I've been in sales for the majority of my professional career, with the exception of the occasional waitressing gig, a summer spent lifeguarding at a waterslide and the freelance writing that I'm presently enjoying. The reason I haven't strayed from sales is because not only is it challenging, it also keeps me close to people—all sorts of people. And it’s the relationship aspect is what I like best.
Throughout the years I've had the opportunity to work with a variety of folks. I've met CEO's, CMO's, legal teams, accountants, planners, buyers, and clients in every industry ranging from finance to travel. You name it; I've worked with them. And what I've learned is no matter what company you work for, how smart you think you might be, or how well versed you are in the industry, it always comes down to the relationship. People want to do business with people they like and trust. Just read this article by a former employee of Goldman Sachs if you need more proof.
One way you gain both of these things—likability and trust—is by spending quality time with people. It can't be rushed and it can't be forced. The challenge in this busy world, is getting even a thirty-minute slot on someone's calendar, not to mention trying to block off part of an afternoon or an entire evening to spend together. When someone's precious time is finally nailed down, it's my job as a sales rep to really make it worthwhile, to find unique ways to bond with someone we barely know in most cases.
I've hosted all sorts of events including, my favorite, the classic evening of dinner and drinks. I've taken people to Broadway shows, ice-skating rinks, and every sporting event known to man. I've seen Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Doctor Dre, The Black Eyed Peas, and various other artists at some of the hippest venues in the United States. I've done mani pedis, spa treatments, lunches, wine tastings, and chocolate samplings. You name it, I've probably tried it. It's one of the best parts of the job but also one that can become very tiring.
Here, I want to share three suggestions that take our desire to care of our bodies and our health into consideration. Plus, they are perfect with summer just around the corner! Consider one of these healthy events the next time you want to entertain clients or host an internal work function. Note: these options will be best received by women although there are ideas here that men could go for as well!
Spin & Dry
It's a new trend—cycling classes. Here in New York the options are limitless. You can find group cycling at most major gyms like Equinox and Crunch or you can visit a boutique spin location such as Soul Cycle or Fly Wheel. I'm not here to tell you which one is best, because they all have their benefits, but consider doing a cycling class if you have a larger group (fun for those who have never tried it and challenging for those avid fitness buffs) or just reserve a few bikes for just a few people or some "one on one" time. Ranging between $25 and $32 for a 45-minute class, your clients or employees will thank you for picking up the tab on this one.
After class or on it’s own, head over to Dry Bar (or a company that's similar in your area) to get blowouts. It's another fun and trendiest thing to do right now. If you've just come from a workout, you’ll really appreciate getting your sweaty head washed and dried. It may seem silly for those who have never done it but for $35 to $40 a person, depending on your city, you will enjoy thirty minutes of pure bliss, while a professional washes and styles your hair. For a little bit more money (prices vary) you can even do a variety of add-ons like a 10-minute scalp massage. Dry Bar will allow you to bring in snacks and serve alcohol so if you're coupling this activity with a spin class, this is the time folks can refuel their bodies. With your new gorgeous ‘dos you may want to follow both activities with a healthy dinner.
Professional eyelash extensions are now the rave. I haven't done this one yet, but several of my co-workers have. I'm not going to make a specific recommendation on where to get it done but I will say, do your homework and don't skimp on the budget with this one. For around $90 (in New York, other cities' prices may vary) you can have your very own long lasting enhanced eyelashes—no mascara needed! This is a hit with gals who don't have long lashes to begin with but for those who do, I've heard it’s still a fun thing to splurge on, especially right before beach season. Just think, you won't have to deal with mascara around water and you’ll still look fabulous, even after a dive into the deep end.
One of my favorite things to do personally and professionally is to take a hands on cooking class. I say hands on because I think this is very different from a cooking "demonstration," it gets everyone involved. Chop, cut, taste, try...cooking classes are a guaranteed crowd pleaser. A couple of good options in New York are Miette Culinary Studio (very cool location, in a very down to earth space) or the brand new Haven's Kitchen that offers an array of different cooking related activities. Just be sure to ask your crew about food allergies before booking this one and plan the menu accordingly!
Signing Off Loving My Job,
Renee blogs about travel, food and living life to the fullest on Shape.com. If you're looking for Renee, you can find her via Twitter, on Facebook or on Pinterest, where you will find her favorite visual musings.