A blog to acknowledge those who should have been acknowledged and thanked more appropriately before, and to possibly help you in your lives and career by provoking thought, reflection and reading material that might well alter your career and life. If it prompts you to contemplate and acknowledge those in your life, even better.

The first large sale

In anyone's career, there comes a point where things finally turn in the proper direction. For me it all begins May 1984. While many of you don't know my history in the insurance industry, I spent the first 18 months in sales frustrating myself to the point of near defeat.  I remembered sitting at one of our sales meetings at Alexander and Alexander in Indianapolis, when I was given a very large prospect by the sales manager (Bill Steele) to pursue because "it was known" that they would never move from the incumbent broker. For those of you who know me well, you will fully realize that's putting a red flag out in front of the bull, so I went to work. Ultimately I was able to network into this very large account through a friend of mine from the golf industry. The first meeting, I attended with Terry McCubbin (mentioned in a previous post ) and we were able to generate some interest in further discussions. From that point we mobilized a team from Alexander & Alexander consisting of Terry McCubbin, Greg Ball, and Jerry Frabutt.  The subject of this post is to recognize the role that Jerry Frabutt and Greg Ball played in my first success within the insurance industry. You see Jerry and Greg brought what I clearly did not have… a strong technical insurance background.  This coupled with a competitive spirit allowed them to find glaring holes in my prospects program.

Over the next 5+ months, the entire team diligently worked on this account culminating with the huge win in November 1984.  Regardless who led the team to this prospect, made the first call, and set up the first interview.... None of this would've happened without the sales guidance of Terry, and the technical expertise of Jerry and Greg. While Jerry and Terry have long been retired, Greg just retired from the insurance industry and is spending the summer in search of the perfect golf swing before embarking into the non-profit world. I find this story to be exhilarating for two reasons. First, it was my first major sale and guaranteed that I made the right decision to leave the golf business.  And secondly, it brought me to the conclusion that sales, ironically,  is a team sport not exclusively an individual effort as we are all taught to believe.

As always, I have a couple of assignments for each of you...for those of you who know Greg, Jerry or Terry reach out and give each of them grief for keeping me in the insurance industry as many of your lives would've been less stressful had I left the industry. (LOL)  The most important assignment for each of you in sales is this… Realize that sales is not an individual sport, but rather a team effort that requires a strong joint effort to succeed.  Before it's too late reach out and thank all of those who play a role in your success.

Knowing Greg as I do, and understanding we still keep in touch, I will have to come up with a plausible explanation on how somebody was able to hack into my account and write this blog as he will never believe it I actually wrote something positive about him!!!!

Until next time…

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