Trust me it’s not where you think. Let me start off my telling you a little story about how I entered into Corporate America. I was 25 years old and landed a full time job as a financial planner at a bank. My boss asked me if I knew how to golf. When I said no (unless mini golf counts) she told me that I should learn ASAP because joining a golf club is a great way to network and meet new clients.
It’s not on the golf course
She also told me that a lot of deals are made on the golf course so if I wanted to succeed as a financial planner I should start spending time on the golf course. That I year I attended three golf tournaments and although I had a great time, ate some very expensive food, worked on my tan all summer and met a lot of nice (older) people I had yet to close one deal on the golf course.
It’s not over lunch
I worked as a financial planner for over seven years and I quickly came to learn that clients like to do business over lunch. Actually that’s not true. Clients like to go to lunch but it wasn’t to do business. Back then I didn’t know any better; silly me I thought lunch was actually lunch but it was really a test. I brought forms to sign and information about investment options, but no transactions were completed over lunch. My clients just wanted to chat and see what type of person they were going to give their money to.
I came to learn that client lunches were a test to see if I was trustworthy because at the end of the day my clients can invest their money absolutely anywhere; but if they’re going to hand over a check for $500,000 they want to make sure they trust the financial planner.
This is where all the magic happens
Now I’m 34 years old and I left the world of banking behind me to find a new career in marketing for an investment firm. You want to know where I do most of my business now? Now that I don’t have to sell, now that I don’t deal with clients face to face? The bathroom.
Yes that’s right I find out more about what’s going on in my company in the bathroom than I do in actual team meetings. You may think you’re going in to the bathroom to do one thing and come out with approval for an upcoming project or the inside scoop on a soon-to-be-made announcement.
I know what you’re thinking ” I saw that on 2 Broke Girls”. Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about let me give you a rundown: The two main characters sneak into the MET Gala hoping to bump into Martha Stewart so they can give her one of their homemade cupcakes. They hope she’ll love it and endorse them so they can start a new cupcake business.
When the night comes to an end and the girls still haven’t met Martha they go to the bathroom to complain about how awful their night was and change out of their ball gowns. Little did they know Martha Stewart was in the bathroom and heard everything they said. To make a long story short 2 Broke Girls + a bathroom + force-feeding cupcakes to Martha Stewart = A brand new cupcake shop.
So here’s my advice, even if you’re just planning to run into the bathroom for a quick second always always be on your best behavior.
Photo from Hollywood Reporter