How Reciprocity Persuades Consumers to Take Action

How Reciprocity Persuades Consumers to Take Action


When it comes to attracting new customers, reciprocity can prove to be extremely effective. The term has become well-known thanks to the six principles of persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini. Reciprocity is just one of the six principles mentioned, but what does it mean and how can it benefit your sales?

Here, we’ll look at what reciprocity is and how it can be used to persuade customers to take action.

What Is Reciprocity?

Reciprocity is the principle that when we receive something, we automatically feel it necessary to give something back. In terms of business, free samples are a great example.

When a company gives you a free sample, you feel more inclined to buy something from them. This is how reciprocity works in business. It doesn’t have to be giving out free samples, of course; it can also relate to providing free information, or providing a positive shopping experience. 

How Can It Persuade Consumers to Take Action?

So, you know that reciprocity involves giving consumers something they feel obliged to give back. But how does it persuade consumers to take action?

The principle works on the natural instinct we have to give back as humans. It’s not something we consciously think about. This means that reciprocity is a clever subconscious style of marketing your business. 

There are many examples you can use to generate a better understanding of reciprocity. Take when you shop for a new car for example. When the salesperson gives you the price for the car you’re interested in, you might still be undecided whether it’s right for you. So, the salesperson will typically offer something else, such as a free sat nav or an extended warranty. This would convince you to take advantage of the deal as you’re getting something extra.

When you use reciprocity in business, it convinces consumers to buy from you as they’ll feel they owe you. Reciprocity and persuasion go hand in hand, helping you to persuade consumers to make a purchase. 

What Other Benefits Does It Provide?

As well as encouraging consumers to take action, reciprocity also delivers some other great benefits. These include:

  • Building up trust
  • Boosting brand recognition
  • Improving SEO rankings

When you give something away first, it helps to build up consumer trust. The more your business is trusted, the more people will buy from you. It also encourages customers to leave positive reviews, again helping to attract new customers. 

When done right, reciprocity can also help to boost brand recognition. It gets people talking about the business, which in turn will boost your SEO rankings. The more reviews, website visits and mentions of your brand name there are, the higher you’re going to start appearing in search engines. 

There are many techniques you can use in business to generate new customers. Reciprocity is one of the best techniques you can utilize to persuade consumers to take action. The above are some of the ways it does this, alongside the additional benefits you can experience by adopting it into the workplace.

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