Tuesday, August 24

Notepad = doom

It wasn’t my fault.  Not by any means.  Today began with canvassing for appointments, in person in the one-stoplight town in eastern Suffolk where I’ve been spending time lately, and then on the telephone.  Not much luck to report from either method.  In the early evening the manager and I went to an appointment at a condominium development in central Suffolk.  We met with a 50ish couple who wanted information on disability insurance.  I did all of the presentation, with the manager observing but not saying much.  The husband was interested in a policy, and while the wife already had coverage she said she might switch if ABC Insurance’s product seemed better than the one she had.  I spent over an hour explaining the ins and outs of the disability policy, with both of the customers asking many questions and the wife constantly writing things down on a notepad.  When I said pretty much all that had to be said, I asked the husband if he were ready to start an application.  He immediately said that he wanted to wait to see what might be offered through his union, and for her part the wife said she wanted to see how her existing policy compared.  Both basically gave us the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” line, and the manager and I left with nothing.

Needless to say, I was very much displeased.  The husband had been looking at a fairly large policy, and combined with his relatively advanced age (not too far from the maximum age of 59 for policy issuance) and high-risk occupation, the premium would have been high enough to have given me a very nice commission and triggered a bonus.   Had the wife gone for a policy too, we’re talking a total commission and bonus well into the four figures, with the first of those figures not being a one.  Pretty decent for an evening’s work.  Instead, of course, I earned a goose egg.  I was convinced that I had done something wrong and blown the sale.  The manager told me that I had handled it very well.  There are certain gestures and expressions and voice tones that together constitute “buy signals,” in other words an indication that a prospect is ready to buy.  Recognizing buy signals is something that only comes with experience.  The manager, who has many years’ experience, said that neither the husband nor the wife had given any buy signals whatsoever at any point during the hour-long presentation.  Put differently, I had no chance at all to make a sale.  He said that the wife’s constant writing in a notepad was a very bad sign, as prospects who do that almost never will buy anything.  If only I’d known earlier.  At least I was pleased that I hadn’t blown the sale, though the lack of any commission still rankles me.

It was past nine by the time I got home, and I was just too worn out for the gym.

Published in: on August 26, 2010 at 4:20 am  Leave a Comment  

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