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A Manner of Speaking Nov/Dec '91

by Bonnie Neugebauer
November/December 1991
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5008241/

A sure way to capture someone's attention is to exceed their expectations.

It was a sewing machine mechanic who started this train of thought. His enthusiasm for his work, his demonstrated knowledge and reassurance were all welcome - but all within the realm of what I hoped for. His quoted rate was also what I expected; but when he told me the job would be done the next day, rather than in the three week period I anticipated, that's when he really captured my attention. It was also the moment that I became his customer for life.

We go through our days expecting things to go a certain way, and they usually do. As we kind of trundle along, we don't notice the expected; it's the serendipity, the unexpected, that stops us short - and for a time our attention is riveted. My dad likes to surprise people in this way: They ask, "How are you?" automatically, always expecting the answer, "Fine" and not really hearing any response at all. Dad replies enthusiastically, "Terrific! I'm just having a great day." His response is the one people hear. They look at him with surprise, ...

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