Wednesday, February 3

I would really appreciate it if you could explain this to me

Last Friday, as I have mentioned, I stopped at a customer’s office in Chipmunk Junction and scheduled a call for today.  The customer’s receptionist spoke to him before coming back out and saying that he would meet with me, which I very reasonably assumed to mean that the customer was interested in buying something.  If he had not been interested he would have had the receptionist send me away.  Of course this did not mean that I would actually be able to make the sale, but at least I’d get the opportunity to make a presentation. I spent some time beforehand going over the policies that the customers had had in effect, the last of which lapsed in early 2010, and what current offerings would best replace them.  It really looked as if I had a chance of breaking my dubious streak of never selling anything to a lapsed customer.

Despite getting an early start I just barely made it to the new agents’ meeting at 9 due to icy car windows.  Traffic wasn’t bad heading to the meeting, but fog was making the trip a bit slow.  The fog was really heavy after I left the meeting, and after stopping home for a brief time I vanished into the mist on my way to Chipmunk Junction.  This is only a slight exaggeration, at a couple of points on the Sunrise Highway I was going only about 40 mph because visibility was so poor.  Fortunately things cleared somewhat as I got closer to Chipmunk Junction and my much-anticipated call.

It came as a big surprise when I met the customer and he told me right at the start that he wasn’t interested in buying any policies.  He explained that although he had been satisfied with ABC Insurance in the past, and had collected promptly on a couple of smaller claims, he had canceled the policies because they no longer met the needs of his business.  This had not changed any since the cancellations several months ago.

Now, what he said was perfectly logical.  Insurance is certainly not a one-size-fits-all proposition.  As with all insurance companies, ABC’s offerings are not broad enough to meet the needs of all businesses.  What is a lot less logical is why the customer wanted to meet with me when he knew all along that he would not be buying anything.  He must think that my time is worthless.  True, he had no way of knowing that I’d driven so far to see him, but he must have known that I’d be inconveniencing myself in some way.

In an attempt to salvage something out of the trip, I asked the customer if his receptionist and another employee I’d seen might be interested in policies themselves.  What I was hoping is that I’d be able to speak to them, as it didn’t seem too busy in the office.  No such luck.  The customer didn’t want me talking to them, instead he’d speak to them himself at some later point and I could call next week to see if there was any interest.  What I would be (involuntarily) doing was deputizing the customer to sell policies on my behalf, not altogether unlike the situation where a man says he’ll have to talk things over with his wife.  My reasoned guess is that my chances of selling anything to the employees are zero.

Following this unsuccessful stop I tried to make the best out of my trip to Chipmunk Junction by contacting some existing customers in town to see if I could make any presentations.  After about two hours of fruitless attempts I headed home.  Tomorrow evening and probably for some time on Saturday I’ll try my luck closer to home in Groundhog Crossroads.  Friday’s going to be a non-productive day in sales terms because there’s an all-day regional meeting in Rockland County.  What with all the driving to Chipmunk Junction that I’ve been doing, I really hope I can carpool with some other agents rather than having to drive all that way myself.

Gym: not much energy tonight, but I manage to ellipt for 30 minutes.

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

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