SUPERMARKET/GOLF COURSE/HOME PHONE:
Your courtesy will be mistaken for acceptance of the risk being described (e.g. coverage on the new car; the higher limit being requested).
You will forget what you’re being asked to do by the time you get back to the office.
You won’t document the conversation so it may be “creatively” remembered by the client later on to his own advantage.
It won’t be appropriate to ask the client for all the information that you need in order to bind coverage or resolve the issue.
Avoid these conversations by nipping them in the bud. Try humor. “My putter with the computer-relay chip back to the office hasn’t come in yet. May I call you as soon as I get back there Monday?” Then write a quick reminder to do so.
Keep a scratch pad and pen or a palm pilot with you to note non-stoppable information.
Don’t use home and car phone numbers on cards, letterhead, brochures or ads. Giving the home or car numbers in an office context, increases your liability for information left there.
If calling your home has become accepted by some of your clients, consider adding a line that your non-insurance family members leave to you and your voice mail.
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Copyright 2000 by Virginia M. Bates. Used with permission.