Shuffling Paper Syndrome: a dreaded disease

By Matt McCann

This has been a terrible flu season. Despite the fact that it has swept most of the country, there are people who still won’t get their flu shot. Why do some people not get a flu shot? Some don’t think they will ever get the flu. Others think the shot will cause the flu. Still others are afraid of the side effects of the shot itself. The bottom line is that many of these people get the flu who could have avoided it had they taken the appropriate action before they became ill.

There is another disease that often impacts LTC solution specialists. Yes, the disease I am talking about is SPS, otherwise known as Shuffling Paper Syndrome. This is something every LTCI specialist has had at one time or another, and it can really impact your business. Even the best agents have gone through it.

The symptoms?

Rifling through leads on your desk and putting them in piles. Spending lots of time finding the “one” lead that you know will make an appointment with you, but never picking up the phone. Additional symptoms include: yawning, gazing out the window, getting up for coffee, water or soft drinks (on occasion, adult beverages), turning on the TV, getting the urge to put the towels in the dryer, and the afternoon nap. Some agents report heart palpitations, sweats, a feeling of fear or doom, and the urge to work at McDonald’s.

You hear a lot about phone reluctance for a reason. It all starts with calling the lead or potential prospect. Many of us do everything we can to avoid the phone. Why? Just do it. Have a plan and follow through with that plan, use a phone tracker to track your success, always schedule time for the phone and get on the phone any time you have an opening.

Use pre-approach and re-approach letters, emails and newsletters to stay in front of prospects. Then call ‘em. If you are having problems with appointment setting, I encourage you to record yourself making calls and then listen to yourself, or have a friend or colleague listen.

Just hearing your side of the conversation will tell you things about your tone, pace and how you are handling the conversation. You will be amazed at some of the things you can discover by just hearing yourself on the phone. It may explain why you are having success or why you are not.

Think about the things you do each hour of each day. Then, decide if the activity you are doing is something which will produce revenue. You are in business and most every activity should be revenue enhancing.

Write down every activity that you do during the day, just like a lawyer would in order to produce billable hours. Then see what the heck you are doing each hour by hour and decide if each activity produces revenue.

The only real cure for Shuffling Paper Syndrome is you. Get your SPS shot and decide you are open for business — and then act like it. Good luck.