A few year ago, while a guest at the New Orleans Marriott, I was a lucky recipient of unexpected goodies. cookie-1264231_640

About thirty minutes after check-in, there was a knock at the door. When I opened it, there stood a smiling Marriott associate. She had a bucket filled with ice-cold skim milk and a large platter of chocolate chip cookies. These were monsters. Each, about the size of a Volkswagen hubcap!

They stared at me through their cellophane wrapping. Teasing me. Tempting me to eat just one. Despite their seduction, I refused to fall prey to their menacing allure.

Later that evening, at about 11:30, I was pooped. It was bed time. But the cookies were now winking at me. Calling my name. Daring me to bust through what had been their impenetrable plastic protection. I still resisted. And remained awake for the next thirty minutes.

The cookies were no longer the enticement or the problem. Instead, it was my next door-neighbor.

The adjoining hotel room had at least four people. One was a child. They were loud, boisterous and having a ball. (Kinda like my family when we’re in a hotel room.)

I thought the revelry would subside. It didn’t. At midnight it was still going strong and the decibel level was rising. Okay, it was decision time. What do I do?

My choices were:

  1. Call their room and yell, “Hey, I can’t sleep. Pipe down!”
  2. Call the front desk, complain and delegate the dirty work. Let security handle my plea for silence.
  3. Or…

And boom, it hit me!

At 12:03 AM, I snatched the phone and called their room. A man answered with a sound of surprise in his voice. I said:

“Hi, I’m your neighbor. We haven’t met, but I can tell by the laughter and conversation, that you and your family are a lot like mine, you enjoy being together. And that’s great. Except, it’s really loud! Now, I would never ask you to do something for me, unless I first did something for you.

If possible, it would sure be appreciated if you guys could turn down the volume a wee bit. And in return, to say thanks, I’d like to provide you and your family with a platter of homemade, baked today, sealed in cellophane, Marriott chocolate chip cookies. Each, about the size of Rhode Island. I’ve already placed them outside your door.”

His response, “Okay.” I heard the door open. The door close. And then…

Nothing. Just the sound of silence.

Sweet dreams!


– when negotiating, provide an irresistible offer

– be polite, rude seldom produces your desired results

– provide value first

– delay your own gratification, your immediate reward may have greater value and significance at a later time to somebody else (if I gobbled too early, my bargaining chips, {no pun intended} would have been eliminated)

– patience pays

– if you expect to get something, be willing to give something in return

– take action first, especially when it gives the other party an advantage, (i.e., they had the cookies before I had slumber

– make your communication memorable and meaningful, (gotta believe these folks told others, “You can’t believe what happened to us!”)

– be involved, don’t delegate delivery of the message when you’re the stakeholder and most affected by the outcome of another’s decision


Jeff is a Hall of Fame speaker, best selling author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a "business-growth specialist." If you hire speakers, please contact Sheryl Kantor at: 847.998.0688 or [email protected]. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff's FREE e-letter, The Results Report . Jeff's books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, (an Amazon Bestseller), and the new, revised 5th edition of the bestselling Peak Your Profits. You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.