So we completed our first ever sales road trip for Made for Freedom. All the planning and preparation paid off. We enjoyed visiting boutiques around the north central States, and we learned a lot along the way. We approached this trip as a trial run for later trips, and we gained much in experience and connections. Definitely this road trip was a relationship-building excursion, and we look forward to applying what we learned to future trips. Here's a few of our lessons.1. Lodging
In some cities, family and friends allowed us to stay with them; in others, we stayed in a hotel or hostel. We discovered that staying with family and friends is preferable, not only for the savings, but also because they often have knowledge of and connections in the city. We felt so blessed to see and to be with people we love. Everyone was excited to spend time with us and to hear about how Made for Freedom is doing; however, we also felt a bit of a crunch for time to get all of our notes compiled from visiting boutiques each day. On future trips, we'll spend more time in larger cities and make sure to stop visiting boutiques early enough so that we can swing by a coffee shop and enter notes before returning to family and friends.
2. On the Road
Dawn planned to get a lot of work done while I was driving. We even brought our Clear Spot with us, but to no avail. Unfortunately, we traveled back and forth through sparsely populated sections of the States. These are the places on those cellular phone commercial maps that are not colored in. Because I drove the entire time (I actually really like driving so this didn't bother me.), I could do no work during these hours. Consequently, we had fewer hours on travel days in which to get in our notes and to complete other work. On future trips, we are toying with the idea of hiring a driver and using a larger car, potentially with wireless service. Granted, we will probably be traveling through more populated sections of the States on these trips, but we both feel it will be beneficial for us to be able to get some work done while traveling, especially as Made for Freedom grows.
3. People are helpful
All along the way, we encountered gracious and friendly people. We're accustomed to the ugly stereotype of a salesperson, but Dawn has a wonderful way (called woo) in which she shares her heart, and people simply find it easy to get behind the cause of Made for Freedom. Even when a boutique was not a great fit, the owner often had several other boutiques nearby that could be referred. Granted, not every interaction along our way was perfectly pleasant, but by and large, we enjoyed meeting and befriending everyone we met. Being able to get our product into some boutiques and making sales on the trip also helped to seal the decision to move forward with plans for our next sales trip in October/November. Thank you for joining us on this adventure and be on the lookout for more to come!