Wednesday, February 23

Sometimes postponements are okay

Driving into the office for the 9 am new agents’ training session yielded quite a surprise.  Expressway traffic was extremely light, no more than half its usual volume at that time.  I have no idea why.  Most schools are closed this week, of course, but that shouldn’t have such a major effect on traffic flow.  Whatever the case, I had an easy time on the road and arrived more than ten minutes early.  As always, the training session was helpful.  Today we practiced closing techniques, what to say – and not to say – when the presentation is done and the customer is making a final decision on whether to buy a policy.  It is important to remain silent while the customer mulls over his or her options, speaking only in response to questions.  It should go without saying that this is much easier said than done.  I experienced this last evening when I made my second sale of the day.  After I finished the presentation, and asked “What would work best for you?”, the customer sat there silently before making his choice.  Although he was silent for no more than a minute it felt utterly interminable.  I had to fight a tremendous urge to break the silence and repeat my “what’s best?” question.  Had I spoken it’s quite possible that the customer might have decided against buying anything.

Following the training session, which ran almost two hours, I headed back home to do some paperwork.  Within a couple of hours I was on the road, headed for a sales call in Chipmunk Junction.  The customer had inquired about life insurance, but it turned out that she wanted policies not for herself (she already has a couple huge policies from another company) but for her daughter and grandson.  Her daughter would have to sign the policies even though Mom would be paying.  I arranged to come back next week, when the daughter will be around, and barring any last-minute change of mind I should be able to make the sale. 

I left Chipmunk Junction to meet my manager at a call in a town about 20 miles to the west.  As I haven’t done much work in this town I don’t yet have a suitable moniker for it.  Due to heavy traffic on the main road through Range Rover Territory I just barely made it to the call in time.  If I hadn’t been able to make it, the manager would have gotten the commission (managers get regular salaries and bonuses, so they don’t mind too much if agents get commissions on sales in which they participate).  All of these considerations proved completely irrelevant.  The customers were a 30ish couple, and as soon as we got started the wife pulled out a legal pad and began writing things down.  That’s a sure sign that there won’t be any sale … no, I do not know why.

After leaving this failed call I headed off to Groundhog Crossing for yet another call.  While on the road I got a call from a customer on the North Fork whom I was supposed to meet tomorrow, asking to postpone the call until next week.  This theme continued when I got to the customer’s house in Groundhog Crossing; she had forgotten I was coming, said she was quite sick, and once again asked to reschedule for next week.  I wasn’t annoyed because Groundhog Crossing is close to me and also because the customer really did look sick.  In addition, as already noted there are some policy-issuance changes that will be taking effect next Monday. Right now, a customer who has policy type A is not eligible for policy type B, and vice-versa, even though the two types complement each other and having both types would provide enhanced coverage for relatively little extra cost.  Next week this restriction will be lifted, and I have reason to believe this will make it easier for me to make sales to the North Fork and Groundhog Crossing customers.

Tomorrow I will be heading into the office to get a new supply of lead cards.  My plan is to work the phones in an attempt to schedule as many calls as I can.  While there’s an outside chance I might be able to schedule something for Friday or Saturday, it’s more likely that anything I get will be for next week.  What all this means is that yesterday’s two sales are probably going to be my only sales this week.  I’ll earn a tolerable amount of money for this week, though I’d been hoping for more, and with a bit of luck next week should be pretty good.

Published in: on February 24, 2011 at 5:44 am  Leave a Comment  

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