How The Law of Reciprocity Can Help You Grow Your Business

No-one likes the feeling of being indebted to someone. Like, for example, when a friend or colleague buys you lunch. No matter how generous and selfless the intention, you can’t help but feel that at some point, you need to buy them one back.

Think back; When did you last feel compelled to do something for others who have helped you along the way — even if they haven’t asked you to? That’s because, there’s something very powerful and deep rooted at play here.

Social psychologists call this deep-rooted, psychological feeling The Law of Reciprocity — When a person does something nice for you, giving you the urge to do something nice in return.

In business, reciprocity is a fantastic way to help build networks and market your business.

Of course, not everyone likes feeling indebted. Over to you, Sheldon…

You can apply this when starting or growing a small business as it can leverage the strengths of those involved in the relationship to grow both of their businesses. It’s so easy too at little or no cost. All that’s needed is an attitude of selflessness and wanting to help others by sharing resources, knowledge, and contacts with them. Remember, you’re doing this to help others, not because you’re after something in return. That reciprocal act is a benefit — an unexpected reward — not a key part of the process.

It’s also true that reciprocity and growing your business can go together like bees and honey, but don’t expect reciprocation on its own to increase sales. The onus is on you to build trust with your peers, to create deep routed professional relationships, and, of course, offer a quality service or product.

Action Point

  • Ask yourself, “What small thing can I provide today that my connections and customers can really benefit from?” — and I don’t mean a discount or sales offer.
  • The next time you go to a networking event, go with the sole intention of helping the people you meet. Whether it’s putting them in touch with someone you know to help them overcome a business challenge, or emailing over a blog or news article you’ve read that neatly follows the conversation you’ve had with them.

Unsure how to utilise this to help you and others? Then get in touch and I’d be happy to chat it through with you.

This post first appeared at http://www.edagoodman.com/the-law-of-reciprocity-amongst-business-owners/.