Back in the day, some sales teams took clients for lavish all-expense-paid trips that included spas, skiing, golf outings, booze, you name it. But with the economy the way it is, such largesse is a no-no—except for members of Congress, who've voted themselves another pay raise and are angling for more petty cash.
Things have gotten so bad, the sales team at Men's Journal is willing to do circus tricks for prospective clients!
I kid, I kid. I've written about Men's Journal's "Dare Your Rep" event previously. It's a tradition dating back to the days when we all dressed in money suits and rode to work on gold-plated unicorns. "Dare Your Rep" works like this: They give clients a chance to vote on some outlandish thing for the reps to do. Then the reps do it. This has led to swimming in freezing water, swimming with sharks and eating exotic insects (as opposed to common household insects).
This year clients got to choose from fire walking, tandem skydiving, a polar-bear swim (swimming in cold water, not swimming with polar bears), ski jumping and vertical ice climbing. They chose fire walking. With the help of Certified Master Firewalker Charles Horton (nice work if you can get it), the team traipsed across 10 feet of burning coals. They went on to break pine boards with their bare hands and snap arrows using their throats.
Wait, wasn't that an episode of "The Office"?
Lauren Smith, a Men's Journal sales representative, said it didn't hurt all that bad. "It really was a mind-over-matter kind of exercise. The coals actually felt soothing compared to the cold hard ground I stepped on after walking the fire walk."
So, yeah, while you're sitting there bugging your clients with phone calls and puppy-dog eyes, telling them that your kids are reduced to eating Vienna sausages for dinner, the Men's Journal sales team is walking on freaking fire to prove its dedication to marketers.
Wow. It just occurred to me this might give clients all sorts of bad ideas.