"I get paid to bother people and it's OK - it's a great way to make a living."
Those were the words of D. Scott "Scotty" Brennan, recipient of the 2016 John Newton Russell Award, as he was introduced at Sunday's general session at the NAIFA Conference. The John Newton Russell Award is presented annually in recognition of an individual's contributions to the life insurance industry, and is considered to be the industry's highest honor.
Brennan is a past president of the Million Dollar Round Table and has received numerous honors throughout his career. But he told the NAIFA audience that he is most proud of being a member of the South Bend, Ind., community, his home of many years.
Although he has been a successful MassMutual agent, Brennan recalled his early, lean years in his career and urged those in the audience who may be considering leaving the business to persevere.
Also during the general session, the audience met the recipients of the 2016 Real Life Stories client services award: Annie Vu of New York Life, Tom Bader of COUNTRY Financial, Culpepper Webb of AXA and Wallene Leek of New York Life. Rachel Tang of Bozeman, Mont., recipient of the Life Lessons Scholarship, told her story of being left orphaned as a teen with a younger brother to support after their mother died without a will or life insurance.
A Big Idea
"Be bold!" was the message from Eszylfie Taylor during the general session. Taylor is a NAIFA member and founder of Taylor Insurance Services, Pasadena, Calif.
Taylor urged the attendees to never stop prospecting. "You either get a new client or you don't get the client you didn't have anyway" he said.
The key to success is simplicity, he said. "When you ask people what they want, they will tell you. When you offer it to them, they will buy," he said.
Taylor emphasized that people tend to associate with those who are like them, something to consider when prospecting. "If your client is broke and living paycheck to paycheck, you will be broke and living paycheck to paycheck," he said "If you client is a millionaire, you will be a millionaire."
Networking also is crucial to success, Taylor said, but networking is not about passing business cards around at an event.
"Givers get," he said. "When you network, ask people who you can introduce them to. The key to networking is finding out what others' needs are and how you can help them."