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The Art of Persuasion . . .

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Although I’ve read countless books on the Power of Persuasion, I was rudely awakened to its unceasing power, as if I had been walking in a blind stupor.

I am a freelance copywriter. My workdays are consumed in solitary confinement; my only companions are a laptop, printer, a fax machine and a growing collection of books on a variety of subjects.

As my list of clients started increasing, I found out that one phone line simply would not do. I explained to the representative from Verizon Business Account what I needed. Two separate lines to handle the overflow of calls from clients. He made all the arrangements and without me asking, scheduled the earliest possible installation date.

What transpired next was something out of the twilight zone. I had been told that my new lines of service would be installed from 8a.m. to noon. Around 1:30 that afternoon I called and was told that the window of service was actually from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Needless to say, I waited at home for twelve hours and never saw the technician. I called back at 7 that evening and was told that he arrived at 5:45 p.m., couldn’t gain access and left.

At that point I was livid. The technician had lied. From the vantage point of where I was seated, no way I could have missed him. My explanation seemed to have fallen on deaf ears with the representative I was talking to, and I demanded to speak with a supervisor.

A very surly woman came on the phone. She accused me of misrepresenting the facts. I became heated. I told her that the only thing I wanted her to do was ensure that my lines were installed the next day as early as possible.

She became argumentative. “Sir, I can’t promise you anything. Verizon doesn’t compensate you for any lost wages.”

She told me that the technician will be there from 8 a.m. to noon and promptly terminated our conversation.

I awoke the next morning eagerly awaiting the installation of my new lines. I was determined not to have a repeat of yesterday. The incident had left me vulnerable. I had often lectured my eldest daughter, to never let anyone know where her goat was tied up.

I had been a poor example. I had allowed the supervisor to not only enter my yard, but to abscond with my goat as well.

At 9 a.m. I called to find out, if they knew around what time, I could expect the technician. I was surprised at the representative’s answer. It seemed that the Supervisor had played her trump card. Obviously angry at the way I had spoken to her, she neglected to schedule my appointment.

The Power of Persuasion had already taken root. I hadn’t realized it. I had answered the phone in my customary greeting with this representative.

“How are you doing today?” she had asked.

I am blessed and highly favored, I replied. “I hope you’re the same.”

“Praise god. Thank you I am.”

She kept me on hold for quite a while, as she feverishly tried to get a commitment from the installation department. She finally acknowledged that although she couldn’t secure what time, the technician would install my lines today.

He arrived an hour later. He questioned my bewildered expression. I quickly related my experience. I told him that the representative couldn’t give me a fix time, but he had arrived within the hour.

The lines proved to be a challenge, but he secured the services of another team and two hours later my lines were installed. He refused the tip I presented.

“My satisfaction, sir,” he stated, “comes from doing my job well.”

The unrelenting Power of Persuasion. If only I had used it the day before. Perhaps I would still be in possession of my goat.

Then again, perhaps it was a lesson I needed to relearn . . .

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author


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