Really “Cold” Calling

It was snowing again in New York City this morning, and like countless others who woke up to that mess, I wanted to be somewhere else—someplace with palm trees, umbrella drinks and 80 degree temperatures, to be specific.

Earlier this week I spoke with an agent based in northern New York who told me her 2010 was off to a bang-up start. The phones were ringing off the hook at her storefront agency and, as she explained it, that’s typical post-holiday business for her. For folks who didn’t go away for the holidays, cabin fever is setting in and the cold, dark days of January and February only magnify that feeling.

Home-based agents, of course, don’t have the luxury of splashy signage in their windows beckoning disgruntled passersby to come in out of the cold. What they do have, however, is a telephone, a computer and a database of clients who are probably feeling those winter doldrums. (If an agent called me up and shared some great offer for a long weekend, I think I’d be pretty easy to convince right about now. I keep seeing great deals cross my desk, and it’s getting harder and harder to resist.)

And for those of you in the warmer climates, maybe it’s time to sell your clients on a ski trip in Vermont or a New York City weekend while theater tickets are more plentiful and the holiday crowds are gone. Plus, it will get them away from all the snowbirds your northeastern and Midwestern counterparts are sending their way!

And, if you need a hook, you might want to plan your calls and e-mails for Monday, January 18. Psychologist Cliff Arnall has calculated that it will be the most depressed day of 2010, known as “Blue Monday.” His formula uses six factors to calculate the day of the year on which people are most likely to be depressed: the weather conditions, debt level, the time since Christmas, the time since failing to keep our resolutions, low motivation levels and the pressure to take action.

People are going to need some serious cheering up and something to look forward to by then.