Why a Sales Manager MUST Evoke the Law of Reciprocity
For our purposes, the Law of Reciprocity states: If you do something nice for someone, human nature dictates that the recipient will feel compelled to do something nice for you in return. It is in essence: "you reap what you sow".
For our purposes, the Law of Reciprocity states: If you do something nice for someone, human nature dictates that the recipient will feel compelled to do something nice for you in return.
It is in essence: "you reap what you sow". This is an irrefutable law and one that you should teach your salespeople. The question of will someone actually act upon it at a given time depends on who asks.
At the precise moment that you do something nice for someone, the other person feels compelled to return the favor. Be careful however not to call it out as in "now that I did that for you, now you need to do this for me". This thinking destroys the whole concept. The idea is to do something and allow them to feel that they must do something for you in return. Be subtle. Don't dictate.
The most important part of this law to remember is that reciprocity is IMPLICIT. This just means that you should never mention that you need something in return. When someone does something nice for you, they IMPICITLY expect that when the circumstances are right, you will do something of approximately equal value for them.
In the case of a newly hired salesperson, by you "going the extra mile for them" on their base salary, they will "go the extra mile for you" in return. Always remember that people do expect repayment over time and this is based on the idea of basic social interchange. The whole idea is that by doing the right thing and doing something nice for them, they will return the favor to you at some point.
Think about it - the last time someone did something nice for you, you wanted to return the favor right?
Say your neighbor takes puts your trash barrels on trash day back into your garage for you because you had a late day at work. What do you feel compelled to do on the next "trash day"? That's right, you want to take in his trash barrels.
So the next time you have a situation where you can do something nice for your salesperson, evoke the "Law of Reciprocity"...it will pay you back tenfold in increased sales productivity. The best part about it is you won't have to take in any smelly trash barrels...
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ralph Burns, a consistently top-performing sales manager with over 20 years of sales and sales management experience.