One day, we were trying to get in to see the works manager of an engineering works. But, despite all his charm, my sales manager could not get the receptionist to budge in her refusal to even phone our prospect.
Then, as we were leaving my boss spotted someone scratching about among all the swarf, oily rags and general detritus of an engineering works and marched right up to him.
"Good morning, Sir! Are you the Works Manager?" he asked.
I was some distance away but it was still possible to see the guy swell visibly at this instant promotion.
Of course he wasn't the Works Manager - but he was going to make real sure we got in to see the Works Manager right away.
So back into the factory we went, - past the dragon in reception - and right to the Works Manager's office where we were ushered in by our new best friend.
It turned out to be one of the most lucrative accounts I ever opened with multiple large orders for our products virtually every week.
And that powerful lesson of the sheer blasting power of showing respect to people has stayed with me all of my life.
Later as my career morphed into copywriting drawing from my time as a face to face salesman, I developed my concept of the 'Three Rs', which I believe to be the most powerful drivers of human behaviour, and which I feature at my marketing master classes.
So, to the 'R' for Respect I added the 'R' of Reward and the 'R' of Romance.
Reward means making money, which you might think is the main driver of human behaviour. But take a step back and think what we want to amass a fortune for...
It's so we can buy a bigger house and have a smarter car sitting on the driveway. In other words, so we can gain... more respect.
And Romance is pretty obvious and you could say is a sub-branch of Respect, because we all feel we need more love and it permeates every part of our lives with just about every song ever written being about love.
But of that powerful trio of R's the most important by far is Respect.
So - for example - when I'm selling a golf training course I will describe how the prospect will feel when he masters the amazing secrets in this course and uses them to drive the ball dead centre down the fairway, landing within a short putt of the hole, wiping the smirks off the faces of his golfing buddies who will from now on look at him with renewed respect.
Have you ever experienced any similar dramatic lessons which have contributed to your career success?