Double Your Success Rate!

That’s Right . . . I said DOUBLE! Let’s talk about the raw power of the “Reciprocity Principal.”

Someone said that the simplest ideas are the best ideas. So here is one that is so basic, I almost hate to bring it up to the professionals who read my column. And YET . . . we can all use some positive reinforcement from time to time.

So check out the difference between a scenario orchestrated by a salesperson who doesn’t work the Mr. Shmooze philosophy and, later, how Mr. Shmooze would set up the same call. 

Seller: “OK, Bob, it sounds like you are interested. Should we draw up a contract?”
Customer: “I need a little more time to think about it.”

Now, Mr. Shmooze’s approach . . .

Mr. Shmooze: “Hey Bob, how did you and the kids enjoy the game last night?”
Customer: “It was awesome. That was the first time we have seen a walk-off home run. The kids practically slept in their t-shirts and hats. Thanks so much for the great tickets.”
Mr. Shmooze: “That’s terrific. I love it. OK, so we need to get at that contract we have been working on. Can we wrap it up . . . it would help me a lot to get it done this week.”
Customer: “Sure . . . send it over and I will get it signed.”

What you have just seen demonstrated is what psychologists call the “Reciprocity Principal.” The reciprocity principle is an incredibly powerful, primal reflex most of us have to reciprocate when we receive something . . . the same impulse you feel at Christmas to keep the gift exchanges somewhat balanced.

How powerful is the reciprocity principal in selling? Research shows that we are twice as likely to close business with people we have helped or done something for than someone with whom we have not shared this dynamic.

So go ahead . . . make fun of shmoozing in this new world of electronic marketing and have lunch alone reading a magazine . . . but then get prepared to be smoked by your competitors, who are still getting out there and putting this natural leverage to work. The reciprocity principle should be a major . . . MAJOR . . . tool in your marketing and selling tool chest.

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