If you are a subscriber to Life Insurance Selling, I hope you have been enjoying one of the new monthly features we introduced last September, titled “From the Archives.” This department, which appears on the “LIS: Now & Then” page near the front of each issue, typically contains a trio of gems taken from the yellowed pages of back issues of Life Insurance Selling – sometimes decades old, sometimes from the past decade – but always interesting and worth reading (or re-reading as the case may be for some long-time subscribers).

Each month, Associate Editor Laura Graesser randomly selects a year, looks up the current month’s issue (in the July 2010 issue, “From the Archives” looks back at the July 1966 issue) and unearths stories and tips that are usually still applicable, sometimes comically out-of-date and often provide keen insight into the economic and social climate of the period.

Here are a couple of typical examples of “From the Archives” excerpts:

Million Dollar Sales Ideas: Transfer Capital While Prospect is Alive
By Ronald F. Karabian, CLU, New York Life Insurance Company, Fresno, Calif.

Here is an approach I use:

“Mr. Prospect,” why not transfer, while you are living, the capital you wish to transfer to pay your estate, inheritance and probate costs, instead of waiting until you die and letting Uncle Sam transfer the best piece of capital you have to pay those costs?

“At your age, 40, you say you have $100,000 in investments. Why not transfer $2,400 of your $10,000 annual earnings on those investments to guarantee the preservation of this asset, which you have worked so hard to make?”

  • From February 1957:

Points That Help You Sell
When a young woman objects to buying insurance because she says that she might marry – what are some of the answers?

“A married woman needs life insurance even more than a single woman, because a single woman seldom has as much responsibility to other people.

“But when a man with a family loses his wife, he is not only faced with substantial expense, due to her illness and death, but with much more expense for employing housekeeping and people to take care of his children, or with the cost of sending them to boarding schools.”

  • From March 1981:

Personal Packaging
By J. Marie Jenkins, Special Effect Inc., Long Beach, Calif.

Accessory items make the final statement about an agent’s confidence and professionalism. What are the thing with which an agent surrounds himself? … Little things mean a lot…

Here is a list of a few accessory items, or “image elevators,” as I like to call them. Consider carefully their meanings and implications:

  • A fine leather briefcase that says, “I am executive quality!”
  • A stylish watch that says, “I have exquisite taste!”
  • A silk handkerchief in a breast pocket that says, “I pay attention to details.”
  • An Indian turquoise ring that says, “I am an individual!”
  • Giant bangles that says, “I’m a free spirit!”
  • A simple gold chain that says, “I conform, but just enough.”
  • A gray felt fedora that says, “I’m confident. I’m complete.”

Do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes enjoying some blasts from the past. Just click:

More blog entries from Brian Anderson.