Make money as an RV road warrior for Good Sam.
Shortly after an early retirement, Lea Taylor celebrated her birthday in a big way. She and her husband, Randy, embarked on the road as full-time RV travelers in a fifth-wheel trailer. As they pulled away from the Missouri home they had just sold, Randy turned to her and said, “Happy birthday, honey, we’re unemployed and homeless!”
Their joblessness wouldn’t last. After a stint managing a Christmas Tree lot, the Taylors learned about on-the-road opportunities with Good Sam. Within months, they hit the road as Good Sam reps carrying out inspections and developing market plans for parks listed in the Good Sam Guide Series and online.
So how does a couple make the leap from early retirement to road warriors for Good Sam? Here are a few of the key ingredients that go into pursuing the dream full-time.
1) Work Experience
The Taylors have an ample supply of professional experience that prepared them for working on the road. Randy’s resume includes 10 years of duty in the U.S. Navy and 20 years in federal law enforcement; Lea spent her career in sales, including working as a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. The people skills and ability to overcome logistical challenges they honed over the years have paid off big time in the outdoor hospitality arena.
2) RV Savvy
Prior to embarking on the road full-time, the Taylors were “weekend warriors” who frequently camped with friends in tents and in a folding camping trailer. But their familiarity with the outdoors goes further back: “We both grew up camping on the Mississippi River in Illinois,” explains Lea. By the time they contacted Good Sam, the Taylors were seasoned RVers who knew what to expect on the road.
3) Love of Travel
The Taylors relish traveling beyond the tourism hot spots and hitting the backroads. That’s one of the reasons that being a Good Sam Rep is such a great fit for the couple. “When you RV just for pleasure, you tend to stay on the main roads or plan a trip to a specific area,” says Randy. “With this job, you see every nook and cranny of whatever your territory is. It really gives you the opportunity to see every part of a state.”
4) Passion for Serving Customers
The Taylors fully embrace their mission of helping their clients succeed at business. “Both of us love meeting all of the park owners and learning their stories, and we also really love helping them with their business,” says Lea. “We refer to ourselves as ‘Partner Consultants,’ because we want our parks to understand we are there to partner with them, to help them grow their business or solve whatever problems that they might have. We’re a different set of eyes for them and because we see so many parks, we have knowledge that they may not. The goal is for all of our parks to be successful and to look at us as experts in the industry.”
5) Skill in Customer Relationship Building
The Taylors know that the partnerships with RV parks go far beyond their meetings at the campgrounds. Forming a relationship with the client is part of the deal — and the Taylors always respond to their clients’ questions. “When we get a phone call from a park in the days, weeks or even months after a visit and they call because they have an issue and they want to get our opinion on, it is a great feeling,” says Randy. “We know that we have made that connection and that our park owners trust us and many of them we consider friends.”
6) Ability to Work as a Team
Working as a rep team is a two-person job, and the Taylors know that cohesion is key. “You have to really be able to work together as a team, which isn’t always as easy as it sounds,” says Lea. “It can be a challenge at first, but you eventually fall into your individual roles within the job. You also have to be flexible enough to step in when your partner needs you. One of you must have a strong sales background and be able to work with parks on a consultative basis. Finding out what they need is the only way you can help them.”
7) A Healthy Balance Between Work and Fun
Some reps would tell you that the opportunity for fun on the road is the best part of the job. You won’t get much of an argument from the Taylors. “The pay is great, and although it is intense while you work the season, you have down time to do whatever you might want to with your time for a large part of the year,” explains Randy. “We like being able to manage our own schedule in our territory and the ability to take our dog, Jake, with us to work. This life has given us the opportunity to travel this country from top to bottom, coast to coast.”
During their travels, the Taylors have discovered that some folks take the “fun” part too far. In Benson, Arizona, for example, a group of hard-partying folks in their 80s invited the couple to a very wild shindig. Randy and Lea politely declined.
Just another day in the life of a Good Sam rep team.
Do you have what it takes? See below for more info.