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

//The Power of Influence in Sales, Morris Sims, Ep. 6
Where the Insurance Pros Meet Podcast


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.