I grew up in a small city on the Ohio River referred to as East Liverpool. It is positioned in Ohio on the junction of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. When I used to be rising up it had a inhabitants of about 22,000. Today the inhabitants has dropped to simply over 13,000. However, some very distinctive and notable folks have come from my city. I wish to inform you about one among them who discovered the which means of offering worth for his shoppers so nicely that he went on to grow to be the best life insurance salesman ever.
His title was Ben Feldman (1912 – 1993) and over his 50 12 months profession promoting insurance for one company, his gross sales quantity exceeded $1.eight billion, with over a 3rd of it coming after he turned 65. And, he did it by promoting out of his workplace in East Liverpool and never some main monetary capital metropolis like New York.
Ben Feldman got here from the sleepy little city of Salineville, Ohio, the place he began his business profession promoting rooster and eggs for $ 5 per week. As an aspiring businessperson, he wished to enter the insurance subject however was unable to move the essential Equitable Life Insurance Company’s aptitude take a look at.
In typical Feldman trend, he bought himself to Equitable, and commenced gathering premiums on meager nickel and dime policies. In 1942, he joined New York Life, and opened a small workplace within the Little Building, on the Diamond, in downtown East Liverpool. It was from this location that he started a relentless quest to attain membership within the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table. He made it in 1946.
Little did anybody suspect that he would far surpass the million greenback mark, nonetheless, in 1955, he bought $10 million in protection. He then started promoting a million a month, then 1,000,000 per week, and in 1971 wrote contracts for over $65 million. He then gunned for $10 million a month and in 1983, with the assistance of his two sons, Marvin and Richard, he bought $148 million of insurance.
Feldman was an innovator, who made it simple for his shoppers to grasp the complexities of the Federal Estate tax law, which desecrated the fortunes of numerous rich people within the interval that adopted World War II. Long earlier than laptop graphics, he created intelligent hand-drawn charts, illustrating the necessity for life insurance to guard a person’s belongings from the federal government. He would guide himself on airplane flights, subsequent to a possible consumer, the place upon he would open his transient case, filled with $100, $500 and $1,000 payments, alongside along with his charts and graphs. The thought was to entice his neighbor to note the cash and comment, “Is that actual cash?” “Yes,” Ben would reply, “however I’m not afraid to hold it, as a result of it is insured.” With such a gap, a gross sales presentation was a lay-up.
A lover of luxurious cars, Feldman would usually be seen racing up and down the highways that hyperlink Pittsburgh and Youngstown in his Cadillac Eldorado. It was inside this 50-mile hall that he bought the vast majority of his policies. Often geared up with a CB radio and a car phone – lengthy earlier than anybody had heard of such a tool – he dealt with rejection like none different.
A favourite Feldman technique was to strategy the workplace of a busy government and ask for an appointment. The response from a frazzled secretary would normally be, “I’m sorry, his time is just too useful.” Ben would ask, “Is it value $100 a minute?” “At least!” could be the reply, to which the response (accompanied by 5 model new 100 greenback payments,) could be, “Well I’d like to purchase 5 minutes.”
Even when Ben Feldman would go deep sea fishing, he would spend his time creating new gross sales strategies, memorizing the complete New York Life Insurance charge guide. And, he would arm himself with pithy little phrases, designed to beat essentially the most troublesome problem. To the potential consumer who stated, “I imagine in term insurance.” Ben would reply, “Term insurance is short-term, however your drawback is everlasting.” “I can not afford the premium,” would invoke, “You are already broke and do not even comprehend it.”
Following within the footsteps of such a legend was not simple for Marv and Rich Feldman, however they dealt with the problem nicely as Marv grew to become president of the Million Dollar Table in 2001, and Rich excelled in numerous endeavors, together with “drag racing,” of all issues.
Now you is likely to be pondering to your self that Ben should have been some sort of celebrity, good wanting, quick speaking, sort of man – however you would be unsuitable. Ben was a brief, stout, balding and spoke slowly with a definite lisp. He by no means completed highschool. He was so shy that years later when he was requested to talk at insurance trade conferences, he would solely conform to if a display was erected between him and the viewers.
But, he was a legend when it got here to creating some extent to know each business proprietor in his area. He did his homework first and discovered all he may about his potential customers in order that by the point he met with them (usually on a “chilly name”) he was prepared with the correct Value Development Questions. He did not at all times promote immediately however he by no means gave up. I as soon as heard him say that for years he did not cease working for the day till he made at the very least one sale – irrespective of how late it obtained.
One of favourite tales about Ben is a couple of distinguished actual property developer. Ben tried for weeks to get in to see the busy man however was at all times unsuccessful. One day, Ben stopped in chilly and handed the developer’s assistant the envelope with 5 $100 payments and requested her to present it to her boss. He advised her “If I haven’t got a good suggestion for him, he can preserve the cash.” He obtained in and bought a $14 million policy. Years later when Ben realized the person want extra insurance because of the unprecedented progress of his company; he was as soon as once more stymied by the person’s insistence that he was too busy to take a bodily. Undaunted, Ben rented a totally geared up cell hospital van, employed a health care provider and despatched them to the industrialist. Rumor is that the person ended up with over $50 million in protection.
In 1992, New York Life marked Ben’s 50th 12 months with the company by proclaiming “Feldman’s February”, a nationwide gross sales competitors. Ben took this as a private problem. The winner of the competition (at 80 years previous) was Ben Feldman.
Ben was well-known for his sayings that he used to encourage each shoppers and himself. My favourite is:
“Doing one thing prices one thing.
Doing nothing prices one thing.
And very often, doing nothing prices much more.”
Ben Feldman died in 1993 at 81. A number of years earlier than his dying he was requested concerning the largest policy that he had ever written. “I can not say. I have never written it but.”