Not all Meat is Good Meat

Definition: “Bad Meat” = a non-desirable customer.

For all my fellow sales people out there – welcome to a new week. 

When I started selling insurance in 1991, I loved what I was doing. I loved helping people prepare for that unpredictable tomorrow by bringing them peace of mind today. Selling insurance for a family’s car or home or the lives of mom and dad brought me great pleasure because I knew that I was really helping them out. 

However, my bosses failed to see it the same way. It always felt like all they wanted was sales numbers. People and their lives were not their concern. Their concern was stated as, “Did you make your numbers last week?  Are you going to make your numbers this week?”
Every Monday, it was the same thing. “Great job last week Jim. Now it’s a new week; do it all over again.” The pressure was always on to perform which led me to selling policies to people that weren’t the best customers.

I learned early on in my insurance career that “not all meat is good meat.” 


I strongly desired to meet my sales quota as I am driven by goals and competition. However, in order to meet those sales quotas, it meant that I had to chase after a much wider group of clients than just the preferred good-quality, low-claims-filing type of client. When you compromise on high-quality underwriting standards, you end up defeating the purpose of those standards. They were set up to guide me to a long-term success in the insurance business. However, the drive for sales constantly had me considering clients that were not going to aid me in my long-term success. 

Compromising from the ideal client standards led me to choosing customers that were not “good meat”.  When this pressure would drive me, it always ended up causing me more stress in the long run with short-term gain, sales for long-term hassle, and customer service nightmares.

These new customers that I had arduously worked for to get into our insurance program often had numerous claims, paid their bills late, and were rude to our customer support staff. Trying to help them came back to hurt me almost every time.

When you are a new sales person in a new position, you will be tempted to cut corners in order to make a sale and hit your numbers. If you do this, you will live to regret it. All of us in sales know and can relate to what I am saying.


It is never easy to walk away from a sale, especially when you need to hit your numbers. But, when I look back on it, I have come to this conclusion. If I had stepped away from the “bad” meat sale and spent more time seeking “good meat”, I would have wasted far less time.  

Eventually, all sales to “bad meat” go sour. These customers will either switch to another company or stop paying their bills. They may even drive you nuts to the point where you refuse to continue serving them.

Go searching for “good meat” today. You will live a happier and healthier life – I guarantee it.

If you need help defining whom your ideal customer is, I would be happy to assist. Simply send me an email at

About the Author, Jim Brangenberg

Jim's Mission: To transform Christian-run businesses through mentoring Christian Business Owners (CBOs) by incorporating the servant leadership of Jesus Christ in their businesses, their home life and their walk with Christ.

Jim Brangenberg