Communication SkillsSelling Skills

A wallet was found…Please check to see if it’s yours…

Flying Southwest Airlines, if not always as much fun as they’d like us to believe, is always interesting. This last trip didn’t let me down.

By the time group C started boarding, the overhead bins were full. You can imagine if you schlep your bag all the way to the back, looking for a seat and overhead space, and then because there is no space, you have to bring the bag forward (excuse me, excuse me), boarding takes longer, gets more confusing, and is in general, not fun at all.

The flight attendant makes an announcement: Ladies and Gentlemen, a wallet was found in the gate area. The plane becomes quiet. If you would please check to ensure you have your wallet, pause… (folks start feeling themselves). Now that we have your attention, she says, no wallet has been found. But there is absolutely no more room for luggage and we need you to stop right where you are…

Not only did laugh but we did what we were told. She captured our attention by appealing to our interests before she told us what she wanted.

I love that!

Doesn’t this apply to email, presentations and child-rearing?! Not the lie part. The part that focused on compelling the other person to pay attention because what you’re saying is compelling to that other person. Salesmanship at its finest. Common sense at its best.

By the way, where is your wallet?