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How to Use Reciprocity to Close More Deals

Mar 1, 2019 | Negotiate Better Deals

The point of reciprocity is not to shower your prospects with all the gifts you can afford, waiting for the opportunity to capitalise on them. You should think of reciprocity as a handful of daily practices – being generous with your time, offering real value when it’s needed – that will help build your reputation and likability over time, something that will persuade people to work with you and help you close more deals.

Give and ye shall receive

“We all like to return favours. Most people got it all backwards thinking it means if you will do this for us, then we will do something for you…that’s wrong.” – Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. 

People respond to feeling appreciated or looked-out for. Cialdini suggests that people have an in-built desire to repay their debts, something that makes them very sensitive to things like gifts, special treatment and being given something of value.

So how can we apply this to the work of a South African real estate agent?

Be generous with your time to close more deals.

Fortunately, the best way to develop reciprocity is also the cheapest. Giving your time freely and unconditionally is the clearest investment you can make in your sellers. 

Make sure you have enough time during any call or meeting to have a casual conversation where you can answer questions or otherwise offer yourself to your client or prospect.

The same goes for viewings. Arriving early, bringing water or snacks or preparing your presentation all contribute to how prospective sellers will think about you.

The point of reciprocity is to get your prospects to respond to your actions. Being generous with your time, through preparation and your attitude to calls and meetings, is a gift that people will respond to because it is a powerful indicator of the effort you are putting in to them.

It also can’t be faked or rushed, broadcasting to prospective sellers that you are thinking about them even when they aren’t thinking of you. 

Invest in high-quality, low-cost resources.

You don’t need a high-value gift in order to make use of reciprocity. Far more important is the simple act of making prospective sellers feel appreciated. Focus on the act rather than the gift

Low-cost gifts or resources with a high impact might include:

  • Paying the bill when you have meetings in coffee shops.
  • Travelling to sellers for meetings.
  • ‘Thank you’ cards.
  • Trinkets – Mints, pens, notepads etc.
  • Water or snacks at viewings.

Offer a high-value resource

To really make an impression, consider offering one or two high-value resources. These don’t have to cost much and may not have to cost anything. You could even turn a low-cost resource into a high-value one by offering it regularly.

These high-value offerings are your opportunity to set yourself apart by truly offering value to your clients. If you offer a great weekly property resource to your clients, it’s also likely that other property sellers will hear about it.

Consider offering to assess your client’s paperwork, insurance etc. If you have skills or information that would be of use to your clients, offering it will help you establish yourself as a helpful and potentially invaluable resource.

Alternatively you could assist them with the logistics or costs related to moving, home inspection services or any other aspect of their experience that you could assist them with. 

In summary

  • Giving your time freely and unconditionally is the clearest investment you can make in your clients. It also can’t be faked or rushed, broadcasting to your clients and prospects that you are thinking about them even when they aren’t thinking of you.
  • Focus on the act, rather than the gift. Building reciprocity is all about client relationship management. Use gifts or resources to build on your relationships with clients and prospects.
  • To really make an impression, consider offering one or two high-value resources. Set yourself apart by truly offering value to your clients.

Interested in starting and closing more deals?

Learn how Bonni uses reciprocity on a seller’s most important day in order to secure more mandates.

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