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Pre-giving

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Pre-giving

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Get people to comply with your requests by first doing something for them or giving them something.

Do this without asking for anything in return. Just show you are kind and generous. Then later ask for something. Do not mention that this is an exchange or that they owe you.

The best time to ask is long enough after the gift so they do not think it is a simple exchange, but not so long that they have forgotten that you gave them something.

Example

 

Discussion

While pre-giving is not a direct exchange in the manner of a mutual agreement before the exchange takes place, the underlying force of reciprocity still applies. The effective social rule is that once you have accepted something from another person then they have the right to ask for something in return (which may be bigger than the 'gift' that they gave you.

Charities and other fund-raisers use this when they give you a pen or other simple gift, which of course you can then use to fill in their donation form.

Pre-giving works when the thing that is given is appreciated or that they appreciate your consideration of them. It fails when it unwanted or they suspect you are being manipulative. You can emphasize that you are considering them by asking about their situation, or even asking directly what they need.

Pre-giving is the 49th of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Exchange principle, Obligation principle, Reciprocity Norm, Pregiving

 

Kellermann, K. & Cole, T. (1994). Classifying compliance gaining messages: Taxonomic disorder and strategic confusion. Communication Theory, 1, 3-60

 

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