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May 04, 2020

The Principle of Reciprocation

The Principle of Reciprocation is one of the most effective negotiating techniques that a salesperson can learn.

And it’s really simple. 

The idea is that you give away a little something that will cause the client to talk to you for a little bit longer.

To understand why this works, you have to think about how the human mind works.

How many people do you know who will drive several kilometres out of their way to buy cheaper petrol? They know that they’re going to save five cents on each litre at this other petrol station.

So, they reciprocate by travelling a longer distance to get cheaper petrol.

But here’s the thing.

That person thinks they’re getting a great deal because they’re spending a dollar or two less on petrol. However, they’re completely ignoring the fact that they’re having to use more petrol just to get that better price in the first place.

It’s just how the human mind works.

We’re less likely to see the negatives if there’s a positive that’s strong enough to draw us in.

How are you going to use this when you’re negotiating?

You’re going to throw a little offer in right at the start of the conversation. And this is a deliberate offer that’s designed to get them to talk to you for a little longer.

To come back to the petrol metaphor, the little offer is the five cents off the litre of petrol. The length of the conversation is the journey to the petrol station.

That little offer will help you to overcome any doubts that the client may have about talking to you. It’s going to be the small bit of something sweet that you’ll use to entice them into a deeper and more engaging sales conversation.

Of course, this only covers the basics of the Principle of Reciprocation.

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