NHL Player Becomes Insurance Sales Guy – The Journey
When I retired as a NHL Professional Hockey Player I began my business career as a Life Insurance Salesman. It was an interesting transition from being an NHL Hockey player, where everyone wanted to talk to me, to an Insurance Salesman where hardly anyone would give me the time of day.
In the insurance business I was told 75% of the people who start quit in the first 2 years. Early in my career I made a commitment that unless I was fired I would be one of the 25% still standing.
I asked myself, why did 75% of the people fail in the life insurance business?
- Did they believe strongly enough in the benefits of the product?
- Were they smart enough?
- Did they receive the necessary training?
- Did they have enough technical or administrative support?
- Did they have a talented Sales Manager?
It didn’t take me long to realize, people failed because they quit before they gave themselves enough time to become successful.
In my experience and personal opinion people fail for the following reasons:
People Take Rejection Personally
In the traditional insurance sales world, statistics showed we needed to make 10 calls to see 3 people to close 1 sale. I remember many days where I was in the office at 6:00 AM, worked all day and then went out to an appointment at 7:00 PM in hopes of closing a sale that would generate $35/month. This was not much for a family guy with three young children. I would often drive home at 9:00 PM in the pouring rain after a 15 hour day no sale, and absolutely nothing to show for all my hard work. By this time my kids were asleep and I remember on many occasions feeling way beyond exhausted. Quite often the experience would bring me to tears, I wanted to quit so many times and something kept me going.
People Avoid Taking Action
As I reflect back I realize I was not in flow when making cold calls. What I did have was the discipline and courage to push past my call reluctance and fear of rejection to get the job done because I knew activity would equal success. This grit, looking back, I learned from my hockey career. I had to practice hard and play with all the passion I could muster to compete.
In Hockey I remember a formula that looked like this:
Skill x Zero passion, Effort and Training = Sitting on the Bench
In the insurance business the formula looked like this:
Technical Knowledge x Zero Activity = $0.00 Commission
You can see the Hockey world and the Insurance world are a lot alike. I realized very early that my success did not depend on technical knowledge it depended on activity. If I ran into a situation where I needed help there was always someone willing to share expertise, knowledge and experience.
Unhealthy Body - Unhealthy Mind
Fitness was critical to my success. Before the word endorphin was even popular I remember how important exercise was to my success. I would be sick to my stomach and have a huge knot in my gut because I was not having any success and my family depended on me. When I would go for a run, low and behold things would calm down, come back into perspective and I would be able to think positively. I attribute this to endorphin that relaxed me and helped me tackle another day. I would muster the courage to make another call to keep up the level of activity which ultimately determined my success as a Life Insurance Sales Professional.
Giving People the Opportunity to Buy
I remember our Friday afternoon sales meetings where the rookie sales people would report on their success or lack of success for the week. When one of us would report zero sales for the week our manager would ask how many people did we asked to buy? Often we would reply, none. The obvious lesson is if you don’t ask someone to buy you won’t get the results you want.
Gobble with the Turkeys or Soar with the Eagles
The insurance business is a community of abundant thinkers where successful senior sales professionals are always willing to share their sales ideas. There is a global group of successful insurance sales professionals called the Million Dollar Round Table. When I attended my first Million Dollar Round Table meeting in New York I was blown away by how generous the successful people were with their ideas. What a blessing to be able to “rub shoulders’ with humble super stars. I realized that these successful salespeople were genuine in there willingness to help. The lesson I learned was, don’t allow negative people into our lives. As we used to stay we have no room for “stink’n think’n”.
So what does this mean in the digital world?
I went from playing in the NHL, one of the greatly sought after professions to being an insurance sales guy, one of the most dreaded professions. As old as I am, as new as business appears to be, the secret to success is the same. When the going gets tough, try harder. As an old guy I realized life was not over and I am now a digital entrepreneur. My motto remains to be don’t quit!
I kept believing success was one new call, one new relationship and one sale away to continue moving forward. I was successful in surviving the first 2 years which ultimately lead to a successful 20 year insurance career.
"Don’t Quit" is also our motto for Wake the Fun Up!
Adrienne and I believe with a can-do-attitude, strong work ethic, curiosity and courage to learn something new a world of possibility opens up. Similar to the insurance business, we found SFM - Six Figure Mentors to be a community of like minded people who help one another, share ideas, work collaboratively and think abundantly.
We know success can happen when you apply these 5 key leadership principles created by SFM:
- Visualize and meditate
- Do an income producing activity every day
- Invest in ourselves
- Mastermind with other leaders
- Learn - Do - Teach
I believe that one of the key reasons people failed in the insurance business was because the people didn't make enough calls.
Doing an income producing activity every day will separate those who succeed from those who quit before they give themselves time to succeed. We hope you join us on your digital journey.
Adrienne & Bob
We are digital entrepreneurs who took a courageous leap to start our online business. We have owned an Executive Recruitment company for over twenty years. The industry is being rapidly disrupted by technology. Our business isn’t scaleable and we constantly trade time for money. Our digital business allows us flexibility to work when and where we want and do the things we enjoy. We are passionate about helping others achieve the same.