Aside from giving the tour itself, touting for business is the bones of the punting industry. It is both the inner workings and the outward representation of the business. Sales and information make a company tick and they form the framework of providing a service like punting. However, more than just that, the touts are the first point of contact on a trip along the Backs. It is their job not only to use their wit and wile to get people punting but also to be the living image of the company itself…..apologies to Sam and Mike for the rather tongue in cheek image used above!!
Sales jobs are never easy, but success carries rewards that are much more than just financial. Being at the core of the team on the street puts a great responsibility on the shoulders of these young people working on the front line. Initially, the most noticeable aspect of asking people to go punting all day is the countless rejections. Not everyone wants to go and often, even worse, they don’t want to go with you! That can be a hard fact to face up to. But it is that one success for all the people who say “no” that is fantastic. To realise that you can use your personal skill of being approachable and charming to make a sale is a reward just in itself.
Being surrounded by people trying to do the same thing as you is also part of the challenge. Not only must you wade your way through the cotinuous flow of potential customers on the street but also you must jockey for position with your competitors. Not touting anything and seeing others walking down customers can be hugely defeating, It is all too easy to get frustrated. But knowing this, knowing the pain of missing that one group, gives real substance to the achievement of the customers you do succeed with. What’s more is the satisfaction of negotiating with a customer and hopefully they will reciprocate the friendly effort. It is not just any old summer job. From personal experience I have found touting to be a great and rewarding challenge. Nothing beats the elation of being the top tout for the day and it more than makes up for those bad days.