Learning to Use the Law of Reciprocity: 4 Tips

I posted a blog this past Monday explaining what networkers need to know about the law of reciprocity, and I promised that I’d follow up today with some tips on what to keep in mind as you learn to use the law of reciprocity in your networking efforts. Below you will find four very important things to remember:

Tip No. 1–Giving means helping others achieve success. What is your plan to contribute to others? How much time and energy can you spare for this? Do you actively seek out opportunities to help people? You could volunteer to help out with something that’s important to someone in your network, offer advice or support in time of need, or even work hard to connect someone to a valuable contact of yours.

Tip No. 2–The person who helps you will not necessarily be the person you helped. Zig Ziglar says, “If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” In other words, what goes around comes around. If you focus intently on helping others, you will achieve success in the end.

Tip No. 3–The law of reciprocity can be measured. It is a myth that networking cannot be measured and, in my latest book, Networking Like a Pro, my co-authors and I use the Networking Scorecard Worksheet, part of the Certified Networker Program offered through the Referral Institute, to measure networking. If you apply the law of reciprocity, you will see your weekly total networking score gradually rise.

Tip No. 4–Success takes getting involved. Contrary to Woody Allen’s assertion that “90 percent of success is just showing up,” you have to do more than simply be present to be a successful networker. If you join a chamber of commerce, become an ambassador. If you join a BNI chapter, get involved in the leadership team. If you join a civic organization, get on a committee. The law of reciprocity requires giving to the group; it will pay you back many times over.

A master networker understands that, although networking is not the end but simply the means to growing a business, service to your network of contacts must always be uppermost in your networking activities. Once you have established a solid reputation as someone who cares about the success of others, the law of reciprocity will reward you with an abundance of high quality referrals.

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5 thoughts on “Learning to Use the Law of Reciprocity: 4 Tips

  1. Thanks for sharing about the law of reciprocity, which I’m also reading about in a book called “Influence”. I really like how you talk about how you can quantify your networking results, as what gets measured, gets managed. I will look into the Referral Institute.

  2. Great article, and very realistic as well. I think some people expect the law of reciprocity to be direct, simple and immediate, just like you put it on the previous article about “What you need to know about the lay og reciprocity”. It is important for the people involved in the business world to understand how this work and the patience it requires.

  3. When I joined the Pleasant Hill Chamber I joined the Ambassadors right away. Funny how just three months in I was asked on the Board of Directors and to LEAD the Ambassadors mainly because of the leadership I showed in my BNI Chapter Diablo Netoworking Circle in Walnut Creek CA. http://WalnutCreekBNI.blogspot.com

    The two years on the Board and the 5 years in my chapter were a wonderful experience in networking and leadership.

  4. Dear Sir,
    This attitude of giving ,or helping others, I feel , should become a way of life.And this attitude should be adopted, not only in business but in all aspects of life- 24/7.I have in the last 8 months, found that members,give referrals just for the sake of formality- which do not result in any concrete positive outcome, on most of the occasions.
    Once we make this attitude, a part of our nature, passing on referrals will not be difficult, since we would be genuinely interested in helping our fellow members to generate more business for them.And we shall finally be rewarded for the help that we sincerely offer to others.

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