Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Perspective: A Lesson in Selling From an Unusual Source

As I entered a coffee shop this morning, my attention was drawn to a professionally dressed woman who was emphatically speaking on the phone.

“You must go after whatever you want with everything you have and with no apologies“, she implored as I sat at the table next to her.  “There is nothing in Life that you should ever feel embarrassed about. Ever!”.

True enough, I thought.  More people should feel this way.

As she hung up, I heard her mutter something about “people who don’t get it”.

I started to go through my email when I became distracted by her phone (so I thought) that had started vibrating in her purse.  I wouldn’t have cared so much except:

1. She had put her ear buds on and didn’t notice it.

2. It was obviously vibrating against a metallic or plastic object in her purse which amplified the sound significantly.

3. It wasn’t stopping.

When the sound didn’t subside, I waved to get her attention and as she removed her ear buds, I said “your phone is ringing”, pointing at her purse.

She frowned, and started looking through her purse, laying the contents of it on the table as she strove to isolate the source of the noise.

She located the source which I couldn’t help but see as she tried to discretely turn it off.

Her “facial massage unit” was the source of the noise and it was clear that she was feeling embarrassed by one of the banes of women’s existence – premature activation.

Her red face indicated her level of embarrassment and she started to hurriedly pack up her belongings.

“Sorry about that”, she said quickly.

“No worries at all”, I replied.  “However, I couldn’t help but notice that you were telling someone else to never be embarrassed about anything and you were feeling frustrated that they didn’t get it.  But here you are feeling embarrassed.  Perhaps you might find it easier to convince other people of your ideas if you believed them yourself”.

She seemed a little taken aback by my bluntness.

Then she realized that I was offering an observation out of helpfulness and she smiled.

“You’re right”, she said.  “What a way to learn.”

We both laughed and as she left, I offered her my standard farewell – “Create a great day, because merely having one is too passive an experience”.

After she left, I reflected on the moment and smiled.

Five lessons came to mind:

1. Lessons in Life often manifest in unusual (and funny) ways if we allow them to reach us and to teach us.

2. We can’t sell an idea to someone else unless we see things from their perspective and context.

3. We can’t sell anything if we don’t believe in it ourselves.

4. If you’re going to insist on carrying your “facial massage unit” around, make sure the safety is on to avoid the pitfalls of premature activation.

5. If you have a tendency to forget what’s in your purse, you may be REALLY embarrassed the next time you go through airport security.

Are you open to the lessons in Life that are all around you?

How do you know?

In service and servanthood,


No comments:

Post a Comment