One of the things I’ve been wanting to try out this year is providing more stories about what it’s like out there on the road. Today, RSG contributor Joe Strandell gives us his Valentine’s Day recap and provides some good actionable advice on what he does to provide a one of a kind experience.
Valentine’s Day 2015 was great for ridesharing. In Santa Barbara, where I live, it was surging for most of the day on Saturday and lots of people were in town, in love and in need of rides. I started at 2 pm myself and went strong until 11 pm. I made about $350 after Lyft and Uber took their cut which averaged to about $38 an hour (including higher than average tips).
There was one particular ride that was pretty memorable though.
It was nearing the end of the night and these 4 girls were heading to the club, EOS. There is something particularly strange about this club. Every time people go, things happen. I have yet to actually step a foot inside their doors but really…. Every time, I pick someone up or drop someone off it seems to be a little memorable.
The blonde girl sitting next to me pitched,
“Hey! Let’s get a photo of us kissing you.”
I had never been offered such a proposition. “Sure!” I said confidently, not knowing what that would really entail.
I pull over, open up the camera app, and they just start kissing me on the cheek. It was flattering to say the least. I’m single right now but of course I wouldn’t let this happen if I was in a more long term relationship.
Here are a few lessons I learned from that experience and the weekend in general:
1. Always always dress nice
Guys, you will go so much further if you wear a suit. Go to Men’s Wearhouse: they have a buy 1, get 1 free suit deal as we speak. It’s worth investing in yourself. I don’t leave the house now without wearing a suit. It really changes you from the inside out. People’s respect for you grows about 3X.
Here’s an example. I’m walking on the side walk. A guy in regular clothes is standing in my way. I move towards him and he adjusts his body to make room for me. It’s a healthy respect when you’re wearing a suit.
2. Invest in some good car freshener or cologne
When people enter your reality, it should enlighten all senses, especially smell. I keep my car smelling immaculate and there’s a reason for it. Cologne should never be overpowering. It should only raise comment when you’re put into close contact. A cheap $4 Black Ice freshener does wonders too.
3. Speak your customer’s language
Whenever a Swede enters the car, as displayed below, I play popular Swedish music. You can also give your passenger your phone to play a song of their choice. It will always be something you’d least expect. This is key. You should also at least pretend to enjoy their musical choices, even if it sounds like the worst thing you’ve ever heard.
Whenever I meet someone from China, I say “Wǒ xǐhuān qù hǎibiān” (I love to go to the beach).
I’ve learned how to say that in 12 languages, including Korean, Norwegian, French, Portuguese, Chinese, German, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, and Spanish. I make sure to practice these languages for at least 5 minutes every day.
This rule isn’t limited to language translation either. People from the southern states have different values than the people from the northeastern states. Figure out who your customers are and what they value.
For example, I can infer something about the Swedes based on how many conversations I’ve had with them. Most of the Swedes here in Santa Barbara are here for school. They are young. Advertisements have been put in their face to come and study here in the states. They love the idea of sunshine, beaches, the southern Californian lifestyle.
So whenever a Swede comes in the car, I have some context for their purposes.
Do your homework. When you can speak in a language that someone else can understand, it opens them up in ways that were not possible before.
4. Know how to navigate your city
This seems pretty obvious right? You need to know how to navigate to get the most efficient route. There’s nothing more awkward then taking a Lyft to get the Santa Monica City Hall and they don’t know where that is. That’s a true story. I’m lucky that Santa Barbara is small and the navigation is easy.
In Santa Barbara, there’s a street called Santa Barbara St. that as long as you go 30 miles an hour, you will hit every green light. The same is almost true for Anacapa St. and De La Vina St. You want to take these to go south.
Learn your city. Take the routes that are most efficient and easiest on your vehicle and transmission.
Readers, what do you think about my Valentine’s Day driving and these four things?
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-Joe @ The Rideshare Guy
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