A manager of a remote service station trained his new attendants how to make higher-margin revenue from customers who drove into the station by teaching the attendants how to find problems inside a car that weren’t there.
So, when a car pulls in, the manager first sees the plates and says, “Notice this is an out-of-towner. That means you’ll probably never see the person again. So probe to learn if the person knows anything about his car. Talk to him about some technical thing under the hood. You might say, ‘Your starting motor looks like it might go out on you.’ If the person says, ‘Starting motor? What’s that?’ then you know you’ve got a total idiot, so you can do whatever you want.” You then say, “Well, if it were my car, I wouldn’t want to take a chance with my starting motor, especially driving through the desert. I could be stranded.” “I can’t have that happen. What should I do?” “Well, we could give you a good deal on a new one. I’ll sell you one at cost and throw in all the labor free.”
So the victim thinks, “What a deal I got! I only had to pay $200 for the starting motor. It was normally $349 with labor.” But the manager winks at his attendants, knowing he has a 40-percent margin built into the price of the motor. Later, the attendants huddle and say to each other, “Now, if this guy would do that to his customers, how is he going to deal with us?” Each attendant knows that the manager will look for ways to cheat them as well.
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