Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Good Day for Ducks: NOT

After our awesome third quarter kick off at Aflac's state headquarters in Lansing Monday, I was ready to knock 'em dead. At six thirty tonight while I was limping through a working class neighborhood in a cool black summer dress and a pair of three-inch soft spot shoes (comfortable and yet still quite stylish) after a twelve-hour day with zero sales, a woman hollered across the street to me.

"Take off your shoes! How far do you have to go?"

"Not far," I said. "These shoes are comfortable. It's just the heavy computer in my purse that I'm lugging around that's making me limp."

"You shouldn't wear those shoes."

"They're cozy," I explained. "Soft spots." I started crossing the street toward her porch. I could see she had a cane beside her porch chair and that she looked to be in her fifties. "I'll show you. Do you know about Aflac."


"I'll come show you." I was in her drive.

"You need to wear better shoes next time you're out walking around like this," she said as I plopped onto her porch. It was the perfect height for me to sit on without having to climb the stairs to a chair. I didn't feel like climbing any stairs, actually. I was beat.

"These are comfortable shoes. See. Squishy." I pressed my toes into the soles.

"It doesn't matter. It's the heel. You need to wear flat shoes. Wearing shoes with any kind of a heel is what gives you varicose veins."

I thanked her for the advice and inquired if she wanted any Aflac. She didn't. Her husband just took a pay cut. They have insurance through his work.

I went to twenty-eight houses. I talked to 18 people. I gave two presentations. I sold zero policies. But some people took my cards and said they were going to join my Poor Journalist Gets to Business fan club on facebook. I'll have to check to see if they did or not.

I am tired now... very tired.

I had a flop enrollment today and I had big hopes for it. The problem was the business owner wasn't on board totally, I guess. He wasn't requiring the employees to spent five minutes with us so they could get educated about what we do. So I sat there in the lunchroom and waited and nobody came to enroll. Nobody. In the future I will have to set things up better with the employer. They have to understand that my time is valuable too and if we are bringing Aflac in, I need to be able to see the people. Otherwise I'm just sitting there in an out-of-the-way room twiddling my thumbs for a few hours and nobody has any idea what we have to offer. What we offer is important. It saves people's houses. It saves their cars. It can save their lives. No kidding.

This is the second enrollment I have had that has gone this way. This employer had fifteen employees and I didn't see any of them today. The other employer had twenty employees and during a the four-hour period I sat and waited, I saw two employees. Neither of them bought a policy. I even offered cupcakes to that group. At least I didn't give away a bunch of food and get zero business this time. It's all about getting the business owner to agree to satisfactory enrollment conditions. That's what makes it or breaks it for a voluntary insurance agent. So, in the future, I really need to work on explaining to my business owners the importance of Aflac and how it can help the employees. If they can understand that, they will cooperate in letting me talk to each person.

I won't hard sell anybody. I wouldn't do that. It's just educating them about the value and the opportunity and giving them the information. If anybody fell off a roof or was injured in a car accident or got an illness and had to be off work for six weeks -- and the business offered them our insurance products and they were never properly educated about what was being offered, it would be really bad! My district sales coordinator is going to work with me on speaking to business owners to get optimal enrollment conditions in the future.

Today when the enrollment flopped, I decided to try going door to door to just see what I could do. I did canvassing door to door for clean water action and I was very good at raising funds for that organization. I didn't have success with the door-to-door sales but I did meet some nice people and give them my cards. Some said they will tell relatives about my business.

It wasn't the best use of my energy, I don't think, going door-to-door, even though I always like meeting nice people and hearing about what's going on in a neighborhood.

But I am really on the wire this week. I need to sell about $10,000 more in premium this week so that I can hit fireball. Most people who make it with Aflac hit fireball. Most people who don't make it with Aflac don't hit fireball.

I want to make it.

I need to make it.

I'm grateful tomorrow is a new day.

Bullet proof positivity, that's what I need to stay focused.

Oh -- and did I mentioned it was thundering all the while I was walking around the neighborhood knocking on doors to sell insurance? Yes. It was thundering -- and raining a bit, too.

Good day for ducks I guess.


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