Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Foolish Consistency Is The Hobgoblin Of Little Minds

Gentleman James Stockbauer embodies all the qualities we admire most in the Tourist-Businessman. I could go on about how James has been voted VICE readers' favorite businessman 4 out of the last 5 years but I'll let him tell you himself. Here are his tips to success written in his own unique voice.

1. Always travel with 3 pairs of shoes for every occasion: sport, dress and drinking;

2. Allow one day for actual business and 3-5 for leisurizing;

3. Spot a good initial drop off location for bags. It will be hard to determine when you might actually check into your hotel. Most upscale, posh places have a coat check. Why not substitute your coat for a bag? Few people have been known to steal luggage so don't worry. Plus chicks get suspicious of people carrying bags. You may come across homeless. No good. Travel as light as possible. Even leave your paper work behind. Hands-free to do more important work like gesturing;

4. Never give hotels your credit card number for reservations. Check into quaint B and B's or guest houses that are behind the curve on late check-in or no show policies. When late make exaggerated excuses as to why you were late. (i.e. a mugging, lost wallet, plane delay, family problems) They will understand if you explain in a duress-ed tone. Get down with the people on this. They are used to tons of problems and will understand and might even emphasize;

5. Line up entertainment far in advanced. You will need to neatly time your handovers so they do not interfere with the deal making. Never party with clients or customers. They will sense you are trying to gain an angle on them or that you might be just a party clown having fun in their fair city. Say no and say I never have a "drop" They will think your are a religious lad and therefore will assume honest;

6. Always, always go straight to the liqueur store first and buy several bottles of booze for you suitcase or room. Large cities will gouge you on drinks all the time. Be wary of hip day time bars that try to pawn off some dried or smoked fish as an exotic appetizers. A nice bottle and some mixers in your room is heaven. If your local Paki is out of mixers, try some exotic fruit blends. They bode nicely with your drink and give you the vitamin C the body needs for this type of work. You are an on-the-go tourist/businessman and you need to be fit for the day ahead;

7. Never be impressed or fooled by fancy accents from front desk clerks, porters, bell hops, taxi people, etc. Give them normal tips and don't feel sorry that they are struggling immigrants that deserve more attention or money. Don't fall prey to sympathy. It will drain you wallet quickly and you will be short on funds before your departure. Always keep $30 bucks hidden for the cab back to the airport;

8. Avoid local phrases or colloquial terms at business meetings. Especially in the Northern US. Don't act campy or southern because your prospect might think you are under-educated or a hillbilly type. Be direct and demand time frames from them. Do not let them slip loose with lame excuses or delays. Tell them the deal is now and the quote only lasts 30 days. Tell them " Delay will only drive up the costs. " Do not take any creative payment terms like 30 down, 30 at production and 30 upon inspection. They will usually fuck you on the later. Demand an irrevocable LC with a major banking institution. No Visa or Money orders ever;

9. Pay the $25 change of airfare always. Many a good intention to leave on time has been spoiled due to early binging or premature celebrations. A deal is a deal when you have been paid. Orders are a dime a dozen and meaningless;

10. Dress for meetings like you just hopped off your yacht or just arrived from your winter cabin. Don't even shave the day of the meeting, make them think you are doing great and are not desperate for their business. Never ask them about their wife or kids. Too much info to remember. You will be fumbling over that for years!!;

11. Number one rule, 80 percent of business is personality. They will definitely remember you if you turn on some dazzle. Most sales types are stiff and boring and very forgettable. You will rise far above them and have a fantastic time in the city of your sales destination. Keep your chin up, be happy and draw them into your world. They will want to join in and perhaps want to hang with your cool vibe. Some might even want to jump ship and join you in your quests. Conquer young man, conquer!!


Anonymous said...

I bought this guys rap hook line and sinker back in the disco era and lordy does this man preach the business travel truth

Anonymous said...

at first i thought to myself, "self, this post is way too long to read." but i'm glad i did; i learned valuable lessons that will travel with me along my career path.

chin said...

I spoke with this traveler on his cell yesterday as he was boarding a plane in Mexico City. Drinking shoes were all he wore the entire trip.

john martin said...

Are these tips a joke? First, he says don't mingle and then he says do mingle. Where is this fool's consistency. Although I do like the shoe advice.

Disco Record Keeper said...

Our records show that a certin Mr. Jim Stockbauer was greatly abused in the late disco era. Take that for what you may.

Anonymous said...

young man!! what about the ladies? are u an 80's era sexist?

c'mon dazzling should be democratized.


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the running mule