Give Before You Ask For A Sale

By Chris Loomis

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I have a question for you today. Have you ever found yourself giving to somebody because they gave to you first? And then, don't you find yourself wanting to give more? What I mean is, say maybe at some point, someone helped you move, for example. And then, maybe they need a favor, and you're like, "Oh, of course. "I'll help you out."

That's Called Reciprocity

I'm reading this great book right now by Robert Cialdini. And it's awesome. It's called "Influence." It's a book that a lot of the marketers use and reference because it's got such great information in it.

I'm gonna show you today, how you can use reciprocity ethically in your business. And I'm gonna give you an example of that, I'll give you a story.

Influence by Robert Cialdini

Do you remember being in the airport back in the 1990s before you had to go through TSA, when we could all go walk in the airport? But back then, you'd walk in, and the Hare Krishna's would bombard you. They come in, and they're always asking for money.

He gives the example in the book, and he talked about how they had learned that if they gave you a gift first, their conversions went way up. They got a lot more money. What they do is they put a little flower on your lapel, and then some of you felt more inclined to give them money.

My Story

I'm gonna tell you about a story that I have that demonstrates this so perfectly in business. And it's something that I knew of back before I even knew what reciprocity really was. But I grew up working in the concrete business. And the concrete business was something my grandfather owned.

We had five ready-mix plants, he owned it with two of his brothers. And I started working there as a kid. And when I got old enough to where I could earn a real paycheck, I was 16, I started working there in the summer full time. And my grandpa he passed away in a freak accident. But 15 years later, I'm working at the company, and I'm loading up trucks.

I'm working in the gravel yard at the time as a laborer. And I had this contractor come up to me, and he said, "Hey, you look familiar, are you a Kurtz?" And that's my, that was my grandpa's last name. And I said, "Yeah. My grandpa was Bruce." And right away this guy just, he lost it. I mean, tears welled up in his eyes. And he came over and gave me the biggest hug.

So here's this big ol' burly concrete contractor crying, literally crying and holding me. He was sobbing. I didn't know what to do.

He said, "I gotta tell you a story about your grandpa."

He said, "When I was starting out, I had nothing. I had no tools. I was barely getting by. Me and a couple guys trying to make a go of our own small business. And we didn't really know what we were doing. I didn't have the best tools. Well, your grandpa shows up on a job site one day, with all these brand new tools."

(And this is back in the 70s when business was tough. And I remember, my grandpa and his brother they had to put their, they had to basically remortgage their homes just to save the business. Times were tough, and he gave this guy, and he did it to several other contractors like dozens of them, because I had the same story happen to me several times. I had three different guys cry on my shoulder, telling me the same story that he gave them all these tools. Truly amazing.

So the contractor said to my grandpa, "Look I can't afford to pay you for these."

My grandpa said, "You don't have to pay me a cent. This is on me."

And he said, "Well how do I pay you back? Can I pay you back over time?"

"Nope," my grandpa said, "this is a gift. All I ask, is that you consider calling us for your concrete."

He didn't even tell him he had to buy the concrete from Kurtz Gravel. He said just said, "Hey, would you consider it?"


And let me tell you, he understood lifetime value of a customer. Because he got that guy, okay, he gave him good will. "Here's all your tools." And now the guy naturally feels inclined to call for the concrete.

And let me tell you, 30 years later, here this contractor is crying on my shoulder. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars did this guy generate for the company? Because he was one of the big contractors that we had. Absolutely amazing.

That is the power of reciprocity, and that's something you can do.

How To Use This In Your Business

And this, just as an example say maybe you own a pet salon. Ask yourself what could you do for reciprocity? Something you in a lot of service type businesses is offer a low entry offer that has good will and is ethical. Something to get new people in.

Maybe they have a new dog or a new cat, but say, dog would be a good example. New clients, your first grooming is on us for a dollar. Just pay a dollar, and we'll do a whole grooming.

And then you deliver on your award winning services. Show them how good you are. You got them in with this low entry offer, irresistible offer and its goodwill.

And you don't offer it, don't ask for anything in exchange except a dollar because you still want to make them open their wallet. You want to make sure that they actually will pay, even if it's just a dollar.

But then you had this low price, good offer. So ask yourself, how many times are they gonna come back to have their dog groomed?

And maybe they have another dog. You see, you're building lifetime value there. And you can do the same thing with so many types of businesses.

Anyway, I hope this is something that is useful to you, and that makes sense on the law of reciprocity.

By the way, I'd pick this book up and read it, it's really awesome.

But please give me some comments and let me know how you plan to use reciprocity in your business.  Learn this skill, implement it, and your business will really take off. 

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