Ben Feldman, A Legendary Salesman

64 replies
A few days ago, it arrived. A series of recordings of Ben Feldman, a few videos before his death. The World's Greatest Life Insurance Salesman. It cost me close to a thousand dollars. A few hours of audio from an afternoon talk he gave...an hour of grainy video. It was a good deal.

A small balding man with a slight lisp, and a kind voice. Not dynamic, he told no jokes, but I listened to the audio, and cried a few times. Not because it was sad, but because I knew I was listening to greatness.

I would listen to someone give him an objection, and he would answer it, making it brain dead obvious that you should buy insurance from him. This was in 1976.

I was selling life insurance about that time, and I either called him, or wrote him a letter..it's been so long, I can't clearly recall.
Anyway, you can get a taste of what he was like from this article written at the time of his death.

The Death--and Inspiring Life--of an Extraordinary Salesman : Motivation: It's not Ben Feldman's fault that life insurance isn't universal. It's just that he didn't have time to sell to everyone. - Los Angeles Times

Maybe Monday, I'll have my IT guy post a link to one part of that talk.

added 8/05/2013
Here's the links to a few hours of Ben Feldman.
http://claudewhitacre.com/xfiles/listen/
#ben #feldman #legendary #salesman
  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Look forward to the share. I've never had a chance to hear or read anything from him.
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  • Ditto - I'm all ears now...
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    Thanks, Claude.

    I'd heard about Ben through sales trainers like Brian Tracy and others
    but hadn't learned the details of his life til reading the linked article.

    All I can say is...what an inspiration!
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    • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
      Never heard of him; no reason why I should have, but those statistics are staggering.

      Dan
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      • Profile picture of the author Chuck Avants
        How many people have 6 million dollars
        of life insurance on themselves?

        He sold more insurance than 1500 companies.
        Basically he would have been the number 300
        company in the nation by himself.

        Offering a man $500 for 5 minutes of his time.
        He may have been shy but his nads had to be
        the size of Chicago. Don't know the commission
        on the sale but I'm sure he was not concerned
        about the commission.

        He definitely didn't let obstacles stop him from
        carving out new innovations.
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    would love to hear anything you've got
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    "No body has endurance, like the man who sells life insurance."
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    I would listen to someone give him an objection, and he would answer it, making it brain dead obvious that you should buy insurance from him.
    Not just why they should buy insurance, or why they should buy a specific policy or why they should even buy a certain amount of insurance, but why they should buy it from him, eh?

    That's the thing.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      In the mean time, while we wait for Claude to feed us the magic of Ben,
      here's a primer...

      http://www.ultimateinsurancesystem.c...man_Method.pdf

      Recently, while I was writing a postcard for a Liquid Fertilizer,
      I thought of Ben and his sentences to hit home the cost of
      not buying.

      Ben would say something like...

      " Mr prospect, if I walk out of here now, you'll still have
      [grisly problem]. Bring me in and if your [specific event happens]
      I walk in with [$$$ amount]".

      So transferring this over to my client's reader,
      they had 2 choices, carry on having soil salt problems which they knew of no other cure,
      or simply take a trial and let the results be the judge.

      Even easier the money for it doesn't come out of their pocket because it comes out of the other fertilizer budget.

      Even keeps more money in their pocket because the
      alternative fertilizer costs less.

      Plus add it doesn't change their farming work flow.

      And if the trial doesn't result in fixing the problem, doesn't have higher crop yields, then 100% money refunded.

      I've done it for a carpet cleaning guy.
      Introduced a problem for the reader, dust mites.

      At the call to action, gave 2 choices, live with them and the consequences
      to their health and children's health, or call in my client.

      I had already gave reasons why other methods to kill and remove them won't work.

      Thanks Ben Feldman for showing me how it's done!

      Best,
      Ewen

      P.S. Claude, thank you for the link to his story. I went back and read it after my post.
      I'm speechless because of that.

      P.P.S. Here's his book...The Feldman Method: Andrew H. Thomson, Lee...The Feldman Method: Andrew H. Thomson, Lee...
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      • Profile picture of the author Chuck Avants
        Ben doesn't make sales, he makes dreams come true
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      Not just why they should buy insurance, or why they should buy a specific policy or why they should even buy a certain amount of insurance, but why they should buy it from him, eh?

      That's the thing.
      It's hard to explain. He sold for New York Life. a sizable company, but not any different from any other mutual insurance company.

      Ben would create packages;
      A $3,000 a year premium to take advantage of tax free gifts.
      A Million dollar policy to buy out a partner's widow if he dies before you.
      A 5 million dollar policy to pay your estate taxes.

      So he created packages. Simple packages. No pensions, no needs analysis, no health or disability insurance. Just bundles of Whole Life insurance. Big bundles.
      My kind of selling.

      The "certain amount of insurance" was usually a close guess on his part. He didn't do estate planning. And he didn't compete. He didn't replace your other insurance. He would just sell bundles of insurance for problems that nobody else had addressed.

      When people were asking questions from the audience, there were jokes made, everyone laughed...except Ben. This was deadly serious to him. He had conviction.

      I must admit, he is incredibly unimpressive to look at. A hunched over gnome looking little guy..with a chubby face. And he had a whispy, lispy, slightly high pitched voice.

      But his words had absolute conviction behind them. It would simply never occur to you to buy from someone else. I've never heard anyone speak about what they sell with such certainty.

      A strange thing listening to him. If you got off the subject of selling life insurance, he was very uncomfortable. Any attempt to get him to talk about something else, was immediately switched back to selling life insurance. I didn't know what to make of it. I know that the first time he spoke to the national convention of Million Dollar Round Table salespeople (an elite group of exceptional producers), he spoke from behind a curtain. Painfully shy but incredibly driven.

      He made over a million dollars a year in commissions (many multiples sometimes) until he died at age 80.

      A typical Feldman exchange;
      "I don't want insurance"
      Ben; "I sell money. And what will you substitute when you need money?"

      "I sell discounted dollars. When you walk out the door, the government walks in and they want paid now. They will take apart what took you a lifetime to put together. And those dollars will cost you a dollar each. My dollars cost you three cents a year each. Which dollars would you rather use?"

      Stuff like that.

      I'll try to post a major part of one interview.
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      • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
        ....he spoke from behind a curtain

        What do you mean, like the Wizard of Oz?


        Saw some quotes from him , liked these 2 a lot and they can be used in non insurance ways.


        “You haven’t done anything wrong. You just haven’t done anything, and that’s what’s wrong.”

        “Doing something costs something. Doing nothing costs something. And, quite often, doing nothing costs a lot more!”
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler View Post

          ....he spoke from behind a curtain

          What do you mean, like the Wizard of Oz?
          I didn't see it. I only read about it. I mean like standing behind a curtain on stage so the audience couldn't see him...and he couldn't see the audience.

          He was that shy in front of audiences. At least in the beginning. And he liked it a lot better if he was not alone on stage. If it was a group or panel. Of course, all the questions were directed at him.

          Strange, I know. But I've read about it from several sources.

          His presentation skills were marginal. I saw a live video of a presentation. It was clumsy, He talked slowly, and had almost no voice inflection.

          But he was absolutely believable...you'll just have to hear it.
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          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            I found these Ben Feldman quotes...

            “The basic purpose of life insurance is to create cash… nothing more or nothing less. Everything else confuses and complicates.” – Ben Feldman

            “Read! Study never stops because publications never stop coming in. It’s read and study. And think about what you’re studying. Take it apart and put it together. Ask ‘why?’ And know the answers.” – Ben Feldman

            “The biggest asset you have is your earning capacity, and that depends entirely on your attitude.” – Ben Feldman

            “You haven’t done anything wrong. You just haven’t done anything, and that’s what’s wrong.” – Ben Feldman

            “If you’ve got a problem make it a procedure and it won’t be a problem anymore.” – Ben Feldman

            “Fundamentals are right down to earth. And one fundamental is: You have to make calls. Nothing happens until you make a call. It’s that fundamental!” – Ben Feldman

            “Doing something costs something. Doing nothing costs something. And, quite often, doing nothing costs a lot more!” – Ben Feldman

            “Life insurance is time. The time a man might not have. If he needs time, he needs life insurance.” – Ben Feldman

            “Life Insurance is the only tool that takes pennies and guarantees dollars.” – Ben Feldman

            “Every man has problems that only life insurance can solve. In the young man’s case, the problem is to create cash; for the older man, to conserve it.” – Ben Feldman

            “You’ll have the same problems when I walk out, as you had when I walked in… unless you let me take your problems with me.” – Ben Feldman

            “The key to a sale in an interview, and the key to an interview is a disturbing question.” – Ben Feldman

            “Don’t sell life insurance. Sell what life insurance can do.” – Ben Feldman

            “I rarely use the telephone because he may not want to see me. I have a better chance of seeing the man I want to see if I do go. Besides, switchboard girls and secretaries have become very good. They’ve learned to take you apart. ‘Who? Why? What for? What company?’ You don’t always get by. I seldom call on the phone. I’d rather go.” – Ben Feldman

            “On calls, I just walk right in…and my first barrier is usually the switchboard operator or the receptionist. On the phone, a switchboard operator can stop me dead. But face to face, the odds are I’ll get by. And when I go, I may leave something with her. You know what it is? It’s a pair of little golden slippers. She doesn’t know what they are until I’ve left and she’s opened the box. Then I usually get a thank you note. From that time on, I get in.” – Ben Feldman

            “I’m very frank, very open. I just say I want to meet her boss, whatever his name might be. (And you’d better know his name.) The receptionist ordinarily announces me, but it’s a cold call, and the odds are he doesn’t want to see me. I get thrown out of more places!” – Ben Feldman

            “There are many ways of saying, ‘No.’ He probably won’t see me the first time. That isn’t so bad. Why? Because I’m coming back, and when I come back I’m no longer a stranger! I’ve been here before!” – Ben Feldman “

            "If I call once of twice more, and if the answer is still ‘No,’ she’ll probably begin to feel sorry for me. Now she’s on my team. She’ll do her best to open the door for me. Particularly if she feels I’d be helping her boss. You’ve got to have disturbing things to say to the receptionist that will make her boss want to see you, just as you have disturbing things to say to the boss himself.” – Ben Feldman

            “When you walk out, the money walks in” – Ben Feldman

            “Term insurance is temporary, but your problem is permanent.” – Ben Feldman

            “You are already broke and don’t even know it.” – Ben Feldman

            “Work hard. Think big. Listen well.” – Ben Feldman

            “No one ever died with too much money.” – Ben Feldman

            “Do you know anyone who has a lease on life? It isn’t a question of if; it’s a question of when.” – Ben Feldman

            “Put me on your payroll. The day you walk out, I’ll walk in and pay your bills.” – Ben Feldman

            “Most people buy not because they believe, but because the sales person believes.” – Ben Feldman

            “If people understood what life insurance does, we wouldn’t need salesmen to sell it. People would come knocking on the door. But they don’t understand.” – Ben Feldman

            “You know, a man’s life is the most precious thing in the world, isn’t it? So isn’t it odd that a man will insure everything but his life?” – Ben Feldman

            “You’ve got a problem. Part of what you own isn’t yours. It belongs to Uncle Sam. May I show you how much belongs to Uncle Sam?” – Ben Feldman

            “If I don’t buy it, I can’t sell it.” – Ben Feldman

            “Your value depends on what you make of yourself. Make the most of yourself for that is all there is of you.” – Ben Feldman

            “We help you keep together what you’ve worked so hard to put together.” – Ben Feldman
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          • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            ....
            He was that shy in front of audiences. At least in the beginning. And he liked it a lot better if he was not alone on stage. If it was a group or panel. Of course, all the questions were directed at him. ....
            But he was absolutely believable...you'll just have to hear it.
            Totally agree Claude.
            I watched a video of Ben years ago, and at first glance,
            you would never have guessed he was so successful. He was sitting at a small
            table being interviewed by a host. Spoke so softly and had a lisp, he seemed
            unremarkable.

            But, I think his whole 'approachable' persona was part of his magic. I remember thinking how he was so ordinary, yet was accomplishing extraordinary results.
            ..and as you point out, he was completely believable.
            _____
            Bruce
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      • Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


        A strange thing listening to him. If you got off the subject of selling life insurance, he was very uncomfortable. Any attempt to get him to talk about something else, was immediately switched back to selling life insurance. I didn't know what to make of it.
        In this video David Woods lists some of the figures in insurance sales who didn't worry about competition, rather created their own niche and dominated it.

        He talks about Ben Feldman here (the link goes right to the brief section--if it messes up, just go to the 2:40 mark).

        "Work Smarter, Not Harder" - YouTube

        He mentions Ben would never go "off script."

        Check out this picture of his sales binder (what we used to call a "battle book").

        http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...salesman&hl=en

        He's got a picture of Uncle Sam and the words "I Want Your Money." The other page has a bunch of currency and some coins. Is that real currency? Great stuff.

        More:

        http://www.nytimes.com/1993/11/10/ob...-salesman.html
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    His results, except some highly targeted direct marketing, were all created through ice cold calls in person.

    Not a big city hot shot life agent either -- all of his efforts were made mostly out of Youngstown, Ohio, selling to local small businessmen.

    Let's not forget he also held Guiness World records for sales for quite some time, too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Rearden View Post

      His results, except some highly targeted direct marketing, were all created through ice cold calls in person.

      Not a big city hot shot life agent either -- all of his efforts were made mostly out of Youngstown, Ohio, selling to local small businessmen.
      This is before cell phones, before personal computers..heck, before word processors. At the time, an electric typewriter was considered state of the art.

      He didn't work by referral (Which is really odd), just cold calls, and sales to existing clients. No group sales. No company sales.

      One on One. Belly to belly. Selling more life insurance personally that most insurance companies at the time.

      What a Legend.


      Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

      Wow, thanks Claude-this is fantastic stuff!

      There it is! In the first audio, he talks about that currency in his sales book. He has the money scotch-taped (yes, scotch-taped) to the binder and he says, "I do not sell life insurance. I sell money. I sell dollars for pennies apiece. My dollars cost 3 cents per dollar per year." Here is the picture:
      http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...salesman&hl=en
      Yeah, I have a video of him presenting a $33,000 premium (meaning that's what it cost a year) sale. His materials look shabby and amateurish by today's standards. He used a flip book.

      I actually used some of his visuals when I sold life insurance. I think I was the only one in the company that used a visual flip book. It was "unprofessional" to the other agents. The company was Monumental Life, out of Baltimore Maryland. They had 2,200 agents at the time. My first full year, I was the #3 agent in the company. Largely thanks to what I learned from reading the Ben Feldman books. And working hard.
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      • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Yeah, I have a video of him presenting a $33,000 premium (meaning that's what it cost a year) sale. His materials look shabby and amateurish by today's standards. He used a flip book.

        I actually used some of his visuals when I sold life insurance. I think I was the only one in the company that used a visual flip book. It was "unprofessional" to the other agents. The company was Monumental Life, out of Baltimore Maryland. They had 2,200 agents at the time. My first full year, I was the #3 agent in the company. Largely thanks to what I learned from reading the Ben Feldman books. And working hard.
        I've consider using a flip book in presentations myself. I think there is value in it. I wonder if anyone is still using them and the experience they have with them.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

          I've consider using a flip book in presentations myself. I think there is value in it. I wonder if anyone is still using them and the experience they have with them.
          I've always used a flip book on every in person sales call.

          It looks official. "If it's in print, it must be true"
          It keeps the salesman on track. That was one of the main reasons I used one. It kept me from going off on wild tangents.
          It can answer many objections in the presentation. My flip book was designed to answer every objection to buying...in the presentation itself.

          The reason I made all my salespeople use a flip book? They weren't salespeople.
          So the presentation had to do a lot of the selling. Selling statements and questions had to be built into the presentation flip book, if I wanted to make sure the points were made.

          And my flip books were created from the company flip book, but they were changed. Most flip books are created by non-salespeople. I would take out things like...the complete history of the company...the personal philosophy of the founder.....and anything that a human being would be bored by.

          Anyway, that's me.
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  • Wow, thanks Claude-this is fantastic stuff!

    There it is! In the first audio, he talks about that currency in his sales book. He has the money scotch-taped (yes, scotch-taped) to the binder and he says, "I do not sell life insurance. I sell money. I sell dollars for pennies apiece. My dollars cost 3 cents per dollar per year." Here is the picture:
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...salesman&hl=en

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Man, this is gold. Are people listening to this? This guy is a machine: Self-deprecating, funny, persistent, creative, patient, innovative, honest and vulnerable. Vulnerable? Sure, he admits to fear and hating cold calling. From a master of the game. There are more nuggets in here than the Gold Rush of '49.
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    AWESOME share Claude! I'm listening to this right now and it's pure gold. I can't thank you enough for sharing this with us.

    Regarding flip books... that's actually what I went to business in first for myself and still continue to do today. I'm a firm believer in using pitch books and in the home improvement industry my books are being used by some of the top remodeling company's in the nation. You just can't beat the credibility (as you mentioned) that comes with a nicely printed and informative pitch book.

    There's more and more shifting over to iPad presentations but the physical pitch book is just as valuable today in my opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    I made a flip chart for my sales people and nationwide manufacturing reps that had all the common objections they would get from prospects, they flipped to that objection and listed were several probing questions to deal w/ the objection.

    I even had reps just hand the thing to the prospect. haha.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by NewParadigm View Post

      I made a flip chart for my sales people and nationwide manufacturing reps that had all the common objections they would get from prospects, they flipped to that objection and listed were several probing questions to deal w/ the objection.

      I even had reps just hand the thing to the prospect
      . haha.
      A huge problem I had with reps in the field was how to use a flip book. I've seen reps actually argue with what's in the book....in front of the prospect.

      I've seen guys have the book facing them, and not the prospect. I watched a rep flip through the book saying "BS, BS, BS..Ok, this is good".

      These were flip books that only had essential information in them. When I got them from the company, I would throw out any boring pages that didn't further the sale. And maybe add one or two with questions.

      I keep forgetting how complicated great selling is, until I watch someone else do it..and every few seconds, I want to tear out my hair.

      And then I remember how bad I was, the first few years....
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    I can't quite put my finger on it, but where some of those objections (in the tapes) presented to him (such as "I don't need more money") could throw off anyone, Feldman's objection handling process appears to be filtered through one thought: But what does THAT have to do with life insurance? Because his thought out response shows the connection between the objection and his product ("I don't need the money" comes back with something like 'your family will after the gov't takes its share').

    Or maybe what he does is to extend the objection to its logical conclusion? Which in turn can help uncover the flaws in the thinking?

    In any event, he's not delivering clever one liners. They may sound like he is, but I suspect that's not the wheel that's turning in his mind.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Recently I was working with a guy who is in the instant lawn business.

      I got him to put together a pitch book.

      From the latest research on grasses suitable for his soil and location climate.

      The traps of buying lawn seed that at first may look good but either die
      out in the dry or aren't soft to walk on.

      Have lots of photos of them around new homes.

      He needs to go this way because a branded instant lawn
      has shown to be inferior from the latest independent research

      I asked him how the typical meeting goes.

      From that information, I suggested the presentation folder be given
      to the lady and he mostly talks with him.

      She wants the look of her dream home and the presentation prevents her from making a bad mistake and she can visualize what the finishing touches will look like.

      The nearest thing to a presentation kit I had in the lawn mowing business was a folder with,
      I think, 2 pages of client comments I had collected.

      Can't say they made any difference.

      Best,
      Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      Or maybe what he does is to extend the objection to its logical conclusion? Which in turn can help uncover the flaws in the thinking?

      In any event, he's not delivering clever one liners. They may sound like he is, but I suspect that's not the wheel that's turning in his mind.
      Misterme; Could you elaborate? I'm not sure I understand your meaning.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    OK, here's an example of what I'm getting at:

    Objection: "My business is doing well. I have plenty of capital. Don't need life insurance."

    In my opinion, Feldman thinks this objection out. What's the logical conclusion? OK, you're doing well now. But when you pass, then what happens? How does the business stay successful if you're not running it? It'll be in your wife's control. Can she run it as well as you or might there be problems? What about her cash needs if the business falters? What about the business' cash needs to stay in business? You're not around then. Sure, you don't need to do anything today, but in another few years you may need this insurance to help out. Maybe even more so if your business has grown. But in a few years you'll be older too. And so it'll cost you more. And the difference in premium between what you pay now or pay then would be sizable. And since no one has a lease on life, it'd be prudent to do this sooner rather than later.

    So Feldman goes to the the logical conclusion of the objection given.

    Whereas maybe another sales person counters with, "You insure your car even though you're a good driver, don't you?"

    So Feldman replies back with something like, "But when you walk out, your wife and family will need to run the business, won't they? And they'll need cash to do that, isn't that right? And in five years, ten years, the cash needs will grow from where they are today. To get a policy then - the difference in premiums between today and tomorrow will pay for your first five years..."

    "But what about your wife?" may seem like a snappy clever rebuttal to the guy used to answering "you insure your car don't you?" But it doesn't come from the snappy rebuttal part of the brain, like it does for that sales person. It comes from the "let me think this through to its logical conclusion and see where the problems are there - because if there's a problem there, I know the answer will be life insurance."
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      OK, here's an example of what I'm getting at:

      Objection: "My business is doing well. I have plenty of capital. Don't need life insurance."

      In my opinion, Feldman thinks this objection out. What's the logical conclusion? OK, you're doing well now. But when you pass, then what happens? How does the business stay successful if you're not running it? It'll be in your wife's control. Can she run it as well as you or might there be problems? What about her cash needs if the business falters? What about the business' cash needs to stay in business? You're not around then. Sure, you don't need to do anything today, but in another few years you may need this insurance to help out. Maybe even more so if your business has grown. But in a few years you'll be older too. And so it'll cost you more. And the difference in premium between what you pay now or pay then would be sizable. And since no one has a lease on life, it'd be prudent to do this sooner rather than later.

      So Feldman goes to the the logical conclusion of the objection given.

      Whereas maybe another sales person counters with, "You insure your car even though you're a good driver, don't you?"

      So Feldman replies back with something like, "But when you walk out, your wife and family will need to run the business, won't they? And they'll need cash to do that, isn't that right? And in five years, ten years, the cash needs will grow from where they are today. To get a policy then - the difference in premiums between today and tomorrow will pay for your first five years..."

      "But what about your wife?" may seem like a snappy clever rebuttal to the guy used to answering "you insure your car don't you?" But it doesn't come from the snappy rebuttal part of the brain, like it does for that sales person. It comes from the "let me think this through to its logical conclusion and see where the problems are there - because if there's a problem there, I know the answer will be life insurance."
      You never cease to amaze me. I wasn't sure that's what you meant.

      Yeah, it's real easy to listen to what Feldman says...and think you are doing the same thing by saying some insipid cliche slogan.

      Feldman hits them where they live.

      "You insure your car, don't you" is a perfectly chosen example of stupid statements that salespeople make...that sound smart to a novice, but don't handle the objection, and do nothing to make the prospect want to buy.

      Feldman just plows through any objection and gets to the heart of what the insurance would do for you. It simply becomes brain dead obvious that this is the intelligent thing to do. And he hits on the appeal of "keeping the company together that took a lifetime to put together" or similar appeals.

      And you start thinking "I can't let taxes destroy everything I've built! I'll let Feldman pay my taxes. It costs almost nothing"

      I love how he handles the "I need to run it by my CPA or Lawyer".

      "When you walk out, your CPA will figure out all your bills, but he won't pay them. I'll pay them. And not with dollars that cost you $1.00 each. But with discounted dollars..." That kind of thing. Feldman re-positioned what he sold from "Insurance" to "Money that solves specific problems". Brilliant.

      Millions of dollars a year in commissions. Millions.

      A typical explanation of insurance from Feldman would be...
      "When you walk out, your company will need a million dollars in cash to pay the taxes. How will you get the million? Borrow it? Could you borrow a million dollars for 3 percent a year? Could you even pay the interest for 3% a year? Give me the 3 percent a year and I'll pay the million dollars"

      Could you create that out of thin air? I don't think I could.

      I think for many of Feldman's clients...buying huge policies from him got to be something of a hobby.
      Great business people love talking to great salespeople.

      Man, every idea, every response.... rehearsed, polished, perfected. Never off script. Always on target.

      I would have bought from him just for the bragging rights.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Great business people love talking to great salespeople.

        So true.

        A salesperson called me on the phone and I was so dialed in
        to every word, tone a d timing.

        I had to interrupt him to where he learnt to do that.

        He said he had no real training and he just believed in what he was selling
        and what he said came from a place of it being the natural thing to help
        the business owner.

        Turned out I didn't qualify so let him dial for dollars.

        I left better for the experience.

        Best,
        Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          Great business people love talking to great salespeople.

          So true.

          A salesperson called me on the phone and I was so dialed in
          to every word, tone a d timing.

          I had to interrupt him to where he learnt to do that.

          He said he had no real training and he just believed in what he was selling
          and what he said came from a place of it being the natural thing to help
          the business owner.

          Turned out I didn't qualify so let him dial for dollars.

          I left better for the experience.

          Best,
          Ewen
          I used to get compliments on my selling from customers. I learned that how you handle it can either hurt or help the sale. For examples;

          "Wow! You really know how to sell. Where did you learn all this?"

          Claude The Beginner; "Yeah, I've read a lot of books on selling. I practice what to say, and how to say it. I sell a large percentage of the people I see."
          (No joke. I have vague memories of talking like that)
          Dumb, dumb, dumb.

          Claude The Advanced; "Thank you. But really it's just that we get along so well, and the product happens to be a great fit for you, don't you think?"


          See guys? Everything you say or do either helps the sale along or hurts it. Everything.

          I'm feeling very pompous today.
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          • Profile picture of the author misterme
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            I used to get compliments on my selling from customers. I learned that how you handle it can either hurt or help the sale.
            Whadd'ya mean "used to"? Are you slipping? OK soldier, gimme two laps around the vacuum store, three Takeaways and a Close!

            Anyhow... I always figured it wasn't a compliment but meant to smoke you out, as in "This is all some sales voodoo you're pulling on me isn't it?"

            So I've always answered, "Me? A good sales person? Oh man, I'm the worst sales person in the world. No... I don't care if you buy my top package or not, I just want to be the guy who photographs your wedding."
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by misterme View Post

              Anyhow... I always figured it wasn't a compliment but meant to smoke you out, as in "This is all some sales voodoo you're pulling on me isn't it?"

              So I've always answered, "Me? A good sales person? Oh man, I'm the worst sales person in the world. No... I don't care if you buy my top package or not, I just want to be the guy who photographs your wedding."
              Me too. I always assumed (at least after the first few years) that they were trying to distance themselves from buying, by attributing their desire to buy to my sales ability. It was a prequel to not buying.

              I noticed that most of the people that complimented my sales ability...didn't buy....so I had to redirect them back into the idea of buying by making the "reason they wanted to buy" dependent on the product, not my sales ability.


              The trick is to know that, when they are complimenting you...they are usually not aware that hey are looking for a reason not to buy...they really think they are complimenting you. But it is the beginning of "No".

              Of course, there really are some people that say you are a great salesman as an insult. Like "You think you're so smart trying to trick me".

              But those people can't be turned around, I find. And they are rare anyway.


              Do you realized how advanced all of this is?
              This is real Kung Fu.

              Originally Posted by misterme View Post

              Whadd'ya mean "used to"? Are you slipping? OK soldier, gimme two laps around the vacuum store, three Takeaways and a Close!
              Misterme; I haven't heard it for several years now. I don't know if it's because my selling is now invisible to them, or that I position myself that I'm not selling at all.

              Maybe both.

              I think I'm done patting myself on my back for awhile.
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              • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre;8372283
                Do you realized how advanced all of this is?
                This is [I

                real[/I] Kung Fu.
                I know it AND i agree, so it cant be too much kung foo
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
      In so many ways you pointed out my problem with "word tracks". Yes they work but the reason they work and how to learn to truly overcome objection has nothing to do with the "snappy rebuttal". It's about taking yourself through their thought process and to the logical conclusion.

      Until this thread I always assumed only n00bs and "the average" got stuck in that "word track" hole.

      "Word Tracks" will help a n00b become average. But they will never help you become a master salesman till you understand the thinking behind their creation. And once you understand the thinking you no longer need "word tracks" because your brain will create them on the fly.

      Because I was a "people reader" long before I was a salesman I never quantified this difference and related it to the logical training steps I am now starting to visualize. I simply did it naturally because I learned to do it as a child. And I assumed everyone worth a salt would learn it naturally over time selling. And to a point assumed people naturally knew it but just didn't use it in selling like they should.

      How many other "natural" sales people do this?
      How much better could we make them if we helped them be conscious of what they are doing? That way they can train their subconscious to give better and more personalized responses.

      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      OK, here's an example of what I'm getting at:

      Objection: "My business is doing well. I have plenty of capital. Don't need life insurance."

      In my opinion, Feldman thinks this objection out. What's the logical conclusion? OK, you're doing well now. But when you pass, then what happens? How does the business stay successful if you're not running it? It'll be in your wife's control. Can she run it as well as you or might there be problems? What about her cash needs if the business falters? What about the business' cash needs to stay in business? You're not around then. Sure, you don't need to do anything today, but in another few years you may need this insurance to help out. Maybe even more so if your business has grown. But in a few years you'll be older too. And so it'll cost you more. And the difference in premium between what you pay now or pay then would be sizable. And since no one has a lease on life, it'd be prudent to do this sooner rather than later.

      So Feldman goes to the the logical conclusion of the objection given.

      Whereas maybe another sales person counters with, "You insure your car even though you're a good driver, don't you?"

      So Feldman replies back with something like, "But when you walk out, your wife and family will need to run the business, won't they? And they'll need cash to do that, isn't that right? And in five years, ten years, the cash needs will grow from where they are today. To get a policy then - the difference in premiums between today and tomorrow will pay for your first five years..."

      "But what about your wife?" may seem like a snappy clever rebuttal to the guy used to answering "you insure your car don't you?" But it doesn't come from the snappy rebuttal part of the brain, like it does for that sales person. It comes from the "let me think this through to its logical conclusion and see where the problems are there - because if there's a problem there, I know the answer will be life insurance."
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      • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
        Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post


        How many other "natural" sales people do this?
        How much better could we make them if we helped them be conscious of what they are doing? That way they can train their subconscious to give better and more personalized responses.
        I think of it like movies playing out in the mind of the prospect. Anytime we are presented with any info - our minds instantly play movies of the choices we have to make. Our minds know instinctively what the end result will be even years out. The important part to know is that if the mind reaches the wrong conclusion - it is only because it was given the wrong data.

        When I am talking with a prospect - I'm not in tune with MY movies - I am in tune with theirs. If they are reaching the wrong conclusion - it is because I have not given them the right info. I have not communicated correctly.

        It's really strange - I'm not the same person with all people. I have always kind of morphed. My whole life I have acted differently depending on who I am around. It can be very dramatic. This gives me the ability to "slide" right into the persona that I need to sell a particular person.

        It's not manipulative or fake - It's really me - just that version. Maybe it is a skill that can be taught, I don't know. I did take a course once that taught people to imagine walking up behind the prospect - unzipping their skin - and sliding into them like a suit. Thereby being able to take their perspective and persuade them. I don't do that - but maybe it would work for some.

        As I got better at directing my personality based on the movie playing in the prospects mind - I started to get lots of comments like "I don't know why I am telling you this. I feel like I really know you. Wow you are easy to talk to. I feel like we have this connection and you really understand my business and my needs."

        It feels good. It leads to a lot of almost instant sales. I mean really - people just agree to buy with very little resistance because I am in their world and speaking their language.

        I'm not trying to be arrogant here. I'm just saying that there really is power in the human connection. The prospect thinks we have something special - they don't know I'm like that with everyone.

        I don't know if it can be taught or if it is a combination of all the studying I have done. Who knows? It is indeed a very, very valuable skill.

        If we could bottle and sell it - we'd be rich and famous overnight!
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

          It's really strange - I'm not the same person with all people. I have always kind of morphed. My whole life I have acted differently depending on who I am around. It can be very dramatic. This gives me the ability to "slide" right into the persona that I need to sell a particular person.

          It's not manipulative or fake - It's really me - just that version. Maybe it is a skill that can be taught, I don't know. I did take a course once that taught people to imagine walking up behind the prospect - unzipping their skin - and sliding into them like a suit. Thereby being able to take their perspective and persuade them. I don't do that - but maybe it would work for some.
          Dan; I'm not sure this ability is really a skill. I think it may be a facet of your personality. You may have honed it over the years, got to understand it better...but I think it's just part of who you are.

          I envy you. You may have the single most powerful tool in selling. I suspect Ken Michaels has this ability too.

          I don't think it can be taught, unless the person already has the innate ability...which I don't think most of us do.

          Dan; A question. When you are doing this with a customer, are you acting...or is this really the way you are. In other words, are you being genuine?

          For example, if they have a dog that does a stupid trick...are you really interested in dog tricks? (at least at that moment) or are you just paying a part well?
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          • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            Dan; I'm not sure this ability is really a skill. I think it may be a facet of your personality. You may have honed it over the years, got to understand it better...but I think it's just part of who you are.

            I envy you. You may have the single most powerful tool in selling. I suspect Ken Michaels has this ability too.

            I don't think it can be taught, unless the person already has the innate ability...which I don't think most of us do.
            Claude, if that is the case - I MUST find a way to teach it!

            Are you telling me that most people struggle with it? Are most people depending mostly on learned techniques?

            I always kind of figured connecting with people is the basic selling tool. I always kind of kicked myself for not putting in effort to memorize all the techniques and that I was playing minor league games.

            This thread is blowing me away - are you saying that I might be practicing sales at a high-level all this time and didn't know it?

            Now that I think about it, in all my sales jobs, I have have closed a very high % of the time. I have always thought I was just too lazy to read and memorize all the techniques.

            Please, bring me down to earth if you think I am flying away here.

            I need to explore this much, much more.
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            • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
              Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

              Now that I think about it, in all my sales jobs, I have have closed a very high % of the time. I have always thought I was just too lazy to read and memorize all the techniques.
              You may be lazy too. I can honestly tell you from personal experience in school with learning and in my career with managing and selling that because it came so easy for me I became very lazy.

              After all the guy who can get to above average with no work never learned how to use work to become amazing.

              Only recently have I been fully admitting it to myself and learning to hate myself for it. I know "hate myself for it" sounds bad but I know that to truly move forward i have to break myself of this bad form of lazy.

              Lazy isn't in and of itself bad. Lazy is at the core of why we hire people. Why we delegate. Basically why we grow our careers and businesses. Lazy is a good thing.

              But Lazy can turn bad when we become satisfied. When we stop becoming more. Satisfied is the ultimate form of Bad Laziness.

              I can honestly say if I did not have so much of this Bad Laziness I would have had a Lambo when I was 25 or 26. Instead I spend my whole life succeeding with little to no effort. I saw it as a good thing. Instead of seeing it as an advantage where coupled with massive effort I could go so much further than most.

              There is truth to the idea that genius is a curse. If you are smart and always succeed you never learn the value of true failure and of pushing your limits. Just because the school system and the world doesn't challenge you doesn't mean you shouldn't challenge yourself.
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              • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
                Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

                You may be lazy too. I can honestly tell you from personal experience in school with learning and in my career with managing and selling that because it came so easy for me I became very lazy.

                After all the guy who can get to above average with no work never learned how to use work to become amazing.

                Only recently have I been fully admitting it to myself and learning to hate myself for it. I know "hate myself for it" sounds bad but I know that to truly move forward i have to break myself of this bad form of lazy.

                Lazy isn't in and of itself bad. Lazy is at the core of why we hire people. Why we delegate. Basically why we grow our careers and businesses. Lazy is a good thing.

                But Lazy can turn bad when we become satisfied. When we stop becoming more. Satisfied is the ultimate form of Bad Laziness.

                I can honestly say if I did not have so much of this Bad Laziness I would have had a Lambo when I was 25 or 26. Instead I spend my whole life succeeding with little to no effort. I saw it as a good thing. Instead of seeing it as an advantage where coupled with massive effort I could go so much further than most.

                There is truth to the idea that genius is a curse. If you are smart and always succeed you never learn the value of true failure and of pushing your limits. Just because the school system and the world doesn't challenge you doesn't mean you shouldn't challenge yourself.
                HAHAHA! You just wrote my book. Exactly the same here. I just didn't give a damn about school. I've tried to do college three times - I just can't work that hard. Now I wear having no college degrees as a badge of honor.
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

              Claude, if that is the case - I MUST find a way to teach it!

              Are you telling me that most people struggle with it? Are most people depending mostly on learned techniques?
              Dan; No. Most salespeople don't have empathy or good technique. I've known a few people that were instantly liked by almost anyone. They are rare, in my experience. Misterme and I both have a deep understanding of technique...but I don't know if Misterme can mirror the prospect and create deep rapport. I just know that I can't. So I practiced technique until it became automatic and unconscious. But it's still technique.


              Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

              I always kind of figured connecting with people is the basic selling tool. I always kind of kicked myself for not putting in effort to memorize all the techniques and that I was playing minor league games.
              Think of being a great fighter. What you have is enormous natural strength. The good news is that you don't need much else. The bad news is that there is no real incentive to learn how to fight. To train...get your timing down.
              So you end up relying on your gifts. Always good. Never great.

              If you applied the psychology of buying and what motivates people...you would become even better.

              Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

              This thread is blowing me away - are you saying that I might be practicing sales at a high-level all this time and didn't know it?
              Not precisely. I'm saying that what you are doing isn't strictly sales. It's more like seduction. There are several parts to great selling: developing rapport (liking and trusting you), showing great value, showing that the offer is specific to them, ability to control the direction of a conversation, reducing the pain of making a decision, showing certainty in what you sell...and more.

              You have the "developing rapport" down so well, that it carries the weight of all the other skills. You don't really need much else. But some prospects are not empathetic. Some are more "just give me the facts, and be quick". And what you do wouldn't be as effective with them.


              Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

              Now that I think about it, in all my sales jobs, I have have closed a very high % of the time. I have always thought I was just too lazy to read and memorize all the techniques.
              There is a law of diminishing returns on sales skills. For example, when I was beginning, I would close 20% of my qualified leads. After I became competent...maybe I could close 50% of the same group of prospects.

              Now, I'm 5 times better than that...and I peak out at about 80%.

              My thought is that if I became twice as good as I am now..I may get 85%.
              Twice the effort for a 5% increase.

              See? It just may not pay, if you are already at a high level.

              The difference is that I have a compulsion to make every presentation a sale.
              So I keep at it. But it isn't really paying.

              You can teach technique, and eventually some will get it. But you can't teach Charisma. At least I haven't learned it. And I've tried.
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          • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            Dan; A question. When you are doing this with a customer, are you acting...or is this really the way you are. In other words, are you being genuine?

            For example, if they have a dog that does a stupid trick...are you really interested in dog tricks? (at least at that moment) or are you just paying a part well?
            I am being genuine. I have a client right now who keeps her puppy in the office. It is a puppy so is always getting into things and interrupting our sessions. For that hour, I love her dog - because she does - and I love my clients.

            I met with a very high-profile national leader 6 months ago (Presidential Appointee) - in the first 10 minutes I knew everything that was happening in his life. His wife's illnesses - his transition back to the private sector, his hopes for the future. He said he didn't have any idea why he was telling me these things. He is now my friend and a close business associate.

            This conversation is opening my eyes.
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        • Profile picture of the author misterme
          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          I know it AND i agree, so it cant be too much kung foo
          I had too much kung foo one night at the Chinese restaurant. Up all night. But it was so good.

          Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

          In so many ways you pointed out my problem with "word tracks"..

          ...once you understand the thinking you no longer need "word tracks" because your brain will create them on the fly.

          ...How much better could we make them if we helped them be conscious of what they are doing?
          We can rebuild them. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic salesperson. We'll make them better than they were before. Better, stronger persuaders, faster closers.

          I for my part am open to having us all do a workshop tour around the country happily creating the new bionic salespeople.

          Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

          When I am talking with a prospect - I'm not in tune with MY movies - I am in tune with theirs.
          Sounds like you're describing being empathic. People like to be understood. They open up to you because no one else listens to them. When we're kids we talk about everything inside we feel, like, fear, love, hate, but then we're taught not to share ourselves too much with others, especially anything which seems to make us appear vulnerable or weak. But in a deep inner level, our inner child still wants to talk. Good stuff, McCoy.
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    claude .... wow bro ... wow!

    you and mrmeee always astound me with your logic.

    just brilliant .... and way beyond the average sales person.

    Thank you... You too mrmee. thank you ...
    you guys ARE THE reason i still hang out here.

    btw i KNOW i spelled your name wrong... that's just me having a little fun
    don't be insulted. you are both awesome ... damn it, i am 40 and still say the word
    "awesome"

    something must be terribly wrong with me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Dan,

    I've always done that morphing as well. I've honestly wondered if I am on the autism spectrum because of the way I do it. I don't have instinctive responses so much as I have learned responses based on how I believe the person or persons I am interacting with wants me to respond.

    Hard to explain to people who don't experience it. It is for the most part now subconscious. But as a child it was very conscious as I learned to do it. Lot's of observation of others to learn the ways they reacted and which were best.

    Kinda weird for the people closest to me as I tend to "drop the act" around them and be "myself". Also leads to a weird transition in relationships once I feel comfortable being me vs. being who my mind tells me they want me to be.

    "I don't know why I am telling you this. I feel like I really know you."

    I love that response. In selling situations it's golden. And in the rest of life it leads to some really great info.

    As an interviewer it is invaluable. People always wondered why I didn't follow the script questions when interviewing. My mission was always to see the real person as quickly as possible. They wouldn't say the above statement out loud but you knew when you got there. #1 way to have low turnover IMO.
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    • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      Dan,

      I've always done that morphing as well. I've honestly wondered if I am on the autism spectrum because of the way I do it. I don't have instinctive responses so much as I have learned responses based on how I believe the person or persons I am interacting with wants me to respond.
      It funny you say that. I have suspected the same thing. My son has autism and we are very much alike. (Private info on a public forum - but that's OK, I'm proud of him.) I "get" him in ways no one else does. We understand each other. I went through the same troubles he is having.

      I used to be very introverted and awkward when I was really young. The process you describe is exactly what I went through. I made a directed effort to learn how to function. I almost never think about it. I forget about it. It's just me now.

      Hmmm....So that means it is something that CAN be learned. That means it is something that CAN be taught.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    BTW just want to say how much I love these threads. Great for introspection.

    This forum and in particular this core group has IMO done more to send me down the right path than anything else in the first 35 (nearly) years of my life. If only I had found this 20 years ago.

    There is one thing months ago that Claude said that truly woke me up to the fact I wasn't as successful as I let myself believe. I won't say what it was as I am not even sure he meant to say it publicly and I doubt anyone noticed it actually.

    But that one statement showed me that I could be so much more if I just changed my outlook. And that is what I have been doing and attempting to do since. I owe him dinner at least for that. If I do really well in the long run, maybe even a car. And yes you can hold me to that Claude. I wouldn't have said it if I didn't mean it.

    So to Claude specifically and this group of great guys in general I just want to say thank you for everything you bring to this forum. You have made me a better person. And now it is up to me to use that to become the person I should already have been.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      There is one thing months ago that Claude said that truly woke me up to the fact I wasn't as successful as I let myself believe. I won't say what it was as I am not even sure he meant to say it publicly and I doubt anyone noticed it actually.
      Aaron; Thank you. Please tell us what it was.


      Added later; Guys, one of the reasons I am really high on Ben Feldman is that his approach is based on the structure of argument....the best use of language....technique. I sell the same way. The language is different, but the methodology is very similar.

      Ben had no charisma. He wasn't a "touchy feely" kind of guy. His arguments made the sale. His drive and clarity of explanation.

      Dan and Aaron are more in tune with the customer as people....their emotions, drives, feelings.

      Again, I think Ken Michaels is like that. Anyway, they are all parts of the same thing. And I love the exploring of how high end salespeople think.


      And now we are down to an audience of three or four. And again..there are no girls.

      Oh well.:rolleyes:
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      • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post



        And now we are down to an audience of three or four. And again..there are no girls.

        Oh well.:rolleyes:
        That's always a problem. LOL

        I guess it turned into the "Let's stand in a circle and pat each other on the back Good ole boys club."
        Signature
        Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Well you got the circle part right......
    Signature
    Promise Big.
    Deliver Bigger.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    There is so much you can learn from others. Especially the masters, the guys like Ben, who sell in numbers that everyone else says is impossible.

    Each of us has natural gifts. But to truly be the best we have to take our natural gifts and exceed their limits. And to do that we have to learn more about selling. And more so human behavior. Because there is no profession more about the study of human behavior than selling. Even the ology's are not more about it.

    It is one thing to take money to study people. It is another to make money based on your study of people. And selling is the only profession I know of that rewards those who master the study of people. And there are no true limits to the rewards. The only limits are those we and our "jobs" set before us.

    There are upper limits to how much you can make selling furniture. But you can start selling higher end furniture or even leave furniture behind and sell something else. There are upper limits to how many cars you can sell. Yet you could buy a dealership and take that career even further.

    Selling is a skill set that you can use on any product. And if what you are selling isn't producing for you all you have to do is find a better product that can make you more money.

    Guys like Ben could have sold anything. He just happened to choose insurance.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
      As you all saw earlier Claude asked me to tell him what it was he said that so motivated me that if I becomes successful enough I would buy him a car. I sent him the following private message and he asked that I share it with the group.

      It was his hope (and mine in posting it) that it would inspire others as it had me.

      As always I get a bit wordy.

      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud

      First let me say that this is going to sound quite silly when you hear it. With all the value you have provided it honestly shocks me that this was the moment of clarity for me.

      To put the moment in context. Unlike the vast majority on forums like this three things have always been clear about you.

      1. You are not here to sell anything. Why that is a rarity is beyond me. But for some reason people seem to think that selling in the same place you learn makes sense.

      2. You are real. So many of the guru's are clearly faking it. For someone like me who reads people easily I just want to smack everyone for not seeing it.

      3. You don't brag. Everything you have said, even if it was about what you have done and how successful you have been, was shared to help others.

      It's been a few months ago now. I can't remember the exact thread or even the exact wording now. But what you said hit me like a ton of bricks.

      As per the normal we got to the point of helping a young n00bie on his quest to make this work. Someone, I believe the original poster, said how they had made $7,500 (amount may be slightly off) in what I believe was his best month.

      As a small barely noticed remark you said and I paraphrase here that $7,500 was great but to keep going. And that is the moment you hit me with a ton of bricks. "I've had house payments that were that much.", you said (and I paraphrase).

      See I had always known you were successful. Likely one of if not the most successful of us posting on the offline forum. But I had never really quantified the difference between your success and mine.

      Not even sure if I would have even done it that time had it not been for one silly fact. I had been trying to motivate myself. And I realized what I really love is cars so I had tossed the price of a McLaren MP4-12C into the payment calculator. It would only be $3,500 or so per month.

      That number still seemed so large. Normal guys didn't make that kind of money. My mind was still holding me back.

      But right there like a giant bitch slap from God Almighty himself was the proof.

      Claude was a normal guy. There wasn't anything special about you (no offense meant here). There were things you were better at and there were things I was better at. But for all accounts and purposes you could be me.

      And this guy who I only knew from the forum who I could see as a future me just laid down a number. To him not a special number. But to me it was a number twice what I couldn't bring myself to believe I could do as a car payment.

      In that moment you didn't just prove to me I could make a $3,500 car payment. You proved to me I was aiming way too low.

      I haven't yet done what I need to or what I know I can do. But in that moment a normal man taught me there was no limit besides what I placed before myself.

      You said it so nonchalantly, I doubt anyone else even noticed it. Much the same way I had said "I spend that much on lunch daily." Or, "My car payment is more than that. You need to stop using your pricing and start using theirs."

      In that moment I realized I was talking as much to myself in those moments as I was to the people here we try to help.

      In life there are very few moments of absolute clarity. And your words provided me with one.

      "You'll believe a man can fly." And in that moment I did.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Going away and thinking about Ben's success,
        it's clear to me he knew, with complete certainty,
        that the person in front of him had a money problem
        and that there were no alternatives to fixing it.

        Only what he had, which just so happened to be insurance
        would fix the problem.

        He would keep going back to that problem.

        His prospect knows it, but really doesn't want to face the reality
        and comes up with little excuses.

        The kind he would tell himself to justify not taking action to resolve it.

        Ben would keep gently prodding,
        like a loved one would do,
        until he agrees to get it out of the way.

        That's how I now see how it played out.

        Best,
        Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author internetmonkey
    Thanks for sharing Claude. Some great motivation for tomorrows calls
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  • Claude, . . . Ben Feldman really had a powerfully unique life. This man was driven.

    I liked the article. Thank you for the opportunity to compare where I am now as compared to where Ben was at my age. . . . I don't wanna say.

    Thanks,

    LLS
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  • Profile picture of the author LloydMS
    Thanks so much for sharing this. I was trying to find some of Ben's material when this popped up.

    He was very close friends with my family and I am fortunate that I got to spend time with him just a few days before he passed away.

    While his material is now decades old, it's timeless and still applicable today. And now I get to re-live some of that wisdom with these recordings.
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Just wanted to bump this thread and hopefully some WF newcomers will get some value out of it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Robyn435
      Already have my plate full with some great info.
      This will sure be a great addition to the archives
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  • Decades ago Mr Feldman became a hero of mine (I'm very grateful to Claude for reuniting us).

    Way back then I was selling advertising. I wasn't a brash, glib high pressure salesman, if anything I was the polar opposite.

    There was no interweb, email or gadgets. I hated using the phone. So I schlepped around selling "door to door."

    I read "The Feldman Method" and three principles struck me like a thunderbolt.

    You've got to make lots of calls. Have a great presentation. And most importantly, a complete, undying total conviction in your "product."

    So, I changed the advertising "medium" I was selling to a much better one.

    Put together a compelling "pitch" And learned how to ask and get the order (way better than trying to close, close close!).

    And decided no matter what, I would force myself to enjoy making the calls.

    Lo and behold my sales went through the roof.


    Steve


    P.S. Over all the years I've studied and to be fair learned a lot from sales trainers like good old Zig, Bettger, Tracy, Hopkins, Gitomer, Shook, Rackham, Schiffman, Klaff, Brooks, Good, Belfort, Gardone et al.

    But the coolest salesman of the lot - who didn't make any racket or noise - (and no massive ego, manipulation, tricks or any nonsense) - is the one and only Mr Ben Feldman.


    P.P.S. Even cooler, while so many rant and rave -"Sell or Die", trying to hype everyone up into a frenzy. "Ra… Ra... Ra...Go..Go..Go… Kill…Kill…Kill....Always be closing"...

    You can just imagine Ben even in modern times quietly and methodically going to work with a real (not faked) absolute passion in what he is doing - and outselling everyone - (10 fold maybe 100 fold) - leaving them bawling, screaming and howling…

    "How on earth could that happen?"

    Sadly, they might never realise how he did it.
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  • Profile picture of the author EyesEars
    Interesting, AND Encouraging:
    I haven't heard or read anything about Ben Feldman and his Golf game, his Fishing outings, his Big Game hunts, all the "players" & "politicians" & "movers/shakers" he hung with and networked with.
    It seems he didn't do that, and he didn't need it to achieve the success he achieved.

    For those of us, or at least for me, that aren't involved in grand social activities, that aren't positioned to use "golf" as a "connection"....there is still "Hope" for use to be successful in a career and a product we respect and love.

    It's possible that Ben may have done more sales in less time if he had been more involved in those other activities. (although I don't see that he ever had time for them, being that he worked 6.25 days a week). But that wasn't where his strength was. In fact, they may have been a detriment for him given his personality. He was fortunate enough to find a different technique, one that suited him well.

    When you discover your work as "art", it can become unpleasant to leave it to go "golf". There's just too much blank "canvas" out there asking you to paint with beautiful colors. Ben loved his "art".
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