The Law of Reciprocity


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When you Google the law of reciprocity you’ll come up with over 20,000,000 results.  There are books, videos, posters, sales workshops, you name it.  So, what is the law of reciprocity and how have I seen it work?

Wikipedia puts it this way, “A social norm of responding to a positive action with another positive action, rewarding kind actions. As a social construct, reciprocity means that in response to friendly actions, people are frequently much nicer and much more cooperative than predicted by the self-interest model.”  Let me give a simple example, have you ever gotten a Christmas card in the mail from someone that didn’t make the cut on your list?  Don’t you immediately think about sending them a card, or feel bad you didn’t?

Business Network International, BNI for short, is the world’s largest business networking and business referral organization.  They have built their whole business model around this law, and simply call it, “Givers Gain”.  Meaning, give people as much business as you can and eventually you’ll get more business in return.

This principle, or law, couldn’t be more evident than in sales.  I have seen it work time and time again.  In the insurance industry, we network with real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and estate planning attorney’s, just to name a few.  The more relationships I’ve seen agents develop and send business to, the more success that agent has personally.  We call these relationships COI’s, Centers of Influence.  A Center of Influence is anybody that sees people on a regular basis for their business, that can give you a favorable introduction.  I tell the agents I work with the goal is a minimum of 10-15 COI’s.

If you’re still reading I imagine your next question might be, “How do I develop these COI’s to send business to, in the hopes to eventually get business?”  You’ll have to come back Friday when I answer that very question and share the Law of 15.

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