Semi-up, semi-down, way up, semi-up
Such were the path of my fortunes today. The day began with a visit to a prospective customer in central Suffolk, on my way out to the East End. He has been considering two policies, one relatively small one and one relatively large one. Today he said that he had decided to go with the smaller one and is still considering the larger one. As he was quite busy I’ll have to come back to get him to sign the application for the smaller policy. Most likely I’ll do so either tomorrow or Monday. Given that he’ll be taking the smaller policy and may or may not go for the larger one, count this stop as a semi-up.
Upon arriving in the East End community that’s becoming my regular stomping ground, I called upon another prospective customer who, coincidentally, had been considering the same two types of policies as the prior customer. Based on what this second customer had told me when I met him on Tuesday, I was counting on this stop as a Guaranteed Sure Thing … yes, I should have known better. Within the first few seconds of speaking with him I knew that I wasn’t going to be making a sale today. While he wasn’t unfriendly by any means, his whole demeanor was noticeably cooler than it had been just 48 hours earlier. He didn’t say no, but said that he wants to talk over the proposed policies with his business partner (not necessarily a bad thing) and his wife (a very, very bad thing). My reasoned guess is that I’ve got a 50-50 chance of selling the smaller policy and a smaller but not zero of selling the larger one. I told him that I’d stop back next Tuesday, and because he didn’t say anything along the lines of “I might be busy, let me give you a call” there’s still some hope. Call this stop a semi-down.
After doing some canvassing, and helping an existing customer with a claim, I stopped at a family-run business where I had made a presentation on Tuesday. At the time I had been somewhat doubtful about my chances. No Guaranteed Sure Thing at this stop. To my very pleasant surprise I sold two policies that together will yield a very nice commission, the sort of commission that gives me a quite respectable income for the week. My dealings were with the 20-something daughter of the company owners, who works as the office manager. She was quite possibly the most pleasant person with whom I’ve dealt in my several months of selling insurance. People like her are evidence that my generally misanthropic outlook is perhaps a bit unwarranted. She took one policy for herself, and then her mother took another one for her and her husband. To make things even better, I’m going to stop by next week to see if I can sell something to the company’s two or three non-family employees. We’re definitely in way up territory.
I left that business and headed to another call a couple of miles away. This was also a family business, though in a completely different line of business. I spent about 30 minutes going over their existing coverage, and then gave a presentation on ABC Insurance’s life insurance product. Two of the family members were interested, one of whom is a woman in her mid-60’s. Her age is relevant because premiums are quite substantial for people in that age category, and as you’ve undoubtedly figured out by now my commissions are expressed as a percentage of premiums. They will make a decision by Tuesday, when I’ll be stopping back, and my reasoned guess is that I’ve got a reasonable chance of making a sale or two. For this reason I’ll count this stop as semi-up.
In an uncharacteristically happy mood I headed on home, with traffic being noticeably better than yesterday. At the gym, I did 20 minutes on the stationary cycle at 19.2 mph followed by 10 minutes of ellipting. Although my cough and cold have mostly vanished, one lingering effect is that I didn’t have quite the same stamina as before – the total of 30 minutes’ exercising left me as drained as 45 minutes would have, pre-cold.