Last Interview With Insurance Sales Icon W. Clement Stone Part 2

Cato: What is a personal defeat for a person selling life and health insurance? Or for an agent providing other financial services?

Stone: A personal defeat may be a final end, a stepping stone, or a stumbling block, according to the way you accept it.

Cato: Can you tell us more about being a paperboy?

Stone: As a paperboy, I also began to learn how to overcome fear through direct action. I learned the value of persistence, and how to sell by using a method others were afraid to use! Cold canvassing! Calling on business people in business places without an appointment. That’s the way I sold newspapers.

How Stone Sold Tons Of Insurance

That’s the way I sold insurance! And that’s the reason I sold as many accident policies in a single week as many insurance men sell in months. Why? Because I had learned how to recognize the principles of a given activity, relate them to the needs of a different activity, assimilate them into the new circumstances, and apply them effectively.

Cato: Do you think the principles you learned long ago still apply to insurance agents and financial planners today?

Stone: As a paperboy, I was motivated by necessity. I had borrowed the money to buy the papers. I had to sell them to repay the loan and make a profit. Also as an executive, necessity became a wholesome motivating factor in the solution of problems. In many of my business activities, I have been able to apply the principles I learned between the ages of 6 and 14, when I was selling newspapers.

Here are a few examples: As a poor and often hungry newspaper boy, I had borrowed money and paid off my loan. As a businessman, I borrowed large sums from banks and, like the newspaper boy, I recognized the value of repeat business and returned to Hoelle’s Restaurant daily.

 As an insurance man, I called back at the renewal date of the accident policy to service my customers and sell them the additional insurance. I realized the value, as a newspaper boy, in selling in large places of business, and I applied this knowledge later. As a paperboy, and as a business man, I always made it a practice to get the money at the time of sale.

Cato: Is sales worth the struggle for some agents?

Stone: When endeavoring to come to any decision concerning your future, you may ask yourself whether it is worth it. This is especially tried regarding a vocation. Is it worth it? A traveling salesman may ask himself whether he is doing poorly or well financially. This applies to executives, too, at all levels. I know from experience.

Many years ago, I was selling in Macomb Illinois. I awakened at three o’clock in the morning. The idea of being away from my family was particularly disturbing. “Is it worth it?” I asked myself.

In my thought process that night, I saw that I could achieve wealth through building an organization and saving money. Money could do a great deal for my children, my wife and me; also, we could be benefactors to others. I realized that within a specific period of time, when my debts were cleared and the business arrived at a given paint, I wouldn’t have to make the sacrifices. On weighting the disadvantages and the advantages, I decided that yes, it was worth it. And it has been.

Cato: What specific tips or advice would you like to leave for those working as insurance sales agents today who desire to become famous in their market area?

Stone: There are seven important keys.

* Do your best to become famous where you are! Today it is affordable to hire someone to make you famous.

* Direct your thoughts, control your emotions, and you ordain your destiny!

* You can develop your abilities more fully in the future, if you are willing to pay the price.

* Use your mind power to achieve high objectives through developing your PMA and eliminating your negative mental attitudes.

* Learn how to use the greatest machine ever conceived, so awesome that only God Himself could create it; your brain and nervous system.

* A part of all you earn is yours to keep, and if you cannot save money, the seeds of greatness are not in you.

* Set a definite major goal. When you set a definite major goal, you are apt to recognize that which will help you achieve it.

Cato: For our Insurance Pro Shop® readers, can you tell us How you acquire your philosophy of success motivation?

Stone: When I was twelve years old, I did not realize it then, but the fifty or more Horatio Alger books I read that eventful summer had a lasting, wholesome effect upon me. They stimulated my imagination. They subsequently motivated me to desirable action.

The theme in each Horatio Alger book: From rags to riches. The principles in each: The hero becomes a success because he was a man of character, the villain was a failure because he deceived and embezzled. The poor boy could go from poverty to wealth, from failure to success, he always strove to do the right thing because it was right.

The teenager of today has personal problems. As a high school freshman, I did too. And because I had personal problems, I wanted to develop self discipline and will power to acquire good habits and eliminate those I felt were undesirable. I found no books in our library that would inform me how to do what I wanted to do. There were plenty that told me what to do, but not how to do it! However, when you know what you want, you are apt to recognize that which will help you get it.

Because I knew what I wanted, I recognized what might help me get it, a coupon advertisement in a Chicago newspaper for The Power of Will by Frank Channing Haddock; I bought it. This was my first inspirational self-help action book. The Power of Will gave me insight into the functioning of the human mind. More importantly, I began to see the principles that are so obvious they aren’t generally seen.

What a thrill it was to know that I possessed the greatest machine ever conceived, so awesome that it could only be created by God Himself, a brain, nervous system, and the un-definable human mind! And even more exciting to know how I could operate and use this machine effectively to deliberately direct my thoughts, control my emotions, and achieve a worthwhile goal that didn’t violate the laws of God or the rights of my fellow man. I learned how to motivate others and how to motivate myself at will through such simple techniques as the use of suggestion and self suggestion.

 w. Clement Stone Quote

 Cato: What is motivation?

Stone: Motivation is that which induces action or determines choice. It is that which provides a motive. A motive is an urge within the individual, such as an instinct, emotion, habit, impulse, desire, or idea that incites him to action. It is the hope or other force that moves the individual to attempt to produce specific results.

Cato: What are the principles of success?

Stone: It isn’t necessary to think as you read. But, it is imperative to think, study, and learn how to consciously use your bran power to motivate yourself and others to desirable action. If you do, you can achieve anything in life you may desire that doesn’t violate the laws of God or the rights of your fellow men.

To motivate yourself to desirable action in the future, prepare yourself now. Be ready to recognize and grasp each opportunity when it comes. To be ready, decide now whether it is worth it to you to pay the price to think, concentrate, understand, comprehend, and relate to yourself the principles applicable to you as you read self-help literature. Be it an inspiring poem, story, newspaper article, or magazine feature, book, or when you listen to a motivating cassette, lecture, sermon, the advice of an expert of proven experience who is trying to help you.

Cato: How does a life or health insurance professional motivate himself or herself?

Stone: By learning how to use the greatest machine ever conceived! The machine that is so awesome only God Himself could create it – your brain and nervous system!

Master the art of tapping into the power of your subconscious through your conscious mind regarding emotions, instincts, feelings, tendencies, moods, the formation of desirable habits, and the neutralizing, or elimination, of the undesirable.

Learn how to use your mind power to achieve high objectives through developing PMA and eliminating negative mental attitudes.

Cato: What do you think of men like Ben Feldman, Lew Nason, Mehdi Fakharzadeh, Norman G. Levine, and Fred R. Kissling?

Stone: I think they are the all-time most successful and greatest insurance sales agents and possibly our wisest role models.

(Read Part Three in Next Weeks IPS Newsletter)

Forrest Wallace Cato

Dump your 401(k): Common Sense vs. Conventional Wisdom

Americans are trapped by an economic model that treats conventional wisdom as common sense. I define conventional wisdom (CW) as doing what everyone else does and thinking what everyone else thinks, just because that is what they are doing and thinking. Meanwhile, I define common sense as simply being awake. Common sense is paying attention to obvious realities and allowing yourself to be aware of what options and alternatives best serve you based on that reality.

Tax deductibility is an aspect of reality where we Americans have forsaken common sense to follow CW. CW tells us that we should contribute as much as we can to our 401(k) or its equivalent. CW convinces us that we should take advantage of our employer’s matching contributions in order to get the free money.

However, CW isn’t concerned with how much we can afford. CW doesn’t provide guidelines that allow us to make informed decisions based on the common-sense reality of our own lives.

Continue reading

Last Interview With Insurance Sales Icon W. Clement Stone Part One!

Cato: The following are paragraphs I wrote about insurance legend W. Clement Stone (May 4, 1902 – September 3, 2002) immediately following his funeral:

The world knew him as “Mister Positive Mental Attitude.” W. Clement Stone started-out very poor, he had nothing as a child, teen, or young adult. Finally, he saved a hundred dollars as a young man and then went on to build an insurance empire. In the process of achieving major success selling insurance, he became both a world-class tycoon and a philanthropist. When W. Clement Stone died, after reaching the age of 100, he was highly respected and beloved around the world as an insurance icon.

While attending the funeral for W. Clement Stone, I noticed that the limousines discharged prestigious passengers in solemn processions, one after another. Dignitaries from around our globe entered the First Presbyterian Church in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, USA, on September 6, 2002. They came to mourn the death and celebrate the life of the great man, a world famous insurance magnate, legitimate book author, and a life-long disciple of Dr. Napoleon Hill. Continue reading

Quit Trying To Re-invent The Wheel!

Are you trying to develop your own life insurance and/or Annuity marketing and sales system? Why?

How much time and money are you going to invest, (and waste) using the trial and error approach, trying to develop your own life insurance or Annuity marketing and sales system, when it’s already been done for you? You might want to follow the advice from two very successful agency builders.

Arsy Grindulo Jr. (CEO) and Alvin Reyes (Director) of WFLife decided to highly recommend the Found Money Management, Life Insurance Marketing and Sales System for each of their agents, and have us to train their managers and agents on the system after meeting with us in Atlanta, reviewing our specialized system, and personally attending our Trusted Adviser Success Training Advanced Fact-Finding Techniques Sales Skills Boot Camp. Continue reading


An IPS Exclusive
By: F
orrest Wallace Cato

Loren Dunton, our founder of financial planning, speaking into my tape recorder, told me, “No one can cheat you out of your maximum success but you. I am about to reveal the ultimate way that most financial planners, bank trust officers, insurance agents, and other advisors, guarantee their failures. The many that fail never acknowledge their moral obligations to speak-up and point-out the abundant cheaters and deceivers. They are unable to find the courage to speak up and adhere to a higher standard. The cheaters and deceivers apparently believe that their lies and embellishments are acceptable. There are no consequences for not being accurate and truthful. You see the fake claims mostly in bio-sketches, introductions and profiles.”

Continue reading

Five Lessons About The Way We Treat People

The following five stories were sent to us by a friend. True or not, who knows? But, they do provide important lessons for each of us to ponder.

Isn’t the success in our life and business in direct proportion to the way we treat people? Enjoy!

Five Lessons About The Way We Treat People

First Important Lesson – Cleaning Lady…
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50′s, but how would I know her name?

Continue reading

How To Become A ‘Successful’ Financial Adviser

There is a lot of conflicting opinions and advice about who can call themselves a financial adviser; what being a financial adviser really entails and what training is required to be a financial adviser.

So, lets start from the very basics.

What Is A Financial Adviser?

A Financial Adviser is someone who assists people/families in personal financial matters, such as retirement planning, college funding, cash flow, income taxes, investment strategies and insurance options.

These advisors need a keen understanding of banking, insurance, stock market practices and income taxes.

The best and most accurate definition I have found of being a financial adviser comes from Loren Dunton, the father of financial planning…  “Helping families to spend, save, invest, insure and plan wisely for the future, to achieve financial independence.”

Note: Being a true financial adviser is much more than just offering advice on investing in the market. In fact, offering advice on investing in the market is actually a very small part of being a successful financial adviser.

Dale Carnegie Quote

What Licenses Are Required To Be A Financial Adviser?

Anyone can call themselves a financial adviser (or financial planner.) There are no official state licenses or federal licenses required to be called a financial adviser (or financial planner.)

However, if you want to offer/recommend specific securities (mutual funds, stocks, bonds, etc.) you’ll need to work with a broker/dealer (and obtain the appropriate securities licenses) or become a Registered Investment Adviser. The broker/dealer route is primarily commission-based. The Registered Investment Adviser route is generally more consultative fee-based.

And, if you want to offer/recommend insurance products you’ll need to get the appropriate state insurance licenses.

Note: You don’t need to be offering advice on specific stock market investments to be a financial adviser. However, you might want to work with an investment adviser for those clients who currently have, or want to have money in the stock market.

Do You Need To Be Certified, Or Have A Designation To Be A Financial Adviser?

You can be a financial advisor without any certifications or designations. But, it may help your credibility to have one. Plus, it demonstrates your commitment and responsibility to your clients and your career.

Note: You don’t need any certifications or designations immediately, but you’ll want to earn some credentials through the years. The first one we highly recommend is the…

LUTCFLife Underwriter Training Council Fellow, a longstanding industry designation, offered by our national industry association NAIFA.

Other certifications or designations to consider are… CLU, ChFC or CFP. There are literally hundreds of certifications or designations to choose from.

Are There Any Education Requirements To Be A Financial Adviser?

While there may be no official requirements for financial advisors, it helps to have a degree and/or courses in Accounting, Taxes, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Business or Commerce. (Or, the equivalent life experience) This is just a small part of being a successful financial advisor.

Richard Salmen, past chairman of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and senior vice president of GTrust Financial Partners, a financial planning firm in Oberlin, Kan., says having a degree in psychology is also useful. “This business is as much financial counseling as it is financial advising. There are more emotional dysfunctions around money in people’s lives than around any other issue. It doesn’t matter how much money you have; those dysfunctions are still there.”

Note: You don’t need to know all of the above right away. However, you do need to have a knowledgeable support team to help you provide the best solutions for your clients.

What Does It Take To Be A ‘Successful’ Financial Adviser?

Becoming a successful financial adviser requires constant study and work — and it never stops. You constantly have to educate yourself. Above all, you’ll need to sharpen your questioning skills and listening skills. You’ll need to work hard at understanding what your clients really needs and wants. Many times, clients don’t know what they need and want, so you have to be able to help them discover it for themselves.

Our 30 plus years of experience in this industry, has shown us that these questioning and listening skills are far more important than any other skills — even marketing and prospecting.

If you like helping people to significantly enhance their lives, then you’ll love being a financial adviser.

Start off by taking care of the basic requirements, and then keep learning.

Remember, successful financial advisers are voracious learners. They start each day reading. They work on obtaining multiple designations. They take time each day to practice and study their craft.

And, a successful financial adviser always puts their clients above themselves!

“If you help enough people to get what they want, then you’ll get what you want… a great, rewarding and very successful career.”

Dale Carnegie Quote

Note: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median income for personal financial advisors was $90,820 in May 2012 ( Those in the top-paid ten percent earned $187,199 or more a year, and those in the bottom-paid ten percent earned $32,280 or less per year.

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A ‘Successful’ Financial Adviser?

Finally, successful financial advisors have been through multiple training programs. They glean what they find important from each program and then implement the important details into their practice (and their life). Now, they have a coach because they know they have the tools to be successful; they do not need to be clones of anyone anymore. They focus on becoming the best they can be. And, only a great coach can help you with that!

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
Vince Lombardi

Yours in success,
Jeremy & Lew Nason
The 9 Out Of 10 Guys…

Why Did the Prospect Cross the Road?

What seems like a lifetime ago now, when I was a young man just back from my time in the military, a long-time family friend named Bill Swindell approached me about buying life insurance. His approach was one of caring and true thoughtfulness for my future, but he was talking about life insurance. I was like most young people, ten feet tall and bulletproof. The last thing on my mind was death.

Every time I’d see Bill he’d ask me about making an appointment to discuss how life insurance could take care of my financial future. He would even tell me “If you start a plan now, you could have over a million dollars by the time you’re 55”. His words haunt me now that I’m at that age. Continue reading

Let Everyone Know… How You Are Helping People!

The Third Step To Helping Your Family, Friends,
Clients, and Prospects To See You As A Financial Advisor, Instead Of Just Another Salesperson!

Let Everyone Know… How You Are Helping People!

Zig Ziglar

Do you honestly feel and believe that you are really helping people? Are you focused on making a ‘positive difference’ in people’s lives, instead of just making a sale?

Then who are the first people you should be helping?

Do you want your friends, family, neighbors, clients and prospects to call you when they have a problem, need your help or advice?  Or, do you want them to call your competition down the street? 

Who is going to take better care of them, you or a stranger?

Why would your friends, family, neighbors, clients and prospects call you, if they don’t know what you do, or how you can help them?

Would you like a simple, quick, non-threatening way to let these people know about what you do and the services you provide?

How about sending them a simple, one page, ‘Heart Felt Letter!’  NOT a sales letter! Continue reading

Create Your ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ (USP)

Would you like to:

  • Have your existing clients keep on doing business with you for years to come?

  • Have your existing clients, family and friends refer you to everyone they know?

  • Have NEW prospects, family and friends who are anxious to do business with you?

Then you must transform yourself from the typical insurance agent into a TRUE Financial Advisor.

Note: Being a TRUE Financial Adviser is ‘not’ about you selling investments products. It’s about you helping your family, friends, clients and prospects to establish a secure financial foundation for their family. It’s about you helping them to spend, save, invest, insure and plan wisely for the future, to achieve financial independence!

Continue reading