Monday, November 8

Being the enemy

One of the most “culture shock” elements about selling insurance is that for the first time in my life I’m playing the part of the Enemy.  The Bad Guy.  Okay, it’s not like I’m an actual villain, but people clearly consider me a bother and an annoyance.  No one is happy to see me.*  At the very best they are barely cognizant of my arrival, more commonly they’re eager to get rid of me: Honey, who’s at the door?  It’s a salesman from ABC Insurance who wants to talk about that policy we have. Well send him away and come back and watch TV.  Yes dear.

It’s not easy making this adjustment.  While on one level I can just dismiss these attitudes with the realization that most people are schmucks, the fact that I’m dependent on the aforesaid schmucks to make a living means that dismissing these attitudes is easier said than done.  Of course my new realization is not new at all to people who regularly deal with the public, especially those in commissioned sales jobs, but it’s new to me, and that’s what counts.

Today began with the usual weekly agents’ meeting.  There was actually some wet snow (and heavy traffic) on the way in.  I told a couple experienced agents of last week’s tale of woe with the auto-related business that had me come back seven times and never bought anything.  Such extreme stringing-along is not all that uncommon.  One agent said it was similar to the experience of a man who has been on several dates with a woman, and when he suggests, ahem, taking the relationship to the next level, the woman mutters something about “maybe next time.”  It is clear that the hapless man will never achieve the object of his desire.  Had I been more experienced, I would have realized by the third or fourth “come back in a couple weeks” that the business owner was never going to buy anything.  What I learned from these experienced agents is that if I’m seeing a customer for the third time, and the customer continues to stall, I should force a decision: saying something like either buy now, or we won’t be doing business any further.

I wasn’t able to accomplish too much for the rest of the day.  I worked the phones for a while, but my plans to make some afternoon and evening calls with the manager did not come to pass.  There are three scheduled sales calls during the rest of the week, so hopefully I’ll be able to make some decent sales.

Gym: in addition to running one mile on the treadmill, at 4.7 mph, I also tried out this stairclimber machine for the first time.  It was pretty tough, 20 minutes on it was just as difficult as running for the equivalent length of time.  That’s not the case with the stationary cycle or the elliptical.


* = unless they’ve suffered a loss and want help filing a claim, in which case I’m welcomed with open arms


Published in: on November 10, 2010 at 6:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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