The Worst Salesman in the World
This is a guest post by one of my agents. I’ve removed the names – but you might identify with the story.
The worst statement anyone can make about himself or herself in any profession is to admit they are the worst at it. I’m admitting I am the worst salesman in the world. The reason is because I have a very simple job, which is to:
- Help people secure their financial future in case something like cancer, heart attack, heart disease, stroke, hospitalization or injury occurs.
- To top it off, if none of that happens, you get your money back. That’s it! That’s my job.
If you understood that paragraph, you would think it’s a no-brainer, right? Except many people think they are invincible, or can overcome anything … right until a doctor tells them they have cancer, they just had a heart attack, or they broke their knee or hand. Then, all of a sudden that invincibility vanishes – first we panic about getting healthy again, then we panic about how much it will cost to become healthy again. And that is the part that makes me the worst salesman in the world.
About two or three times a year since I started selling Family Heritage products, I get “the” phone call. It’s from a friend or referral that I previously approached that is now rethinking their need for supplemental insurance.
Such a moment occurred this past weekend from someone I gave a demo to while in Los Angeles two summers ago. He was a small business owner that sold and installed audio/video and security equipment. He was in his mid 40’s, a self-described health freak, with enough money to withstand any major issue that Blue Cross couldn’t handle. Nothing I could tell him would sway his thinking, so we parted ways.
Late last year I got “the” call from him asking if he can have a cancer policy. I’m not one for turning down a commission, so I start his application process. Everything is going swimmingly until I ask him if he’s been diagnosed with cancer. His tears broke the 10 seconds of silence on the phone and he said, yes, I was just diagnosed with colon cancer.
I personally anguish in my response every time I have to say: “I’m sorry, but you’re not going to qualify for cancer insurance.” His response was that he “needs” it to save his house and business.
I responded with, “I know it won’t make a difference to you right now, but you, your wife and two kids can still qualify for our heart policy.” In my amazement, this gentleman chuckled and said there’s no way he or his wife could have heart disease. I reminded him that is what he said about cancer. He said no thank you.
Fast forward to this weekend and I heard from a third party his wife recently had a heart attack, so on Monday I called to confirm. He explained to me that during his cancer treatment his wife had run the business, and now that she couldn’t do it, they had to hire someone, but couldn’t afford to.
They had already tapped into their nest egg during his ongoing illness, and were now preparing to sell their home to help her out. Neither of us had to acknowledge it, but we both knew they will soon join the nearly 2 million Americans per year that file for bankruptcy due to medical bills.
So, you ask why I think I’m the worst salesman? Because I couldn’t get it across to this individual that despite his health insurance, despite him and his wife exercising and eating well, despite a couple hundred thousand in their savings account, despite a very well-managed business, and despite one major illness having already occurred – I could not get them to understand that one unforeseen medical challenge could turn their entire financial future upside down.
Thank you for letting me vent. I cannot reach out to everyone that reads this, but I don’t want to see another GoFundMe page for a friend, acquaintance or human being that I know could have been prevented.