More Thoughts On The Do Not Call Registry

To The Editor:

Regarding Jack Bobos column on the National “Do Not Call” Registry in the Sept. 15 issue, I agree with him, but I also feel he did not go deep enough.

When we look at who benefits from the “Do Not Call” Registry, we of course see the people trying to eat their dinner and getting interrupted with the annoying telemarketers. As Jack pointed out, while it is certainly a nuisance, it could very definitely impede an economic recovery.

The thing that is not clear is who is behind the majority of those annoying calls. I believe that if you were to look deeper at the companies behind the calls you would find that the large corporations are the only ones who can afford to hire in-house telemarketers or outside telemarketing firms. I believe that you would find a very small percentage of the total telemarketing calls come from small businesses.

I would therefore propose an exception to the “Do Not Call” rules for any type of small business with total sales under $10 million and fewer than 50 employees. The company would have to have the telephone in the small business company name, and it would not be allowed to block its number or company name on caller ID.

This exception would only apply to companies that hired their own in-house telemarketers (and were still under the 50 employee maximum) or hired outside telemarketing firms with fewer than 50 employees. This would give small businesses an opportunity to ply their wares, actually encouraging small businesses to grow and also giving them an advantage that they so severely need without threatening large corporations.

Jeffrey W. Rusk
Via e-mail

To The Editor:

Regrettably, “Do Not Call” is now the law of the land, and yes, it does apply to life insurance agents and financial planners.

Why do I say regrettably?

Because unfortunately, I can see a great many good, hardworking agents leaving our wonderful business because they simply can no longer make a decent living selling insurance.

For many years now, the agency system has been struggling desperately as rising costs, changing market conditions, Internet sales, and competition from banks and others have made it more and more difficult for the agency system as we know it to survive. The results are to be seen all around us in the graying of the field force, as fewer and fewer new agents are being recruited and trained.

“Do Not Call” is not going to impact materially the experienced agent. Most established agents dont buy mailing lists. They dont do a lot of cold calling. They have learned how to get referrals and they have built themselves a practice already.

It is the newer agent, the not-yet-established agent, who is going to suffer. It is my opinion that a very high percentage of those with less than five years of experience are going to fail to survive in our business.

If that is not a formula for future disaster, I dont know what is.

Donald V. Victorson, CLU
Victorson Associates Inc.
Smithtown, N.Y.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, September 26, 2003. Copyright 2003 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.