I grew up in a small city on the Ohio River known as East Liverpool. It’s situated in Ohio on the junction of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. After I was rising up it had a inhabitants of about 22,000. Right this moment the inhabitants has dropped to simply over 13,000. Nonetheless, some very distinctive and notable folks have come from my city. I wish to inform you about one in every of them who realized the that means of offering worth for his shoppers so properly that he went on to develop into the best life insurance coverage salesman ever.
His identify was Ben Feldman (1912 – 1993) and over his 50 yr profession promoting insurance coverage for one firm, 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 enterprise profession promoting hen and eggs for $ 5 per week. As an aspiring businessperson, he needed to enter the insurance coverage discipline however was unable to move the essential Equitable Life Insurance coverage Firm’s aptitude check.
In typical Feldman vogue, he bought himself to Equitable, and commenced amassing premiums on meager nickel and dime insurance policies. In 1942, he joined New York Life, and opened a small workplace within the Little Constructing, on the Diamond, in downtown East Liverpool. It was from this location that he started a relentless quest to realize membership within the prestigious Million Greenback Spherical Desk. 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 coverage.
Feldman was an innovator, who made it straightforward for his shoppers to grasp the complexities of the Federal Property tax legislation, which desecrated the fortunes of numerous rich people within the interval that adopted World Warfare II. Lengthy earlier than pc graphics, he created intelligent hand-drawn charts, illustrating the necessity for all times insurance coverage 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 temporary case, full of $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?” “Sure,” Ben would reply, “however I am 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 vehicles, 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 nearly all of his insurance policies. Usually outfitted with a CB radio and a automobile phone – lengthy earlier than anybody had heard of such a tool – he dealt with rejection like none different.
A favourite Feldman methodology was to strategy the workplace of a busy govt and ask for an appointment. The response from a frazzled secretary would normally be, “I am sorry, his time is simply too worthwhile.” Ben would ask, “Is it value $100 a minute?” “Not less than!” can be the reply, to which the response (accompanied by 5 model new 100 greenback payments,) can be, “Effectively I might like to purchase 5 minutes.”
Even when Ben Feldman would go deep sea fishing, he would spend his time creating new gross sales methods, memorizing the complete New York Life Insurance coverage fee guide. And, he would arm himself with pithy little phrases, designed to beat essentially the most tough problem. To the potential consumer who mentioned, “I consider in time period insurance coverage.” Ben would reply, “Time period insurance coverage is non permanent, however your downside is everlasting.” “I am unable to afford the premium,” would invoke, “You might be already broke and do not even comprehend it.”
Following within the footsteps of such a legend was not straightforward for Marv and Wealthy Feldman, however they dealt with the problem properly as Marv turned president of the Million Greenback Desk in 2001, and Wealthy excelled in a variety of endeavors, together with “drag racing,” of all issues.
Now you could be considering to your self that Ben will need to have been some type of celebrity, good trying, quick speaking, type of man – however you would be fallacious. 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 coverage trade conferences, he would solely comply with if a display screen was erected between him and the viewers.
However, he was a legend when it got here to creating a degree to know each enterprise proprietor in his area. He did his homework first and realized all he may about his potential clients in order that by the point he met with them (usually on a “chilly name”) he was prepared with the best Worth Growth Questions. He did not at all times promote straight away 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 no less than one sale – irrespective of how late it obtained.
One in all favourite tales about Ben is a couple of outstanding actual property developer. Ben tried for weeks to get in to see the busy man however was at all times unsuccessful. Sooner or later, Ben stopped in chilly and handed the developer’s assistant the envelope with 5 $100 payments and requested her to offer it to her boss. He advised her “If I haven’t got a good suggestion for him, he can maintain the cash.” He obtained in and bought a $14 million coverage. Years later when Ben realized the person want extra insurance coverage as a result of unprecedented development of his firm; 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 completely outfitted cell hospital van, employed a physician 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 yr with the corporate 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 loss of life he was requested in regards to the largest coverage that he had ever written. “I am unable to say. I have not written it but.”
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