Friday, June 17

It’s not ALL salesmen

I know, after just two days in the field, both of them working under my manager’s supervision, it’s probably way too early to jump to any conclusions.  Nonetheless, I will take the liberty of saying that I had been wrong in concluding that everyone hates salesmen.  It is more accurate to say that people hate insurance salesmen.  The reason for this (premature?) conclusion is that the potential customers I’ve encountered in these past two days – more people than I would have encountered in two months selling insurance – have almost always been pleasant or at least civil.  They’ll say “no, thank you” instead of the dreaded “let me think about it.”  Hardly any bad attitudes.  Believe me, it makes for a very pleasant change.

Why the difference?  In part it’s due to differences in context.  When selling insurance I called on people at their houses or tried soliciting businesses.  Although I would not acknowledge it at the time, it is very clear to me now that people generally don’t like getting unsolicited sales calls and really do not like salesmen coming to their doors.  As for businesses, the fact that so many post “no soliciting” signs pretty much says all that needs to be said.  In contrast, my approaches to people at JKL Sales are done at times and places where people do not have such defenses in place and for the most part are more receptive to the approaches (I really wish it wasn’t necessary to be so cryptic).  Even more so, however, is the fact that people often have a special dislike of insurance salesmen.  Partly this is because insurance salesmen have a reputation (partially but not completely undeserved) for being especially persistent and annoying.  They also play to peoples’ fears (“how are you going to support your family if you become disabled?”), which doesn’t always go over well.  Another factor is that in many cases there may not actually be a need for a salesman’s involvement, and people know that.  We’ve all seen enough ads to know that it’s entirely possible to buy car insurance online without ever meeting a salesman face to face.  Some people also have bought term life insurance the same way.  With the perception that insurance salesmen are sort of redundant comes a particular dislike for them.

 

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Published in: on June 20, 2011 at 3:22 am  Leave a Comment  

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