What sports taught me about selling insurance

John Hockaday and I both have sports backgrounds: John has a passion for football, and mine is basketball. We often find ourselves drawing on experiences from our athletic days, even though the ability to perform has left our bodies. Our offspring enjoyed much more success, and they were able to play and compete at a higher level than we did.

Sports and Insurance

We like to think it was the lessons we tried to instill in them, but maybe our spouses' genetics were more important than what we taught them. I will argue for the early lessons!

I love sports and all the things they can teach young people. I love the fact that nothing is given to you, you must earn your achievements. I love that you don't always win. I love that you don't always lose. I love that you are made to do things in practice you would never do on your own. I love that your coach builds a relationship that is unique to anything else you will find in life. I love how team sports teach you that the team is bigger than any individual. There are things you can learn that only happens through sports and heated competition. That is where you show your true colors as an individual.


The insurance profession can show us some lessons that are similar to athletics. When selling insurance you are selling an intangible that is really nothing the insured wants, sort of like athletic conditioning. You are trying to sell someone a policy that they hope they will never need. That can be a tough sale.

You must make yourself push through making calls when you really don't feel like it. No matter how good you are, you will not sell everyone you contact, but if you keep making calls you will sell someone. Just like in sports, you win some , you lose some.

A mentor or coach can make you do things you would not do on your own. You need the same kind of discipline and self motivation to be successful in insurance as you do in sports. Talent is always a good thing but a determined salesperson will always out perform talent.


I remember a man named Jack Burry from Effingham, Illinois who had a disease that prevented him from driving a car on his own. His wife would drive him from home to home, and when he got inside he could take over, and was a very successful salesman. His wife would have to do the paperwork as his involuntary twitches made filling out an application impossible. He dressed terribly, and his nervous twitches were off the charts. Most people might think he could not excel in sales, but he proved everyone wrong year in and year out, and was a top achiever.

We have seen one-legged wrestlers, one-armed professional baseball pitchers, kickers in the NFL missing half their foot, and yet they were not stopped by their physical challenges. They achieved great success through determination.

A Challenge

I challenge you in 2015 to be better than you have ever been. Find that drive that makes you succeed above anything you have ever done before. Take advantage of this career that allows you to succeed when you decide to work harder and achieve more. We currently have the best products in the industry available, so remember to cross-sell and watch your sales (and checkbook) explode. When you learn to make yourself consistently do what you don't always want to do, is when you will find success in abundance.

Best wishes and remember that we at New Horizons value your efforts! GO, FIGHT, WIN.

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