I grew up in a small city on the Ohio River referred to as East Liverpool. It is situated in Ohio at 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 only over 13,000. However, some very distinctive and notable individuals have come from my city. I need to inform you about one in every of them who discovered the which means of offering worth for his shoppers so nicely that he went on to develop into the biggest 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 every week. As an aspiring businessperson, he needed to enter the insurance coverage subject however was unable to move the primary Equitable Life Insurance Company’s aptitude check.
In typical Feldman trend, 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 in the Little Building, on the Diamond, in downtown East Liverpool. It was from this location that he started a relentless quest to realize membership in the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table. He made it in 1946.
Little did anybody suspect that he would far surpass the million greenback mark, nevertheless, in 1955, he bought $10 million in protection. He then started promoting a million a month, then one million every week, and in 1971 wrote contracts for over $65 million. He then gunned for $10 million a month and in 1983, with the assist 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 know the complexities of the Federal Estate tax law, which desecrated the fortunes of numerous rich people in the interval that adopted World War II. Long earlier than pc graphics, he created intelligent hand-drawn charts, illustrating the want for all times insurance coverage to guard a person’s belongings from the authorities. He would e-book himself on airplane flights, subsequent to a possible shopper, the place upon he would open his temporary case, full of $100, $500 and $1,000 payments, alongside together with his charts and graphs. The concept was to entice his neighbor to note the cash and comment, “Is that real money?” “Yes,” Ben would reply, “but I’m not afraid to carry it, because it’s insured.” With such a gap, a gross sales presentation was a lay-up.
A lover of luxurious cars, Feldman would typically 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 majority of his insurance policies. Often outfitted with a CB radio and a automotive 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 often be, “I’m sorry, his time is too valuable.” Ben would ask, “Is it worth $100 a minute?” “At least!” can be the reply, to which the response (accompanied by 5 model new 100 greenback payments,) can be, “Well I’d like to buy five minutes.”
Even when Ben Feldman would go deep sea fishing, he would spend his time creating new gross sales methods, memorizing the whole New York Life Insurance fee e-book. And, he would arm himself with pithy little phrases, designed to beat the most troublesome problem. To the potential shopper who stated, “I believe in term insurance.” Ben would reply, “Term insurance is temporary, but your problem is permanent.” “I can’t afford the premium,” would invoke, “You are already broke and don’t even know it.”
Following in the footsteps of such a legend was not straightforward for Marv and Rich Feldman, however they dealt with the problem properly as Marv turned president of the Million Dollar Table in 2001, and Rich excelled in quite a lot of endeavors, together with “drag racing,” of all issues.
Now you may be considering to your self that Ben should have been some type of celebrity, good wanting, quick speaking, type of man — however you would be mistaken. 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 business conferences, he would solely comply with 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 enterprise proprietor in his area. He did his homework first and discovered all he might about his potential clients in order that by the time he met with them (typically on a “cold call”) he was prepared with the proper Value Development Questions. He did not all the time promote instantly 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 — regardless of how late it acquired.
One of favourite tales about Ben is a few outstanding actual property developer. Ben tried for weeks to get in to see the busy man however was all the time unsuccessful. One day, 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 informed her “If I don’t have a good idea for him, he can keep the money.” He acquired in and bought a $14 million coverage. Years later when Ben realized the man want further insurance coverage as a result of the unprecedented progress of his firm; he was as soon as once more stymied by the man’s insistence that he was too busy to take a bodily. Undaunted, Ben rented a totally outfitted cellular hospital van, employed a physician and despatched them to the industrialist. Rumor is that the man ended up with over $50 million in protection.
In 1992, New York Life marked Ben’s 50th yr with the firm by proclaiming “Feldman’s February”, a nationwide gross sales competitors. Ben took this as a private problem. The winner of the contest (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 demise he was requested about the largest coverage that he had ever written. “I can’t say. I haven’t written it yet.”