So there I was, staring at the ‘outside temp’ display in the car, currently showing 114 degrees. The AC is on max, all the vents are on me, and the car interior must be close to 65. I have goosebumps. I ask myself, “Who scheduled the meeting at 2p?” Then I remember: Oh yea, it was all that was available.
I look around the parking lot to see if there is a closer parking spot, I see none. There is an awesome heat shimmer coming off the parking lot.
It’s time to go. I gather my notebook and walk briskly to the front door. I make it just as the cool is starting to wear off my clothes. I felt relief.
I realized I’m rejoicing too soon. The lobby has south facing windows, about 3 chairs, and a few product brochures. It’s a hot box; I’m guessing about 90. There is some sad-looking plastic plant shriveling in the corner. I walk over to the receptionist window. She slides open the glass, the cool air pours out on the floor and I can feel it dripping off the front of my body. “Hi, I have an appointment with Mr. Jones at 2p.” She looks at the clock. It’s currently 1:53p and I think to myself, ‘This could be a long wait.’ She tells me, “I’ll call him. Please take a seat.” The window is slid shut. I wasn’t reassured by her lack of pleasantness. Beads of sweat started to form across my brow. I have a single paper towel in my pocket.
I’ve been there and done that.
In a few minutes, somebody is going to come through that door and shake my hand. No matter how good I am, first impressions are still really important. At best, their first impression of me is going to be hot and sweaty and that doesn’t get the deal.
Typically, I don’t post “how-to’s” but I figure a few articles might be a little fun, plus you might learn something that will help you out.
Where do I start?
Sweat or perspiration is the natural process wherein the body attempts to cool itself through the process of evaporation. Sweat isn’t bad, sweating in the presence of a client is. It has got to go. You can try antiperspirants, change from brand to brand. I prefer ‘Certain Dri’. Just get the roll on and follow the directions exactly and put some on your brow and anywhere else you might sweat a lot. Yes, it burns a little at first. You’ll get used to it. Don’t go crazy with the stuff. Wherever you put it will not sweat for 3 or more days. I’m serious.
Next, powder everything else. I get a store brand of Goldbond, which has the cool refreshing feeling of menthol. Yeah, just get it. Cover everything that gets covered with clothes with it.
Even if you get a nice deodorant, you will still perspire a bit so you need a little perfume to conceal it. My line of consulting doesn’t allow cologne, so I don’t wear it.
I don’t have to wear a suit, but I do wear polo shirts. When I first ordered shirts I found something that looked nice and was reasonably priced at about $25 per shirt with my logo embroidered on it. They might look okay, but unless my client sells meat locker storage, they are simply too hot. I say Certain Dri is some really good stuff, but you should not cover your whole body with it. So if a shirt is too hot, it’s just too hot. I call my professional wear place and ask about performance fabrics. After a little discussion, we come up with $55 per shirt. I do not buy them in black.
Let’s discuss performance fabrics a little. Basically, they are some blend of polyester knitted in a special way that makes them wick moisture away from the body well. A really nice shirt would practically be cooler than wearing no shirt at all. I’m serious here.
Once you buy a few performance shirts, you’ll understand how awesome they are. Just to make sure they stay awesome, they should never go in the drier. They go straight from the washer to the hanger. Because of the special fabric, I’m guessing you could wear them in 30 minutes or less.
FYI, clothing with your logo on it is much easily deducted than clothing without your logo on it. Something to consider.
When it comes to pants, it might be a good idea to trade the black leather pants for something a little subtler. Some simple loose fitting slacks in performance fabric and a light color to offset the darker (not black) shirt is exactly what the doctor ordered. These can be dried, but gently and hung damp. Don’t worry; they too are designed to dry rapidly.
Next, you still need something to blot yourself with. For that, I use a microfiber towel. Just find something online in a dark color. Get a few of them and cut them to a nice handkerchief size or something that fits in your pocket without being noticed. This little square will absorb 100 times its weight in water, so it will keep your hands dry. If you’re really slick, you’ll learn how to hold it in your hands while waiting and the second the door opens, you can palm it in your left and shake with your right. Just make sure to put it back in your right pocket so that if your hand gets a little sweaty you can just put it in your pocket and dry it off. Nobody will notice.
Lastly, with the temps being what they are, it’s acceptable to have a water bottle. You can get one with your logo printed on it for that special look. Get one made from aluminum. Fill it halfway with water and freeze it. Take it with you and leave it in a cooler in the car until you get to the client. Once ready to walk out, fill it the rest of the way with cold water. As you can imagine, it gets ice cold. If you cut your little cloth just right, you can use that to hold your water AND keep the cloth cold and slightly moist. This can be used to wipe a little coolness here and there, which could really help. It also helps to keep your right hand nice and cold; the cloth can keep it dry.
Now, when I find myself sitting in a hot lobby, watching a plastic plant melt into the wall and the door open up and being greeted with the words, “Sorry to keep you waiting.” I can confidently reach out with a hand that is cold as ice and say, “No sweat.”