Quick Tip

The Law of Reciprocity

It's often misinterpreted as "if I do something for you, you'll feel like you have to do something for me."

It's a favorite "trick" in many ill-conceived referral marketing programs.

I believe a much more helpful way of thinking about reciprocity is -

"I go, then you go, then I go, then you go..."

A good approach for any conversation (face-to-face, virtual, email, etc.), don't you think?

Particularly sales conversations.

We've all run into the person who seems to think, "I go, then I go, then I go, then you give me money."

That's the "typical sales guy" that everyone hates.

But there's an equally annoying, opposite approach. One I've been noticing a lot recently.

The one who says, "You go. Now you go again. And again. Now tell me more."

One side gets peppered with question after question without any information shared by the other side.

It's not a conversation.

It's an interrogation.

Here's an example from my inbox.

I recently download an ebook from a copywriting coach's website.

And like a good marketer, he followed up via email. Asking questions. Trying to determine if I am a 5-star prospect.

3 or 4 messages in, he asks if I want his help. That's one of the hallmarks of a 5-star prospect.

I honestly haven't received any information to make that determination. I don't know what his help looks like or what it costs.

So I ask, "What do you have in mind?"

In other words, "sell me something." (Wouldn't you like to have more people asking you to "sell me something"? I would.)

But no offer came—no info to help with decision-making. I still have no idea about how long, how much, or what it is.

All I know is I'll save a lot of money since he doesn't want to sell me anything.

Now, don't get me wrong. I fully understand the importance of qualifying a prospect before presenting your offer.

But qualifying isn't interrogating.

People don't like being interrogated any more than they like a hard sell.

So make sure you are having 2-way, mutually beneficial conversations with your prospects.

And you'll sell more stuff.

Yours for smarter marketing,



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