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SOMETHING SCARIER THAN MONSTERS How Selling Insurance Helped Me Overcome My Greatest Fear
At my age, I don’t take too much notice
At first, I struggled. To say that sales didn’t come naturally to me would be an understatement. When I started out, New York Life, where I worked, had us newbies go around to people we already knew to ask them to fill out a survey we were running. So, you’d call up an acquaintance, set the appointment, and then go see them. It was a good way to ease into the always-on social world of sales, starting with a pool of friends and spreading out to include strangers outside my usual radius. "THAT ANXIETY NEVER QUITE WENT AWAY, BUT I CERTAINLY LEARNED HOW TO DEAL WITH IT, AND TODAY, TALKING TO PEOPLE IS A VITAL PART OF MY JOB — ONE I REALLY ENJOY." The entire time I worked in insurance, I studied all the time. I spent hundreds of hours with my nose in business books or listening to series of sales tips on cassette. But of course, all the books in the world didn’t quite prepare me for those moments on the job when I was forced to go from introvert to extrovert on a dime. That anxiety never quite went away, but I certainly learned how to deal with it, and today, talking to people is a vital part of my job — one I really enjoy. This month marks Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley’s 10th year in business. Over all those years, I’ve learned a ton about the industry, always searching for new ways to better serve our customers. If you had told me 30 years ago that one day I’d be running a company and talking with wonderful people every day, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. There have been ups and downs, but I’m grateful for all the tough lessons and hard-won successes — and most of all, for our customers and team members who helped me get to where I am today.
when Halloween comes around. As a kid, I loved dressing up as Batman, but these days, skeleton and cobweb decorations don’t do much for me anymore, and
I seldom get freaked out by horror movies. But the holiday
has got me thinking about a different kind of fear I once had to face, when I burned out on my old job as a biotech lab technician and switched to a stint selling insurance. For an
introverted, admittedly shy guy like myself, moving to a sales position where networking was everything was a massive change. Frankly, it terrified me. But in the end, I overcame that anxiety and learned a lot of the interpersonal skills that have served me well for the rest of my life, especially in my current role as the owner of Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley.
As many of my customers reading this have probably noticed, I’m not big on talking about myself. I love
listening to others while on-site, getting those little pieces of their larger life story, but I hesitate when it comes to sharing my personal details. Call it a product of my generation, my upbringing, or some deep-rooted aspect of my personality, but it’s just how I’ve always been. So, I’m not exactly sure how I got roped into selling insurance, but I did.
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