A few weekends ago, I decided to treat myself to a pair of new shoes and so I paid a visit to a famous independent shoe retailer near my home in Northampton (a town famous for shoe making)
Almost immediately on entering the shop, I fell in love with a pair of shoes that seemed to mould to my feet. They were undoubtedly, THE most comfortable pair of shoes I had ever worn, they had that ‘brand new leather smell’, they looked the business and better yet, they fit perfectly!
Whilst looking at myself wearing these shoes in the shop window, a thought came into my mind… Did I really NEED a new pair of shoes? I already have several shoes at home and I can only ever really wear one pair at a time right??
I have previously visited and bought from this shop on several differnt occasions, so me and the owner of the shop have some what of a friendly realationship. I trust in his products and services and he trust’s in my value as a paying customer.
The shop owner, sensing my uncertainly, very kindly offers me an alternative solution. Rather than buying the shoes on the day, he suggests to me that I take the shoes home, show them to my friends and get their opinion before I commit to making the purchase. If I was unhappy with the shoes, I could simply bring them back and if I decided to go ahead with the purchase I could just bring in the money to pay for them the following week.
Taken aback by his kindness, I accepted the offer and left the store with the shoes boxed and bagged up without paying a thing.
What a kind man…
I must admit, this really got me thinking about how we sell and market our services as coaches,trainers and consultants.
All of us are taught we should find some way to repay others for what they do for us. Most people will make an effort to avoid being considered a moocher, ingrate, or person who does not pay their debts.
This can be an extremely powerful tactic for Coaches, Trainers and Consultants when used correctly within your marketing and can even spur unequal exchanges. You may already use this principle to some extent by offering some form of complementary coaching session, or free “business health check”, but it is much stronger than you suspect. You can build a sense of indebtedness in someone by delivering a number of uninvited “first favors” or “gifts” over time. They don’t have to be tangible gifts. In today’s world, useful information is one of the most valuable favors you can ever deliver.
Your prospects buy from you based on emotions rather than logic. When the shop owner allowed me to take the shoes away for the weekend he also got me to commit emotionally. Guess what??? I decided to buy the shoes…After the shop owner was so generous to me previously, I thought it would of been rude not to!
I bet that you can think of times when someone has done you a favor or gave you a gift you didn’t ask for. Its highly likely that you not only felt obligated to return the favor, but it was probably an ever bigger favor or bigger gift than they first gave you.
As a Coach, Trainers or Consultant to get the most out of your marketing it’s vital you apply the Rule of Reciprocation and give away some valuable content before you begin to monetize. Because, it’s then and only then, that you will begin to receive!
Drew M Edwards