Why is it that charities like to send us pre addressed labels for free?
What does the waitress at your local restaurant know that you should too?
Are you aware that the Hare Krishnas used to raise million of dollars using a concept that you should use more of as well?
The email that we received from a wholesaler said, “One of the biggest challenges for me is pulling the [advisor] across the finish line. I have established a solid relationship but can’t seem to get the [advisor] to pull the trigger.”
One of the greatest challenges known to wholesalers is, after months of seemingly successful courtship, to get the advisor to finally write the business.
And, assuming you have successfully connected with the advisor (begun the relationship), conveyed your business case for your solution, and built a compelling reason to start showing it to clients (see The Four C’s of the Legendary Wholesaler), the one big ingredient you may be missing is reciprocity.
One of our coaching clients sent us a great NPR story about the power of reciprocation.
In it Robert Cialdini, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, offers the following examples of reciprocity at work:
The Mint With The Check
There was a study that looked at the impact of the mint that is left on the small tray on which your lunch/dinner check is placed.
In that study there was a 3.3% increase in the amount of the tip, simply as a result of the mint on the tray.
And, if the server looked you square in the eye and gave you a second mint the amount of the tip increased by 20%!
Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare
Any chance you remember the presence of Hare Krishnas at the airport?
The way in which they collected millions of dollars in contributions was through the aggressive use of reciprocation.
As you were walking through the airport they would give you a flower, a book or a magazine – and once you had it in your hand it was far more likely you would reach into your wallet for a dollar or two.
Even if you didn’t need, want, or appreciate the gift!
Return Address Labels
Charities fill our mailboxes with those labels that are pre-addressed with our return street address.
The cost of the labels to those charities is generally less than a dime.
Yet, since they are personalized and can’t be returned, the charity counts on us feeling that sense of needing to reciprocate.
Which is why this tactic accounts for a doubling in the success rate of the contribution request.
The Rule of Reciprocation
“The implication is you have to go first. Give something: give information, give free samples, give a positive experience to people and they will want to give you something in return.”, says Dr. Cialdini.
“We are obligated to give back to others, the form of behavior that they have first given to us,” he says. “Essentially thou shall not take without giving in return.”
And it’s been drilled into us since we were children.
How Can Wholesalers Use The Rule of Reciprocity?
- Get to know the advisor on a more intimate professional level – do your advisor recon work
- Make sure that your follow-up to any requests made by the advisor is ultra timely – impress the advisor with your speed of delivery
- Be certain that your additional action steps are thorough, which means if they ask for five of something you send five or more – wholesalers who over promise and under deliver are everywhere
- Give something of value (think PVP – Peerless Value Proposition) that isn’t about your product – earn credibility and respect through your knowledge and assistance
- Be thoughtful regarding the acknowledgement of significant events in their lives – take the extra time to send a card, email, place a call
- Be kind and generous to all staff members at their practice – these influencers can help build the case for reciprocation
- Be pleasantly persistent – win the advisor over with your ability to stay thoughtfully and innovatively in front of them consistently
Advisors are no different from the recipient of the Hare Krishna gift, address label, or restaurant mint.
They have had the same rule of reciprocity ingrained in their brains just like we have.
It’s up to you to figure out the right combination of gestures, activities, and/or behaviors that will compel the advisor to reciprocate.