The Idea

You’ve heard this line before: “You have to give in order to receive”.

When people are generous to you, not only do you like them more but you also want to be generous back – it’s just the way we are as humans. This is one of the main principles of network marketing and it has the benefit of being very effective, though tough to measure accurately. It’s a long-term way of doing business.

The Trick

The trick is that there is no trick to this – if people think you’re only being generous in order to get something, they will think you are sleazy. And besides, giving actually makes us happier as people. So the idea is to network with people that you both like and want to help and would make a good contact.


Offer to help and value, while not going overboard. Generosity shouldn’t mean giving up lots of your time or money. It could mean:

  • Offering one-off discounts
  • Connecting others to your network
  • Creating a free tool or education materials
  • Conducting a useful study
  • Not running annoying ads
  • Creating accessibility for people with disabilities
  • Going against policy to accommodate
  • Calling people to ask how they’re doing
  • Giving helpful advice
  • Acting in the other person’s interest
  • Being patient and kind

The Benefit

The byproduct is that once you do that, you’ll have built a network of people and customers that will be ready to swing at bat for you when it comes time – just like Zappos. It will make it easier to reach out and ask for advice, referrals, sales, contacts etc. – it’s called a genuine relationship!


  • Ease: Easy
  • Cost: Free
  • Scope: Small
  • Speed: Slow
  • Reach: Local