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Law of reciprocity: How kindness can attract more loyal customers

Shifting your focus on giving from taking can change your business.



Have you ever noticed feeling compelled to do something for those who have helped you—even if they haven’t asked you to?

That’s the law of reciprocity at work.

This law says whatever you give, whether it’s money, time or effort—that it comes back to you with a tenfold return.

I know for a fact this law works as we’ve experienced it many times over the years. Almost like clockwork, we notice a distinct increase in leads that come in after making a donation or doing something extra for a client.

How relationship marketing incorporates the law of reciprocity

Some businesses lead with hard-selling tactics to drive you to buy. This is called “push marketing”. But others, using “inbound or relationship marketing” strategies, have discovered how to put the power of generosity to work in their business.

How do you think your business would change if, instead of taking you focused on giving? Once you shift your focus to serving others and creating value – it changes everything.

Over time, your generosity creates a reputation that sets you apart and your rate of referrals will increase as well.

So how would you like to have not only more clients but more loyal ones too?

Here are ten ways to be more generous in your business to achieve that:

1. Be a great resource.

If anyone needs a referral, share vendor referrals of those you know and trust. People will see you as the “go-to” person and come to you for recommendations.

2. Give more than expected.

Doesn’t it feel nice when you walk into a hotel room and there’s a mint on your pillow? It’s an unexpected surprise. Here are some ideas to get you started: Provide more value than what you charge. Go the extra mile. Give a surprise gift. Deliver your product or service faster than promised.

3. Provide excellence.

Since your business needs to differentiate itself from your competitors, how about making it your mission to only offer top-quality products and services? This includes customer service too: Respond to all email and phone messages promptly. Give clients uninterrupted attention. Listen to and address concerns are some ways to do this.

4. Serve others.

Zig Ziglar once said, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” And Mary Kay’s empire was built on the premise of achieving success by helping someone else succeed. Many entrepreneurs are in business because they are on a mission to serve others in some capacity. When you live your purpose, you’ll live a life of joy while making a difference.

5. Open yourself to receiving.

Most of us were never taught how to receive. For instance, how do you typically respond when someone compliments you? Do you push back and try to minimize their sincerity? Same thing applies to your business—if you say “no” when clients, money or opportunities come your way, those opportunities will stop coming. This means making space in your mind and heart for more. It means accepting money, kindness, complements or assistance that is offered to you. This keeps your flow of abundance open energetically. You give and it comes back to you.

The law of reciprocity states that whatever you give comes back to you with a tenfold return. (Photo by ElitRowland via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0)

6. Listen to your inner voice.

Inner wisdom leads us to those who need our help. Stop, listen and take action on those nudges. Offer your attention, time, and advice in their hour of need.

7. Follow the golden rule.

I grew up with this rule ingrained into my psyche as a Brownie and Girl Guide. Essentially, treat others the way you wish to be treated—and that includes in business too. When a company treats you right or sells you a terrific product, you feel happy. You feel loyal. You’re likely to buy more from that company. You’re likely to recommend that company’s products and services to friends, family and colleagues. Make it your goal is to have the same thing be done for you.

8. Perform acts of kindness.

Lift up others. Empower others through a simple word of encouragement and inspiration. Share your vision of what you see is possible for them.

9. Be genuine.

Share yourself openly with those in your network. Let them see the real you. Build warm relationships with people around you. Make them feel special.

10. Practice gratitude.

When your heart is full of gratitude and you put forth the effort to show your gratitude, really great things can happen. Make it a practice every day to share gratitude. For instance, who has shared a referral? Who taught you something? Who is your favorite new customer and why? What vendor did a great job on a project?
Show thanks for someone or something today and watch what happens.

Be generous and watch your business grow

There are many other ways you can practice kindness and will see returns tenfold. Go volunteer, be a sponsor, donate funds to a worthy charity or even invest in a business that you believe in!

Remember as a business person we can serve with compassion, kindness, patience, and respect. Being a good person not only makes you feel happier but it is also great for business.

So make it your mission to make someone’s day brighter every single day!

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence. As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.