“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” -Vincent Van Gogh
RUNNING THROUGH THE AIRPORT
I just got done checking my bag at the Minneapolis airport when I looked up to see a very long line for security. As I started walking hurriedly through the airport, I could barely see the end of the line.
There were people everywhere and I was being bumped back and forth by suitcases or people trying to get by. Right in front of me, a woman dropped her bag so I quickly went to help her pick it up. I was heartbroken, she was in a wheelchair and trying to push her wheels while her carry on bag was on her lap.
After helping her to get everything situated, I asked her if she wanted me to push her to security since I did not have any bags to carry myself. She very eagerly said yes since she had been struggling for a bit without anyone helping.
As we headed towards the end of the line, an officer stopped us and instructed that this woman had to go through a special inspection since she had a wheelchair. This was great news for her!
I went to drop her off in the very short line and wished her safe travels. As I went to walk away, she grabbed my hand and said “Officer, can my granddaughter come through security with me or does she have to go to that other line?” He told me to stay with her and go through the short line.
TAKING A SHORTCUT
I was absolutely stunned. First of all, we were lying to a TSA agent, but second of all, she was saving me an hour of time by skipping the security line.
As we waited for the line, she told me that she believed every good deed should be rewarded with another good deed. She was disappointed that so many people walked right by her. She could see that I was clearly late, yet I stopped to help. She believed that people will continue to do good in the world if the world does good right back to them.
After going through security, we were headed in the same direction so we continued with our granddaughter/grandmother relationship. By the time we said goodbye at her gate, she had restored my faith in the world.
I SCRATCH YOUR BACK, YOU SCRATCH MINE
Good is often times rewarded with good, and bad with bad; it’s the basis of karma. Well, if you can apply this idea to your work life, it could benefit you greatly.
I have known many great pre-need agents but I have also known some agents that struggle a bit. One of the biggest struggles I hear is the fact that the funeral directors or administrative staff do not necessarily jump to help them out, do them favors, or get them appointments.
When I have had agents question why, I ask how their relationship is with their coworkers. Usually it is not that great, so my first advice is to be present. I point out that if they are coming in 10 minutes before an appointment with a briefcase and leaving right after they appointment is over, they are never going to build that relationship with their coworkers.
Think of yourself, if you have an appointment at 11:00 AM and only have paperwork and calls to work on, do not work from home until your appointment. You should go to the funeral home, set up shop and work from there. At first you will probably be annoyed by the chaos that is usually present, but over the course of time, you will be able to understand and participate in the chaos.
Hopefully, you will be able to notice and refill the coffee pot that just ran out, you will notice the lobby glass is smeared and could be cleaned, or even things more relevant to your position, you will be able to greet and chat with the little woman who walks in to get a price list. These are clearly not things that are on your job description, however, they are things that make a difference. These little things will not go unnoticed, they will be appreciated by your coworkers and the families being served.
Additionally, you will begin to see the value in what you are selling. You will begin to see the value in the people who will eventually take care of your client. The financial conversation will be much easier because you will believe deep down why the company charges for different items.
“I HAVE SOMEONE YOU SHOULD CALL…”
When the chaos goes away for a few minutes, you will be able to talk to those you work with. You will be able to have small talk and get to know each other. The more they know about you (and even more importantly, the more you know about them) the more likely it will be for them to trust a family with you or push a family to meet with you.
If the funeral director can introduce you to a family and say “Oh Lillian and Dave, this is Dennis and he grew up in Somerset, Wisconsin too!” It puts the family’s trust in you right away and breaks the ice with further questions about what street you lived on or if you ever at at Sportsmans Bar and Grill. If your coworkers do not know much about you, then they are simply introducing you by saying, “Oh Lillian and Dave, this is Dennis and he is going to be meeting with you today.”
My favorite pre-need specialists have worked visitations, taken an at-need family to their car with an umbrella because of rain, and they have dropped off death certificates at a family’s home so they do not need to wait by mail. These agents ones are the most successful ones because they have their coworkers’ utmost respect and trust; plus, their face is now ingrained in the minds of the current families and they will be recognized later when they make the call to them about pre-planning for themselves.
It is simple, be present at your company and remember it is the little things that will go a long way. If you make a difference to your coworker’s small, daily tasks, they will make a difference in your success as a pre-need agent. You should always try to be that person that stops your busy life to push a fragile little woman through the airport.
*Note: Lying to a TSA agent is a felony, do not try at home.