The importance of not eating chocolate doughnuts and driving

We all know that eating while driving can lead to accidents, along with texting, talking on the phone, or to your passengers. However, I would like to point out another danger of eating while driving: Lost Sales. Let me explain…

On my way to work one morning last summer, I stopped at the local doughnut franchise to pick up some breakfast and coffee for my staff. I ordered a dozen chocolate covered doughnuts, and en route, I probably ate two or three of them. I didn’t touch my coffee because of the inherent burn risk that I learned about from a now famous McDonald’s incident years ago. Little did I know at the time, that chocolate, as benign as it may seem, can also pose as a risk of loss.

As I was passing the grocery store, I remembered that I also needed an item or two from there, so I stopped in. As I was exiting my car, another person in the parking lot approached me because he saw my name on the side of my car. He explained that he was new to town and needed to find a good person to handle his insurance needs. I told him that it was his lucky day because I have been doing this for over 18 years, my business has been in operation for nearly 45 years, and we had all of the best markets for anything he may need. As I fumbled around for a business card, I realized I did not have any on me. But I did have some in my car. So I opened the door and leaned into my car to get a card. As I turned around, the guy didn’t seem as interested, and almost seemed disgusted for some reason, but he still graciously accepted my business card and swiftly went on his way. I hollered to him to call me anytime and pointed out that my cell phone # is listed on my business card for a reason – so I can be reached at anytime, anywhere.

I strolled on into the store and picked up my items, and returned to my car. As I started to sit back in the driver’s seat, I noticed a large smear of melted chocolate on the seat, which had no doubt been transferred to my trousers. Needless to say, I think it is pretty obvious that my potential customer has yet to contact me for his insurance needs. The whole time I was bent over, reaching into my car, in this poor soul’s perspective was a view that he undoubtedly wished he had not seen, and probably never wants to remember – unless he is telling a story to an old friend about some idiot insurance man in the new town to which he has moved.

Much to my horror, I learned a valuable lesson that day. If you are gonna eat chocolate and drive, don’t attempt to impress and make a sale. But if you do, just be prepared not to do it by the seat of your pants.

In the end, while I lost a potential sale, I did gain a great story to tell. Maybe one day I’ll benefit from it.

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