An insurance agent named Tolbert had a remarkable ability to sell insurance. He’d been trained to sell people the most insurance that he could and he did it well, according to Stedman Graham in his book Build Your Own Life Brand. But although Tolbert was very successful, he was not happy.

Deep in his heart, he didn’t feel right about pushing people to buy more insurance than they probably needed. So, he changed his ways and started telling prospects the truth. If they asked him about policies they didn’t really need, he told them why he didn’t recommend them – even if it cost him a larger commission.

Then something happened that Tolbert hadn’t anticipated. His income didn’t drop. In fact, it shot way up. Turns out his clients had learned to trust him so much that they not only took all their insurance business to him, they enthusiastically recommended him to their friends and relatives.

I’m not surprised. I’ve found that whenever I’ve truthfully told a customer that the product he was interested in really wasn’t right for someone in his particular situation, I may have lost that sale… but almost always ended up gaining a long-term customer who bought many more of my products down the road.

Certain people skills are a crucial factor for success in business – and putting the needs of your customers first is one of them. You’ll find that your own interests will get served in the process.

[Ed. Note: Paul Lawrence is a produced screenwriter and successful small-business entrepreneur specializing in low-capital business start-ups. Get more information on his strategies for success right here. 

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Paul Lawrence

Paul Lawrence is an entrepreneur who has made his living starting and running a series of profitable businesses. One day while cleaning his mother’s pool for a few extra bucks, it dawned on Paul that he could perhaps start his own pool cleaning business. He carefully employed all the marketing techniques that he had learned in school and designed his first flyer. Immediately the business took off and within a week, Paul had his own little business. He quickly expanded, hired employees and then eventually sold it some relatives who made well over $250,000 in the next year before they eventually sold it for a six figure profit.
After finishing college, Paul did a brief stint in a management program for a national rental company, but he quickly realized that he was much happier running his own show. Paul left the rental company and launched one of the most financially successful independent ballroom dance instruction companies in the state of Florida where he received quite a bit of media attention for his revolutionary business practices that included front page features in the Life Style section of the Sun Sentinel, features in the Miami Herald, Boca News, Center Stage Entertainment and many others. With that business running profitably, Paul started several other businesses either individually or as partnerships that included a million dollar video production company, a mortgage brokerage, a home maintenance business, several mail order companies, a business consulting service among others.With a love of movies, Paul began to work at breaking into Hollywood as a screenwriter where he’s beaten the odds by becoming a produced writer. He is a credited writer for the film CRUEL WORLD, starring Jaime Presley and Eddie Furlong and has signed a development deal for a national television series with one of the world’s largest producers of television and films among his half a dozen sales and options of movie scripts he wrote. Paul is the creator of the Quick & Easy Microbusiness program.