I grew up in a little town on the Ohio River called East Liverpool. It is placed in Ohio at the junction of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. When I was growing up it had a population of around 22, 000. Today the population has dropped to just over 13, 000. However, some very unique and notable people have come from my town. I want talk to you about one of them who learned the significance of providing value for his clients so well that he went on to be the greatest life insurance salesman ever.
Ben Feldman came from the sleepy little town of Salineville, Ohio, where he started his business career selling chicken and eggs for $5 a week. He wanted to go into the insurance field but failed to pass the basic Equitable Life Insurance Company's aptitude test, as an aspiring businessperson.
How could we forget about ...
Now you might be thinking to yourself that Ben must have been some sort of a superstar, good looking, fast talk, sort of man-but you'll be wrong. Ben was a short, stout, balding and spoke slowly with a distinct lisp. He never finished high school. He was so shy that years later when he was invited to speak at insurance industry meetings, he would only agree to if a screen was erected between him and the audience.
But, he was a legend when it came to making a point to know every business owner in his region. He did his homework first and learned all he could about his potential customers so that by the time he met with them (often on a 'cold call') he was prepared with the right Value Development Questions. He did not always sell right away but he never gave up. I once heard him say that for years he did not stop working for the day until he's at least one sale-no matter how late it got.
One of favorite stories about Ben is about a prominent real estate developer. Ben tried for weeks to enter to see the busy man but was always unsuccessful. One day, Ben stopped in cold and handed the developer's assistant the envelope with five $100 bills and told her to give it to her boss. He told her' If I do not get a good idea for him, he can keep the money. ' He got in and sold a $14 million policy. Years later when Ben realized the man need additional insurance, owing to the unprecedented growth of his company; he was once again stymied by the man's insistence that he was too busy to answer a physical. Undaunted, Ben rented a fully equipped mobile hospital van, hired a doctor and sent them to the industrialist. Rumor is that the man ended up with over $50 million in coverage.