At least not in my world; and there is no crying in baseball so you can take that to the bank.
Want to know how my December started?
I got fired.
Not from my job, but from a customer. A ten-year customer no less.
Out of the blue; I had been positioning myself to pick up another line of coverage we don’t currently write for them and next thing I know I’m getting a call telling me I’ve been fired, they gave my policy to someone else.
Don’t you know who I am?
My customer was one of four defendants in a 6-year old suit finally coming to mediation. Their customer, the lead claimant and who they have a 30-year relationship with, essentially strong-armed them trying to get them to agree to a settlement; or they would fire them.
My customer was not at fault and their insurance company I placed them with was more than generous to even offer a settlement to help preserve the relationship my insured had with their customer. But it wasn’t enough.
You can be right, and you can be dead right.
I feel our insurance company did more than they were legally obligated to do. And if we go to court this will be proven out. However, if we go to trial, regardless of the outcome, my customer is being told by their customer they will never work for this company again.
I know all the parties on both sides of this opportunity so on the surface, just find a way to make it work, huh Dorman?
What did you do wrong?
In my eyes, nothing. All the right players were in place and this claim was being handled not only well, but better than expected.
But not in the eyes of my customer. He thought I should have done more.
He fired me.
Ho, ho, ho; Merry Christmas
The good news when we get fired like this mid-term, we actually have a 10-day grace period to get them to change their mind.
Fortunately there was a cooling off period and through several phone calls and being able to tell the rest of the story; on the 10th day we were back in.
Do you really have the stomach for this?
That was only one story; January 1 is our biggest renewal date and December is our busiest month leading up to this date. I had two other top-10 accounts potentially going bye-bye as well.
Ho, ho, ho; Merry Christmas.
The good news is, not only did I retain both but actually grew them as well. Essentially, I will be getting a raise on each.
However, the reality is in my world, in order for me to write a new account, somebody has to get fired. While I might be savoring the thrill of victory; somebody else is crying in their beer because they just got fired.
Been there, done that on both sides; I know the feelings quite well.
So there is no win-win; I either write the account or I don’t. If I don’t, it’s like being complimented on a nice putt that doesn’t go in. I’ve had enough practice in my time, coming close but no cigar does me no good.
The moral of the story?
Whereas there was a particular time in this month of December there was a good chance I was going to be getting kicked squarely between the legs; I didn’t get too high or too low and just did the best we could, which ended up being good enough…this time.
I’m in this business because I truly like helping people. For those who see me as just a salesman, shame on me for not telling my story and aligning myself with like-minded customers.
Sales can look very easy on the outside looking in but let me assure you it’s not for the faint at heart; especially when your income each and every month is 100% commission. I have no guaranteed salary…..ever.
I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else; except maybe being a sportswriter and/or having a sports radio talk show. But that’s another story…..
How well do you sell yourself? What is your brand? If someone asks your friends what you do; what will their response be?
If people don’t know exactly what you do; why would they utilize your services or refer you to others?
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
I will close with this; just remember what happens when you assume anything. Something about a donkey’s butt and you and me; and it usually doesn’t end well.