Cover image of Morris Sims

Morris Sims

8 Podcast Episodes

Latest 1 May 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Episode artwork

The Business of Sales - Episode #40, Morris Sims

The Business of Sales Podcast

My top 5 “Hacks” for running a business. I’ve learned a lot and I thought I’d share the top 5 things with you. Then I found 6 more! Things like a platform that does your website, marketing, email campaigns, digital course creation AND makes it easy to sell digital products. BTW, let’s stay in touch, please join our community and get your free gift. Just go to: www.getcourse.cc/joinmorris.  There is also a program that saves me 25 – 35 hours a week sorting through junk email. That and more, in this episode!


26 Nov 2020

Episode artwork

The Business of Sales - Episode #30, Morris Sims

The Business of Sales Podcast

What do you think Bill Gates and Warren Buffet would say is the most important thing in business today? Listen to this week's Podcast to find out! Morris will take you through this vital concept in business and give you practical ideas about how to begin to implement it in your life. Please listen and share it with your friends!!


17 Sep 2020

Similar People

Episode artwork

Morris Sims | Changing With The Times— The Sales Process Post-Pandemic

Conversational Selling

On this week’s episode of Conversational Selling, we speak with special guest Morris Sims. Morris had a fantastic career at New York Life Insurance, eventually becoming the Chief Learning Officer for sales, and heading a training department responsible for training over 80,000 agents and managers. He has since gone on to become an instructor at The American College and President of Sims Training and Consulting.“In my opinion, the real impact is on how we communicate with one another. Sitting across the table from each other probably isn't gonna happen as much as it did once, in the olden days, prior to COVID-19, but the sales process itself has not changed, in my opinion. We still have to approach people, we still have to help them figure out what it is they want and need, and then show them solutions for that and help them make a decision. That's the sales process— it always has been and always will be,” says Morris about the pandemic’s impact on the sales process.We chat about the pandemic’s impact on the sales process, as well as: His insights on sales training What elements make a salesperson effective The future of selling and what makes him optimistic The importance of asking questions, and what kinds of questions a salesperson should ask


22 Jul 2020

Episode artwork

Pushing Through Your Sales Plateau with Morris Sims

Mission Matters Business with Adam Torres

Sales professionals are the lifeblood of any growing organization. But what happens when a salesperson plateaus? In this episode,  Adam Torres and Morris Sims, Founder & CEO at Sims Training and Consulting and Host of The Business of Sales Podcast, explore how salespeople can push through plateaus that have been holding them back. Follow Adam on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/askadamtorres/ for up to date information on book releases and tour schedule.Apply to be interviewed by Adam on our podcast:https://missionmatters.lpages.co/podcastguest/


18 Jun 2020

Most Popular

Episode artwork

THe Business of Sales - Episode #5, Morris Sims

The Business of Sales Podcast

Morris Sims shares with you some practical thoughts about running your Financial Services Business in this world we are in today. Using virtual platforms in the sales process, organizing your prospecting, creating your daily plan, and the importance of the Financial Services business are just a few of the topics Morris will discuss. 


2 Apr 2020

Episode artwork

Thinking on Purpose, Morris Sims, Ep. 9

Where the Insurance Pros Meet

Guest Morris Sims shares why you have to know your "why". Recognizing how purpose drives us can help you finally get to the bottom of your "why" and cause you to excel in business. Thinking on purpose is a must for success. Learn more at MarkMiletello.com. Note: “Where The Insurance Pros Meet” is an audio podcast and is meant for the ear. A transcript of the audio is provided for referencing a particular section or for you to follow along. Listen to the episode to get the most out of our show. We use both speech recognition software and human transcribers to create the transcripts so they may contain errors. If you’re going to quote us in print, please be sure to check the corresponding audio. TRANSCRIPT Speaker 1: Where the Insurance Pros Meet, Episode 9. Morris Sims: Figure out what you're real why is. You're going to find out that it is absolutely wrapped in passion, that why drives me to get myself up and out of bed at five o'clock in the morning. Speaker 1: Where the Insurance Pros Meet is a podcast that brings the greatest talent in the world together, managers, coaches and producers, the very best experts that insurance and financial services industry has to offer. Get ready to change the way you do business to have your most successful year ever. Now, here's Mark Miletello, a top 1% producer, manager and your host of Where the Insurance Pros Meet. Mark Miletello: Welcome to Where the Insurance Pros Meet. I'm your host Mark Miletello. Today, we're going to discuss thinking on purpose, recognizing how purpose drives us. Now, our guest has been on Where the Insurance Pros Meet before discussing his book Practical Influence and how influence affects us. But today, we're excited to having back and share and influence us again regarding another important topic in a salesperson's mindset purpose. Again, he's trained over 80,000 agents, managers. I can't even wrap my brain around the work that he's done in this field. One of our industry's thought leaders and coach, Morris Sims, welcome back to the show. Morris Sims: Mark, it's great to be here. Thanks for having me again. Mark Miletello: Wow. I'm excited to have you again and thanks for coming back. Such a great topic we had last time, so I'm tremendously excited to jump right in this. But before I do, Morris, do you golf at all or no? Do you try? Morris Sims: I tried. At one point in my life, I tried and figured out that every time I hit that little white ball, it would go about 75 yards straight down the fairway and then turn 90 degrees to the right and I had never been able to get past that. My golfing now is at the range with my son having a nice adult beverage while he hits the golf balls. Mark Miletello: Well, that way you can enjoy it, right? You and I the last conversation we had was about my late father. And I remember every time I went with him in course, he was my mentor in the business. He was one of the greats in the industry. He was one of the ... Well I’ll tell you he was the number one agent under Combined Insurance with W. Clement Stone. I want to have maybe an entire other show about him one day, but I remember being on the course with him and every time I would swing, he would have like five tips so by the time the end of my game, I would have a terrible swing that we tried ... We didn't practice at all. We just went out on the field and by the end of the game, I was swinging this awkward swing and was mentally ... I couldn't even handle pulling that club back and striking the ball because he had so many tips. Finally, after a while, I'd say, "Look, just quit coaching me," and I think about that and how it relates to insurance and especially new reps that go out there without practicing, without refining their skill and I think they're going to have a par round in the world of sales and that's just not the case, is it, Morris? Morris Sims: No, it's not. It takes a lot of focus and a lot of hard work to get there. The key in my mind is that, well, it does take work. Anything that's worthwhile takes work and this is worthwhile, and it takes some effort, but you can do it. You can do it. It is certainly achievable and has been achieved by thousands and thousands of men and women across the ages. Don't ever give up. It may be difficult to get started but every minute of work that you put into it, I could promise you that. Mark Miletello: Well, and I've read in one of your writings that you said what I've said on the show, "If I can do it, anyone can." And of course, you're being very humble, but I think you're right in the fact that professional insurance agents and related financial services, we come from all walks of life and there are people that I have recruited and trained. And I would look at this individual and say, "Man, that is one ... You're going to be the best agent I've ever brought on board." Then, I've had some that you just sometimes, you cannot tell who wants it bad enough. I think one thing that I've learned is it is a learnable skill. It's those who have maybe this burning desire that we've heard many times, this something driving them, but the information is there. We just must learn it and practice it. At golf, there's no shortage of tips and advice out there to tell us how to be better. Can you start off the show with ...? Our show is about purpose but, Morris, can you start off our show with a tip or an advice that we can maybe improve our game with? Morris Sims: I'll be happy to try, Mark. I think it really has to do with just what we're talking about today, thinking on purpose. That's a line that hit my mind about a year ago and I realized that very few of us sit down and think on purpose. Our thoughts are the result of stimulus and Lord knows there's a lot of stimuli out there today from the telephones that we have in our pocket to the computers, to the books, to the people. You see, or you hear something, and you think about it. When was the last time you sat down to think on purpose about what it is you really want in life? I think that's the key to the whole thing is becoming clear, really crystal clear about what you want and here's the key, Mark. Be clear about what you want and why you want it. As you were saying earlier, you think it's that burning desire that people have that make them successful in this business and I would propose that it's in any business. That really comes back to that "why". Why do you want to do this? Why are you in this business? What's important to you? We'll talk more about this as we go along, but I think that's the best tip I could give you is to stop, sit down, have a piece of paper and pen, think on purpose what is it you want and why you want it. Mark Miletello: Yeah, I guess I can relate to that. We get so busy sometimes that we don't put our purpose out there, why and our focus and maybe in the short term it's to pay our bills. But it needs to be much more than that is what you're saying? Morris Sims: It does. It needs to be a whole lot more than that, and it is a whole lot more than that. But we rarely stop to take the time to figure it out. The other thing that I love to tell folks is that when you get down to the real bottom line when you figure out what you're real why is, you're going to find out that it is absolutely wrapped in passion and fueled with emotion. Wrapped in passion and fueled by emotion. To pay my bills doesn't sound very passionate or emotional, but to provide for my family, a house or a home, a house ... Let's take that one for a moment. To provide for my family a house that they can live in that has a nice backyard for the kids to play in can be very emotional when you stop and add the rest of it to that "why" which is I never had a house to live in. We always lived with my Aunt Sarah and Uncle Jim because dad died early, and mom couldn't afford a house. We lived in apartments after we lived with Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim, and I'm going to get a home and a house for my kids. Now, it's wrapped in passion and fueled with emotion. When I can remember that, it's going to change my behavior. Mark Miletello: Well, I get it. I get it. That's why I wanted to have you back, Morris, is I think you're right on is that rather than focusing on paying our bills or making a sale or this, the why behind it is the purpose. It's what's the purpose of us being a success ... Or just going out there and going into that grind or the trenches as you call it. Yeah, I totally get that and thanks for sharing that. Morris, we had you once before but for a listener that did not catch that series, you maybe share with us your professional history of where you've been and thanks for sharing that personal story and maybe how that shaped your purpose along the way. But I'd love to hear more about your career as well. Morris Sims: I'll be happy to, Mark. It's kind of interesting. I started my career as a chemical engineer after graduating from Auburn University and did that for five years, and I was mediocre. I was okay. I was getting promoted and good things were happening, but it just wasn't any fun. I know some really great engineers, and the guys I was working with were really great people, but we weren't having a whole lot of fun all day long, and you realize that you spend more time with the people you work with than you do with your family sometimes. I wanted to do something that was fun and about that time, my insurance agent came to the house because we had a brand new baby, and I thought, "Gee, you know what? He does look like it could be fun." Sure enough, the recruiter called me, and we went through a six-month recruiting process and eventually, long story short, I became a New York Life agent and was successful doing that for three years, and they said, "Hey, why don't you come over here and train other people to do what you do." I went into management and- Mark Miletello: You rose as one of the top trainers not only in that company but in the nation. That's a pretty big rise to success. Do you feel like just that schooling of accomplishments or did that mindset of having that engineer and scientific mindset helped you in any way in what we do in the world of sales or training or mentoring? Morris Sims: It did, Mark. I always had a penchant and a desire to try and help other people. That is what enticed me about training if I could help other people become successful. Folks always say in our business at least, "What do you want to do? Do you want to be a coach or be a player?" If you want to be a player, then stay an agent and go out there on the field every day and play the game and play as hard as you can and help as many people as you can. If you want to be a coach, go into management and then you can help coach those players to be even better at that what they do. I apologize for this sports analogy but that's the deal. For me, helping other people get better at what they do all day long became one of my why's, one of my purposes for what I wanted to get up and do every day. Mark Miletello: Well, no, don't apologize for the sports analogy. I do it all the time and in fact, I like the salaries that professional athletes have, and I see some of the greats in our industry do the same. That's why I want to help our listeners become a professional in this business, so they can experience that upper-level income that this business can reward you with. Last show that I had you and I made a commitment to myself that I was going to try to dig out some of that history in your illustrious career and those relationships that you made. I'm going to say it this time, and can you think of a couple of meetings that you've had or relationships that you've met along the way in a 30-year wonderful career of leading one of the nation's largest and most prominent life insurance companies? I want to know a little bit of maybe some of those people that you've met along the way. Morris Sims: As I began to move into management, the managers that I had at the general offices, the local agencies that I worked in Monroe, Louisiana and Little Rock, Arkansas were some absolutely great individuals and about as opposite of two people as you might ever want to know. The first gentleman, [Markie Jones 00:12:38] was an absolute expert at recruiting and managing and being ... I learned more from him about how to do that job of coaching agents than probably anyone else in the world. Then, I went up to Arkansas and I had a gentleman there, Tom Gilder, who was just a wonderful relationship person. He had never met anybody he didn't know and love and care about, and the people around him and his agents were ... They would follow him into whatever battle he wanted to lead them into or jump off whatever cliff he wanted them to jump off, and I was usually out there in front saying, "I'll do whatever Tom tells me to do." He was just that kind of an individual.I learned a lot about building relationships with him. The other guys, I've had the privilege of knowing, three CEOs at my company at New York Life. I've known a whole bunch of executive and senior vice presidents and these are people who some of them began as agents and became head of distribution for huge billions, several billions of dollars' worth of insurance company. These guys all had one thing in common, I believe, they all cared about what they were doing, and they cared about the people they were doing it for more than they cared about themselves. I think that is always going to be the bottom line with truly long-term success. Now, you may have some short-term success out there with people that are ahead, just for them that are greedy and all they want is them and they're all that's important. I think when you find a long-term success, you're going to find someone who does genuinely care about other people. Let's look at Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, they're talking about giving away what, half or three-quarters of everything they own? Because they care about helping other people. I think that's probably the bottom line for the whole thing, Mark. Mark Miletello: Well, thanks for sharing that and it just reminds me that most of the greats in this industry stand on the shoulder of others. I think it's kind of nice to give a shout out to those whether they hear it or not or whether anyone connects or not, at least you are able to share the influence that they've had on you. Getting back to really your professional advice and when you say thinking on purpose, you explained that in the opener a little bit about what you mean on thinking on purpose. I think back to the conversation we had about focusing on what you want and more of the "why", more of the purpose. But don't we really all have an idea of what we want in life but how does that relate to our business? Morris Sims: Another great question, Mark. The key I think is this: We all think we know what we want. We all believe that we have our purpose and it's probably pretty well lined out. Yeah, I'm sure there are plenty of our listeners out there who are saying, "Hell, no, not me. I really don't. I'm just going through the motions." That's okay too but at some point, in time, you have to stop and realize I need to make sure that what I think is my why, why I do this every day, I need to make sure really is what resonates them deep in my soul. I need to make sure that it really is much more than going to work every day and doing what I'm told to do for eight or six or 10 hours or whatever the case may be. Thinking on purpose means you take that time, as I mentioned earlier, to sit down and actually think about what it is you want in this world, in life, what it is you want and why. I think the why is probably again the most important part of the whole deal. Mark Miletello: Yeah. I've heard you say that and Richard Weylman used that. We talked about that considerably. Why is why that important in just the words that you use? Morris Sims: I think it's the most important thing there is out there. We can forget about a lot of things but if we ever forget our "why", then we're in deep trouble. Why is the reason that I set the alarm clock for 5:00 a.m. and get up every day. I'm loving what I'm doing right now, Mark, so much. Thirty-two years with a great company was fantastic but I wasn't as excited about getting up in the morning as I am today. That alarm clock goes off at five o'clock and I'm up and excited about what I'm going to get to do today and how this day is going to go because I know why I'm doing it. I'm doing it in order to accomplish what I want for my family. I'm going to be able to provide for them the things that the choices ... I want to give them the choices that they'd never been able to have before because either I was working all the time or traveling but I want to give them those choices to be able to do things they've never been able to do before and I want to fund our charities. We have charities that were involved with that feed hungry people. I want to fund those charities and that means, I've got to go out and help people and help them well enough and help them enough that they're willing to provide some revenue for my company. In doing so then, I can fund my charities and help my family. That why drives me to get myself up and out of bed at five o'clock in the morning and start on the journey of that day to figure out what I can do to be of service to the folks out there in the world that are trying to find their own purpose and get up and get going every day. Mark Miletello: Well, exactly. I believe in my career, I just don't think sometimes we coin it. We realized we put it down on paper that while we're doing things, we set goals and we have benchmarks, but really, you've said it perfectly that really the purpose that we're going for if we can really write down and focus on the purpose. I remember as a brand-new agent, I wanted a Harley so bad and I guess, in the South, you mentioned Monroe, Louisiana. I don't know if you know that that's where I'm from, so I love you already. Morris Sims: Fantastic, yeah! Mark Miletello: I had this picture of ... Every time I would open my desk drawer, I would see the picture of Harley. Then, I ended up owning a Harley and wrecking it, almost killing myself so therefore, that purpose, that why kind of faded away. But I think especially a younger agent that did not have really a family and all those charities to support maybe, that has to be a motivator. You're why, the purpose you're getting up must be something other than, like I said earlier, just paying your bills. You need a big ... Like Gary Kinder, I guess, would say, "Audacious [Harry 00:20:04] Dream." How do you think on purpose to get to your why? How does purpose drive you to get to what drives you? Morris Sims: The real deal is what I mentioned before. It must be wrapped in passion and fueled with emotion. If we can get it back down to something that really motivates us to move, then it's going to be easier to pick up the phone and make those calls. It's going to be easier to go walk into that business that you've never walked in before and try and meet the guy that owns the business or the lady that runs the show. You got to have that "why" to make that last call and then make one more call before you go home in the evenings. Mark Miletello: That might be the difference, I think. Morris Sims: That's right. Mark Miletello: That might be the difference in why some get through and give it that extra effort. Morris Sims: I think so entirely. I absolutely believe that. For me, personally, it was always about building the family and getting the family to the places that I wanted them to get to. Quick story, Mark, it might wind up on the editing floor and that's okay. My dad died when I was three weeks old. He decided that he didn't need to be around anymore. He took his own life. From that point forward, mom had two kids to bring up in this old world. We literally did live with my aunt for a while and then live in apartments until I bought the first house that I ever lived in with my lovely bride, Carla, in New Orleans. I wanted my kids to have those things that I never got to have. I wanted my kids to be able to do those things that I never got to do. That's what fueled me every day and let me tell you, buddy, that's wrapped in passion and fueled with emotion even today. It still is and that's what gets you up and gets you moving is when you can find that thing that you really are passionate about, that thing that really does touch your heart. And that's why I'm getting up, and that's why I'm making that phone call, and that's why I'm going to make one more call before I go home. That's what you're looking for, for sure, I believe. Mark Miletello: Well, thank you for sharing that. I'm very, very sorry, but I am very warmed to hear the story when you bought your first house. I bet that was a defining moment in your career. I know I have some of the same types of goals that I had said, and I think back to those moments that really were special, those benchmarks that your purpose and your why came together and provided you with really what this business can provide you, the great lifestyle that this business can provide you with. So, thank you for sharing that. Morris Sims: Well, you're very welcome. I think the other piece that really has to be there, and the heart of any good insurance agent today is what you're doing for others. If you can get in your head and in your mind the fact, it's not just the thing, it's the fact that what you do helps people, what you do makes a difference in their lives and it changes their lives for the better. When you can get that focus to realize that, "I'm going out tonight to help these folks plan for their retirement. And you know what? And the possibility that if I don't go out there and if I don't do that with them and do it well, they may not have the same kind of retirement they could have as if I were to go out there and do that work." You got to believe in what you do, Mark. One of the old objections that I used to hear from is, "Well, that guy just told me he doesn't believe in life insurance." You know what? You don't have to believe in life insurance to own it, but you certainly must believe in it if you're going to sell it. Mark Miletello: Exactly. Well said, and I think back of how I worked with agents and I think one of the most important things that I've tried to instill in my team and those I work with is taking care of the client, helping them find their "why". Like you've said before, you help others get what they want, and you get what you want, and I think that that's one of the most important things is that we help clients figure what their "why" and protect their "why". Why are they buying that life ... They may not believe in that life insurance, but they may believe in what happens if disaster strikes or when disaster strikes because at some point, it's going to happen. Normally, in this part of the show, I talked about professional predictions 10 years down the road. But I'm going to change it up a little bit because you've been on the show before. As a coach and leader, what I'd really like to know is thinking on purpose, how purpose affects me? How it affects my clients? How it affects my agents? How is my purpose going to drive me in the future? How can I best use it because I think, especially as a veteran in the business, we get so busy that we don't stop and set goals and do things a lot of the things that we did when ... The basics of building a business. I think as a veteran, sometimes I tell my agents to set goals and think about their purpose and their "why", but I don't ... In the future, how can we do a better job of focusing on purpose, thinking on purpose to help drive us to be where we want to be in our life and our career? Morris Sims: I think, Mark, many times, we are thinking as I mentioned earlier, we're thinking in response to some stimulation. And for our veterans out there, I know for me at least when I had been doing the job I was doing in New York for 20 years, it kind of got to be old hat. I knew what I was supposed to do. I didn't really have to think about it a whole lot because it was what I do. But every now and again, there would be something that would come along that would cause me to have to stop and really sit down and think through again what it is I'm doing, why I'm doing it, and how I can do it better because until I know why I'm doing it and what it is I want and why I want it, I can't necessarily work at getting better at doing what I do. Example, if I don't know where I'm going, if I'm going to take a trip and I don't know what the destination is, where do I want to go, then geez, it's going to be pretty hard to get there and it's going to be even more difficult to line it out on the map as to how I want to go from here to there. The same thing is true with our work. If we don't know what it is we're trying to achieve and why we're trying to achieve that, then you don't know what to work on to get better. You don't know where those things are that you need to hone, the skills you need to hone, the things you need to practice getting better at, the things that you could be doing but you just hadn't thought of because you've never done it before. You won't go to that level of thinking unless you do it on purpose unless you sit down and take the time. Study groups are so vitally important, I believe, in our industry where three or four or five top producers come together and help each other and guide each other and ask questions of each other. Some of the best business coaches in the world who ask those difficult questions about what is your strategy, how are you improving yourself to be able to carry out that strategy that is, every time you go out in the field to implement it and what do you need to do differently today? And finally, what are you not doing that you ought to be doing? And what are you doing that you ought to stop doing? There are many things that especially after we've been in a business for a long period of time that chances are we probably shouldn't be doing anymore, or if it should be done, it should be done by somebody else. And there are probably things that we need to do more of or things that we don't even know we need to do yet until we say, "I had to really think about it," and spend some time away from the rat race, away from the noise. And in fact, physically even getting away for a day or a weekend and maybe you and your spouse go out for a weekend, and you spend some of that time just talking with each other about what it is that you want for your family and for your life and how can you get there? What can you do differently to accelerate that operation? I still believe that that's some of the most important time that we can spend with our family and with ourselves and our business. Mark Miletello: Well, great advice, and I needed that. I don't know, I just needed that. I need to do a better job of that, and I need to do that from a family standpoint as well. Thank you for that advice. You may not be a professional golfer, Morris, I'm sorry to hear that, but one thing you are is a consummate professional in our industry. And we respect your tips and your recommendations. I'm going to put you on the spot because on the last show, you kind of gave us a couple of places to go and I appreciate that. I've got several books coming in from Amazon, mainly yours a while back but others as well turning me on to some great people to follow. Give us your professional recommendation on who we should maybe think about, read about when it comes to purpose. Morris Sims: There are several authors out there that still mean the most to me on a regular basis. I posted something on LinkedIn not too long ago, and one of the wonderful people who took the time to comment said ... Just two words, he said, "Old school." And I saw that and I laughed and I thought, "Yeah, it is." It's been around for a long time. But I also believed that every generation must learn some of these basics about sales and success all by themselves. They have to learn it on their own because it just doesn't resonate until they discover it until it's an "aha" in their own minds. I can talk until I'm blue in the face but until they have some experience that lights up their brain and lights it up for them and lets them see that, "Oh, yeah. That is important." Knowing exactly what your purpose is and why is important. They've got to have that aha experience. And some of the folks that did that or helped me with that when I was growing up in the business- Mark Miletello: Yeah, give us some old school recommendations. Morris Sims: Folks like Og Mandino. He's got a great story. Read about his life. It's amazing, and then read his books, The Greatest Salesman in the World part 1 and part 2. And Mark, I've got a hard copy of part 1 that he signed. Mark Miletello: Oh, wow. Morris Sims: I'm very proud of that one. But he's got a whole series of books, The Greatest Miracle, The Greatest Salesman, The Greatest ... Everything you can think of, and they all will touch your heart and give you very practical things that you can do to help you in your business. Mark Miletello: I agree. Morris Sims: And the other one is another old school that you and I talked about and chatted about before, Napoleon Hill. Think and Grow Rich, you talk to any business person out there that's been around for a while and then say, "Have you ever read Think and Grow Rich?" They'll say, "Oh, yeah. Absolutely. I read it 10 years ago, five years ago, 20 years ago." But nobody ever asks, "Have you implemented what Napoleon Hill taught you in the book Think and Grow Rich?" Because what we find is that most of us will read a book like that and say, "Yeah, man. That's great. I'm going to do this. I'm going to start my own mastermind group," which is one of the recommendations that he makes. And then we'll think about it. We'll talk to a couple of people about it, and then we get all locked up in the rat race of doing what we do every day and we never implement what we learned. Think and Grow Rich is a great book, a great reference book as well. But I would challenge you to actually take a piece out of there and commit yourself to implementing it in your life and in your business and see that commitment through to the end. Get some support. Get some help, but carry it all the way out, and that's what's going to change your life. Mark Miletello: You said rereading something when it triggers a different time or a different meaning to you and of course, I had a podcast with Tom Hegna, one of the greatest out there, and I mentioned to him that I read this book twice in the past. But after a recent read, it meant something totally and I finally got it. I think sometimes, yes, definitely the Og Mandino, Napoleon Hill books I hope is on every insurance agent's shelf. But I recently reread and unfortunately, a year and a half ago, my father passed away and I wanted his book library. And he's got some old pictures and books with his writing in it. And so, it kind of motivated me to go back and read those very two books again, and they just meant something totally different to me in my career. I appreciate you saying that. I totally agree. Morris Sims: Yeah. I think it is the most important thing that we can do is continue to work on our own development and so many times, our own development means remembering something that we may have thought of long time ago or looking at it with a different point of view. You're absolutely right. Mark Miletello: It may not be old school, right? Morris Sims: It may have been created a long time ago, but it certainly is relevant for today. Mark Miletello: Right. Well, I can't tell you Morris Sims how much I appreciate you being a returning guest on the show Where the Insurance Pros Meet. I want to thank you for your time and your expertise, and how if there are some leaders out there listening to this or agents, I know that we can bring you in to speak and do classes. Are there events? How do we do workshops? How do we get to tutor under you? Where do we follow you? Morris Sims: I say it's probably the website. And again, it's one of the most creative names I could come up with. It's www.morrissims.com. That's Sims with one M, so it's morrissims.com. Mark Miletello: Well, you're one of the greats. We'll definitely find you, but I guess my question I wasn't too specific, what do you offer in terms of maybe teams trying to focus in on what we've discussed? Morris Sims: Oh, thanks. Several workshops that we do, the Three Steps to Accelerate Your Success Now having to do with being real clear on your purpose, creating an action plan and creating a support system that will be there for you and that will never fail. That's a half day workshop that can be made to accommodate whatever venue and need an agency might have, or a company might have. That is, for sure, one. I have another workshop on influence, of course, that we do as well that's backed up by the book, Practical Influence. And then we do some customized work for folks who say, "Gee, Morris, in my agency we're really having a problem with X, Y, Z." And together then, we can craft some training opportunities that will help those agents get better at X, Y, Z, whatever that may happen to be. And, I think the hallmark of any of the training that I'm fortunate and blessed enough to be able to do has two things going on with it, Mark. One is it doesn't happen unless there are practical things that the agent walks away with that can help them change their behavior in their business that day. I believe very strongly that we don't do training for training's sake. We do training to change our behavior and help us get better at what we do all day long. It's got to be practical. That's the most important thing that comes to it as far as I'm concerned. And the second thing that is there is the follow-up. How many times, Mark, have you been to a seminar or workshop, and you get this really nice binder and all sorts of stuff in it. You brought it back to your office, you put it on the shelf and it's still sitting there today and hadn't moved. Mark Miletello: Yeah. Morris Sims: I know I have a thousand times. Follow-up is so very important for us as human beings because we do get back in that rat race. With the workshops that we do, there's always an opportunity for follow-up webinars or phone calls or individual coaching that can be done to help agents and managers improve and implement the things that they need to implement in order to get better. Mark Miletello: Well, wonderful, Morris. I appreciate it, and I love the fact that you and I are alike in the fact that I want people changed. I want something changed today. I don't want to pump you up and get you motivated and send you out the door. I want something positive to happen. And that's the type of professional you are and that everything you do. Even in your book, I noticed at the end of each chapter, there's an action plan. Thank you again for being a guest on the show. And hopefully, we'll have you again in the future, and I look forward to getting to know you and following you as well. If you like what you hear on the show, go to iTunes. Rate and review it. It will help others find us, and you can follow me, Mark Miletello at, of course, markmiletello.com. Thank you for being a guest on Where the Insurance Pros Meet, Morris, and we'll see you soon. Morris Sims: Thanks, Mark. I really appreciate the opportunity. Have a great week.


30 Jan 2018

Episode artwork

The Power of Influence in Sales, Morris Sims, Ep. 6

Where the Insurance Pros Meet

Author, Morris Sims shares how to create understanding with clients. Learn the power of influence in sales. View more at MarkMiletello.com. Note: “Where The Insurance Pros Meet” is an audio podcast and is meant for the ear. A transcript of the audio is provided for referencing a particular section or for you to follow along. Listen to the episode to get the most out of our show. We use both speech recognition software and human transcribers to create the transcripts so they may contain errors. If you’re going to quote us in print, please be sure to check the corresponding audio. TRANSCRIPT Speaker 1: Where the Insurance Pros Meet, Episode 6. Morris Sims: What we do, Mark, as insurance agents, we change people's lives. We change people's lives for the better every day. Speaker 1: Where the Insurance Pros Meet is a podcast that brings the greatest talent in the world together: managers, coaches, and producers, the very best experts the insurance and financial services industry has to offer. Get ready to change the way you do business to have your most successful year ever. Now here's Mark Miletello, a top 1% producer, manager, and your host of Where the Insurance Pros Meet. Mark Miletello: Welcome to Where the Insurance Pros Meet. I'm your host, Mark Miletello. Today we're going to discuss influence, understanding influence, increasing your influence, and principles of influence. Of course, in sales, we use our influence on either leading a team to increase production or as an individual just to increase sales. Influence is in everything we do. Our guest is an expert on the subject. He has trained over 80,000 agents and managers. He's written a book called Practical Influence. Highly sought-after leader and coach. I love welcoming Morris Sims to the show. Welcome, Morris. Morris Sims: Well, thanks, Mark. I really appreciate it. Mark Miletello: Glad having you and I'm excited to jump into this. You know, Morris, I kind of designed this show to run alongside a format of, and I gravitate toward, professional athletes. Many times, I was watching Major League Baseball this weekend and I was thinking the practice, from an early childhood they are practicing their skill. Even when they're late in their career, they still practice almost year around and honing their skills. They must have a coach. They have coaches throughout their entire career. I think there's a lot of similarities. What my goal in going into management was to bring that same understanding that we need, our clients really need us to be professionals out in the field. As we're recording this show, Major League Baseball is in the heat of the season. Teams are jockeying for the positions. But, Morris, professionals, they're in the spotlight, right? I would say they have a huge influence over others. Correct? Morris Sims: Oh, I think so, Mark. I think there are a lot of different principles of influence academically that are not necessarily the same principles that I have in the book, but rather maybe a little more academic principle that they've studied over the years in universities. The kind of influence that we're talking about there is the charisma and the collegial, if you will maybe, type of influence. It has to do with seeing someone and wanting to be like them. "I want to be as good as Dak Prescott. I want to be as good as," et cetera. Mark Miletello: Right. That's what drives me sometimes is watching others win awards. You know? Influence affects us. Aren't those major league athletes, aren't they influenced by others as well? Morris Sims: Oh, I think we all are. We all allow ourselves to be influenced by others around us all the time. I guess it's what you would call more of kind of influence: "I want to be like Mike. I want to be able to achieve the same things that Mark has achieved. I want to make MDRT." All those kinds of things are the kind of influence that comes along with other people. We're influenced by their lives, by what they've made of their lives, and we want to be able to be as good as they are. Mark Miletello: You hit it perfect. I want to be like Mike. That type of influence really still today, we know what that means, and they did a good job marketing that. Right off the bat, we're jumping into this, but, Morris, we're going to put you up to bat at first. We want you to step up there and hit us a home run on the first pitch and give us a professional tip right off the bat that can help us. Do you have a professional tip for us? Morris Sims: A professional tip. I'll come up with one for sure, Mark. You know, something I've been working on lately, let me just put it this way, folks. Social media is not dead. It's like what Mark Twain said, "The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Well, social media is far from dead. In fact, it is something that I believe we all should be very, very involved in because there are a lot of people out there and there are a lot of people going through that all the time.But here's the deal. You and I are experts in our own business in what we do. You all are experts in the insurance and financial services arena. You know more about insurance and financial services than a guy on the street knows, for sure. Now today, certainly with a Google search, you can learn a whole lot, but you still are much more expert in that than the average guy on the street. Work within your expertise, on your area of expertise, and hire a marketing professional to do your social media for you, or at least set you up to do your social media.The professional tip is one that I've worked on a lot, and I hope we get to talk about it some more, is focusing on what you do best and getting other people to do the things that are not in your area of expertise. You're an insurance expert and chances are you're not a marketing expert. Let's get a marketing expert involved. Mark Miletello: Perfectly said. We will have more time to talk about it. We're excited to dive more into it. Before we jump right into that, I want to know a little bit more about you, Morris. I've read up on you. I've read your book. I've found some articles. I see all the coaching that you've done and the great career that you've had, but I'm just having a hard time understanding how a chemical engineer with a master's degree in science, those aren't usually the prerequisites for having a successful 30-year career in this business. What were you going to be at first and how did you transition into this wonderful industry? Morris Sims: It's like I thought, "What were you thinking?" Yeah, I know. It makes for a really good story, though. I'll tell you that. After five years of being an engineer, I was okay. I was not a walk-on-water engineer. I was good, but I wasn't excellent. I didn't see myself becoming excellent. Frankly, I wasn't having any fun. I wanted to do something that was fun. I wanted to be recognized for the work that I was doing. I wanted to be able to have some control over my life. About that time, my agent came over and we looked at buying some more life insurance because we just had a child. I looked at what he was doing and how he did it and I thought, "You know, that might be fun." I went through the interview process and became an agent with New York Life. My life changed overnight. It really, really did. I've had more fun over the last 30 years than I ever did as an engineer. I've had the opportunity to work with some of the best in the business. I've had the opportunity to meet people, and go places, and do things that I would never have had as an engineer working in a chemical plant or sitting behind a desk designing pumping systems. It would not have happened. It turned out well in the long haul, but at the time I wanted to do something that was fun, Mark. This looked like it was going to be a lot more fun. Again, as I said, I have a lot more control over what I do and what I make than I was as an engineer, as an employee. Mark Miletello: We're sure glad that you did. Thinking about influence, and freshly reading your book, I guess, everything I'm thinking now, and one thing is that agent that came out to work with you on life insurance must have done a pretty good job or had some pretty good influence on you. Morris Sims: He did. It was interesting. He did what I guess we always trained our agents to do. If someone expresses an interest, you immediately defer to your manager because the recruiters are the guys that really know what they're doing when it comes to that kind of thing. That's what this gentleman did. He referred me to his manager. His name, just as an aside, is kind of cute, or funny at least. His name was Ernest Gordon, but everybody called him Flash. He was Flash Gordon. He did a great job of sharing with me how I could be in control of my life, how could I be in business for myself, but not by myself. With the backup provided in his team and the team at the company, we were able to find a way to get out there and go sell some insurance, which we did. That was fun. I enjoyed it. To this day, my son chides me that I didn't stay in the world of being an agent, and why in the world did I ever go into management? But the management turned out well for me, too, I guess. It worked out in the long haul all three ways. Mark Miletello: Yeah. Yeah, just I've been there. You and I spoke last week. There's a lot of similarities we have together. I really looked forward to having you on the show because of that. I was an agent as well. I don't know. I just think sometimes individuals are led to help and work with others. My gosh, you must be one of the leaders in this country of working with agents. Looking back over your career with literally tens of thousands, almost 100,000 or more, of mentees and the positions that you held with really one of the world's top life insurance carriers, and you must have met all the greats in the industry, but what are you most proud of looking back over your career? Morris Sims: Oh, great question. It must be the people, Mark. It must be the people that I had the opportunity to be involved with and hopefully have a little bit of practical, positive influence on their lives. That's the most important thing that I had the opportunity to do. I wish I had been able to do it better and still constantly, you mentioned practice earlier, I'm still constantly practicing how I can relate with people better and how I can have more of a positive influence on others. Because it is what we do with other people that makes all the difference in the world. I think that's the other reason why I am so passionate about what we do and what agents do for a living every day. Because what we do, Mark, as insurance agents, we change people's lives. We change people's lives for the better every day. That's really where the rubber meets the road is when you can change someone's life. As the head of the training area, I was able to institute some new programs and do some things that I hope provided some training that changed people's lives for the better. A lot of agents become successful in this business of ours that maybe might not have been as successful if they hadn't had the training that we provide. I guess that's it, man. It's having that positive influence on other people. Mark Miletello: Right. You're being very humble because everyone I talked to said that you had great influence over their lives. This show is about influence. Let me ask you, Morris, let's talk about influence. What brought you to studying and really writing a book about influence? Morris Sims: Well, it was really my own need. I felt like I needed to have more influence with others and that I need to do a better job of doing whatever it is you do to gain more influence. I wasn't sure what that was. I started doing what I guess most of us would do. I started reading everything I could get my hands on about influence in the popular books and media that were out there. I couldn't find a book, or a podcast, or anything that really answered the two questions that were most important to me, one being what is this whole thing about influence and what do I need to know? What do I need to know to be able to have more influence on other people? Then the second, I think the more important question was what do I need to do differently to have more influence on others? What do I need to do differently? What skills do I need? Finally, how in the world do you go about doing it? How do you improve your skill of having influence with other people? With that in mind, I sat down and started looking at it and started trying to answer those two questions. Suddenly, a book appeared. Mark Miletello: One of the books, I guess, that pop into my mind when I think of influence is Dale Carnegie's book. Morris Sims: Oh, absolutely. Mark Miletello: Did that inspire you or did you- Morris Sims: 100%. 100%. That changed my life back 40 years ago when I was an engineer doing those things that I was doing to read more about sales, and how you go about doing that, and how much fun it was, and where you go. Dale's book made all the difference in the world to me in making the decision to go into the world of selling life insurance. Yeah, that book has been important to me my whole career.It certainly was on my mind as we went through this because he does a lot better job than I do when he starts talking about how you go about gaining influence and how you go about building relationships with other people. That's really where there's the similarity between the two. He does a much better job than I do in helping people learn how. Mark Miletello: I think it was one of the first books I read in the industry 27 years ago and still on my shelf today. I'm glad that now we have another one that built off the back of that because it is one of the most important topics when you're in sales is how you influence others.Reading your book, Practical Influence, there's 10 principles of practical influence in your book. We don't have time to discuss all 10 so, Morris, pick one for me that you think might be the most helpful for our listeners, if you could. Sorry to do that to you. Morris Sims: That's okay. One out of 10. I guess the one that opened my eyes more than any of the others is when, finally, in the research and the reading and the study that I was doing, it finally came to me and I began to understand, probably our listeners understood it a lot faster than I did, but when I had understood that influence comes from how other people perceive us, that made it all clear to me from that point forward. In fact, at one point I thought, "If I can teach people that principle, is there any need for the other nine," and finally decided, yeah, there was. But the key is this. How other people perceive us is going to determine how much influence they're going to allow us to have. Because you see, Mark, I can't influence you unless you allow me to have influence with you. There's got to be a reason that you would allow me to have influence with you. That perception is what makes all the difference in the world. Perception all is derived from how we behave around others, and what we say, and what we do. If we can sincerely, and that's the key word, Mark, is sincere, change the way we relate to other people in a positive fashion, then we can improve our level of influence with those folks. Sincerely is really the key because I tell you what, fake shows up very clearly very fast. Sincere- Mark Miletello: I'm sorry, I'm trying to think of a practical example. Is there a way that you can tie this into maybe what we deal with on a daily or a weekly basis, how that relates? Morris Sims: Sure, I think so. If you think about what we were talking about earlier, the fact that you all are insurance experts in all reality, you know more than the average person out there, if the prospect perceives you to be an expert because of the knowledge you have, because of the experience you have in the business, then they're going to listen to you and you're going to have more influence with them when it comes to things dealing with insurance.For example, take an off the wall kind of example here maybe. Mark, if I were an expert in automobiles and automobile repair, and I was the best mechanic you knew, and I came in, we rode in your car, we've got out of your car, and I said, "Gee, Mark, you know, it sounded a little rough; You may have burned a valve in there, man; You need to take this in and have it looked at," if you perceived me to be an expert in that area, what are you going to do? Mark Miletello: I'm going to run right to the shop because you obviously have this trained ear. I have no knowledge of anything mechanical. I'm going to have to trust you. Morris Sims: If I were to go on and say, "You know, Mark, you really probably ought to take it to go see Joe Smith down on Main Street because he works on that kind of engine and that model car all the time; He is an expert in that area; You'd probably ought to take it to go see," what did I say: Joe? Mark Miletello: Right. Morris Sims: Whoever the guy is down on Main Street. You probably would take your car to go see him, right? Mark Miletello: Exactly. Morris Sims: That's called expert power. That is one of those things that we can do as insurance agents constantly become more and more of the expert in our own business. That will, in turn, allow you to have influence in that area with your prospects and clients. Does that help? Mark Miletello: Oh, absolutely. I was just thinking while you're talking, my mind was going all over the place, but I was thinking that we very quickly will throw out, especially let's say in the property/casualty world, or even life insurance, but in the property/casualty world, we very quickly will throw out a plumber or a water restoration. We have an influence. I think sometimes we forget, especially as newer agents, when maybe our confidence is lower than it will be later in our career, but we forget that we do know tons more than the client, and we should walk in there with a heightened sense of confidence. Maybe we forget about what influence we have. In this world of commoditization where pricing wars, it's harder to stand up and be a professional, especially as a younger rep in the business, a newer rep in the business. I think you're right. I was thinking of a lot of different scenarios where, as an insurance agent, we have influence and yet sometimes maybe we don't use that influence on its fullest extent. Right? Morris Sims: Oh, I think so. It's so easy. It was for me at least. The things you remember, I guess, but I can remember as a brand-new agent thinking, "My word, I'm going to go see this businessman. He's got to know more about this than I do." Finally, one day my manager looked at me. He said, "Morris, think about what you know today and what you knew four weeks ago when you walked in the door the first time to actually become an agent. Think of what you know now that you didn't know then." You think about it and you realize, "My word, I know more about insurance than I ever thought I would ever need to know, much less want to know. And yeah, I do know more than the average guy out there."That's when all of a sudden, a little bit of confidence will show up and a lot of confidence will show up. Then eventually you can be that humble expert that can walk in and have that expert power with your prospects. They will follow your lead because you're doing what's right for them. You're doing it sincerely. You're doing it with that expertise behind you. Mark Miletello: Well, I tell you, it's a struggle in this day and time to learn, to get educated. But you know, one thing, you're right, is that our reps know so much more than the average client. Even a poorly-presented or brand-new rep can really influence their clients by protecting them.You know what? That's what clients need in this day and time more than anything. That's a large reason for me to go into management and for me to start this podcast is we must become better at what we do at influencing our clients to not so much look at the $2-a-month, or $20-a-month savings, or as much as price. I'm a big proponent of value selling and showing the value. I think that does come down to how we influence. It starts right off the bat from the very first meeting as to how you influence your clients. Morris Sims: Yeah, I think you're right, Mark. I think that the most important thing that we can do to begin building that relationship and building that influence is being who we are, and being ourselves, and being sincerely interested in helping other people get what they need and get what they want. Wasn't it Zig Ziglar that said you can have anything that you want in life- Mark Miletello: Help others. Morris Sims: If you just be willing to help enough other people get what they want. Mark Miletello: Right. Morris Sims: If we can sincerely be of a mindset that, "I'm here to help this family, I'm here to help this individual, I'm here to help this business accomplish what they want, and protect their family, and protect their business, I'm doing it to help them," and not walk in there with an idea that, "Man, I'm going to make the biggest sale of my career and everything is going to be great because I'm going to sell a bazillion dollars’ worth of insurance," because you know, Mark, there isn't any sale out there, there's just not one, that is big enough to make your entire career or one that's going to, that if you lost it, is going to kill your entire career. It's a career. It's a 20-, 30-, 40-year practice. One sale isn't going to make or break you, but one relationship certainly is going to have a significant impact on your business. Mark Miletello: Well said. Well said. I was watching, out of all the practicing for their entire lifetime these Major League Baseball players have, they still make errors and they wish that they could take it back. Looking back over my career, there are things that I would do differently. I would. I mean, I learned a lot and people say, "Well, that's why you are where you are because of those trial and errors." Morris, having a highly-successful career and still having a wonderful influence on the entire industry, looking back I think sometimes it's easy for us to learn from maybe others' mistakes. Looking back, is there an error that you had on the field of play in the financial services arena that you can share with us that you might have learned from? Morris Sims: Yes. That would be another three-hour show, Mark. That's for sure. I think the one thing that I've learned recently that I look back and I can see where it caused me struggles and challenges throughout my career, I didn't learn it until I went out and started to try and run this business that I'm running now, that is you must focus. There are so many different things that you can do as an insurance agent, as a business owner, as an executive. There are so many different things you could do that are all good, all practical, all going to help some way or another, going to help move things forward a little bit. But if you try to do it all, you're shallow. You're doing everything just a little bit. It's like being a swamp. You're shallow and stagnant, and you're not moving, and having a great amount of influence and impact. You want to focus on things so that you can cut deep like the Colorado River and cut a Grand Canyon into the earth. You've got to focus to be able to do that. I think that was the key thing that I had to learn was that I had to focus. I couldn't do everything. I said earlier I finally realized I can't do all the things that have to be done to be able to be the marketing expert that I need. I've got to hire that. I'm going to have to go find somebody to do it. I found a great guy to help me, but I had to focus it down to three things. "Okay, what do you want to do, Morris?" "Well, I want to run my own business." You take that all the way down and there turned out to be three things that I wanted to do, three strategies for my business. I wanted to write. I wanted to write books and articles. Or to use that technical term, I wanted to write stuff, Mark, because I enjoyed writing and it works out well for me. I wanted to write. The second thing I wanted to do was speak in front of groups of people because folks have told me I'm good at it and I love doing it. I just love helping people. I wanted to be able to do keynote addresses, and workshops, and facilitate groups of people. That was the second thing. I wanted to be in front of folks.Thirdly, I want to do, frankly, Mark, what you're doing. I wanted to create some digital training that people can find online because, frankly, you know what, with that phone in my pocket or that computer in my briefcase, I'm connected to the world. If I want to learn something nowadays, the web is the first place I go. What if we can create just what you're thinking about? What if we can create a library of knowledge and some practical how-to instruction to gain a skill that will help people get better at what they do all day long? That was the third thing I wanted to do. Those were the three top things that are on my list every week when I plan my week. I guess the real key to focus is this. I sit down on Sunday afternoon and I write down everything that I must do this week. Everything. I put those activities in each of the five days of the week. On Tuesday, it's marketing day. I spend all my day Tuesday focused on how do I get in front of more people and how do I get in front of more people that can have a positive impact on our business so that we can have a positive impact on other folks. It fills it up, fills up the week that way. Then every day I don't have to create a new plan for tomorrow. All I must do is tweak my plan for tomorrow. It works out well.There are going to be a bunch of things on my list every Sunday that don't directly connect to one of these three key strategies. They don't get put on the plan. Mark Miletello: You know, you said this podcast as well. That's kind of where I went with this is that ... I'll give you a perfect example. A partner in this and myself, we Googled, "life insurance sales training," and dog training came up. We laughed, and we said, "This is not going to work. This is not going to work for our industry." What we had to do is develop what we feel is to go out there and find the best with Van Miller, and Garry Kinder, and Tom Henga, and Richard Weylman, and now you, Morris Sims, and the many A-list talent that we're going to have on this show so that others can tune in and, first, and I've said it on a previous show, filter through all the noise out there, all the ads. You're right. Five, 10 years ago, there was no digital online. There was no digital type of training that was substantial. Now they're popping up all over the place. They really are. I'm starting to find more and more. It's still kind of a dead space. Let the listeners decide, but we, as the host of this show, myself, I want to find the best talent so that people can tune in and say, "Okay, that's what I need to know and that's where I need to go to find it." I think that's one of the things out there, so I'm glad that you're also someone that we can trust in the number of people that you've led and coached, and the speeches that you've given that we can follow, and we can learn. We hope that you keep plugging away. But I agree. I think looking back over it, I think everything you say I seem to relate to it. I think we're going to be good friends and I want to continue following you. But looking back over my career, I think that's one of my issues as well. One of my very best agents to this date that, nine years ago going into a leadership position, he said, "Mark, I don't want to do group health. I don't want to do this. I don't want to do that. I want to do the two, three things that you tell me will make me most successful with the vehicle that I'm in." I shared with him those three things and he became my very, most successful agent because he stayed focus on anyone I've ever worked with. Not like myself, either. I became successful, maybe because I was raised in an insurance family and I had this knowledge of long-term care at age 17 and 18 when it was really a brand-new thing. I've kind of had this knowledge that stretched out. I think because of the history of it, therefore, I was probably doing a lot more things than I should rather than being laser-focused like he was. But you're right. Looking back, if I would have just focused on a couple things that I was really excelling at, I would have had much. I think younger reps in the industry, especially, and maybe even a veteran that's listening to this, that could refocus, that they can hear what you've said and maybe what I've shared, and they can say, "Okay, I'm not going to make that same mistake by trying to be a jack of all trades." Joint work is a wonderful way to do those things. I don't know why I felt like I needed 100% of every commission when in this day and time most of the leaders in our industry do joint work, right? Morris Sims: Oh yes. Absolutely. It is so vitally important as a learning activity. That whole idea of being able to go out and watch, and then be coached by someone who is constantly doing what it is that I want to do every day, man, if that's not worth 50% of any first-year commission that you're going to make, it's probably worth the whole thing in all reality. We're only asking you to put up maybe 30%, 40%, 50%. Mark Miletello: I'm still in the game. I just can't help it. It's just been on my mind and I must share this, Morris. I think you will appreciate this as a coach. I have a rep, went out on his first life sale without me, which I said don't do, but he did. He came back with two $20-a-month term life apps. There were some issues with one of the home policies. The policy was set up to lapse. Anyway, long story short, I went back out to the house with this rep to meet with the clients. We got a commitment with a $20,000 IUL commitment and he had walked out of the house with $40 a month in the term, the $20,000 annual IUL commitment with the same client. If that doesn't share with you right, there that joint work can produce way more than you could have on your own. I love that story because it's fresh and I'll be able to share it, but it's just what you're saying as far as joint work. The greats do joint work. Morris Sims: Oh yeah, absolutely. I think as a learning professional for the past 30 years, I can tell you right now the best practice you can get is out in the real world with a coach for your side. Because if you think about what all those baseball players do when they practice, they're practicing, but they've got a coach with them right there saying, "Think about your grip. Think about this. Try this. Try that." It's that coaching with the practice that makes all the difference in the world. Mark Miletello: You know what, Morris? As one of the thought leaders in our industry, I believe that we must look back at the past and think of what we've done right and wrong. Then we must focus on today and the near future. But I also have the segment on my show that has a professional prediction. The year is 2027. It's 10 years down the road. Morris, as a coach and a leader, help me prepare for five to 10 years down the road. Morris Sims: Wow. That's an important question. It really is. It's one that we all must ask ourselves. Where do you want to be five years from now? Every time I've answered that question, it has propelled me a lot further than my answer. I think for us in this industry, things are changing rapidly. I don't believe personally that we will ever see a world where insurance will be profitable, profitably I guess is as good a word as any, where insurance will be profitably and correctly sold to the masses without having personal contact. I believe that to make the right decision about the insurance protection that I need to have for my family, be it for my office, for my car, for my house, for my boat, for my motorcycle, for my life, to provide for my retirement, that's not going to happen to answer a few questions online or even with artificial intelligence software. It takes somebody being out their toe-to-toe, knee-to-knee, eyeball-to-eyeball, answering those questions, and helping people make the right decisions. Without that, it's just not going to work. It's not going to work at all and it's not going to be in everybody's best interest. With that in mind, here's the answer to your question. I believe we must stay on the cutting edge, whatever that edge might be. It's getting sharper and sharper every day, but we've got to stay on the cutting edge. That means studying and spending money to develop yourself. That means studying and spending money to get your CLU, your ChFC, your CFP, to get the advanced degrees. Maybe a master's in financial services. All those things are available and all of them are attainable. All you must do is go to look for it and go start. Put a foot in the water and get it started. But it's also why we've got to be members of NAIFA. It's why we've got to be members of other professional associations where we can learn from each other. It's one of the important reasons for making MDRT is to get to go to the MDRT meeting and learn from other great professionals. I think that self-development is probably the key, is going to be the key, even more, going forward over the next 10 years. Mark Miletello: Thank you for that and I completely agree. I wish we had more time to really dive into all the wonderful relationships you have and the people that you've met. We'll do that personally because I'm excited to know you now, but looking back over your personal development, can you pick maybe a book or a person that inspired you that we can also look at and maybe gain that same type of inspiration from? Morris Sims: Another great question, Mark. I think the people that have influenced me the most and have had a great impact on my life, are personal friends and mentors that have helped me personally. A gentleman here in Dallas, Andy Marshall, basically taught me how to do public speaking and how to think. Another great mentor, Tony Jeary, also happens to be here in Dallas. Tony has written a book called Strategic Acceleration. Strategic Acceleration. In that book, Tony teaches what he taught me over the last 30 years, that you've got to have focus. You've got to be clear on your purpose. You've got to have focus. You've got to execute. Then he goes into things that will help you learn how to focus, learn how to determine what it is you want, and learn how to execute properly and be able to do it in a very practical manner. I think Tony has been a huge influence on me.Other authors and books, Mark, golly gee. You mentioned Dale Carnegie. That was a big one, but a couple of more recent ones. Drive, by Daniel Pink, talks about how we get motivated and how we can do what we do better. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell- Mark Miletello: Staple. Yep. Morris Sims: Yeah. He talks a lot in there about practice and it takes 10,000 hours to become a real expert. Then the other one that just really got me going was Shawn Achor's book, The Happiness Advantage. It's funny. He says in there that you don't become happy by becoming successful. In other words, because you become a success, it's not what's going to drive your happiness. In fact, it is the happy people in the world that become successful. It's the other way around from the way we've been taught to think about it as we grow up. The Happiness Advantage is really a great book as well. Mark Miletello: I'll tell you what, I've taken notes, and I've got a lot of new reads. I appreciate that. That's what this show is about is giving us places to go that is highly recommended, and will really filter through the noise, and find out what it is that we're looking for, and really help us in the way that you've explained. I want to tell you to thank you for the time of coming on the show. Tell Carla thanks for giving us your time. How can we find you? How do we research you? How do we follow you best, Morris? Morris Sims: Well, I'm on LinkedIn and that's always a good place to go, I guess. Just Morris Sims, I guess. It's the easiest way. But I have a website that's being developed right now. It took a lot of creative thinking to come up with this name, Mark. Are you ready? Mark Miletello: Go ahead. Morris Sims: Www.morrissims.com. Mark Miletello: Alright. Yep, yep. I got it. Morris Sims: That's Sims with one M. It's M-O-R-R-I-S-S-I-M-S dot-com. Those would be probably the best two ways. I'm doing a lot of posting on LinkedIn about sales skills and other sundry things. I would love to connect with you on LinkedIn. Mark Miletello: Absolutely. We'll look you up. Check out Morris Sims, morrissims.com. LinkedIn. There's a lot of ways. Google him. I think you'll be able to find him easily.If you like what you hear on the show, I ask you that you go to iTunes, rate and review it so that we'll pop up and others can find us because it's very hard to find good things out there. I want to tell the listeners thank you for supporting us and following us. Thank you, Morris. Morris Sims: Thank you, Mark. I really enjoyed it. It was a blast. Look forward to more conversations in the future.


9 Jan 2018

Episode artwork

#009 Developing the Person with Morris Sims of New York Life

Great Minds Series Podcast

Today, Dr. Jerry Zandstra sits down with Morris Sims. Morris spent over 30 years, leading the training and development efforts at New York Life Insurance Company and now speaks and writes on developing people to their fullest capacity.


12 Jan 2017