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The Reciprocity Effect: What Can You Offer Your eTailer Prospects?

By Darren Pierce on Aug 5, 2013 6:00:00 AM

In social psychology, reciprocity is a person responding to a positive action with another positive action.

Salespeople have been using reciprocity for centuries. Some have misused the strategy to get people to do things that are not in their best interest.

But others use reciprocity to truly help people. We know you’re on the honest side.

Today, there are many ways you can give your eTailer prospects something valuable as you build your relationship with them.

Here are a few examples.

Case Studies

People like to read case studies because it gives them a story to read about how another company was successful with a specific endeavor.

Case studies also allow you to showcase what your company can do without selling. You can focus on the client's success.


eCommerce managers like to stay up-to-date on the latest information in the online world. By creating an eBook you can provide insight and actionable steps for managers to take with their company.

The key is to provide actionable steps. Make it possible for the managers to see results. They’ll feel that your contribution is even more positive and they’ll remember that as you build your relationship toward an eventual sale.


Have your analytics or marketing team put together some stats from your client database. Put out a report from the findings.

Reports and studies are great information and eTailers use them all the time to help them understand what is going on in the industry.

Point of View Articles

You don’t have to report the news in your industry to be valuable. People can get news anywhere. What is more valuable is providing points of view on recent news items.

Take a recent big news item that is important to your prospects and provide a point of view. Help the prospect understand how they will be affected.


Webinars are being used all the time as a sales and marketing tool today.

When you reach out to eTailer prospects you can offer them a spot in an upcoming webinar where they can learn valuable information. It’s another positive action you take to start the reciprocity effect.

Reciprocity is all about you providing something valuable to your eTailer prospects as you start your relationship. Instead of starting the conversation by asking for something right away, you can take the first step to form a positive relationship.

Do you offer your eTailer prospects something before asking for a sale?

Written by Darren Pierce

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