Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Day in the Life of an Elderly Rookie Insurance Agent: PART II

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post, which brought me up to about noon in A Day in the Life of an Elderly Rookie Insurance Agent.

Noon: I would like to say that around noon each day I break for lunch; however, I usually do not. If I am relatively close to home, I generally stop by and give Alex his lunch. Sometimes I let him in or out of the house, depending upon whether he went out the door with me when I left home at 7:30 a.m.

12:45 p.m.: I arrive at the downtown offices of an attorney who has contacted us about purchasing insurance for his wife. I am to meet my team leader, Dan, at these offices. While I am waiting, I talk to some of the staff about the corporation whose national headquarters is housed here. I learn as much as I can, including the name and location of the office of the corporation’s personnel officer. (See the portion of yesterday’s post discussing employee benefits packages).

1:00 p.m.: Dan arrives and we are escorted to the office of the attorney who has contacted us about purchasing insurance for his wife. Dan does the talking and provides the attorney with a brochure regarding the type of insurance in which he has expressed an interest. Dan has also prepared a proposal regarding life insurance for the attorney. The attorney looks at the materials and says that he will discuss them with his wife and get back to us. We ask him about the personnel officer and he agrees to introduce us. We set an appointment to return in ten days.

1:30 p.m.: Dan returns to the office and I set out to keep an appointment with Ms. K., a woman who has said that she wants to purchase health insurance for herself and her daughter. When I arrive, the livingroom is filled with kids and young adults watching a huge screen TV. I suggest that we talk in the kitchen rather than try to talk over the television. The chairs at the kitchen table are all on rollers. Ms. K. warns me that they can be dangerous; I attempt to sit in the chair she offers me, it slides backwards, and I end up on the floor. (I impress myself because, before I fully hit the floor, I do a roll, and am on my hands and knees and up on my feet faster than I believed this fat old body could do that).

I share three policies with Ms. K. and she selects the one that can best meet the needs of her and her daughter. It turns out that, as with my morning client, Ms. K. does not have a bank account. I explain the need and she says that there is a bank close by; she will inquire about opening an account tomorrow. I offer the free accidental death polices to her and her daughter. She accepts them and I begin the process of completing the forms.

While I am completing the forms, Ms. K.’s oldest daughter and two children arrive. When she learns that I am an insurance agent, she asks to talk with me. She tells me that she wants to purchase life insurance for herself and her two daughters and tells me the story of an uncle who recently died. The uncle had no insurance, so the other family members had to chip in to pay for his funeral. She said that the family still owes the funeral home $6,000 of the $13,000 cost of the funeral. She does not want the same burden placed on her family in the event of her own death. Since she hasn’t time to really discuss policies or provide the needed information, I obtain from her some basic information and we make an appointment to meet in her home when she is next off from work.

2:50 p.m.: I telephone a woman I have been trying to meet about a policy for two weeks. Each time I have talked with her she has been busy and asks me to call her again in a day or so. This time she is free to see me, if I can get there within half an hour. I head for her home, which is eleven miles away through heavy city traffic, and arrive after twenty-eight hectic minutes of driving. This woman knows exactly what she wants and I fill in the forms of the policy, she signs, and we are both on our way to our next appointments.

3:45 p.m.: I drive back to the office. There I review the various policies I need to submit to the Alabama headquarters, assign client numbers, make copies, create client file folders, and add their information to my records. Then I head down the street for a quick meal.

5:00 p.m.: Everyone except those who have early evening appointments meet at the office were we participate in what Debbie terms a call clinic. She hands out dozens of prospective leads, which I add to the dozens I am still working on, and we each begin telephoning these leads. I begin with then new leads I have just received: of the sixty, I find that ten have had their telephone service disconnected, five no longer live at that address, and forty do not answer their telephones. Of the five that I do reach, three are willing to see me and two are not interested. I then begin reworking the leads from other call clinics and those that I have obtained as referrals from clients I have already seen. By 8:30 p.m. I have appointments for tomorrow plus various days over the next two weeks.

9:00 p.m.: I arrive home, to be greeted by a hungry and neglected-feeling Alex. I feed the cat and play with him until he gets bored. Then I sit at my computer and add the new client information I have obtained to day to my personal records, create and print a work schedule for tomorrow, and print computer maps to where I plan to go.

By 11:00 p.m. I have generally completed my insurance work, done a few chores around the house, maybe returned some personal telephone calls, read the mail, checked the emails and answered those that are most urgent. I then attempt to sleep, knowing that my day will begin again at 5:30 a.m.


  1. Re, part II. You are quite methodical in your work and concientious too. Quick, as well, to get back up on your feet too~lol~

    I have a question if you don't mind. What tags do you use to place the clock on your sidebar? I tried most of this morning and gave up finally. If you would be so kind as to assist with this information either thru here or at my email belizegial64 at yahoo dot com.

    Thanks much,

  2. That's an interesting work log, nick. Don't know about your place but in our country, there's not much awareness or interest in Insurance, even among the educated lot. Insurance agents are viewed with suspicion(not always), and anyone who's trying to sell insurance among friends and relatives is usually kept at arms length.
    My sister sells insurance policies in between managing house and kids. Her work schedule isn't so hectic or methodical as yours, nor is it so organized as you've described. Nonetheless, i'll tell her to read these posts.

  3. Hello Nick ~~ Sounds awfully busy to me. Are you enjoying it any more now?
    I love the way you saved yourself in that fall. Why would anyone have rollers on every chair?? Sounds like
    they need insurance!!
    Thanks for yur concern for Kathy and
    I will keep Tiffany in my thoughts and prayers. She is too young to have all these problems and 3 children. Will
    remember her on 14th. Take care,Merle.

  4. That is such a long day. I'm so spoiled to having a regular paycheck that your kind of work would be stressful enough even without the long hours.

    Good luck keeping up yur schedule. :)

    btw, it also makes me feel lucky that you find the time to visit my site and comment.

  5. Will work always be like this, or will things settle down once you've been at it a while?

  6. BLIZEGIAL: Methodical? Maybe. I am somehow trying to figure out how to work smarter.

    I have emailed you what I know of the clock. I hope it helps.

    VISHAW: Regarding insurance agents—and generally other salespeople—the same feeling is held by many in the U.S. I am finding that even my own family has come to suspect my motives, I as I wrote about in my June 24th post.

    MERLE: I think I recovered from that fall by pure instinct—that and martial arts training that I engaged in many, many years ago. That my body reacted so well and so fast is what amazed me. I hope Kathy continues to improve and I shall pass your words on to Tiffany when I am next in contact with her.

    SQUIRL: Thank you. I hope I can find ways that allow me to do what needs to be done in less time. I have always been able to do that for myself—and, as a supervisor, for others.

    I have missed blogging and reading blogs. I hope that this 4-day holiday isn’t the only time I have to be in contact with my blogging friends.

    THOMAS: From my observing my peers, I fear that what I am doing is the norm. Perhaps that’s why this agency has lost seven agents since in opened in Kentucky last fall.

  7. Sounds varied & interesting-

    & congrats on your quick nimble footedness!