When you give someone a gift or do him a favor, that person will want to reciprocate. Society has conditioned us to believe that we must “return the favor.” This is the principle of reciprocity at work. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS A RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS OR GIVING ANONYMOUSLY. Please note: Giving back with no expectation of reciprocity is not what today’s sales message is about.
This lesson comes from the pages of a paperback written by Michael Lee. PREPARE. PERSUADE. CONQUER. It is written for the sole purpose of unlocking your hidden powers of persuasion “winning friends, influencing people & getting the yes!”
Giving doesn’t only mean imparting physical things or doing something for them, but you can also say things that will leave a lasting impression in their minds. When you give or do something for others, don’t ask for anything back just yet (or at least don’t make the impression that you’ll be asking a favor anytime in the future). If you do, people would think that you’re doing the favor because you just want something from them.
You don’t want to be viewed as bribing them. What you want is to be perceived as someone who gives unselﬁshly for their beneﬁt and is genuinely concerned about them. That’s why it is vital that if you have a request or proposal, you do the giving at least a day or two before you ask for something, so that they won’t connect the “giving” with the “asking.” Whoever gives ﬁrst has the power to call the shots, but the recipient must perceive it as unconditional.
But what if a long time has passed and they forgot that you did them a favor?
You can subtly remind them of what you’ve done, but make sure you don’t say it directly. Don’t say, “I lent you some money when you needed it. I’d like to ask a favor now.” Instead, say something like, “How’s your Mom? Hope the money I lent you has helped in paying her medical expenses.” Take note that when something you give is perceived as unique or personalized, or when people think that you exert more effort to do the favor, the value of the gift or favor increases. This, in turn, will also your “value” in their minds.
“Persuasion is often more effective than force.” —Aesop
People will tend to like you back. if they believe you like them.
January 23, 2019
Yesterday … ‘we’ … I was talking about the phrase, “Negative Capability“. Let’s continue, shall we?
One very practical application of negative capability is starting before you feel ready. In a story recounted by James Clear, Richard Branson describes how he founded his now globally successful airlines company, egged on by serendipity and a little blind faith!
“l was in my late twenties, so I had a business, but nobody knew who I was at the time. l was headed to the Virgin Islands and l had a very pretty girl waiting for me, so l was, umm, determined to get there on time.
At the airport, my final flight to the Virgin Islands was cancelled because of maintenance or something. It was the last flight out that night. I thought this was ridiculous, so I went and chartered a private airplane to take me to the Virgin islands, which l did not have the money to do.
Then, I picked up a small blackboard, wrote “Virgin Airlines. $29.” on it, and went over to the group of people who had been on the flight that was cancelled. I sold tickets for the rest of the seats on the plane, used their money to pay for the chartered plane, and we all went to the Virgin Islands that night.” — Richard Branson
If the Virgin Group founder and business magnate had reached for certainty, he never would have thought to charter that private plane that he could not afford. He probably would have done what all the other passengers did and relied on the airlines to ﬁx the situation; but he took matters into his own hands, guided only by his determination to achieve his goal for the night.
As you write the next chapter of your life story, make like Branson and start before you feel ready remembering to apply a little negative capability whenever you face uncertainty.
On top of the personal goals that you’ve set, leave some room for the unforeseeable opportunities.
Don’t be too rigid with your plans that you miss out on new ideas, or too impatient with your execution that you quit before you begin to see results.
In the words of Jonah Lehrer, “the only way to be creative over time — to not be undone by our expertise — is to experiment with ignorance, to stare at things we don’t fully understand.” 🙂