Friday, September 17

Four cancellation scenarios

Before I describe today’s activities let’s play a game of Pretend.  It goes like this: pretend that you’re, say, an insurance agent.  You’ve made an appointment to go to a prospective customer’s house or place of business to make a sales presentation.  Time, date and location have all been confirmed. Shortly before you’re about to leave for the appointment, or as not infrequently happens while you’re already on the way, the prospective customer calls to cancel the appointment.  Most often he or she will say that there’s a major crisis at work or that a family member is very sick or something similarly dire-sounding.  The real reason for the cancellation is quite different, of course: there’s something interesting on TV, or the dog needs a new collar, or something of that ilk.  It really doesn’t matter.  What’s relevant to our game is what happens next with respect to rescheduling the appointment.  There are four basic rescheduling scenarios that can occur, with vastly different consequences.

Scenario One: The prospective customer says that he or she wants to reschedule, proposes a new date and time, and asks if that’s okay with you ( [prospective customer] “How about next Tuesday at 6, is that okay?”)

Scenario Two: As above, the prospective customer says that he or she wants to reschedule, but does not propose a new date and time.  You have to propose the new date and time ([you] “How about next Tuesday at 6, is that okay?”)

Scenario Three: The prospective customer does not mention rescheduling, therefore you do so, and as above you suggest a date and time ([you] “Why don’t we set a new time.  I have next Tuesday at 6 available, is that okay with you?”)

Scenario Four: It starts out the same way as Scenario Three, except this time the prospective customer declines to reschedule, often saying “my schedule is totally crazy,” and instead says that he or she will call you at a later date to set a new appointment.

In my reasoned judgment, the chances that you will end up making a sale are 25% in Scenario One, 10% in Scenario Two, 5% in Scenario Three, and zero in Scenario Four.

As for my day, I didn’t end up doing too much.  In the morning I went to the central-eastern Suffolk town where I’ve been working lately, and tried to track down a few people.  No luck.  I was able to ascertain that a business owner who has expressed interest in buying small policies for his workers will be in on Monday.  It would be really nice if I could make those sales.  I also tried to get a hold of the woman who developed cold feet after the policy I wrote on Tuesday had to be canceled, in the hopes that I can write a disability policy for her husband.  Again, no luck.  I returned to the office in the early afternoon for a meeting.  While waiting for things to get started I told a couple other agents about my recent woes.  One of them in particular sensed that I was quite depressed over my difficulties in making sales, and she offered me some words of inspiration.  She had experienced much the same thing after starting about a year ago, in addition to significant financial pressures, but she didn’t give up hope and soon enough things turned around nicely.  With any luck that’ll happen to me too.

Gym: a 2.3-mile run on the treadmill at 4.6 mph.  Not hard to figure out how long that took.

Published in: on September 19, 2010 at 4:51 am  Leave a Comment  

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