Small Thoughts

Lift Off #17 – Reciprocity, Generosity, and Greed

Podcast Notes:

There’s a weird truth about greed. The more someone consumes the resources you produce, the more they feel they owe you a little. You can feed greed by promising more money, more popularity, and greater status, but the real power of greed is when you are generous.

Deliver more value than your customers expected. Like the saying goes, “Under promise, over deliver.” Kill them with kindness. Wow your customers again and again.

Get tired of hearing that stuff?

The reality is, when we look for answers, there isn’t an ounce of selflessness in sight. We will do whatever it takes, in some cases, to get the answers we need. When we find plausible solutions, we want to be sure that we are getting the best value for the lowest price. Now, this isn’t the nasty form of greed that corrupts and destroys, but it is still a shadow it.

It’s acceptable to pursue a better station in life. To aim for the high pay grade, work towards the top, become the most recognized in your field. Feeding those ambitions in your marketing will certainly work. But sometimes those attitudes can clash with your brand values (or personal values for that matter).

That doesn’t mean your marketing should ignore greed all together.

The simple impulse to ask “what’s in it for me” when looking for answers is easily met with strong benefits and value-added advertising. But you really become noticeable when you start to give stuff away. Free advice, samples, trials, insights, reports, guides and anything that is going to make your prospect’s life easier will turn you into their go-to resource.

We’ve talked about Freemium before. Free works because of greed, generosity, and reciprocity.

When you give with no strings attached, genuinely interested in bettering your prospect’s life, you gain their trust and even their affection. When it comes time to make a purchase decision, they can’t help but think they owe you a little, and they won’t mind parting with their money.

That’s reciprocity. Generously deliver value to prospects, feed their greed, and they will reciprocate in time.

It’s the Christmas season. Generosity should be the primary focus. Not just giving gifts, but adding value. You add value to someone’s life by spending time with them, laughing with them, singing with them (if you sing), and having fun with them. That’s being generous.

Your business is no different. Make every person that lays eyes on your brand feel like family, like they have a special place with you. That generosity won’t easily be forgotten.


Lift Off is taking a break for a week starting on Monday December 22nd to the 29th. After that there will only be two episode a week.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

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