Ask the Experts
Author: Thomas Christian | Digital Marketing Coordinator at EGIA & OPTIMUS | January 22nd, 2024

How to Give Gifts on Sales Calls

An HVAC Contractor in Iowa asked:

Do you recommend giving a gift on a sales call? If so, what works well?

EGIA faculty member Weldon Long began by referencing one of his favorite authors, Robert Cialdini, and a recurring principle in his books about reciprocity, saying that often when one is given a free sample or a free gift, it engenders in them a feeling of obligation to return the favor.

Long explained,”not everyone returns the favor by buying, but the numbers bear out that many more do because of that reciprocity and that obligation.”

However, Long also cautioned that the implementation of giving a gift to potential consumers can be tricky. This is because certain gifts can be seen as obvious ploys for manipulation that may offput the homeowner.

“They’re going to feel manipulated or they feel like you’re trying to manipulate them, so it has to be done in a subtle way,” said Long.

Instead Long suggests that for contractors, acts of service are easy ways to ingratiate oneself with the homeowner. Instead of giving a basket of fruit or a bouquet of flowers, simply bringing in their garbage cans, picking up the newspaper outside or helping them change a lightbulb can make a homeowner feel indebted to you without the risk of appearing too obvious.

Weldon Long is a successful entrepreneur, powerful speaker, sales expert and author of the NY Times Bestseller, The Power of Consistency – Prosperity Mindset Training for Sales and Business Professionals.

Our faculty members have also answered questions on other topics related to sales in the contracting world, including Sales Process for Millenials and Effective Sales Without Being Pushy.

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