The Power of Reciprocity

Did your parents ever tell you to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you?”  Even though I didn’t want to hear it as a kid, it really is good advice. defines reciprocity as a mutual exchange.  Basically, reciprocity is when you do something nice for someone, they tend to want to give back to you.


Now, how does this apply to your business? When you do something nice for a client or a prospect, it keeps you top of mind. They think, “Wow that was so kind, I want to do something nice for them as well. I want to give back to them.”


If you’re thinking of clients and what you can do for them, a great idea is a thank-you gift. If you give them just a small thank-you gift, they feel appreciated for giving you their business.  Then, when it’s time for them to hire someone who does just what you do again in the future, who are they going to think of? They will remember the little extra things you did and want to work with you again.


The same thing happens with referral partners.  When someone gives you a referral, you need to reciprocate to them in the form of a thank you.  It can be a verbal thank you or an email, but those are quickly forgotten.  If you send a thank you note in the mail or a small thank you gift, it makes a more lasting impression.  It solidifies that you value the trust they placed in you by sending you that referral.  They will be more likely to send you a referral again because now they feel the need to continue that reciprocity.

Reciprocity Not Indebtedness

If you do something nice for someone, they feel like they owe you something. Your intent should never be to make people feel indebted to you. You want to give appreciation gifts because you truly appreciate the clients or the referrals you received. When you come from that place of giving, they will naturally want to give back.


Because of that, you have clients who want to stay around for the long haul. You get clients who don’t fall away and go to the lowest-priced competitor because you have built a relationship with them. You have business associates who want to send you more referrals, because you actions showed them that you value the referrals they send.


That’s the law of reciprocity.  Do something nice for your clients and they’ll want to stick with you and do something nice for you as well. If you know you should be doing these things in your business, but aren’t sure where to start, we offer a complimentary Relationship Review. Sign up here

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