People reciprocate. So “give” first

2nd June 2015

Know and owe.

Want to persuade someone to do what you want?

You’ve a greater chance if they know and owe you. In other words:

  1. Know – they have a good relationship with you – they know, like and trust you; and
  2. Owe – they feel in your debt, so want to reciprocate

So, to ensure they know you…

  • Spend time with them – face-to-face, wherever possible
  • Speak regularly. If you’re the sort of person who only remembers to contact someone when you need them, insert a recurring diary entry, reminding you to call them when you don’t
  • Ask them questions, to learn more about them. And when you do this, remember to WAIT whilst they’re answering (where W.A.I.T. means Why Am I Talking)

… And ensure they owe you:

  • Provide value every time you meet them…
  • …and do so without asking for anything in return (or they won’t owe you!)
  • The definition of ‘value’? Something they find valuable. So, things like: inviting them to an event, introducing them to someone, teaching them something, saving them time, making them look good, etc.

In my experience, as you read this, you’ll probably realise you fall into one of three camps – someone who:

  1. Doesn’t focus on the know or the owe
  2. Does focus on them, because you see the benefits to you in doing so – ‘if I do this, I’ll get something back one day’); or
  3. Does focus on them, because…well, it feels the right thing to do

Which of these three is best? Well, that depends on your viewpoint. But if you’re #2 or #3 – such that they know and owe you – you’ll find it easier to persuade than if you’re a #1.

And for what to say, so you do persuade them, there’s a link below…

Action point

Have a quick look at your calendar. Identify someone you want to influence this week.

And then consider whether they know/owe you enough. If they don’t, do something about it before trying to persuade them.

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