After two weeks in the field, I have some time to reflect.Insurance is more or less natural for me. My grandmother sold insurance for Combined for 30 years before she retired. She used to take me out for weeks at a time during the summer. I enjoyed our time together and enjoyed meeting people. Combined is very much a go out and visit the people type of insurance company. We go to the people’s homes and that has many bonus points for me. I get to see the territory and not sit in an office all day. Next, I get to know the places, history, and layout of what is around me and come to know and appreciate Virginia more. I love to meet and visit with people. This has been an eye opener in many ways to see how people live much more simply, and sometimes more dirty, than we do in the west, generally speaking. The past week or two a good majority of the homes I have gone into have been those of blacks. (I don’t wish to sound negative, I just know of no other way to describe them.) I have come to appreciate and love them since I never have really been around any. I found they are more inclined to laugh, more casual and easy going, and much more friendly than the white folk. (Saying all that, things I laugh at are not even understood here, the culture and background of these people are different too!)

The company visits every client in their home every 6 months. This is both to collect premiums for those who wish to pay it that way, and to answer any questions, help them file claims, and the like. Since we are constantly out among the people, we often sell more to their families or neighbors. That is our number one way. There are businesses who put a policy on each of their employees, so we do sell to individuals and employers. We don’t do the group thing, the policy is written on each individual. I can sell door to door if I wish, and I might take that up one day when I run low on things to do. In the last two weeks I probably have only had the possible time of about 2 hours to do so though. So, we do have to make cold calls once and a while.

Last week I made over $500, and this week over $600, so I have no complaints. That is doing basically all renewals. When I finally get comfortable with the selling, I can probably make more money. That is not my goal though. My goal is to be a professional at my job. In doing all these renewals, I still have questions that come to me that I am not able to answer. Plus some like Marc, can take the most angry customer, calm them down, and get them to keep their insurance. This I am not able to do. He was not happy with me since I lost about $300 in customers. I really did not know what to do with any of them. Two of them were due to Medicaid, which I understand that it is company policy to ask them to drop the policy. What good is it to pay for a policy which Uncle Sam gets the money from? Especially when he is already fitting the whole bill through Medicaid. I had another two who would not even let me in the door. One when I knocked again I thought would kill me when I asked for her signature for the cancellation. I have plenty to learn here. It just seems to me that if a customer is very clear that they don’t want it any more, you try to talk with them, but if there is no reasoning, you do what you need to and leave. I will see what Marc trains me on this week. Hopefully it is not feel wrong to me, for if it does, I will have to let him know so.

On the mission, I always struggled with knocking doors. Perhaps it is the old fashioned way I was raised. You speak and converse only after introductions. The current sales position ignores that. Tracting as a missionary was the same way. I understood I had to do it and it took the better part of two years to get over that. However, there is a certain dread that creeps into me now that I am back to that state. I will admit, I always wanted to knock alone on the mission, two at the door just seemed too much. Now that I have the opportunity, I have a fear. I don’t necessarily feel it is wrong, I just have this fear. I don’t know if it is rejection or the being intrusive. Who knows.I have to admit that I am impressed with the training of Combined in many ways. Primerica never helped me learn the material to get my license. Nor did they ever take me to sales training. One thing is sure though, once you get beyond that, it is scary though. I have spent 3 days with Ted Kelley in training, and I really did not learn that much. I can go and renew. The problems I have is when we have a customer that is concerned. I think it would be much more beneficial to just go and take me knocking doors for a few days. Those who are new are going to ask many more questions which will certainly apply to those who are also customers. Plus, quite honestly, I need training on sales. But Ted knocked one door with me, which is a credit to the company, that we can still make that much money and never do a sale. But on the other hand, renewals are only half my job. I know the area is a little behind right now because they have been short on workers, so there is plenty of renewing to do. What happens when we get caught up? I would prefer to get my training now while I can still make the money, than have to do a crash course because I have nothing else to do!

Sadly though, those above me seem to be more interested in their making money than in my training. I hope I don’t have to do this entirely on my own. It will be a long and painful process. I suppose if Mr. Stone can do it, then so can I. However, I thought he put the training apparatus in place so I would be able to learn it with help rather than trial and error.

All is not well in the Combined environment. If I ever get into leadership or training, one thing is certain, we will do as we did in the mission, and focus on training. Individuals before business.

Well, that is enough for now. Need to finish preparing for my talk tomorrow. Perfecting the Saints/Priesthood. So vague, so encompassing, how shall I speak with any specific purpose I don’t know. We will see what the Spirit directs.



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