Thursday, September 9

It’s official: I am worth less than a pizza

Any notions I might have had about being a worthy human being are lost and gone forever.  Vanished into the mist.  What happened this evening was one of the most – perhaps even the most – soul-destroying experiences of my life.  As is routine for newer agents I was spending the day going around with my manager.  We had an appointment at 6 pm in western Suffolk, an appointment the manager had set on Tuesday.  Going to this appointment was rather inconvenient in a geographical sense as our other work was much further east, but we dutifully arrived at the customer’s house right at six as scheduled.  He wasn’t home.  The manager suggested that we wait in the car for a few minutes, in case the customer was running late, and sure enough he drove up shortly thereafter.  He was accompanied by his wife, his two small children, and – most significantly of all – a pizza box.  We identified ourselves, and the customer said that he’d be out to speak with us in five minutes.  The wife studiously avoided looking at us, which almost certainly was deliberate.  The family, and the ‘za, went into the house.

Less than a minute later the customer came out of the house and apologized for having forgotten about the appointment.  Now, the manager had set the appointment with him just 48 hours earlier, I guess this would make the customer uninsurable because memory loss and dementia are disqualifying medical conditions.  The customer went on to say that we’d have to talk outside because “the kids are being really rambunctious.”  Trying to make a presentation while standing outside is very difficult, what with all the brochures and other papers involved, but I started to do the best I could.  Almost immediately the customer cut me off and said that it would be impossible to talk any further because of the way the children were misbehaving inside.  He gave the wholly predictable “leave me your card, I’ll call you and set another time” line that is a 100% surefire guarantee that the sale will never happen.

As we drove off, the manager told me that the moment he saw the pizza box he knew that we wouldn’t be making any sales.  All the customer cared about was having his pizza when it was nice and hot.  It was utterly irrelevant to him that we had come well out of our way (the manager had told him that during the brief conversation outside) for an appointment he, the customer, had forgotten.  It’s also likely that during his minute or so inside the customer’s wife had snarled at him to get rid of those salesmen and come in to dinner.  In short, the final score is Pizza 1, Me 0.

The rest of the day was nonproductive but, thankfully, less ego-destroying.  We spent well over an hour at another customer’s place of business on the North Fork helping him deal with some account problems.  He had dropped several policies on former employees earlier this year but found out during our appointment that premiums for one of the policies were still being deducted from his bank account.  It took a couple of lengthy calls to the home office, but we were able to arrange for the policy’s cancellation and for several months’ premiums to be refunded to the customer.  He was quite pleased with our service, if I may say so.  When it came time to discuss some additional coverage that might be appropriate, the customer’s appreciative attitude pulled a disappearing act, and he said that he was unwilling to consider anything until business picked up.  He asked me to call him in a couple of months.  Guaranteed business will still be lousy.  Our last appointment, in central Suffolk, went quite well.  Some questions about existing coverage levels meant that the customers weren’t ready to buy on the spot, but according to the manager it’s reasonably likely that they’ll buy another policy or two within the next week.  I sure hope so.

Gym: yeah, it’s slow, but I ran 2.1 miles on the treadmill at a turtle-like pace of 4.6 mph.

Published in: on September 10, 2010 at 11:37 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. nice thank you.

  2. Nice thanks for share all this information with me and all ppl that read this nice arcticle so i want to say thanks you so much

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