Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My soulmate is probably better at parking the car than I am

She probably is! Well at least she gives me that impression, with all that "Faiz parking senget" remark with a sly smile on her face. And I would proceed to counter with "er... well takde kereta kat sebelah, so takde reference point" or crap like that.

I am not that gifted, nor trained when it comes to side and/or reverse parking. But I am not as bad in reverse-parking as I am with side-parking. Whenever there is a chance to forward-park and reverse-park, I'd take them on while overlooking the opportunity to side-park.

Having said all that, it is really difficult to determine who is the better parker. For one, she's only been driving a teeny-weeny Perodua Kancil which is smaller than my bathroom. While it is true that I can't side-park my bathroom, it says a lot about how small and probably mobile that Kancil is.

Talking about Kancil, Perodua came up with a tagline "Bijak Macam Kancil" or something along the line when they launched the small car. But after driving the car home I thought "This car is rather stupid". A tagline is just a tagline, nothing more. The car has no power-steering making turning that puny car more difficult than the biggest car I've ever driven, my dad's Mercedes E240. 

In addition, it has no climate control, meaning it will not adjust the temperature in the car accordingly. By turning on the air-conditioner, the temperature will reduce, and reduce, and reduce up to the point where it gets too cold and you will have to decrease the output. On that end, the temperature will increase, and increase, and increase and you will be looping in this circle to no end.

Oh and if I am not mistaken, the rear passengers' side have no powered windows. Bijak? Not really.

On that note, since it is difficult to steer the Kancil with its lack of power-steering and what not, maybe it is true that my soulmate is a better parker than I am. You know how they say that those who go through difficulties will find tasks us normal people find rather testing to do, to be rather easy?

I don't know, maybe one day I will let her drive my Persona and let her park the car. The Persona, while being a very good car has 2 daring weaknesses. The rather under-powered engine and big turning radius, making u-turns and side-parking rather difficult to do.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It went better than expected!

Wow, I wasn't that smooth. But I delivered the message. The client knew what he was getting in the package and I educated him on a few things related to insurance including, but not limited to the basic sum assured, total permanent disability, and various medical card plans. The meeting took about 3 hours - pretty long considering it was just a single client - but both of us were learning from each other. He was new to insurance and this was going to be his first policy; I on the other hand had to learn manage my presentation in the events that clients ask a number of random questions in the middle of the pitch.

I came into the meeting with a quotation of a higher basic sum assured but with an average medical plan, the SM200. The number "200" indicates that the insurance company will bear up to RM200 for each stay in a hospital room per night. If the client chooses to upgrade to a more expensive room, he/she will have to pay the price difference between the room and RM200. On top of that the client will have to bear 20% of the total medical cost, limited to RM3000 during his/her stay there. For example, if the client subscribed to SM200 and upgraded to a RM260/night room for 5 nights and the total medical cost is RM6,000, he/she has to pay:
5x[260-200] + [6,000x20%] = RM1,500

On the other hand, if the total medical cost is RM20,000 (remember that the co-payment for the medical cost is limited to RM3000):
5x[260-200] + [20,000x20%] = RM4,300
Medical cost limited to RM3000, co-payment is reduced to: RM500

In the event that the client chooses to stay within the limit of his room cost, he/she only has to pay for the 10% of the medical cost, limited to RM500. For example, if the client subscribed to SM200, stayed in a RM180/night room for 7 nights, and with a total medical cost of RM15,000, he/she has to pay:
[20,000x10%] = RM2,000
Medical cost limited to RM500, co-payment is reduced to: RM3,300  

After explaining to the client as to how the reimbursements for the rooms come into play, the clients immediately decided that he wanted the SM300 as opposed to SM200. If he were hospitalized, he wanted to stay in a single room where his family can camp out to give him moral support. I made up the last part, but his arguments are valid. The cost for hospital rooms is increasing over the years, and  single rooms in accredited hospitals in Selangor cost from RM198 and all the way to RM298. This means that if a client subscribes to SM200 and he is admitted to the hospital with the cheapest single room of RM298, he/she has to either downgrade to a double-bedded room or pay the price difference for each night of his stay and commit to a 20% co-payment of the total medical cost.

In truth however, the term client is a misnomer. He is not my client until he has subscribed to an insurance policy. At the end of the meeting, he expressed great interest in subscribing to one, but had to do a little research before making the decision. It was a smart move as subscribing to a policy is a long-term commitment, and not one that can be decided in just one night. I am counting on this prospect and am looking forward to hear from him soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An appointment with my first external client today

After dabbling in the insurance industry for about a month, and harassing approaching close family members (with mixed success), I am ready to see my first external client today. He is external only by name; I've known him for more than a year now as we had spent time along each other for a training session in Genting View Resort. We set the meeting at a KFC joint in Kota Damansara at 8:30pm. Surprisingly he is living in the same city that my family and myself will be moving in.

I really don't know what to expect other than to perform in my sales pitch and to illustrate that the plan is suitable for him. I got some of my work cut out for me as he was already looking to subscribe to a policy when I approached him on Facebook (imagine that). When you think about it, as an agent you just have to go out and do it. This is not exactly beyond the boundaries of my comfort zone (I'm alright with accosting strangers) but I really have to throw my own perception of directly-selling-to-the-masses out of the window.

I'm looking at a young male executive of 25 years old, working as an engineer for the company that is doing some construction work on the KLIA low-cost-terminal. Perhaps he needs more medical protection to lock those rates as he is younger and healthy. Since he is single, I don't think I'll emphasize on the basic sum assured but in the case that he insist on a bigger figure, I'll get another polar quotation on hand.

Wish me luck.