July 28

Episode 049 – Weapons of Influence – Pt. 1 – Reciprocity


This is a new series on the 6 principles of taking influence (or avoid being influenced)

Episode Highlights

The 6 measures are

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Commitment and consistency
  3. Social proof
  4. Authority
  5. Liking
  6. Scarcity
  • today we kick it off with principle number 1: reciprocity
  • in general the belief is the following
    • if you get something you want to give something back in return
    • that's why a lot of the good stuff out there is free
      • just think of some amazing YouTube videos: they provid top notch entertainment and in return you subscribe and like their videos
      • YouTube pays them a (sometimes very decent) ad money
  • the interesting part is that what you get may not be of equal value to the request that is made to you
  • In his groundbreaking work, Influence, Dr. Cialdini talks about a significant increase about a waiters tips, that only handed his guests a few mints after dinner
  • this is the pen you get from a supplier
  • or a bottle of wine at christmas
  • or the invite to a delivery location together with a nice meal and evening program
  • they spend $500 for that day to earn your $50,000 order
  • if people tell you, this doesn't work in them, they are either liars or naive
  • this principle is ages old and deeply anchored in our behavioral sets
  • it came from the classic "I scratch your back if you scratch mine"
  • but how can you use it as a negotiator?
  • I have 5 ideas you might want to consider:
    1. offer someting first - start a half day negotiation with a nice lunch or catering in the conference room
      1. I also gave my suppliers always small branded presnets (a note block, some cloth for their glasses, a pen, some branded sweets)
    2. make your supplier feel special - announce them in the lobby already, use your logo, eventually have an admin or team assistant waiting for them
    3. Help the supplier outside of the conference room
      1. e. g. sometimes you can give a reference - maybe easy for you, but very important for the supplier
    4. make the negotiations memorable → I once did a bunch of hand drawings instead of Powerpoint slides, all with mentioning that I don't do this for small suppliers, only for the important ones
    5. foster the relationship → don't just drop your reciprocal item, make sure they feel that you mean it honest
  • This concludes today's lesson in reciprocity
  • tune in tomorrow to learn more about commitment and consistency


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