Mental Trigger #2: Reciprocity | Travel Research Online


Mental Trigger #2: Reciprocity

The concept of reciprocity as a mental trigger is one that caught my attention immediately. It underscores a human trait that supports the feeling that when you do something nice for a person, they feel somewhat obligated to return the favor. Of course this is not always the case, but you will find that it is true more often than not.

I remember when my wife Barbara and I were information seeking in a flooring store in upstate New York one fall afternoon. We had no plans to purchase anything in that store on that particular day. We were “researching” a brand for a later purchase for when we returned to Florida. Upon entering the store we made our position perfectly clear to the eager salesman.

Knowing that we just disqualified ourselves from being a qualified prospect for his goods or services on that particular visit, the salesman continued to provide answers to every question we asked. And he did so in a thorough, non-rushed professional fashion. He was good. He was honest. He addressed each and every question we asked. He even gave us answers to questions we were not smart enough to ask. To say the least, I was impressed.

Just prior to exiting the store, loaded with all the information we came for (and more), I remember my wife saying to me, “We can’t leave now. We have to buy something.”

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I reminded Barbara that we were on a fact-finding mission, and that it was not necessary for us to buy anything. She disagreed. We reentered the store and before heading for home, we were the proud owners of a multi-colored New York Mets area throw rug.

I must admit that this particular addition to our floor covering was perfect for our TV room as we are both ardent Met fans. That being said, this was a perfect example of reciprocity in action. (And I might add, this was NOT an inexpensive item.)

I am sure by now you have conjured up a few memories of your own where reciprocity kicked in without it being on your initial agenda.

Reciprocity is an interesting phenomenon. It works. Keep “giving.” You will soon be “getting.”

I would like to remind you that reciprocity is not a manipulative trick. You give because you want to give. There is no hidden agenda involved. If and when the favor is reciprocated you will be the recipient of the trigger known as “reciprocity.”

Mike Marchev

Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at

Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.

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