Profiling customers doesn’t work!

Last week, as I was eating breakfast with a friend, I overhead the table beside me talking about homeowners insurance for a farm they have in my town. It just so happens that my wife and I recently bought a farm, and I’ve had a hard time finding an insurance company to write the policy because of acreage and horses. So I thought this was the perfect opportunity to find out about getting insurance for it! In their conversation, I heard them mention, specifically: horses, boats, outbuildings and barns. It may freak you out that I was listening in so intently, but I need insurance and I haven’t been able to find it anywhere!

I waited for the salesman to say his goodbyes to his customers, and once he did, I politely asked for his card. He instinctively handed me his card, but then he took a look at me and stopped in his tracks. He said in the most condescending tone, “Oh, you probably don’t need my card. I just provide insurance for very expensive properties”. He literally picked up the card that he just handed me and said “You don’t need this”. My friend’s jaw dropped.

Now, in the looks department, I realize I probably don’t fit the standard profile of this guy’s ideal client. I had my hat on backwards with a t-shirt and shorts, and I probably looked half asleep, My appearance was not anything like the couple he had just been meeting with. However, he missed out on a sale because of a preconceived idea he had about how his ideal client should look. Not only did he miss out on one sale, the guy with me was looking for insurance as well! Not only do I have one property that meets his “requirements”, I have two. So Gaylord, the moral of the story is don’t judge a book by its cover! [Tweet this!]

Here are some tips I would have for Gaylord (if he were to ask):

  1. Do not profile your customers because of looks or your preconceived notion of a first impression.
  2. Get to know people. If Gaylord would have been genuinely interested in me he could have determined very quickly that he had somthing I needed.
  3. Dont make people feel like less than you, even if they cant afford or qualify for your product or service!
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