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Principles of Persuasion

Principles of Persuasion

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Published by Alonzo Boschulte

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Published by: Alonzo Boschulte on Aug 01, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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I pride myself on being on time to meetings.I consider
it gravely inconsiderate to be late for an appointment.

So,of course,I found myself running late and precariously low on gas.
I happened on a gas station I’d never been to.As I pulled in,an attendant
jogged over and directed me to a vacant pump.

“Fill ’er up?”he asked.


Great fortune! I don’t normally use full service.Not because I don’t
want to pay the additional pennies,but because it usually takes longer,and
I resent spending time watching some teenager swagger over to fill my
tank.It’s quicker if I do it.It was lucky an attendant happened to be at the

“Would you like a car wash,you’d be the next in line?”the attendant


“No thanks.But good up-sell,”I said jadedly.

“Can I at least wash your window while you wait? And would you like
a complimentary newspaper?”

“Sure,”I said.

He passed me the paper and proceeded to give me the most thorough
window washing I’d ever experienced during a fill up.This is the best gas
station employee in the history of gas stations,I thought.But then I
looked around and what I saw amazed me.Everywhere I looked there
were attendants literally running from car to car,smiling,giving every per-
son that drove into the lot the identical treatment I’d been receiving.


Principles of Persuasion

I counted at least one attendant per gas pump.The woman in the car
across from me even received a fresh-cut flower.

“What motivates you to give such great service?”I asked the attendant.

He smiled.“My boss is a demanding man to work for,”he said.“He has
very high expectations.”I could note in his voice,I wasn’t the first person
to ask.

“Do you like your boss?”

“I respect him,”he said.“This is the best run gas station in the city.I
have customers that travel 10 minutes out of their way just to come here.
We take pride in our work.”And then he leaned in,confidentially,“and we
work hard.”

I paid,thanked him and left.

But I couldn’t get the experience out of my mind.When I got home
that evening I told my wife about it.“They’re famous around here,”she
said.“They are being written up in the paper all the time for great service.
They’re the most profitable gas station in the city.”

I can believe it.In an age where service is so dreadfully bad that we’ve
become accustomed to chronic disappointment,a small gas station in the
suburbs of Victoria shines a bright light on the opportunities that being
exceptional bring.

Lesson Four:

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