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INING FOR A

LIFE INSURANCE
AGENT

WARREN M. HOKN'EP,




LIPPINCOTT'S

TRAINING SERIES

"FOR THOSE WHO WANT
TO FIND THEMSELVES"



TRAINING FOR A LIFE
INSURANCE AGENT



LIPPINCOTT'S

TRAINING SERIES

"FOR THOSE WHO WANT
TO FIND THEMSELVES"

TRAINING FOR THE
NEWSPAPER TRADE

By DON C. SEITZ

Business Manager of "New York World"

TRAINING FOR THE
STAGE

By ARTHUR HORNBLOW

Editor of " The Theatre Magazine"

TRAINING FOR A LIFE
INSURANCE AGENT

By WARREN M.HORNER

Provident Life and Trust Co.

TRAINING FOR THE

STREET RAILWAY

BUSINESS

By C. B. FAIRCHILD, JR.

Executive Assistant of the Philadelphia
Rapid Transit Co.

TRAINING OF A
FORESTER

By GIFFORD PINCHOT
IN PREPARATION

TRAINING AND
REWARDS OF A DOCTOR

By RICHARD C. CABOT, M.D.

TRAINING AND
REWARDS OF A LAWYER

By HARLAN F. STONE

Dean of Columbia Law School

12mo. Cloth. Putty Illustrated. Each$1.2Bnet




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LIPPINCOTT'S TRAINING SERIES

TRAINING FOR A LIFE
INSURANCE AGENT



BY

WARREN M. HORNER

LIFE INSURANCE AGENT AND MANAGER, WRITER AND LECTURER
ON LIFE INSURANCE TOPICS



' Be not a man of many words nor
busy about too many things."

MAHCUS AURELIUS.



ILLUSTRATED




PHILADELPHIA & LONDON

J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY



COPTRIOHT, IQI7, BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY



PUBLISHED MARCH, IQI7



PRINTED BT J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY

AT THE WASHINGTON SQUARE PRESS

PHILADELPHIA, U. 8. A.



THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO
JOSEPH ASHBROOK

FROM WHOM I HAVE RECEIVED
GREAT INSPIRATION AND HELPFUL
SUGGESTIONS IN MY LIFE'S WORK



463305



'How blessed is he who crowns

in shades like these,
A youth of labor with an
age of ease."

GOLDSMITH.



'One science only will one genius fit,
So vast is art, so narrow human wit.'
POPE.



INTRODUCTION

A PREFACE to a book should be like any
other introduction, a sort of " Who's Who
Why's Why and What's What " proposi-
tion. At any rate, I am the one who has
been selected by the publishers to set down
some facts about an important world move-
ment because there is much need for such
a work.

The Life Insurance business is conspicu-
ous in contrasts. It is the most important
thing to the people, and they know the least
about it. It is the most scientific business in
the world, with very unscientific methods in
the producing end. It is a veritable fairy-
land for the imaginative mind, in its ramify-
ing opportunities for constructive service and
personal development. Yet one must go
through the darkest, coldest dungeon of de-
spair and privation to attain mastery.

It has the most enticing allurements for
the really successful on the gilded side; yet
the average agent is a financial failure, and
a greatly preponderating number of those



INTRODUCTION

who undertake the work never attain any
reasonable success, but stray into other
pastures.

There are good reasons for these appar-
ently irreconcilable divergent conditions, and
I hope to make them reasonably clear in the
chapters of this book.

I believe in Life Insurance as a vocation,
not passively, but with a burning intensity
that is almost an obsession. It is not, how-
ever, any job for a lightweight or a shirk.
Anyone who desires to enter the Life Insur-
ance business should study the situation care-
fully, and make the fight only after he feels
called to this great work of conservation.

This book is written, primarily, for those
directly interested in the Life Insurance busi-
ness, but in a non-technical manner so that
it may be of value to laymen, especially
those interested in salesmanship.

I have striven earnestly and naturally to
add something of value where there is great
need for enlightenment and standardized en-
deavor, and sincerely hope the reader's ver-
dict will be that it is not written in vain.
WARREN M. HORNER.

January, 1917.



CONTENTS



PART I
TRAINING FOR A LIFE INSURANCE AGENT

PAGE

OPPORTUNITY 15

WHO SHOULD BEGIN WHEN, AND How 24

SALESMANSHIP 38

SYSTEM AND EFFICIENCY 47

THE STANDARDIZED REPRESENTATIVE 55

GENERAL AGENCY OR ORGANIZATION METHODS 64

SOME SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE LIFE INSURANCE BUSINESS ... 75

DOES IT PAY TO ADVERTISE ? 86

THE WOMAN IN LIFE INSURANCE 92

RECAPITULATION 99

PART II

THE LIFE INSURANCE AGENT AND THE LAYMAN

THE AGENT AND THE LAYMAN 109

BUSINESS LIFE INSURANCE Ill

WELFARE INSURANCE 117

INCOME INSURANCE 128

LAYMEN'S RESPONSIBILITY. . .... ISO



ILLUSTRATIONS



PAGE



A MODEL AGENCY ORGANIZATION (CHART) .... Frontispiece

EFFICIENCY DIAGRAM 33

KEY TO SUCCESS 52

EFFICIENCY METHODS (CHART) 58-59

KEY TO OFFICE FURNITURE. . . 66-67



PART I

TRAINING FOR A LIFE
INSURANCE AGENT



TRAINING FOR A LIFE
INSURANCE AGENT

CHAPTER I

OPPORTUNITY

As an institution for systematic thrift, as
a means of preventing want and pauperism,
as a medium of safeguarding the home and
old age, as an equalizing force in business,
and as a leveller of human affairs, sound Life
Insurance stands as a great bulwark to man-
kind.

It is quite unusual that a business of such
ramifying importance in its economic and
beneficent value to the public should be ac-
corded so much prejudice and be so generally
shunned as a vocation. This bias and aloof-
ness has materially lessened in recent years,
but the condition is still far from satisfactory,
although without any fundamental reason.

Life Insurance, in its inception, was asso-

15



LIFE INSURANCE

elated with death and its resultant sorrows
and harrowing experiences. The fact that
the business, in its beginning or undeveloped
stages, apparently had to do only with death
and its grim realities, made the work of early
proponents of the system fraught with stag-
gering hardships. The crusading methods
required to break down prejudice and lack
of understanding, to get people to do the
very obvious thing of insuring their lives,
served to build up prejudice against the busi-
ness as lacking caste. Indeed, Life Insur-
ance agents, as a rule, have been regarded
as a sort of necessary evil, and even by many
as an unnecessary evil. The preposterous-
ness of this point of view cannot alter the
fact of its existence. Neither does the con-
dition militate against the business in its op-
portunities, exactly the reverse being true.

Before amplifying the many opportunities
afforded by the business of Life Insurance,
a brief survey of its development in the
United States should be given.

The founders of the system of Legal Re-

16



OPPORTUNITY

serve Life Insurance builded better than they
knew. It is the greatest system of finance
in behalf of the public weal ever devised.
In this country, with its rapid growth and
multiplication of fortunes and enterprises,
with incident hazards, Life Insurance has
become both a personal and business neces-
sity, and is viewed generally, and very prop-
erly, in the light of a conservation measure.

It is unfortunate that those at the home
offices and in the field who dealt with the
public in the early stages did not themselves
have a clearer idea of the true significance
of the business, and dress their presentation
of the subject in a more attractive manner,
from a human and economic standpoint.
Much of the prejudice and aloofness toward
Life Insurance and its salesmen would never
have existed had a broader and saner presen-
tation been given the public from the start,
and a more efficient and scientific method
of appointing and training agents been
practised.

Again, the lack of a drastic uniform state

2 17



LIFE INSURANCE

law, or, what is far better, a federal law,
for the incorporation and control of com-
panies, has resulted in much spuriousness
and exploitation to aggravate anti-public
opinion.

With all these handicaps, the business has
grown in value enormously, and in the minds
of the public, in a better understanding and
appreciation of its benefits to them, and to
such an extent as to make the opportunity
limited only by the capacity and energy of
the agent.

The modern interpretation of Life Insur-
ance is not just Death Assurance, but live
insurance for live people. While the busi-
ness is built around the uncertainty of life
and certainty (uncertainty of time) of death,
it has gradually taken on a more human
and attractive dress, in the shape of income
and annuity policies, or those used in busi-
ness as fiscal governors in an enterprise, and
as welfare or profit-sharing media for em-
ployees of all classes.

The business does hold wonderful oppor-

18



OPPORTUNITY

tunity for the agent who can, and will, make
the fight in breaking through the outer crust
of antagonistic public mind to the inner state
of both a conscious and subconscious attitude
of receptivity. The piercing of this armor
of aloofness is a man's job, and only those
possessed of understanding and industry
should undertake the work.

Fortunately, the co-operative method of
compensation based upon results, and elim-
ination of the salary evil, offer inducements
in that the merit system prevails entirely
as to financial reward. This feature is made
the more attractive because the agent is paid
not only a commission on the first, but also
on subsequent premiums. These renewal or
collection payments are, under certain con-
ditions, paid even after the agent leaves the
service, owing to death, incapacity or resig-
nation. This building of an income as a
future reward is both just and sound busi-
ness procedure.

From the compensatory angle, there are
three very important and attractive advan-

19



LIFE INSURANCE

tages in Life Insurance as a vocation: (a)
The unlimited absorbing power of the pub-
lic; (b) the co-operative nature of reward,
eliminating salary evils; and, (c) The pay-
ments over a term of years resulting in a
non-forfeitable estate to the worthy individ-
ual who remains steadfastly with one
company.

For those who are ambitious for promo-
tion and place, Life Insurance offers great
inducements. The companies are actually
hungry for real, capable men and women
to fill responsible positions. The compara-
tive newness of the business, in its larger
aspect, as practised in the United States and
the Dominion of Canada, has created a short-
age of individuals who can join production
with executive ability, and for such the op-
portunity is ample, greater, in fact, than
in any other field not requiring large capital.
Then for those red-blooded members of
society who have the constructive, building
disposition, who are interested in something

aside from the humdrum, trite, everyday

20



OPPORTUNITY

experience of their fathers and grandfathers,
and who do not desire to select their vocation
a la " rich man poor man beggarman
thief doctor lawyer merchant chief "
fashion, Life Insurance holds wonderful
opportunities.

Its operations, in the field, have been char-
acterized by wasteful and unscientific meth-
ods. The scope for originating and carrying
out modern efficiency methods is limitless.
It is a poor job for the individual who cannot
self -inaugurate something.

Life Insurance enters into the hearts and
homes of people of all classes. Therefore,
viewed in the light of the grouping of society
in the superficial, or outward castes, the busi-
ness has a wide range in the opportunity for
remunerative employment of people of dif-
ferent strata of business and social caste.
Those familiar with the needs and desires
of each class can better serve that class in
supplying them with protection.

The history of the most efficient company

organization has proven, conclusively, the

21



LIFE INSURANCE

foregoing: that agents of moderate, average
and phenomenal ability all succeed in due
proportion when properly trained and gifted
with industry, a sound mind and a good
heart.

Why, then, with all this opportunity for
accomplishment, in ethical and financial up-
lift, do so many fail?

The reasons are public aloofness, unscien-
tific methods and lack of time-accountability,
together with the fact that the agent must
always be pulling up-stream in keeping at
work. However, these reasons are only sur-
face, and not fundamental. The real reason
so many fail is that Life Insurance is the
" acid test " of salesmanship.

It calls for superior ability in discernment
of human nature, backed by industry and
intensive power to sway people to harmo-
nious action. Without these, continuous and
cumulative success is impossible.

It has been shown that there is abundant
opportunity for a wide range of individuals

in the Life Insurance business ; that promo-

22



OPPORTUNITY

tions are promised and remuneration, in
method and amount, attractive; that oppor-
tunity for success is ample for those of aver-
age ability, and large for those of large
ability.

More important, however, is the fact that
the business embraces or calls for more attri-
butes of human responsiveness, right deal-
ing, fair dealing and square dealing than any
other human agency. If practised as it
should be followed, it will cultivate a logical
mind, analytical wisdom as to social and
economic conditions, and, above all, and more
important than all, a disposition to love and
care for one's fellows.



CHAPTER II
WHO SHOULD BEGIN WHEN, AND How

I. WHO SHOULD BEGIN

IF the reader is impressed with the senti-
ment in the closing words of the preceding
chapter, he then possesses one of the requi-
sites of a Life Insurance agent.

It is folly to engage in the work without
a pulling at the heart-strings because of the
great human side of the business, and unless
there is a thorough understanding and ap-
preciation of Life Insurance, as a world
force, in its economic and beneficent relation
to humanity.

Too many young men waste time " feel-
ing out " other people in choosing a vocation.
If the advice of someone else is going to be
taken on selecting a vocation, keep out of
Life Insurance, because it has enough fail-
ures aboard already. It takes a little clear
grit to break into the Life Insurance pro-
fession it is no place for a molly-coddle.

24



WHO SHOULD BEGIN WHEN AND HOW

Then, in seeking the opinion of others,
much misinformation is acquired, as there
are many individuals, glib of tongue but
void of understanding, who scoff at the busi-
ness as a vocation.

Self -analysis should be used liberally, h
selecting one's life work, as to disposition
and capabilities. However, many persons
carry self-analysis and inquiry beyond the
necessary limits of reason.

By the same token that a person can do
some one thing successfully, he can do some
other thing creditably, with the application
of the same amount of energy and enterprise.
It is not the intention to convey the idea that
a good blacksmith would make a painter of
works of art, and so on, but, outside the fine
arts and major professions, the rule laid
down does apply.

Life Insurance, as a vocation, is properly
classed in a twilight zone between a pro-
fession and ordinary business, embracing, as
it does, the attributes and opportunities of
both. It is a poor job for a cold, clammy

25



LIFE INSURANCE

individual, with a sordid ambition and a
warped soul. It is a business where person-
ality counts personality, with gentlemanly
enthusiasm outside, and quick discernment
of human nature, plus conviction, inside.

Where doubt exists in regard to becom-
ing a Life Insurance salesman, study the
characteristics of Ex-presidents Taft and
Roosevelt, and Ex-premier Asquith and his
successor, Lloyd George, as opposites, and
then Woodrow Wilson as a composite, in
some degree, of all these personalities.

Mr. Taft's highly-specialized, judicial
mind, lacking executive positiveness, does
not possess the requisites necessary to success
in Life Insurance field work. Mr. Roose-
velt, with his many-sidedness, but with these
qualities toned down, is fine. Mr. Asquith,
with his great judicial and parliamentary
ability, is too cold. Lloyd George, in quick
grasp, human responsiveness and positive-
ness, is ideal.

Woodrow Wilson is enough of a com-
posite to not be set aside like Taft and

26



WHO SHOULD BEGINWHEN AND HOW

Asquith, and too austere to be classed with
Roosevelt or Lloyd George.

It is the intention to convey to the reader
that personalities resembling, to a prepon-
derating degree, the characteristics of Ex-
president Taft and Mr. Asquith are not
adaptable to the business; and that person-
alities, with a leaning toward the qualities of
Ex-president Roosevelt and Lloyd George,
are equipped to an unusual degree for
success.

Furthermore, that there are a large num-
ber of individuals who possess the adapta-
bility of President Wilson, without either
the preponderating negative qualities of a
Taft or an Asquith, nor the overwhelming
positive requisites of a Roosevelt or a Lloyd
George, who can still attain very creditable
accomplishments.

The fact should be clearly visualized that
there is more adaptability in the human
make-up than most people realize, and this
should not be overlooked, especially with
young people. With reasonable adapta-

27



LIFE INSURANCE

bility, opportunity and determination are
mighty factors.

The author is firmly convinced that a
careful study of the foregoing will greatly
aid individuals seeking light as to their fit-
ness or adaptability for the business of Life
Insurance, and that their own deliberative
judgment, exercised by such process, is far
more valuable than a hasty conclusion
reached by shopping around for ideas.

In conclusion, for this part, remember
that there is an opening for individuals of
moderate, average and exceptional ability,
as mentioned in the first chapter, and as will
be more clearly shown in those to follow.

II. WHEN

A generation ago, young men at the
threshold of their life's work rarely entered
the business. The young man who did so
was the exception, not the rule. It was com-
monly supposed that a young man could not
cope with the difficulties and obstacles to be
overcome, in lack of understanding and prej-

28



WHO SHOULD BEGINWHEN AND HOW

udice existing in the public mind. It was
thought necessary to employ, as agents,
older men who had acquired ability to meet
and overcome difficulties. This led to the
practice of recruiting for agents from among
those who had spent years in other fields of
work, and desired to change to something
more lucrative and congenial, and also from
the ranks of failures and the down-and-outs.

This was a baneful practice, and it has
been difficult to outgrow the evil. When
the business awoke to an appreciation of its
possibilities for young men, and to the fact
that it needed their fighting qualities and
growing propensities, it found the early
practice had built an artificial wall to keep
out these young men.

However, this aloofness is rapidly wear-
ing away, because of more standardized
methods and better understanding. Young
men, college graduates, and all those with
a purposeful attitude toward their future
find a ready and lucrative market for their

29



LIFE INSURANCE

activities, if applied with zeal and deter-
mination.

It is entirely fitting that young men should
take up Life Insurance as their initial work,
and follow it through to the end of their life's
journey. There is nothing against, and every-
thing in favor of, such a practice, as in all
important vocations. They should begin
when young, and spend their building, con-
structive years fitting themselves for the big
things of place and accomplishment which
can only come in any life or profession by
years of growth and development.

Happily, educational institutions, through
their own vision in practicalizing education,
and with the aid of leading insurance men,
are incorporating Life Insurance in their
curricula, so that graduates are better fitted
to understand Life Insurance as an economic
force, and its relation to them as a means of
livelihood.

Many companies and large agencies have
their own schools of insurance and salesman-
ship, and abundant opportunity is given the

30



WHO SHOULD BEGIN WHEN AND HOW

younger generation to grasp the advantages
which the business offers. The training
given in these courses, and in real service, is
very valuable, even if the recruit should
eventually follow some other calling.

While Life Insurance is pre-eminently a
business to enter while young, as an initial
venture no hard-and-fast rule can be laid
down. Many men have taken up the work
later in life, because of its freedom of time
and operation, and made conspicuous suc-
cesses, but these same men would, of course,
have gone much further had they applied
their activities from the start.

Therefore, the Life Insurance business
should be taken up by young men college
graduates, high school graduates, or other
young men who select it as their first and
only vocation.

III. HOW

Many a good Life Insurance agent has
never reached a reasonable fruition of his
powers, or has left the business as a total or
partial failure, because of a poor start.

31



LIFE INSURANCE

The first essential for a beginner is to
thoroughly understand the business, in its
broad economic aspects. This means study
at the start, and study all the way through
to the end, study of the economic and be-
neficent value of Life Insurance, study of
human nature, study of self and systems of
work applicable to the individual.

The agent should not try the Tbusiness.
It should be taken up as a life's work, with
a determination to stick. It is a man's job,
and will not mix with anything else. It is
ethically and fundamentally wrong to mix
it with anything else.

The agent should be ambitious to serve
his friends and acquaintances, riot to prey
upon them. The things shown in the accom-
panying diagram should be clearly visualized
and followed. The agent should learn when
to talk, and when not to talk. He should
learn to arrange interviews to best bring re-
sults. Life Insurance should be regarded,
and sold, as a conservation of man's energy
or earning power as live insurance for live

32



WHO SHOULD BEGIN WHEN AND HOW

people. Figuratively, the salesman should
look through a man like an X-ray, and see,
beyond, his loved ones, or business, or both,
and talk protection for these, not just selling
arguments to put dollars in his own pocket.




This efficiency diagram ia constructed on the theory that an individual'!
effort for success should be dominated by the idea that a straight line is th
shortest distance between two points.

Point E is an individual's visualized ambition.

The straight line A-E is the visualized course
that this individual must hold in mind.

The curved line is the general course that a
successful individual will travel who keeps in mind
3 33



LIFE INSURANCE

the visualized point and indulges in directly applied
energy, remembering that a straight line is the
shortest distance between two points.

A, B, C and D represent the scope of an indi-
vidual's efforts, practical and otherwise, between
just existing, A to D, and rising to maximum
capacity, A and C.

C is the highest point of accomplishment that a
given individual can attain.

The dotted lines above E represent the actual
course of a successful career of one who keeps in
mind point E, and works in accordance with curved
line A and E.

Of course, the curved line A and E with the
successful individual actually becomes a curved
line to follow the course of one of the dotted lines
above E or A-7, 6, etc., to assumed maximum,
A and C.

Dotted lines below E, and between E and D,
represent a lessening of vigilance and efficiency.
A and D is just keeping one's head above water.

Below D is failure, and point 14 total failure.

A, B and C is the forbidden zone.

The stars represent points of contact of an
individual when he is working inefficiently or in an
impractical way. Stars in the forbidden zone,
bounded by A, B and C, represent points of con-
tact of an individual where he is wasting his energy
entirely because of being outside his sphere as a
means to the end to be accomplished.

34



WHO SHOULD BEGIN WHEN AND HOW

The purpose of this diagram is to convey the
idea that so many people are constantly working in
the zone A, B and C, and represented by the stars
therein, working out of their element, indulging
in impractical and visionary things in their daily
work.

An important lesson to be learned from the dia-


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