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.
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)