From here on only North! After Rovaniemi we only had one direction and that was towards the North Cape! On the way there we passed some marvelous towns embedded in the wild Arctic landscape such as Inari in Finland or Kautokeino and Lakselv in Norway – each of them more remote than the previous one.
Somewhere on the road in Finnish Lapland was also the first time we saw reindeers on the trip. Initially it was exciting and we stopped and took as many pictures as we could, but after a while they became pretty normal to us, since they roam freely everywhere up there in the North.
On this kind of sales trip you get quickly used to the daily routines, which are: getting up and ready, eat, drive, get out and talk to potential customers, drive, get out and talk to potential customers, eat, drive, get out and talk to potential customers, eat, sleep. You get the point. It is really crucial to force yourself, even after a long day when you made the same sales pitch for nine times and you got a ‘No’ for nine times, to still get out of the car for a tenth time and simply try and do it a mite better this time.
We had a day like this on the road in Northern Finland. We stopped at many locations, mostly without any appointments, but due to several reasons could not make a sale. The last stop of this Saturday evening was Kakslauttanen, the famous igloo village in Finnish Lapland. Anton, our co-founder, had told us before that this would be a special place and we agreed with him after our arrival. Some of you might have seen the viral videos on Social Media about their igloos, from which one can watch the Northern lights during the winter time. Anyway, it was past seven in the evening already when we arrived, but we were lucky and the boss Jussi was still there. We were told to wait for him and so we did. 10 minutes. 15 minutes. 30 minutes. 45 minutes. And then suddenly he came out of his office and you could tell that this man was a true entrepreneur. He seemed to be time-pressured, still he was very friendly and charismatic. For 2 minutes he listened to Anton’s pitch, he liked it and he bought our product. A fantastic end to this day and the lesson for us to never lose hope.
And one more thing we wanted to talk about in this blog. The after sales work. Yes, it is more than you would think! Since we did not have an office during the trip we managed to handle the process during our rides in the car, which got more difficult on the curvy Norwegian roads. First a new customer needs to be entered into the bookkeeping system. Then the sale has to be booked (including different VAT rules for Sweden, Finland and Norway). Afterwards the order has to be transferred to our manufacturer and logistics partner and an invoice has to be send out to the client. But the good thing about all this is that it becomes a routine very quickly – so really, no one has to fear the “back-end” side of running an own company.
We hope you liked our insights from this blog post! Stay tuned for our next blog – Renjer on tour # 6 – about our arrival at the North Cape!