I recently spoke at a conference in Hobart when I was taught a wonderful lesson by a cab driver. Just before I entered the cab he came and opened the door for me. He then made conversation and asked where I was from. I asked the cab driver how he knew I was not from Hobart. He just replied with a simple answer “I’m a cab driver, it’s my job”

The cabbie asked about my future movements. I replied that I was returning to the conference where he picked me up. He asked what I was doing the next day and I told him I was flying back. I happened to be flying home Fathers Day and was excited to see the kids.

The cab driver offered to have the car pick me up for each of my further three journeys. I added this in my head and he managed to sell a $7 fare three times and also a fare to the airport in the morning.

As I later found, not much happens in Hobart early on Sunday morning so he picked up a juicy fare without work. The total sale was $7 + $7 + $7 + $35 = $56 a whopping 800% higher than his original fare. How did he do this?

I asked Barry if he was personally picking me up. “No” he responded, he was about to knock off. So I asked him if it was his cab, and again he replied “No”. So Barry the cabbie just up-sold 800% without any commercial gain to him. Was someone watching him? No.

Barry explained that he was ‘just’ a cab driver, and it was his job to make it easy for me. He also wanted me to go home with a good impression of his home state.

How do you get your employees to engage like Barry, to up-sell in unremarkable environments?

The answer is as simple as connection. Barry is connected with his job, it has a purpose. He also has a higher calling by considering himself to be somewhat an ambassador for Tasmania.

Barry teaches us that unremarkable people in unremarkable jobs can do remarkable things if they have a sense of purpose. It’s the organisations responsibility to provide that purpose and the employees responsibility to take some self responsibility.

Remarkable results are possible for unremarkable people in unremarkable jobs