Reciprocity Can Be A Commanding Aide In Driving Business Growth For Financial Advisors

When done right, the principle of reciprocity is a powerful tool in the acquisition of new clients as well as in the development of existing customers. It can facilitate stronger, deeper, and longer lasting relationships with clients and advocates alike.

Reciprocity is the recipe for prosperity

The principle of reciprocity speaks to the human need to want to give something back when something is received. People feel a sense of obligation to do something for you when you’ve done something for them.
Have you ever: Invited someone to your wedding because they invited you to theirs?; bought a Christmas gift for someone because they bought one for you?

When clients/prospects are singled out and made to feel that they’re special, the likelihood is that they’ll respond more favorably increases dramatically.
Dr. Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion shares a case study in which a waiter’s tips increased by 3% when diners are given a mint, and 14% when they’re given two mints. When the waiter left one mint with the bill but quickly returned to offer a second mint, the tips increased by 23%.

The principle of reciprocity, when implemented correctly, can be a commanding aid for businesses in driving not just referrals but personal warm introductions and revenue. It can also backfire when executed poorly.
The principle of authenticity must go hand-in-hand with the principle of reciprocity. What marketers need to understand about our tendency to want to give back is that it’s often strongest when the recipient feels that the gesture is sincere in its attempt to thank or serve, and that there’s no expectation of a return gesture.

5 Reciprocity Tips For Businesses

1. Make clients/prospects feel special and unique. Give them something for free.
“What!?!? This is madness!! I can’t just give my product/ service away for free!” If you are thinking like that, you have failed to understand the rule. Giving something away for free is your way of “investing” in a new client/prospect. If you are already engaging in marketing of any sorts, you are spending good amounts of money/time to acquire new clients. This means that you are already “investing” in them. Why not try a new tactic? Giving something to them can serve many purposes. It can be a sign of goodwill, it can them to try out your product/service when they otherwise may not have been inclined to, and, of course, it initiates the reciprocation rule.

2. Give them a gift of value that benefits their lives
Gifts like time, expertise or conversation can sometimes be just as valuable for generating goodwill with clients/prospects as physical gifts

3. Suggest ways that client/prospects may reciprocate.

4. Be the first to give.

5. Don’t let the circle end; keep the relationship going.


(An edited summary from Sam Fiorella “The Principal of Reciprocity and Influence Marketing”)

Relationship Marketing: Create a Human Connection

Sonia Simone writes in her blog “Remarkable Communication” that relationship marketing focuses on nurturing ongoing relationships with customers, instead of strip-mining prospects for one-time purchases.

Relationship Marketing: Create a Human Connection

There have been dozens of riffs on this over the last 15 years or so, with labels including one-to-one marketing, permission marketing, share of customer, and referral & retention marketing. They all boil down to the same idea-create a stronger emotional connection with existing clients and turn them into loyal advocates.

Not only is this more fun, it’s much more profitable. Selling to someone who knows, trusts, and likes you takes a lot fewer resources than selling to strangers.

If you’re a small business, it’s vital. Most small businesses don’t have the capital to burn or the momentum to attract an unlimited number of new prospects. Fortunately, it’s also a lot easier for  small businesses to relate to clients on a human scale.

Forget about looking big. If you’re a one-person shop, you can get tremendous mileage out of turning your human individuality into your remarkable brand.

The Bellis Method™
Relationship Marketing & Client Advocates

Elite Advisors Dream of a Pipeline Filled With Great Prospects

Warm Qualified Prospects
Some Advisors are living the dream because they are “givers” who did some research and took a small risk in hopes of a big reward.

They made the decision to quickly test a simple business strategy and to share the vision of a “giving business”, reciprocity and permission:

1. To transform many of their existing best clients into a tribe of client advocates*
2. And grow the tribe by continually developing new generations of client advocates

*Client Advocates warmly and personally introduce Advisors to their qualified friends and colleagues.

The Bellis Method™
Building a tribe of client advocates


We are taking “blog break” to reiterate our “no nonsense guide ” for consistent, controllable and predictable growth.

Take The Bellis Method for a test drive!

It’s low risk, high reward and Financial Advisors can take it for a test drive without disrupting their business.

  1. If you are an experienced Financial Advisor, you can have consistent quality productivity when you focus on creating “qualified” client advocates.
  2. These advocates are “qualified” because they’re clients you’d love to duplicate and they agree to warmly introduce ( not refer) you to their qualified friends, colleagues and family members. They are consistent and productive centers of influence.
  3. These introductions are “new warm qualified introductions”.
  4. What would your business look like if you could get in front of one new, warm qualified prospect every 1-4 weeks?
  5. With this focus, any experienced advisor, regardless of income, can easily and permanently improve the trajectory of their business in 2-3 months.
  6. You probably have questions that require answers.

As a result of our posts, we’ve been having interesting phone and email conversations with many of you who have been following. These conversations are focused on productivity, marketing, and growth. It’s what’s on everyone’s minds. And we love it! Thank you for reaching out and please keep your calls and emails coming.

As mentors, we love taking the time to talk one-on-one with Advisors and productivity is our favorite discussion topic.

The Bellis Method™
Creating Client Advocates and Warm Qualified Introductions

POWERFUL QUOTES FROM SETH GODIN – The Brilliant Hall of Fame Marketer & Business Guru

“Smart organizations assemble the Tribe.”
“It takes only two things to turn a group of people into a tribe: A shared interest and a way to communicate”

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.”

“A crowd is a tribe without communication. Most organizations spend their time marketing to the crowd.”

You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.

“Good marketers tell a story”
“Most of all, great stories agree with our worldview. The best stories don’t teach people anything new. Instead, the best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes the members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place.”

“Great stories make a promise. They promise fun, safety or a shortcut. The promise needs to be bold and audacious. It’s either exceptional or it’s not worth listening to.”

“Great stories are subtle. Surprisingly, the fewer details a marketer spells out, the more powerful the story becomes. Talented marketers understand that allowing people to draw their own conclusions is far more effective than announcing the punch line.”

“The business that succeeds realizes that offering a remarkable service/product with a great story is more important and more profitable than doing what everyone else is doing.”

“Your opportunity lies in finding a neglected worldview, framing your story in a way that your audience will focus on and going from there.”

“People don’t want to change their worldview. They like it, they embrace it and they want it to be reinforced.”

“Don’t try to change someone’s worldview is the strategy smart marketers follow. Don’t try to use facts to prove your case and to insist that people change their biases. You don’t have enough time and you don’t have enough money. Instead, identify a population with a certain worldview, frame your story in terms of that worldview and you win.”

“Be remarkable”
“In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”

“Products or services that are remarkable get talked about.”

“Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service. Not slapping on marketing as a last-minute add-on, but understanding that if your offering itself isn’t remarkable, it’s invisible.”

“Stop advertising and start innovating.”

“You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.”
The Bellis Method™