Reciprocity In Business – Public speaking Skills

Leadership Reciprocity

The law of reciprocity is a widely acknowledged psychological principle, and it goes like this: when somebody does something nice for, you have an instinctive, deep-seated desire to do something nice for them in return. Of course, this can go the other way as well—when somebody does something harmful to you, your instinct is to harm them in return.

The law of reciprocity is not limited to psychology. It is a principle used to explain behavior in a range of social science; it is applicable to pretty much all day-to-day human interactions, and that includes business interactions and public speaking situations as well. 

Reciprocity in the Business World

There are simple ways you can use the law of reciprocity to your advantage in your profession.

Perhaps the most important aspect of business relationships is trust—the more trust you can build between yourself and a client, for example, the better your business exchange will go. By approaching your clients, partners, co-workers etc. with honesty and kindness, by going out of your way to help others, you will not only build trust but will also encourage others to behave similarly towards you. This will put your relationship building on the fast track, ensuring open and positive business relationships.

To behave in this way and to be genuine about it will nearly guarantee an added value to your business relations. One thing to remember, however, is that if you are insincere in your behavior then all of this may backfire. People can generally tell if somebody is putting on a false show of kindness, genuineness, empathy, etc., and far from earning you points, this kind of insincerity will lead to high levels of mistrust.

Give Them Something Right Away

One important way of winning over a person’s trust and appreciation is to give them some kind of gift right from the start of doing business with them. It should be something with real value, and it must be something with no strings attached. This is an occasion for you to simply show your genuineness, your willingness to give. This will almost certainly encourage them to trust you, to open up to you. After all, a client or customer is already giving you something—their business. You win points by being the first to give something, especially when there are no expectations involved.

Demonstrate Your Gratitude

The law of reciprocity is most valuable when both sides feel their contributions are being appreciated, so make sure you show your gratitude. Send a personalised thank you note for somebody’s business, or choose any other gesture you think is appropriate. But by demonstrating your gratitude and appreciation, you are allowing them to see that your interest in them is not lost now that you have what you wanted—this allows the relationship to remain strong and the law of reciprocity to remain in full force.

Take a Genuine Interest in Your Customers

It takes very little effort to express real interest in the lives of your customers, but it can make a world of difference. By asking simple questions about their work, their families, their upcoming vacations, you can demonstrate to them that you are more than a businessman or businesswoman—you are human being just like them, and you care about their lives. This will make you seem more approachable, and will go a tremendous way towards building trust in your relationship

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes

What the law of reciprocity ultimately comes down to in the business world is the idea that your customer or client always comes first. You should always be looking out for their best interests, putting yourself in their shoes to before you make any important decisions, in order to be sure that you are not just making the decision that is best for you and your business, you are making the decision that is best for the customer.

Again, sincerity is essential, and being upfront with your clients and customers is essential. The more you talk through with them the different options available, the different paths you might take, the more they will believe that you are not acting selfishly but are really putting their needs first, and this will help you gain their trust.

Reciprocity in Public Speaking

Public speaking situations give a great example of reciprocity in action. If you give your audience an engaging and well designed presentation, they will be more inclined to listen. After all, you’ve out the effort in and they will return the favour. But if you don’t prepare well for your speech – or any public speaking event – your audience will see it and realise that you have not given fully to them, and they will hold back on you.

The Never Ending Cycle

The great thing about reciprocity in business is that its rewards never have to end. The more you value and respect your customers and clients, the more trusting they will be and, as a result, the more likely they will be to continue giving you their business. But it does not end there. Satisfied customers and clients are far more likely to refer their friends and family to your business; for those who are beyond satisfied, who are actively enthusiastic about the goods and services they have received, they are almost guaranteed to do so. Therefore, the better you treat the customers and clients who come before you, the more likely you are to see you business continue to grow and expand.

The law of reciprocity is a very simple principle: by doing something good for others, you create in them the desire to do something good for you in return. By making the effort to frame your business interactions in this light—always sincerely, for being disingenuous will never benefit you in the long run—you will be able to start building stronger, more trusting, and longer lasting business relationships than ever before.

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