Her formal title is the international sales and education manager for Devoted Creations, but you probably know Lisa Parsons as a trainer with personality as big as her sky-high heels. She’s one fun-loving multitasker, weaving her way across the country to deliver personalized trainings for her fashionable lotion brand. For the impact she has had on her many trainees, this self-proclaimed queen bee was crowned the title of “Person of the Year” at this year’s Industry Choice Awards. In a Smart Tan exclusive interview, she shares a behind-the-scenes look at life on the road and tips for stocking your shelves in 2015.
Q: What is it like to live life on the road?
A: Last year, I was on the road 240 days, and I worked an average of 5.8 days per week. This is my eighth travel season! My first year it was very nerve wracking because I was young and I didn’t know anyone, but with time the people I visited weren’t just customers, they were friends who became family. Now it’s like I’m going place to place, seeing people I really enjoy spending time with and helping them grow.
What’s different about Devoted Creations training program is that we are very hands-on, and we aren’t the most structured. We gear our training to what the salon’s unique needs are. Because all of our trainers have worked in and managed salons we can help salons with whatever they need fro giving tours to promotion ideas. I enjoy coming back to these places or catching up with them and seeing their sales go up 30 percent or hear about them expanding.
But being on the road is difficult for scheduling things like doctor appointments and hair appointments or attending functions. That part of it is hard, especially around the holidays, but I’ve been doing it long enough that I’ve learned to manage it. It’s a bittersweet thing, because once March comes and things slow down, I kind of miss being on the road all the time! In the summer I spend more time in the office because that’s when we work on new products.
But I recently set a driving record for myself: In five days, I drove between 1600 and 1700 miles through seven states and switched time zones four times. During that time I did nine trainings! When I’m driving in the care, that’s when I catch up with customers, and Siri helps me compose emails and texts with voice command while I’m driving — I’ve learned to enunciate! So, my office is very mobile during that time because I’m only in the office about three days per month.
Ever since I started traveling, I bought a magnet from every city I went to and I write the date on the back. At this point I have more than 300 magnets. A lot of them are repeats, but I still haven’t been to Vermont. I don’t have any trainings lined up there yet — hint, hint!