Ep. 294 – Halloween Special: You’ve Got a Friend in Us


Clients share engaging stories about how random acts of friendship and kindness drove deals for their businesses

Who should listen: Anyone who enjoys a good story about how a random acts of kindness were surprisingly repaid many times over.

Key idea: Reciprocity is real, and it can return large dividends in business.

Action item: Be a friend to someone in need not because you expect to get something but because you can give something.

In its most basic sense, reciprocity is the social expectation that if you do something nice for someone, then they will do something nice for you. It’s a very strong feeling of obligation that, if ignored, can cause a degree of strife that is harmful to social bonds.

Marketers and salespeople frequently use reciprocity to their benefit, and you see examples of it all around you:

  • Organizations send you free address labels or some other “no-obligation gift” with the hope that you’ll send a donation.
  • Salespeople who are confronted with an indecisive buyer might “throw in” something extra with the expectation that the freebie will cause the customer to make a purchase.
  • Content marketing like blogs and podcasts (including Stay Paid) provides clients and prospects with free information and resources like lead magnets, ebooks, and webinars with the hope that they’ll win your loyalty and eventual business.

In some contexts, reciprocity is obviously a calculated tactic to solicit a response that is meant to benefit one party more than the other. Examples include when you receive a free pair of socks or a T-shirt or address labels with a letter that asks for your “generous donation.” At ReminderMedia, we explain to our clients that when they send one of our personally branded magazines to their clients, they’ll remain top of mind and their recipients will feel a sense of obligation to refer friends and family.

However, charitable giving and random acts committed with pure intentions are also powerful triggers of reciprocity.

In this Halloween episode of Stay Paid, we’re inspired by Woody and Buzz from the movie Toy Story to celebrate people’s willingness to give of themselves in the course of building relationships and friendships.

We asked listeners to send us stories of reciprocity that start with them doing something nice for someone and end with repeat or referred business. In some cases, these listeners practiced following up and providing value in the hope of someday winning someone’s business. In other cases, a random act of kindness resulted in unexpected business.

Please enjoy this episode, and we’d appreciate it if you would give us a five-star rating and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. (Not sure how to leave a review? Click here.)


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