Sales Travel Guide - Philadelphia

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I’ve spent a ton of time in Philadelphia and for the life of me, I still don’t understand how it earned the moniker, “The City of Brotherly Love.” That’s not to say that Philadelphians aren’t great people, but Brotherly Love is not the first thing that comes to mind. Philly is known for its very straightforward communication style...and for throwing snowballs at Santa Claus.

Airport:

PHL (Philadelphia International Airport) - With six terminals across all major US airlines plus half of A Terminal being reserved for International Flights, PHL is a key airport for the East Coast. Frankly I’d choose to fly from PHL over anywhere in New York, New Jersey, DC, or Baltimore 10 times out of 10. Despite its size and number of flights, the flow of PHL is efficient and effective. There are plenty of dining options and car rentals are quick and easy.

Hotel Recommendation:

The Rittenhouse 1715 Boutique Hotel is located within a half mile of the Philadelphia Convention Center and is also very close to sites such as the Liberty Bell. It provides a more unique and personal experience than most of the chain hotels at a fairly reasonable price.

How to Sell to People in Philadelphia:

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In one word, Philadelphians are direct. No bullshit is the way to go. You might get away with some light sports talk, but if you are a Dallas Cowboys fan, or root for New York or New England teams, stay clear of starting any arguments. You will have to negotiate carefully and make it a point to let your prospect win some of the points. This is true for most situations but Philly is a city of scrappy underdogs and they love a good come from behind win.

Where to Take a Client for Lunch:

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Forget about a restaurant. Every Philadelphian has an opinion on which Cheesesteak is the king and they love to share their opinion. Tell your client that you absolutely have to have the best Cheesesteak in Philly and want them to make the decision for you. Odds are, you will wind up at either Pat’s or Geno’s near Passyunk Avenue. There are arguably better Cheesesteak places in other parts of South Philly but these are the two landmarks.

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Where to Take a Client for Dinner:

The Continental Martini Bar in Old City is a great dinner spot for casual yet upscale dining. You won’t be out of place at all in a suit but it is loud enough where you can let loose a bit and have a more informal business discussion

Where to Take a Client for Drinks:

Monk’s Cafe is known as one of the best places in Philly for a beer. In fact, they call themselves “The Soul of Belgium in the Heart of Philadelphia” and live up to that label. In addition to a great beer selection including some private label selections, Monk’s serves some of the best mussels on the east coast.

Something Touristy:

Philly is home to some of the most important sites and landmarks from America’s Revolutionary War and pre Constitutional period so you can and should go that route. In addition, you are a short distance away from any pro sports event you can imagine with all four major teams playing within a mile of each other. We would actually recommend a slightly longer commute to catch the Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer club in the nearby Chester waterfront.

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Sales Travel Guide - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Airport:

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the main airport for Amsterdam. It is incredibly busy (third largest in Europe) and very spacious. It would be even busier if it weren’t for the fact that so many Europeans and other travelers arrive by train in Amsterdam via Amsterdam Centraal Station. The airport is very large, but incredibly easy to navigate since it contains just one large terminal with three departure halls.

Hotel Recommendation:

If in Amsterdam for business (which you probably will be if you are reading this article), head to the Amsterdam Marriott Hotel. Boring, yes, but a great location with nice amenities. As I normally do, I would recommend an Airbnb if your company allows it as a part of your travel policy. My experience in the Marriott was top notch and because I have platinum status with Marriott I chowed down every night in the executive lounge before going out. It was a good option for breakfast and happy hour. If you are looking for something a little different, check out this site which lists a number of unusual hotels.

How to Sell to People in Amsterdam:

The Dutch are incredibly friendly, but also quite matter of fact in their communication. They combine some of the best qualities of their German, Belgian, and French neighbors in that respect. When selling to them, stick to the facts, keep focused on business, but do so in a warm and friendly manner. Mirroring their hospitality will go a long way.

Where to Take a Client for Lunch:

The Little Thai Prince is an absolutely killer Thai restaurant in the heart of the Red Light District. Its location and appearance are deceiving, but if you read the reviews on their Facebook site, you will see a pattern; small place, wasn’t sure what to expect,...best food ever! Seriously, if you like Thai food, or are interested in getting into Thai food, this is a must eat location.

Where to Take a Client for Dinner:

If you need more time to wine and dine your client, you can’t go wrong with Restaurant Blauw, an Indonesian masterpiece. Blauw serves rijsttafel, or a traditional meal of rice/side dishes. I think we had something like 30 different dishes while we were there. You can’t rush through and have to have a few drinks at a minimum. The food was excellent and it left plenty of time to talk business.

Where to Take a Client for Drinks:

Amsterdam isn’t necessarily known for their beer, at least not as much as their German and Belgian neighbors, but there are a good number of spots to grab a few while in the city. I recommend Bierproeflokaal In De Wildeman. They normally have 250 beers on tap and have a pretty great atmosphere. It’s probably the most “Amsterdamy” place in Amsterdam.

Something Touristy:

Obviously Amsterdam is known for its coffee shops and the Red Light District, but you are there for business, not a stag party. There is much more to this amazing city. I recommend the Van Gogh museum or the Anne Frank tour. You can’t go wrong with either and they will make a lasting impact on you.

Sales Travel Guide - San Francisco

If you are in B2B sales and have any dealings with Startups, Software as a Service (SAAS), or anything in the technology field, odds are you will find yourself in San Francisco, California at some point. San Francisco is one of the most creative cities in the world and is at the heart of technological innovation. For a sales traveler, presents some exciting opportunities to turn a work trip into a great extended weekend or mini-vacation.

Airport: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

SFO is absolutely massive. I have to admit, it is not my favorite airport. If I am spending most of my time in San Francisco proper, I will fly into SFO. Otherwise, if I plan on being in Silicon Valley, I will usually fly to San Jose. It is no bigger than other key airports in the world, but for some reason, things just seem to go a little bit more slowly in SFO. The monorail system usually tacks on 20 or 30 minutes to any final destination.

Hotel Recommendation:

If you insist on staying at a chain and are looking for a decent rate with good amenities and a great location, the Marriott Courtyard in Union Square is a fine hotel to stay at. You can spend a lot more in San Francisco but it really depends on your situation. With that being said, our recommendation is actually to stay at an Airbnb. After all, Airbnb is based in San Francisco and has completely changed how people vacation. It is starting to also take off amongst business travelers.

How to Sell to People in San Francisco:

San Francisco is a laid-back, liberal culture, but also very business forward. Things move at the speed of technology, and you need to be laser-focused on business outcomes. In sharp contrast to the East Coast mentality of long-term return on investment, many companies in San Francisco are looking for solutions that increase their valuation today. Especially when working with startups, you need to be focused on how to help them show the most value to potential investors as one of their key goals is most likely to exit the business with a large payout.

Where to Take a Client for Lunch:

The Wayfare Tavern in the Financial District is a wonderful choice and is known for its Tavern Burger.

Where to Take a Client for Dinner:

Alioto’s is located on Fisherman’s Wharf and has excellent views in addition to its Italian and Seafood. You can make it upscale or casual and enjoy the view in either setting

Where to Take a Client for Drinks:

If you are just looking for drinks, you can’t go wrong with Fog Harbor at Pier 39. This is a go-to for me every time and it serves a dual purpose. Have you ever had a few too many drinks without anything to eat? Not a good situation when entertaining clients, right? Well, Fog Harbor serves Clam Chowder in Sourdough Bread Bowls. Nothing sops up the alcohol quite like a giant piece of Sourdough

Something Touristy:

If it is your first time in San Francisco, you absolutely have to take a trip to Alcatraz. It might seem cliché, but it is an experience that everybody should take in at least once. After all, who wouldn’t want to take a selfie in Al Capone's old cell?

Dublin Airport - A Very Productive Layover

There may actually be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow at the Dublin Airport. From the moment you fly into Dublin, you are instantly captivated by the lush green plains leading to the runway. It is the kind of scene that you expect to read about in a children’s story or to see in a cartoon. Seriously, I half expected to see a bunch of tiny Smurfs frolicking and Smurfing all over the place.

My experience at this airport was brief but impactful. I was on a layover on the way to London. I flew in from the states overnight, and landed in Dublin at about 8 AM, smelling of beer. Oh yeah, about that. Literally five minutes after my first flight took off, I managed to spill an entire Heineken on myself. It was one of those spills that really made things uncomfortable. The beer got everywhere. It somehow flowed underneath me to cover my entire seat. Worse yet, I was wearing jeans, and they just absorbed it. Fun fact, jeans don’t really dry fast. So, the moral here is, bring a change of clothes if you don’t want to sleep in beer soaked pants overnight on a tight plane. With that being said, if you are going to wind up in an airport smelling of stale beer, it may as well be in Ireland.

But, I digress. So, the first thing I got to do in Dublin is walk through their beautiful rainbow path. I tactfully avoided making any Lucky Charms jokes. Once I got through security, I realized I had a couple of hours to grab a bite, a pint, and maybe do a little shopping. The duty free shops were pretty much what you’d expect, but there were also some excellent Irish themed gift stores. If you are on a tight layover and only have a little time to spare, I recommend a few stops. Check out House of Ireland for Irish themed jewelry and glassware. Then, head to Wrights of Howth for Irish smoked salmon (so good). Most importantly is The Loop, which is really a collection of stores. My favorite was the various places to grab (and sample) whiskey. I am not a huge whiskey drinker but in addition to being able to sample it at this store, there were a ton of gift packs where you could buy small bottles. I highly recommend. And if you don’t like whiskey, remember, everybody has a friend who does.

There were a decent amount of food options, but I was really looking to do the most cliche thing possible; have a pint of Guinness. For that, I sat down at Alcock and Brown. They had a number of local offerings on tap, but a decent selection of varieties of Guinness that I can’t get at home. In addition to a standard pint (much better than in the US), I had a pint of Guinness West Indies Porter and Hop House 13 Lager. I’d probably give the West Indies Porter a 4 out of 5, while the Hop House Lager was more like a 3.5 out of 5. On the way out I realized that I hadn’t eaten since the chicken curry that I had on the plane many hours ago. I had to catch my next flight so I grabbed a chocolate croissant and headed out. I know I probably missed a chance to have a proper Irish breakfast, but I figured that I would fill up on Guinness.

It wasn’t a long layover, but I think I got to see and do everything I could. I definitely had a headache when I reached my final destination, but I wouldn’t have changed anything. Layovers are a good way to dip your toe into a new location. I look forward to spending some real time in Ireland at some point. It was breathtaking to fly into and I would love the chance to actually eat some of their food

 

Sales Travel Guide - Chicago

If you travel for sales, chances are you will wind up in Chicago at some point. Whether it’s a layover at O'Hara, one of the largest international airports in the world, or to visit one or the many large corporations housed here, you will find Chicago as a hospitable, yet hectic city. Many of the largest insurance, publishing, and manufacturing companies in the world are either headquartered or have a location in Chicago. In addition, Chicago has a very healthy venture capital and start up environment, which has given birth to some very successful companies over the past 10 years. Here’s our guide to navigating and making the most out of your trip.

Airport

There are two major airports in Chicago; O'Hara and Midway. If you are flying Southwest, odds are you will take Midway. Otherwise, you’ll find your way to O'Hara. I’ll focus on O'Hara. The airport itself has a number of wonderful dining options. If you are flying United you will find yourself in the main terminal. Other airlines such as American are split off. The airport is massive so it isn’t easy to explore dining options in different terminals. Here are some good recommendations by terminal:

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Getting to the city

If taking an uber, head to the Rideshare lot on the upper level above baggage claim. Uber pool is a good option. It costs about half and most of the time nobody else will try to carpool with you.

The subway is a cheaper, but longer option. Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) runs a solid operation.

Food while in town

There are a number of restaurants in the Harry Caray group that capture the spirit of the late-great broadcaster. Many of them have great happy hours and even better food. http://www.harrycarays.com/our-locations/

As covered in our New York edition, Eataly is a great destination for a variety of Italian food, groceries, and beer from all over.

It wouldn’t be Chicago without some Chicago style pizza. Giordano’s, Lou Malnati’s, and the original Pizzeria Uno can fight over the title of best Chicago style pizza. It’s more fun for the rest of us to try them all.

Entertainment while in town

If you are in town visiting clients, a Chicago Cubs game is a great, fairly inexpensive way to break the ice. If you want to spend more or host numerous clients, look into the rooftop apartments across the street from Wrigley Field.

Sightseeing

The Bean - Officially titled “Cloud Gate,” this sculpture in the middle of the Loop Community has to be seen in person.

You can also get a great view of the city in the Chicago Skydeck at the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower or the 360 Observatory at the John Hancock Center.

 

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Sales Travel Guide - New York City

New York is a city that most B2B sales reps will find themselves in at some point. Nearly every major company has a presence in Manhattan or one of the other boroughs. With over 8 Million residents and many more travelers, there are nearly unlimited options for food, drink, and entertainment while traveling for business. Here is a brief travel guide. Due to the sheer size and importance of New York, we will have additional guides in the future as well as other key cities.

Here are a few tips to make the most of your trip:

Best place to eat for breakfast

If you are anything like me, your breakfast consists of multiple coffees and whichever sandwich can be quickly heated up. Starbucks is wonderful, but there is so much more to explore in New York. If in the Midtown Manhattan area, consider The Red Flame Diner. It is quick, delicious, and very reasonable by New York standards.

Link - http://www.theredflamediner.com

Best place to eat for lunch

Eataly NY, located in the Flatiron District has a number of options, so you won’t lack variety. While this is technically an Italian Grocery Store, there are a number of options for lunch, including pasta, sandwiches, pizza, meats, cheeses, etc. In addition, if you have time for desert, coffee, or even a drink, they’ve got you covered.

Link: https://www.eataly.com/us_en/stores/nyc-flatiron/

Best place to eat for dinner (especially if entertaining clients)

44&X is a gothic inspired bar in Hell’s Kitchen. Their motto is “Heaven in Hell” and they live up to the hype. This is a great location to take clients to. It is not too loud, but still has some life. The lighting creates a unique ambiance (right down to surprisingly uncreepy candlelit bathrooms). The Chicken and Waffles comes highly recommended by the Sales Couture braintrust.

Link: http://www.44andx.com/

Best place for beer

Whether back in Hell’s Kitchen or a little north on the Upper West Side, beer nerds will find no better sanctuary than Beer Culture

http://beerculture.nyc

Bonus - check out Connolly’s Pub for a great Shepherd’s Pie

http://connollyspubandrestaurant.com/

A surprisingly cool hotel:

Yotel fancies itself “a new breed of hotel” and I can’t say I disagree. I have only stayed there one night but can attest to the fact that it is an extremely unique, albeit refreshing take on a hotel. You stay in Cabins which look like they were furnished by IKEA, but the amenities and value for price are impressive.

http://www.yotel.com/en/hotels/yotel-new-york

At the end of the day there is much more to explore in New York. Consider this first of many travel guides for the city that never sleep