Persuasion by Reciprocation

IN HIS BOOK, Influence, Robert Cialdini lists the factors that have the greatest impact on the way people think and respond to you. The most powerful of all influences, in his estimation, is the power of reciprocity. Extensive research shows that reciprocity—giving and receiving—is the most powerful way to gain agreement and commitment.

Human beings tend to be fair in their interactions with others. This means that when you do something for me, I feel obligated to reciprocate, to do something for you of equal or greater value. This is a natural and normal human instinct. It is the basis of civilization, and the foundation of the Law of Contract, which makes all business possible.

Do Things for Others

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