What business are you really in?


I was cutting it too close yet again.

I finished a conference call at 4 pm, and was about to dash out the door for a 4:15 massage appointment when the phone rang.  It was one of my clients calling back for the “meeting after the meeting”.

After finding a reasonable excuse to get off the phone, I hopped in my car to head downtown.

At 4:13, I was cruising down Main Street in my small town.  All of the two-hour metered parking spaces were full.  The only spot I could find was at a one hour meter.

My town is notorious having for the world’s most diligent parking police.  2 minutes expired and Boom!…Parking Ticket.

I got up to my appointment three minutes late.  I was stressed about my earlier call, stressed about rushing downtown, stressed about the meter three flights down with only 56 minutes left.

Did I mention I was stressed?!

Not the best head-space to be in for a supposedly relaxing massage.

Ted, my massage therapist, must have sensed my unease.

How are you feeling?

I explained the causes of my tension.  Ted said,

Hey, no need to stress anymore.  I’ll go down and feed your parking meter before it expires, and then you can relax on the massage table.

I was more than impressed.  Ted would do that for me?

By title, Ted’s a massage therapist, not a meter-feeder.

What Ted knows is that, ultimately, he’s in the people business.

Sometimes that’s shiatsu.  Sometimes that’s putting 25 cents in a machine.

Ted’s willingness to go above and beyond his “job” created instant ripple effects:

  • I liked him more.
  • I trusted him more.
  • I appreciated him more.
  • I felt more like a friend and less like a customer.
  • I felt more loyalty towards supporting his business.
  • I wanted to tell more people about Ted and his business.

In what ways can you go above and beyond your “role”,  and recognize the opportunities you have to help in the people business?  

This entry was posted in Customer Service, Sales/Business Development, Trust. Bookmark the permalink.