Friday, December 17

Trying something different

One of the resources that ABC Insurance makes available to its agents are these “sorry I missed you” cards to hang from doorknobs.  Slots in these cards allow you to insert your business card.  I’ve used these things on occasions but never quite got the point.  I found out yesterday, however, that there is a way of making them more effective.  What you do is add a short handwritten note saying that you’ll stop by again at a specific date and time.  The idea is that a customer, whether active or lapsed, who sees this note either won’t mind if you stop by, or will call and say that he or she doesn’t want to see you. In the former case there’s a better chance of making a presentation, and in the latter case you get the chance to speak with the customer on the telephone and might be able to get in a few words about what you have to offer and with some luck the customer will let you come over after all.  At a minimum, if the customer calls and is adamant about not wanting you to come over, you’ve saved a trip.

I spent quite a while going around a nearby community and dropping off these cards.  One of the main complications is that most houses have storm doors with latches rather than knobs, and the cards don’t hang very well from some latches.  Usually I was able to improvise and stick the cards into the frames of the storm doors.  In each case, I wrote that I’d be back between five and seven on Monday.  I expect that I’ll actually speak with only a few of the customers, which makes sense given the 95% rejection rate in this industry, and in any event I could scarcely spend any length of time with more than a handful of customers and still manage to visit all of the houses in the allotted two-hour time frame.  In addition to the cards, I also stopped in a couple of businesses to see the owners, both of whose policies had lapsed within the past year.  In one case, that was because the policyholder no longer owned the business.  I’m going back on Monday to speak with the new owner and see if I can interest him in a policy.  The fact that his predecessor was a policyholder might be useful in convincing him to buy something.

Suffice to say that the second business call was of a distinctly sub-optimal nature.  I had high hopes for this one because the recently lapsed policies were large ones with a substantial total premium.  If I could rewrite or reinstate even some of the lapsed policies it would be a very nice commission.  When I arrived at the business, the customer wasn’t there, but I spoke with his co-owner who knew about ABC Insurance.  He told me in a highly impolite and highly loud manner how bad a company we were and how they would never do business with us.  I’ve dealt with irate former customers on the telephone, but never before in person.  Now, I have to maintain professional decorum and all that, but it was difficult for me not to start cracking up because this angry co-owner was hugely fat, and there is something most amusing about watching fat men get angry.  His massive jowls were jiggling like Jello in an 8.5 earthquake as he thundered away.  What was truly funny about the situation is that I might have been able to help, had Stringbean not been so angry.  The policyholder must have filed a claim that had gotten rejected – there’s no other reason why someone would be so angry at an insurance company – and I might have been able to assist him in re-filing it.  Given the co-owner’s anger, however, I’m not about to go back to speak to the former customer.  His loss.

Gym: a total of 45 minutes’ exercise, with a one-mile run on the treadmill at 4.6 mph (13 minutes), 12 minutes ellipting, and 20 minutes on the stationary cycle at 18.4 mph.

Published in: on December 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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