“I Can’t Sell You That…”

man watching airplane take off

“I can’t sell you that,” said the agent in the Lufthansa Senator’s Lounge. I was traveling with two co-workers and my status only allowed one guest entry into the Club. Since we had a four hour layover, I was in the buying mood.

“I don’t understand,” I replied.

“You purchased your airfare through one of our partner airlines and my system only allows me to sell club tickets using a Lufthansa ticket code,” explained the agent.

It was shortly after 7 a.m. in Germany, middle of the night back home, so I thought I was hearing things.

“Really?” I asked.

“I’m afraid I cannot sell you an entry ticket, but you can come in with one guest.”

“And leave my other friend to fend for himself?”

We passed and had a wonderful breakfast, together, at a nearby restaurant that was happy to take our money.

This friendly agent is not the villain of this story. On the other hand, systems that make no sense whatsoever, are.

The question to ponder is whether there are things team members on your team cannot sell? Can, for example, a customer service representative sell when a buyer wants to buy? Can an engineer offer a design service, or a maintenance apprentice offer to get a quote on an item? The latter happened to us a few years ago, now we are debugging the mold and getting ready to run production.

Thank goodness our apprentice didn’t wait to follow the “sales system,” or “protocol,” that we (don’t) have. We would have missed our opportunity.

So, here is a good rule of thumb for team members: Use the brain God has given you and serve other human beings.

That’s it!

This isn’t rocket science after all.

And it apparently isn’t the airline club business either.