I just got home this weekend from a 4 day marketing seminar in Tampa, Florida.

Yes, I too go to seminars to get more education. I believe in constant improvement – it makes my business much more interesting and exciting because I know I’ll get back at least 10 times what I paid when I put what I learn into

A strange thing happened on the second leg of my flight home.

I got on my United "Ted" flight early ("Ted" is an airline division of United Airlines – a dumb brand name by the way – dumb because it has to be explained).

As I was sitting in my seat a father and his 2 sons came up to my row and the father said that he had seat 22F.

I was sitting in 22F

I said that I had seat 22F.

We showed each other our boarding pass stubs and they both said 22F on them.


The father politely but a bit stiffly said that he would sort this out with a stewardess.

And he showed a bit of stress at getting his boys to sit still in the two seats next to me.

A few minutes and a few people crowding by later, the man asked me if by chance my name was Mr. Brown.

I said yes, that is my name.

He showed me his boarding pass stub and there was my name.

This was getting weird.

I double checked my boarding pass… my name was on it too.

My name was both boarding passes – his and mine!

How could this happen?

I mean, all of us would be terrorists with shaving cream get stopped at airport security for packing too many "liquids" in our carry-ons (gotta stop those chemical bomb cocktails from being mixed in the bathroom ya know).

And yet somehow, 3 checkpoints of Tampa Airport TSA security specifically checking for a photo ID to boarding pass match let this guy through when the name printed his boarding pass did NOT match the photo ID he showed.

Some "security" we have, eh?

Anyhoo, once this father realized that the mistake was on his end (even if it was not his fault), he made a decision.

He decided to be a Gentleman about it.

He began to joke around with me about the situation and the lame security that let him get as far as he did with the wrong boarding pass.

He was nice, he smiled and laughed.

He had plenty of reason to be a real jerk as he shared that he and his two boys had already missed a flight home 24 hours earlier and they had to stay the night somewhere in Washington D.C.

As everyone finished getting seated and time to close the doors on the plane neared, this man finally spoke with a stewardess.

Turns out there were a couple of extra seats on the flight.

The man and the stewardess came back, politely asked me if I would move seats. I happily did as I wanted this man to sit with his 2 young sons.

I did because this Gentleman treated me with respect and did not take out his problems out on me.

So the next time you making cold calls and "only" get through to a secretary, receptionist, or admin’, treat them well.

Be a Gentleman, or a Lady.

You’ll find that you have much better chance getting her assistance on how to sell to and get through to your prospecting target if you are pleasant and treat that person as an ally, and not an enemy.