Why every customer craves attention and affection

Why every customer craves attention and affection

Not far from where I live there is a petrol station run by an older gentleman whom I call Gus. He is about 160 years (not out) draped in a long white/grey spindly beard, and shuffles in slow motion as he walks from the station office to the petrol pump.

To paint the picture, his station is slightly rundown (okay, a lot run down) and fails to possess the flashy signage and shiny features many of his nearby competitors display. Yet Gus has something the other petrol stations in his local area don’t have – he’s got a constant stream of customers.

When you go to Gus’s petrol station you may wait a few more minutes than you would at another station. But you don’t mind because Gus takes his time with the good old-fashioned service. He shuffles over, says g’day and asks how your day is. He then cheekily quizzes if you’d like you car filled up? He pops the pump into your tank. While he’s doing that he gives your windshield a scrub. Sometimes he’ll demand he fills you tyres with air, because his kick test suggests they are low.

Gus does all of this at his own time and expense. You see, Gus is from the old school, he understands what people want, and it’s clear he understands what makes people tick. Despite the winds of change howling and the world spinning (fast!) Gus celebrates the simple things, the fundamentals, that don’t and won’t ever change: People will always desire to be respected, appreciated and remembered.

Gus isn’t doing all this to get a promotion, nor is it a publicity stunt to attract attention, he’s doing it because he loves it – it’s who he is. Clearly, all his customers, like me, love it too.

I drive past four competing petrol stations on my way to see Gus, each closer, all sell the same product, but I’m not interested in same. What’s more, I’ve never queried the price. Why? Because, Gus is that special and he makes me feel that important.

Trent Leyshan is the founder of sales training company BOOM! and the author of OUTLAW & The Naked Salesman.

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