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What Business Can Learn From Wimbledon - Manners Is as Important as Money

28/06/2013 16:17 BST | Updated 27/08/2013 10:12 BST

How can you make people spend money on your products?

Well, you can have brilliant product, obviously. You can give them all sorts of incentives, ditto. You can take Kevin Spacey's brutal advice from Glengarry Glen Ross and Always Be Closing, pushing your potential customer until breaking point.

Or, you can do what no one on Earth does better, I suspect, than the people who work at the world's greatest annual sporting event - the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Be polite.

From even before you walk through the gates, there is a gentility and affability that cannot help but seduce you. There are no stewards barking orders through loudhailers, no touts close to the ground and all the staff are immaculately turned out. These aren't trivial things - they go to the very heart of the event. They underpin its philosophy. Politeness is Wimbledon's identity. And every year you notice it more because every year society attaches less and less importance to it.

You can keep your industrial revolutions, empire-building and fish 'n' chips - I cannot think of anything more valuable that we've given to the world than, well, Englishness. Politeness. Common courtesy. Decency. Please and thank you. God, I sound worryingly like my old headmaster or some awful Tory peer. What's happened to me?

Once at Wimbledon, you're ushered through the gates with an abundance of warmth - genuine warmth - the people searching bags are encouraged to engage you in conversation and there is a helpfulness designed to make even the first-time Wimbledon-er feel at home. Security is soft-handed, elderly members of staff gently discourage people from putting feet on seats, subtle requests to discard empty beakers in bins rather than underneath seats are met with red-faced smiles from punters who are 'so terribly sorry'.

So by the time you stand in the queue for a £4 beer, £6 punnet of strawberries, £10 club sandwich, £38 T-shirt and £40 half bottle of champagne, you feel so smothered in love and affection that you can't help but shell out a fortune.

Because, well, these are your friends right? They really like you. And they look so smart and they speak so nicely and, oh ok then, you can fleece me all of my month's savings because you've got such a lovely smile.

I wonder if the staff of companies like Sports Direct, Wembley Arena, Marks and Spencer, British Airways and almost every corner shop I've ever found myself in would benefit from a day out in SW19? It might be expensive but then a great experience often is.

As David Mamet almost wrote in Glengarry Glen Ross - if you want a sale, Always Be Coddling.