During my years selling software and related services, from 1977-1985, I had various territories through the midwest and New England. Sometimes I drove my own car to see clients, other times I flew into cities and picked up rental cars (I always asked for small cars; I couldn’t see over the steering wheels of those big Buicks). This was long before GPS came into popular usage.
I should state that I have no innate sense of direction. I can read a map (even those little ones that the rental car companies used to provide). But I needed more detailed instructions to get to the specific location.
As I set up appointments, I made it my practice to ask the client/prospect for detailed driving directions. If I came in from the airport, even if I stayed at a hotel (sometimes I would fly in and out in a single day), I asked for directions with the airport as the starting point. I could navigate from there. Telling me to travel north or south never helped. I needed to know to turn left or right, how many lights I’d pass, what were the landmarks I’d pass (“look for the Waffle House on your right”, for example).
I would always allow myself an extra half hour in the event that I’d get lost. And I was NEVER afraid to stop at a gas station (this was long before self-service was ubiquitous) and ask for help, if I sensed that I was way off track.
I had stacks of 3X5 cards with the client’s name, company, address, phone number and driving directions to get to his company (almost invariably male). I kept those in my briefcase, alphabetized, bound by a rubber band. Each client then had a folder with other information from each call, once I started the relationship, but that card had the pertinent information for getting to the destination. I could hold it up in my hand as I drove. I might not know if I’ve driven .3 miles, but I knew if I’d passed the middle school. The landmarks kept me on-track.
Retired from software sales long ago, two grown children. Theater major in college. Singer still, arts lover, involved in art museums locally (Greater Boston area). Originally from Detroit area.