In insurance sales, Corry Collins, life agent, CFP and regional communications committee chair and member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), is a familiar face in the industry. Also dubbed “the man with a million one-liners,” the popular agent and public speaker recently released his second book – this time distilling a lot of those one-liners, along with his sales advice, into a reference resource for the industry.
The book of quotes from the famous, not-so-famous, and from Mr. Collins himself, along with context and suggestions for making use of the material in a sales setting, titled One Hundred and One Thoughts, Quotes and Questions could sit on shelves in the motivational section of bookstores, as well.
In short, Mr. Collins’ advice is this: “Don’t say something so that it can be understood, say it so that it can’t be misunderstood. That’s what this book is all about.”
When listening to different speakers himself, he says this attention to vocabulary is one of his ongoing efforts. In particular, whether in sales or in giving a presentation, his focus is on saying things in a way that can make the audience understand his message, “succinctly.”
“The book itself is very good, not only for the brand new advisor who’s never heard these things before, but also for the experienced advisor who may have heard these quotes, but forgot about them. It’s a collection of things put into one resource,” he says. “Some have never really been able to put two and two together or use these particular comments, not necessarily to close the sale, but to help a client see the true value of what they’re buying.”
In the past, the 11-year life and qualifying member of the MDRT worked as a public face in the industry on behalf of Advocis while he was on the national board. His public speaking efforts began in earnest about five years ago, with his now-familiar Life Support presentation. In that speech, Mr. Collins details and outlines the efforts that doctors, many of whom were his own clients, went through when he fell into a coma, back in 2005.
The book he published after that event, also titled Life Support, came out in early 2011.
Since that time, he’s transitioned his business from one where the critical illness and living benefits specialist worked on his own, to a partnership with three other advisors, to form Maritime Wealth Management. In addition to the four partners, the firm employs five other sub-advisors as well.
Interestingly, although his management and training experience at London Life, is nearly 20 years in the past today, he says that this early experience has helped in his role as partner at a firm with employees.
This recent thinking about training potential successors, comingled with his speaking career, and the growing desire to give back to the industry that often seems to come with career success and longevity, could in fact be part of the inspiration that lead to the creation of his new publication.
“I had a meeting and they wanted me to do my life support story again,” he says. “I was prepared to do that, but I suggested something different: Why don’t I put together a bunch of ideas that I use in my practice and I’ll talk about them?”
The resulting Power Point presentation was page, after page of quotes and images – including many of his “one-liners” – with speaking points to accompany each.
“People kept asking for a copy of my presentation, which showed they really liked it,” he says. “I didn’t even have time to run through everything I had.” Following that meeting, held in March 2011, he developed a list of more, and wrote about each quote or comment, in an effort to develop the speech further.
When the list far exceeded 101 talking points, he gave it to his wife, “my toughest critic,” and asked her to remove all but the most powerful examples. “She only took out about 10 of them. At one point we were going to name the book 149 (thoughts, quotes and questions) but we kept bringing it down because I wanted to have the very best – the ones that were most meaningful and that had the most impact on my own career. We had to fight to get it down to 101.”
The family affair then included his daughter, a graphic designer in training, who designed the layout. With a timeline in place, and plans to launch the book at this year’s Advocis Banff School in August, the family project proceeded and made it through to completion, just 17 months after his initial presentation.
One Hundred and One Thoughts, Quotes and Questions can be purchased at www.corrycollins.com