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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Full Article

The Favor Request Effect: Requesting a Favor from Consumers to Seal the Deal

Journal(s): Journal of Consumer Research
Published: April 1, 2016
Author(s): Simon J. Blanchard, Kurt A. Carlson, Jamie D. Hyodo

General Description
How can businesses best seal the deal when negotiating price with a potential customer? To dramatically increase the likelihood of the customer accepting the revised deal, pair a request for a favor - such as writing a positive review online or recommending the firm to a friend - alongside a price concession. Learn more about the psychological underpinnings of this phenomenon and explore the magnitude of price discount required for it to take effect.

Academic Abstract
When consumers and sellers negotiate on price, the seller’s goal is to complete the sale at a profitable price. In this research, we show that sellers who pair a discounted offer with a favor request can increase the probability that a consumer will accept the offer. The effect, which we refer to as “the favor request effect”, is found across multiple shopping contexts and multiple types of favor requests (experiment 1) and in negotiations involving financial consequences (experiment 2). The favor request effect operates by increasing consumers’ perceptions that the interaction with the seller is reciprocal, which in turn increases their confidence that they have obtained the lowest price (experiments 3 and 4). Finally, the moderating role of the magnitude of the discount offered on the effectiveness of the favor request is explored (experiment 5).

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