Saturday, June 24, 2006

Everyone Needs a Plan

Danny Yap, Everyone Needs a Plan: Making It to the Million Dollar Round Table and Beyond (Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Springfield Consultancy Sdn Bhd, 2004)

Selling insurance as in any sales job is a difficult and tough business. Danny Yap, who started with insurance and is now a financial consultant shares his experience and work habits that made him a member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 1999. As is common in many such ‘self-help’ books, there are numerous anecdotes and encouraging stories.

First, what stand out from other ‘self-help’ books are that Danny’s Christian principles as he structures his life, his work and priorities. I am impressed by the priority given to his family, both in his work habits and his sales strategy. This is especially impressive as most insurance agents would sacrifice family times to make more sales.

Second, Danny emphases a disciplined work life and a work strategy. This is important as most insurance agents have control of their time. It can be both a blessing and a curse. Hence the need of at least some structure in their lives.

Finally, what stands out from the book is Danny’s love of learning and the drive to improve himself. Hence there are advices to read books and attend seminars. While again this is common with most ‘self help’ books, Danny’s emphasis is for learning to improve oneself rather than that elusive ‘technique’ that would make that extra sale or ‘gimmick’ that will net a more ‘valuable’ client.

I find the book interesting because it offers deeper insight into the vocation and motivations of insurance agents. As a medical doctor, I have met a large number of insurance agents in my time. Those encounters concerning my patients often leave me feeling disappointed with issues of personal integrity and truthfulness. Other encounters make me angry as a ‘designated target’. This book helps me to see from the viewpoint of an insurance agent.


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