What makes a good salesman in a struggling economy?


About 9 months ago i decided to setup a self insurance / retirement plan for myself. Not believing in the value of the government social insurance in Egypt which is a big lie you put yourself in, a false feeling of being secure and covered by the time you retire… Spend 25 years working and then when you retire you will get a big fat 600 EGP per month… that’s gotta be charity not social insurance…..

I knew nothing about insurance so i contacted one insurance agent, his name is Mahmoud, who can give me an advice on which kind insurance fits me, there are basically 3 kinds of  insurance companies in Egypt: governmental, private and banks… Well, Mahmoud did a great job on teaching me the pros and cons of each kind of these companies, he got me offers with numbers from a bunch of them…. and he made his recommendation to me… of course i haven’t taken his words for granted but i did some more research by myself to reach the same conclusion that he recommended to me…

My final decision was to go with governmental insurance for a company that Mahmoud works for. Paying a yearly installment for the next 20 years… having chosen this installment to be small enough not to affect me under bad economy or whatsoever was a wise decision.

I have to pay my next installment on May, i only have 30 days to pay, if i’m late for 15 more days i pay a penalty, if i’m still late i my insurance is dropped and i have to re-active it again… Having know this i asked Mahmoud last year that i would like to pay my yearly installment on March of every year rather than May… why would i wait and put myself in this situation.

But now things are different right? the economy is not so good and people are afraid to spend money, so it is better to keep my cash until next May, perhaps until the end of may to utilize my time allowance until its end… Why would i pay now early 2 month in these current conditions? That’s probably what a typical sales guy would think. Right? Would he have the nerves to call me now and ask me to make my installment payment 2 month earlier? but guess what he did…

One day i came to the office and found that Mahmoud has left me his business card a couple of days ago when i was out of town and asked me to call him. When i called him he told me that he has lost all his contacts and he is trying to reach them by dropping off his business card to their work places… and he asked me whether i am still willing to pay my installment 2 months earlier as agreed… and guess what? i told him yes i am willing… there is no point in waiting, since i will have to make the payment anyway. He was a bit surprised himself… and he was happy of course, collections means bonus for him…

did he say “Why would i bother and call him now? the situation is not clear now… let’s wait until May” or “I lost his number, i am sure he is gonna call me back to pay at may or to cancel, i won’t bother myself finding his number again”

It is really small things that does matter… and in our struggling economy, good salesmen can have their companies economy rolling back again and in turn help the economy of their countries… People can just choose sit and assume and do the “WHAT-IF” analysis and do nothing… or they move and work hard to achieve their goals… Assumption is the mother of all screwups

This is one thing that makes the difference between a salesman and a good salesman…

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