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I have to say, it’s a good thing I’m a guy and I’ve gotten used to rejection.

I’ve been a market research surveyor for several months now at Aspen Skiing Company and I keep coming back to the same thought, that being a surveyor is just like dating.

Hear me out. I walk up to countless people on a given day to fill my quota. I have 5 different surveys I administer and I go to various parts of the mountain to find participants. Let me set the scene for you. I’m out walking around, looking for my next victim, I mean participant, and try to find people who look like they would be interested in taking the survey. I walk around for a few minutes trying to find one or two people, because let’s be realistic, group mentality is bad for surveying and dating. That’s why middle school and high school dating was so hard.

Aspen/Snowmass Base Village

Snowmass Base Village

I finally find someone who is just hanging out at the base of the lift. I walk up, smile, try to stay cool, and causally start up a conversation with a total stranger. We talk for a few moments about the skiing, or the weather (typically a bad sign for a date), and then I pop the question. “Hey, I am conducting surveys today, would you be interested in telling me about your experiences today and get some free hot drinks?” This usually goes one of two ways. The guest is either thrilled about it, sometimes joking about getting anything for free in Aspen, or I am flat out rejected.

If I’m rejected on foot, totally cool. I can walk away and it reminds me of vacation flings. If I’m rejected on the lift, it’s a totally different story, especially if they end up talking to me the entire way up anyway. Why turn down the free drinks if you’re going to talk to me? It’s like saying you like me well enough to spend time with me, but not enough to “date me” and get free stuff. It’s like falling for that person who rejects you, and then doesn’t leave your life for one reason or another. Luckily for me, the longest I’m ever on a lift with someone is 15 minutes!

Those who take the surveys enthusiastically are the best. Not only do I get great information about them so I can improve future experiences with Aspen Skiing Company, but it also creates a relationship showing the guests that we actually care about what they think. In many cases, I see these same guests from day to day and I put a name and a face to the company that they now feel part of creating.

So what have I found? I get to meet some really interesting people, and they love free stuff.

Aspen Snowmass Flight Map Information

Aspen Snowmass Flight Map Information

Free stuff in Aspen? Trust me, I know, all too rare.

The people are very cool. I meet great locals who own I network with promoting my business, as well as meeting great people from all over the world. The Aussies are my favorite though. Everything is “brilliant” and they say cheers to everything!

Rejection is a part of life, dating, and surveying. I get rejected every day. Despite this rejection I have learned a lot about people, what influences their decisions, how to entice them, and more importantly, how to talk about anything to anyone.