OK, seriously, hearing the name Jamaica probably sounds more like a vacation than a mission trip. I can assure you, though, once you leave the small amount of resorts on the island and head into the interior, you would change your mind.
We taught in a church that had one roadside wall made with corrugated steel, and all the others were cardboard. Literally, they were made from cut-up beer boxes. The floor was dirt, and the “pews” were made out of busted pallets.
They had a bathroom—outside—that was a concrete pad with a very large leaf laid on it and some curtaining. That’s it. I never asked about the leaf. Despite all of that, the trip made up some of the most precious times in my life!
But before going on the trip to the Caribbean, we all had to raise money. The process of doing so would make another blog post. All I’ll say is that most people get frustrated because it feels weird to ask people for money.
One of the options for us was selling chocolate bars for a dollar each. Most of us thought it was silly because really … how many bars can you sell to people around you? And at a dollar a piece? C’mon.
When I was presented with the option, I was also made aware that inside of the wrapper was a dollar-off coupon to Subway. I thought for a second, and then asked for as many boxes as they had.
I then drove a few minutes over to the freeway that had a crazy-busy truck stop. I stood outside with my boxes of chocolate and asked everyone walking in if they wanted a free candy bar. Each time, I got a skeptical look and the question, “Free?”
I showed them the candy bar and the coupon for Subway and said, “You eat at Subway don’t you? This makes the bar free.” It took each person about two seconds to think, and then pull out a five- or 10-dollar bill and say, “Give me that many.”
That’s when I realized sales doesn’t have to be just convincing someone how much they need your product. Creativity allowed me to take the guesswork out of the picture. I didn’t have to find a “need” for my potential customers, I found a want. And a way to make it free.
Question: What other ways have you seen people be creative with their sales?