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This personal tactic works when there is an appeal to social proof or social pressure. You may be implored to do something “for the community” or be a contributor to a socially conscious organization. This may have nothing to do with your needs and requirements.


An example arises when people confuse a business deal with philanthropy: “This buy will help our employees, owners, and the little league team we sponsor. You will help the community.” Another example springs from real estate development companies. Developers use this often when building subsidized housing, using the fact that part of development is for the needy. They do not address the tax break or revenue they are making on the deal, just that adjacent land owners, subcontractors or suppliers should make concessions for the good of the community.


The “this is bigger than us” appeal can be dealt with by focusing on the deal and how it impacts your business. Keeping philanthropy and community separate from business can be a plus, but it may hurt in other terms. Volunteer outside the deal, unless that is your role such as in a non-profit. Point out the requester’s gain, and turnabout is fair play; they should surely be happy to give a little when it’s for the good of the community.

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