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The Gary Nappe principle

I can hear it already. Who the heck is Gary Nappe?!? Well, he was a friend for many years. I lost touch with him some time ago but before that, he taught me a few things.

Gary was an unusual guy. He was a gambler. He loved playing poker long before it was all the rage and a respectable sporting event broadcast on TV and played by thousands on the internet. Gary was not the kind of guy to hold a job in the typical sense but he was always doing something and that something invariably involved interacting with people. Gary was also something of a psychologist. Not that he had a degree in psychology or ever even really studied it formally. But he was fascinated by the workings of the human mind. I guess you could call him a hustler though he did not fit the typical stereotype of a hustler.

One time, Gary was in a bit of a slump and he took a job as a used car salesman. Being the kind of guy he was, this job sort of suited him. It gave him a chance to work in a situation in which he could exercise his passionate interest in human nature. He was quite good at it and was soon the highest performing salesman at the dealership.

So what did he teach me? Well, he told me that, virtually without exception, the people he gave the absolute best deals to were invariably the ones who were the most unhappy and complained the loudest. At the same time, the ones who got the worst deals imaginable, paying tons more than they needed to for cars that should have been retired from service years before, were the ones who sent their friends in, who could not say enough good things about this wonderful guy and the great treatment they got and so on.

I have found this to be so true that my wife and I marvel at it every time we find ourselves shaking our heads at some client who just got a fantastic price or a bunch of extra work at no extra charge and who just can't seem to stop complaining and demanding more… the "Gary Nappe principal."


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