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Archive for category Outside Sales
I was reminded again just yesterday while delivering training for an insurance company as to why sharing your schedule and having check in times with your office is so important if you work in the field.
While covering this topic in the module relevant to product representatives, claims adjusters, social services professionals, pharmaceutical detailers and those in the real estate vertical, a woman in the class shared a story that reinforced the concept and made for an excellent teaching moment
This claims adjuster said she was on her way back to her car subsequent to evaluating the water damage at an insured’s home. She was confronted by a very aggressive and unstable person who was closing in on her and acting more and more unpredictably. She immediately called a co worker at the office whose cell phone number she had programmed into her speed dialer
This woman was very level headed and managed to explain her situation to her office contact but more importantly she was able to let him know exactly where she was. Her situation degenerated to the point that she needs to end the call to bring both hands to bear to fend off a potential attack.
Being that the perpetrator had intentionally positioned and trapped her between a wall and other structures she was unable to run and had to instead keep the situation under relative control by remaining calm and collected and talking to this person to buy time
In the meantime her co worker had called the police and let them know of her situation and more importantly, exactly where she was. In a very short period of time the police were on scene and ended what had been very dangerous encounter.
This woman’s account just goes to reinforce the importance of always maintaining a primary and secondary office contact both of whom’s cell phone numbers need to be in the field agents speed dialer. If your designated contact knows where you are and you cannot muster the resources of law enforcement at least they can do so for you.
This is just one of many strategies we cover during our corporate safety classes. The importance of having an office contact and check in times is also very important for those in your work forces that telecommute or work from home.
Listen to a 30 minute blog radio show on safety tips for those who work from home and make sales calls.
The FBI reports that GPS theft from vehicles shot up 700% between 2006 and 2007
- Use the suction-cup windshield mount instead of the permanent base that adheres to the glass or dash which lets everyone know you have a GPS. A friction mount is also an option.(Looks like a bean bag that sits on the dash without sliding around)
- Remember to remove the mounting bracket from the windshield when you are not in the car. Not just the device from the bracket.
- Remember to wipe off the smudge the suction-cup leaves on the glass! This is a tell tale sign there might be one hidden in the car.
- New devices are small enough to put in a pocket or bag so bring it with you and leave the mounting bracket out of site. The same goes for the cigarette lighter power cable.
Your Personal Safety:
Most importantly, use the password feature to lock the device so as to deny access to your home address and any others in your “favorites” list. The last thing you need is the person who broke into your car showing up at your house….with out even having to bother with MapQuest!!
A young lady who had taken our introductory situational awareness class approached me at a subsequent one hour “Assembly Safety” presentation at her high school and shared this story with me.
This account contains the four simple elements upon which we construct what we refer to as the “Safety Mindset”
- Knowledge of crime as a process
- Awareness of our surroundings
- Obeying instincts
- And always having a sound strategy in place
Let us refer to her as Ashley:
Ashley told me that she went out with a friend of hers to a restaurant on a weekend night. She said that she traveled to the restaurant in the same vehicle as her friend so as to adhere to the Buddy System (Strategy)
Upon returning to their vehicle after dinner, they noticed a panel van parked very close to Ashley’s drivers side door in the quiet dark parking lot.
Having knowledge of the relevance of a panel van, and obeying their instincts as to the how uneasy they felt with this situation, they went back into the restaurant and resorted to their strategy, which was to ask a waiter to accompany them back to their vehicle, which a waiter indeed did.
Upon the treos return to the parking lot, the panel vans engine suddenly roared to life and “peeled out” tires squealing as it exited the quiet parking lot!!!!
Ashley said to me that prior to the initial training she attended at her school she would have:
- Not understood the relevance of a panel van. (Many people are abducted by predators in panel vans due to how quickly they can slide the door open, grab someone, close the door and leave!!)
- Probably met her friend at the restaurant instead of traveling together as a Buddy Team
-Not registered the potential danger of the van’s presence and therefore might not have had any instinctive sense that something was amiss?
- And certainly would have not gone back to the restaurant to get help.
As I always say, it’s all the little things we do, or fail to do, that add up to an event or quite simply, an non event
Knowledge, Awareness, Instincts and Strategy = a very simple but powerful safety formula!!!
During a recent class delivered in a corporate setting we were covering the topic of safety while commuting.
We discussed the importance of taking a quick look into the back seat area of your vehicle before getting in.
I encourage people to carry a small flashlight with them, especially during the winter months, in order to check the back seat and interior more readily in poor lighting conditions.
A woman put up her hand and commented that she always chooses a vehicle, her own or a rental car, that has a very light color interior this not allowing someone dressed in dark clothing the opportunity to blend in as easily.
An excellent tip!!!
Do you remember to take a quick peek under your vehicle too when you are about thirty feet from it?