David PahlThe Florida-based David Pahl is a regional wholesaler for John Hancock, and also the top personal producer for Gelbwaks Executive Marketing Group. He has won many sales awards through the years, including the top LTCI producer in the country in 2003, according to the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance.

So how has he found success?

Q: How many phone calls do you make each week to set appointments?

David Pahl: More than 50. What I was doing and what I am doing now are two different things. Now, I set appointments with financial advisors to meet with their clients. For example, I’ll call a SmithBarney guy or Merrill Lynch guy to say, “I’m going to be in your area on Tuesday” and encourage him to call couple of clients to discuss long term care planning with me. I used to call individuals and meet over the kitchen table.

You have to find a niche. You have to adapt to what works for you. You cannot be what I am, and I can’t be what you are. The best advice that I can give anyone is to just let it be and become yourself. It took me awhile to do that, and unfortunately, a lot of people give up before they became successful.

Q: How old were you when you bought your own LTCI policy?

DP: 48

Q: What’s your personal plan for long term care?

My plan is to make it until I’m 90, have the greatest tennis game of my life, then have a stroke and be dead before I hit the ground. But I’m a practical guy, and that’s why I have my LTC policy.

Q: Which LTCI policy do you sell the most these days, and why?

JH Leading Edge, because in my opinion the automatic CPI inflation index is in the best interest of the client.

Q: How many claims have you seen?

Hundreds, with about 30 to 40 being from my book. I’ve been in the business since 1994, and I get exposed to a lot of claims because of my association with a lot of other advisors and agents.

Q: Think back to when you graduated; what did you plan to be back then?

An astronomer.

Q: What hobby do you most enjoy or would you like to try next?

Tennis; I’ve played in many tournaments over the years. Physical, competitive, and social – it has it all. If you’re a relatively competitive player, it’s amazing what happens.

Q: What is your favorite drink?

Coffee – black.

Q: What makes you happy?

Watching my son getting into his life, working with his wife to run his business.

Q: Can you share a resource, service, program, or piece of software that has
been critical to your success?

I came up from the Amex/GE training. It was great. I modified it for my purposes, taking what I was given and adapting it for me. I did it my way, to quote Frank Sinatra. If you take the training you get and you don’t modify it for who you are, you could have a hard time.

Q: BlackBerry, iPhone, or other?

BlackBerry for email and text and Internet – whatever. Regular cell phone for calls. This allows me to read an email that may include an illustration while I’m on the phone with a prospect, discussing the illustration with them.

Q: How many more years do you see yourself doing this?

I’ll never stop, although I may not be working as hard 10 years from now as I am today. I love it. I won’t ever just do nothing.