Life insurance, the old saying goes, it’s bought; it’s sold.
The same might be said of you. When meeting with clients and prospects, you’re not just showcasing the skills and expertise needed to persuade them about the value of product or financial plan; you’re also seeking to establish a professional and trusting relationship that will endure.
And the best way to do that, says Bo Eason, is to tell a story about you: using the personal narrative to communicate to listeners a defining moment in your life that will create immediate intimacy and trust and lead to professional success.
Eason, a stage performer, author, motivational speaker and former NFL player, told his own personal story during a feature presentation on Saturday at NAIFA’s 2015 career conference and annual meeting, being held in New Orleans Oct. 3-5.
“When you tell your personal story in a one-on-one meeting or seminar, all of a sudden people become connected to you and follow you,” said Eason. “In the financial services world, this is the key to the kingdom if you want to go straight the top. Because the one thing that differentiates you from every other advisor is your story and your ability to tell that story.”
A childhood dream
Since the age of 9, said Eason, he aspired to become a great defensive back or safety in professional football. With that singular goal in view, he pursued a physical regimen in high school that the role demanded: practicing running backwards as fast as players on the opposing team could run forwards.
Then, at age 19, he applied for football scholarships at multiple colleges, and was turned down by each one. He eventually gained admission to the University of California, Davis, and tried out for the school’s football team.
The first day at practice didn’t go well. The coaches told him that was he was too small and slow and would never play for the school’s varsity team. That meant no scholarship, nor eligibility for the perks that came with a slot on the team, including free housing and meal tickets.
Eason was unfazed. Acting as if nothing had happened — and withholding the bad news from his parents — he slept on campus in his Ford Courier pick-up truck, eating peanut butter and stale hot dog buns, then returned to the football field the next morning.
His reappearance, said Eason, was met with an initially hostile reception. But one of the team coaches had a “soft underbelly” and, allowing him to remain, gave him a frayed freshman uniform and an oversized helmet that didn’t match that of the varsity team.