The Magic Words That Get You “In” With Potential Customers

Its no wonder consumers are skeptical about things that are free

It’s no wonder consumers are skeptical about things that are “free”…

The other day, I spent several minutes on the phone helping a school owner trouble-shoot his operations.

The thing is, he didn’t pay me for my time, and I don’t really know him before we spoke.

So, how’d he get such a big hunk of my time… for “free”?

He said the magic words:

“I bought your book a while ago…”

Allow me to interpret that, so you’ll understand the psychology behind why I was so willing to provide this individual with my time…

Basically, when I heard those words, my mind interpreted it as, “Mike, I am more than just interested in you and your company… in fact, I’ve taken the extra step to do something that benefits you before I ever contacted you to ask for your help.”

This is what is known in marketing as “reciprocation” – you do something nice for me, and I’ll naturally be compelled to do something nice for you back. And, it’s a powerful sales tool that can “get your foot in the door” with your customers.

How To Use The Principle Of Reciprocation To Get More Students

Now, I should add this caveat regarding reciprocation… after years of having this principle used as a form of overt manipulation, consumers are rather skeptical regarding anything that is “free”.

So, you should exercise this principle with caution… or, rather, with courtesy.

Here’s what I mean:

Instead of overwhelming your prospect with seemingly unbelievable offers of “FREE! FREE! FREE!”, you should instead overwhelm them with outstanding courtesy, professionalism, and customer service – and then as a “by the way” type thing, you give them something for free that they never expected nor requested.

That’s powerful, and it works because it’s a marketing tactic that is based on building relationships and doing things in a way that is at once selfless while at the same time potentially serving you and your school.

So, in case you missed it, here are those magic words:

“How can I help you?” (Hint: They only work when you mean it.)

Wow, what a concept. ;)

— Mike Massie

P.S. – My martial arts membership sales course will show you exactly how to use the principle of reciprocation to get more students… find it at

Questions? Comments? Completely disagree? Let the world know – post your comments below:


  1. Jeet Kune Do Instructor on March 19, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Not to mention your a swell guy, Mike. I might have mentioned this before, but I’m following someone’s advice and toned down the Marketing Guru’s I listen to. I follow people with a plan and intergrity and you happen to be one of them. Your a good man, Mike, and I hope God blesses you greatly.

  2. Mike Massie on March 19, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Thanks for the kind words, Scott…

    Now, where’s the darned Nobel Prize committee when you need them?


  3. Mike Keller on March 19, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Mike, you are a prime example of “reciprocation.” Thanks for all you do.

    Mike R. Keller
    Keller’s MMA

  4. Kurt Schulenburg on March 20, 2009 at 6:48 am

    “Let me help.” According to Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek episode “City on the Edge of Forever,” those are some of the most important words in history.
    And, hey, James Kirk and Mike Massie can’t BOTH be wrong!

  5. Mike Massie on March 20, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Yes, but Kirk would say it like this:

    “How… can… I… help… you?”

    Practically grew up on all those old sci-fi T.V. shows… I thought Kirk was a mack. :)

  6. jeff barnes on March 21, 2009 at 11:36 am

    this was a great read. Thanks Mike.

    sent from my kindle …

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