buy something from you. In fact, they might begin to buy a lot of your offers
because they truly know that you have their best interests at heart.

And this my dear friend is how The Law of Reciprocity works.

It requires dedication and a genuine drive to help others.

You are then rightly entitled to be rewarded for your good works

Till the next time …




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