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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Social Proof'>Social Proof</a>
Sales Strategy
Ben Wise & Darren Chiu, CAPTIVATE lock
Imagine getting a free coffee from your favourite barista, then feeling compelled to leave a huge tip. Or receiving helpful advice from a colleague, making you eager to assist them with their next project. This instinct to return favours is known as the Reciprocity Effect.

The Reciprocity Effect is rooted in our deep-seated social norm of returning favours. When someone does something nice for us, we feel an internal obligation to reciprocate. This isn't just about grand gestures – even small acts of kindness or generosity trigger this response surprisingly effectively. 

Savvy persuaders understand this. From building relationships to closing deals, the Reciprocity Effect is a tool to influence choices and create a sense of positive obligation.

Let's explore three ways you can strategically apply the reciprocity effect:

Freebies With Benefits:
Don't jump straight into your pitch. Offer something valuable upfront. This could be a helpful content download, a trial period, or even a small, personalized gesture (handwritten notes never go out of fashion). This primes the recipient for reciprocation when you present your actual offer.

Concessions Breed Compromise
In negotiation, be willing to make the first concession, even if it’s a minor one. This makes the other party ready to reciprocate, and signals your desire to cooperate, moving the process forward.

Emotional Reciprocity
So much of persuasion is about building an emotional connection and gathering information. If your counterpart is hesitant to share, take the lead and open up to them. This builds trust and encourages the other other person to do the same.

Ready to try this? Here's your challenge:
  • Pick a Goal: Do you want a potential client to agree to a meeting, a coworker to support your project, or to improve a business relationship?

  • The "Give": Figure out something valuable you can offer upfront. This could be a resource, a small favor, or simply taking time for a genuinely helpful conversation.

  • Don't Push: The key is sincerity, not manipulation. Give without an immediate expectation of return.

  • Observe: Notice what happens. Did the other person seem more receptive? Was there a shift in your dynamic?

 Authored By:

bwBen Wise is a 15 year industry veteran who has held successive sales and leadership roles at Google, where he is currently the Head of Programmatic Media working with the largest agencies and brands in Canada. Ben is active in his community where he serves on the Board of the Daily Bread Food Bank and recently completed a two year term as the board chair. Ben advises multiple startups on sales and go to market strategy and volunteers in various mentorship programs helping students and young professionals.

Darren Profile PhotoDarren Chiu is a Strategy Lead at Google, helping brands across all industries develop best in class marketing strategies. With over 12 years of industry experience, Darren’s passion for communication doesn’t stop at the world of business and sales. In his spare time, Darren moonlights as a comedic storyteller, stretching his creativity and perspectives beyond the boundaries of his professional life. As a recognition of his dedication and expertise, Darren was selected as an Emerging Leader in Advertising & Sales by The Peak in 2023.

Ben Wise & Darren Chiu are the founders of Captivate, helping you apply the art and science of persuasion to your selling. Beyond Captivate, Ben and Darren have over 20 years of combined sales and leadership experience at Google where they work with many of the largest advertisers and agencies in the country. 

Beyond his day to day work, Ben is very active in his community where he sits on the Board of Directors of the Daily Bread Food Bank and volunteers with multiple mentorship programs helping young professionals enter the world of tech and sales. Darren moonlights as a comedic storyteller, stretching his creativity and perspectives beyond the boundaries of his professional life. Darren was selected as an Emerging Leader in Advertising & Sales by The Peak in 2023.

If you are interested in connecting with Ben and Darren to learn more about Captivate or to book a speaking engagement, you can contact them on LinkedIn (BenDarren).

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