Following is given, by A. C. Hanbold, Special Agent, Equitable Life Assurance Co., a system using a two-card record. While here applied to insurance, it affords valuable pointers to a solicitor in any line of business.
The insurance solicitor who makes a business of writing insurance instead of regarding it as a makeshift from which he expects to retire as soon as possible finds that in order to keep track of his customers and prospective customers he must start some system by which he can keep on record the names and circumstances of these men and some essential facts regarding them.
The man who is active in the insurance business to-day will have probably two hundred men and women on his list with whom he wishes to keep in touch. It is impossible for him to keep all the facts regarding these people in his head or on odd slips of paper. The system here described is very simple, entails the minimum of work, and is inexpensive, but wholly satisfactory, for it does all that is required. A Mechanical Aid to Memory. - When a person whom the solicitor wishes to approach is first brought to his attention, his name is placed on a buff colored card, ruled as shown in Figure I, with such facts in the blanks as may be known concerning the individual in question. Blanks are left for records of interviews and appointments, as well as for facts which may be learned in the course of the labor with this man.
INSURANCE IN FORCE
FORM OF policy suggested
These cards are filed alphabetically in a case, so that they may be referred to at any time. To keep the dates of appointments in mind, they are entered on a calendar pad from these cards, inasmuch as the number of cards is usually too small to warrant their being classified according to dates of future interviews chronologically.
When a policy is written for a person who has been solicited, this buff card is destroyed and a new "customer's card" is made out similar to that shown in Figure II. The essential information on the buff card is transferred to this white card, and in addition to this the essential facts concerning the policy written are recorded. This card is then filed, also alphabetically, in a customer's case, where it is preserved always.
"Improbable" Prospects. - The records of persons upon whom the solicitor has been working, for whom no policy has been written and who are apaprently hopeless, at least for the time being, are taken out of the buff card case, and are filed in a pigeon-hole, with others of their kind. These are read periodically, every few months, for information of any new facts concerning any persons who are entered on the cards. Death, alone, is necessary to designate a card as "dead," in which'case it is destroyed.
DATE OF APPLICATION
NO. OF POLICY
PLACE OF BIRTH
form or policy
DATE OF BIRTH
Whenever the person whose record appears on a buff card - placed in the hopeless file - is found to be in a more receptive mood, the card is again placed in the card case with the cards of others who are being solicited, and work is again begun upon him.
Persons who may for some good reason not be approachable for soliciting for three, six months, or even longer, have their cards left in the regular file, with this information recorded on them. Their names may either-be entered on a calendar pad on the date on which they are to be seen again, or it may be good policy for this and for general purposes to look through the file of buff cards every month, and so keep track of all these individuals. In any case, all such information is always written on the card under "Remarks," so that it can be referred to when necessary.
The white cards are kept partly in order that the solicitor may always have at hand the list and facts of all the policies he has written - a record which will be found very serviceable and convenient, as for one reason or another a solicitor has many occasions to look up his policies. If he has no such record, he must either go to the books of his company or to the document which his customer holds. But these cards fulfill another function. A solicitor is never satisfied with writing one policy for an individual. He will wish, when a time has passed since his first policy has been written, to solicit him for another. He has then all the facts at hand which he formerly had on his buff card.
If a customer is approached for a second time, a buff card is again made out for him, if a second policy is secured another white card is filled out.