When you look at me, what do you see?

I know what I see, at least in my minds-eye. For some reason there seems to be some disconnect when that image appears in a photo because I have no idea where that old-ass head came from…must be trick photography.

Who’s perception is reality?

If I were to list the five things that I think most closely describe me and then ask 5 of my closest friends who know me best to do the same, do you think the lists would match?

If you only knew my persona, do you think that would make any difference?

What if my list according to Billy includes charming, caring, confident, funny & clueless….er uh ok, how about inquisitive instead? Inquisitive might be a stretch; I have been told I ask good questions, but sometimes just being a surface kind of guy is ok with me too.

What if my vision doesn’t match up in how other’s see me? Who’s perception is reality anyway?

Does it matter?

Is it really worth anything?

Most who stop by here know my day job is essentially commercial insurance sales. Which is somewhat of a misnomer, because our platform is so much more than just sales. However, when you get right down to it, regardless of whatever else we bring to the table it’s usually the insurance policy that pays me unless we work through a fee for services agreement.

The second dilemma is, does your 30-second commercial really describe what you do, or did it just sound good? Heaven forbid you mention salesman unless you want to clear a crowd; and you certainly want to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack, but if you try to be too cute and get too blah, blah, blah, you still end up having to explain what you really do anyway.

All I know is I am not a transactional guy; but relationship driven.

And now I’m being told if I want to be a super star salesman relationship builders are typically not that guy.

Say what? Now you tell me…

Is it too late to start over?

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

Hey, I have been doing this for 30 years, and even with the same company no less. Something must be working, don’t you think?

But Dorman, you could have done so much more. No kidding, but who couldn’t and if you know the journey I took to even make this job possible I can truthfully say I have far exceeded my expectations.

So, how high is up? How much is enough, or is it ok to be satisfied with your body of work at some point in time and quit beating yourself up for all the coulda, shoulda, woulda’s?

I really am a sales guru

In my world at least, sales are where the real money is. I find it interesting with the gurus who tout their street cred and how fantastic they were, but for some reason got out of sales to teach. If you were so good why did you quit?

Why? Because sales is a hard profession to sustain. You are always, always judged on what have you done for me lately. At some point in time there is a tendency to want to sit back and rest on your laurels.

I’m no dummy (no voting allowed), I know and can see what works and what doesn’t and could certainly write about it if I so chose.

It’s real simple actually; make the calls, make the ask, and when you get in the door bring value. You can put all kinds of mumbo jumbo in the pre-mix but ultimately the value you bring will be the difference between a vendor versus a partner.

The more creative and innovative ways you can bring to help the customer keeps you away from a transactional only relationship. You want to challenge the status quo and make the customer think.

All I deal with are businesses, and after 30 years, I have a pretty good idea of who is doing it right. What is that worth, shouldn’t I be able to share this? There are very few situations I have not seen before.

Yes, I sell insurance, but so much more; when you look at me, what do you see?


36 thoughts on “When you look at me, what do you see?

  1. I love the image. How very appropriate for a Leo!

    I have never actually seen you, except for your viral YouTube videos, of course. http://www.youtube.com/user/bdorman264

    How close is the Internet persona to the real person? How much of ourselves do we hide behind the curtain of our website? Do we really know our online friends?

    I would be dollars to donuts that you are the real thing, Bill, and probably harder on yourself than the people who truly know you are. One of the reasons you’re so successful in your business is because of your authenticity. You don’t last 30 years in sales if you’re pulling a fast one. You genuinely care about people, which may be why you still feel the lure of your blog. We miss you!

    You rock. That.Is.All.

    • Hey Carolyn, thanks for the support. I certainly try to be genuine and consistent; maybe flaky at times but it’s all me. I’m still trying to get my bearings back but I will save after a somewhat shaky start to December it has actually turned out quite phenomenal. Probably good that I wasn’t distracted by the social siren.

      I’m excited about 2013 and I’ll be around in some form or fashion; let’s see what the new year brings.

  2. I like what you said about making sure that you add value once you’re in with a client. This is so very true. These clients agreed to work with us based on the things that we said we could do for them. Now it’s time to show them what we can do, why they made the right choice and the reasons to stick with us!

    • As a ‘producer’ of new business, you certainly have to make sure to continue and take care of the ones you already have. However, if you do it right, then ones you already have are probably helping you create the new opportunities. Just like any relationship; you have to work at it to keep it strong.

      Good to see you; thanks for the visit.

  3. When I look at you Bill, I see someone who’s genuine, caring and a people person. You make everyone feel at ease, not just because you can but because it comes naturally. And that’s a great trait to have in sales and that’s also, I’m sure, why you’re so good at relationship building.

    I don’t know how 100% real anyone is on the internet but I certainly appreciate what I know of you, otherwise I wouldn’t keep coming back.

    Honestly, if you can survive in the same line of business for 30 years mostly on commission alone you’re definitely doing something right!

    It’s good to know even a little online part of you Bill. Bring on the whisky.

    • Ah yes, we will make the toast when I make it to Edinborough; you will caddy for me, right? I’ll buy the whiskey…

      When I got into this business I had no idea if I could make a living in sales or not; some days I still wonder….:). One of these days I might figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

      Thanks for the kind words.

  4. Since we have hung out online and spoken a time or two I would say you seem to me to the same person in-person as I read online. Trust worthy, dependable and does what he says he is going to do.

    • Dudley do-right, huh? I really am interested in being able to help people; I’m ok with being a giver instead of a taker. And I really do try not to over-commit which is hard at times, but if you get me I want to make sure you get all of me.

      Good to see you sir.

  5. And all along I thought it was the caliber of golf you play that makes or breaks a sales career. It’s awesome to hear that it’s other things because if it was the golf i would be able to afford the mac n cheese. Hope things are well and happy holidays Bill. Enjoy!

  6. I see a kind, warm, generous, giving person. Yes, you are in sales as your profession, but you are someone who epitomizes what good relationship building is about. I see someone who is not afraid to share his ups and downs, and who goes out of his way to connect with people. I see someone I’m proud to call “friend.”
    As to whether it’s ok to be satisfied with your body of work – I think there’s a difference between being proud of what you’ve accomplished, and being complacent. The latter would be bad (IMHO), the former is good. Of course you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished, you worked very hard to get there!

    • Very kind words indeed ma’am; am I very glad we have become acquainted. I consider you a friend online & off. In 2007 I was at the top of the world; 2008 took my legs out from under me. The economy took a real bite out of all the gains I had made. Whereas it was still pretty much the same ol’ me, it just felt like I was having to climb a very steep hill again.

      I do know it could have been much, much worse and right now I’m rockin’ and a rollin’ and lovin’ it. 2013 might top 2007 before it’s said and done.

      As much as you try to avoid it, there is still a natural ebb and flow with sales so you just need to keep learning and growing as long as you are going to be in the game. It’s still a good fit for me.

      Have fun on your vacation back home and catch up with you when you make it back.

  7. Two things:
    1. People aren’t dogs and maybe even dogs can learn new tricks when they’re old.

    2. We all roll off the assembly line with two kinds of ‘pre-installed’ intelligence: One’s called fluid intelligence and the other… dang, I can’t remember.

    At any rate, one is flexible in terms of mechanics and process. It’s the one that allows you to learn foreign languages and motor skills with greater ease when you’re younger. If I remember correctly, it peaks at around age 16. Note that it *peaks* — it doesn’t go away, it only fades gradually. I don’t think you ever lose it entirely.

    The second kind of intelligence is based on aggregation. The learning and integration of new data, both concrete and abstract. This type of intelligence actually improves with age. Feeling that age brings you increased understanding of the world and added insight into life and other people means your brain is maturing as it ought to.

    So… people resemble wine in a small way. They may lose some of their initial zest but they grow finer.

    What I gather from our limited interaction is that you’re gifted with empathy and you give people enough space that they can be themselves around you. That’s worth more than all the gold in the world.

    • A fine wine indeed and there certainly is some value to having ‘wisdom.’ I’m glad I still like learning and feel it keeps me fresh and relevant.

      I would say your opinion is a pretty fair assessment of me; I’m glad that is what I project.

      Good to see you sir; hope all is well.

  8. Who’s putting the pressure on you to change? Your industry? The economy? Your new peeps looking for a mentor (e.g. your son)? Or, social media channels? I’m thinking you’re asking all this stuff from getting back to work…when I think of someone in sales selling me a policy, I do want a relationship. That’s what makes me continue renewing year to year. Are you saying that’s not what makes sales tick any longer?

    • It seems the ‘traditional’ model of success has changed in this industry and I’m working as hard on the production side of sales as I ever have. The old model allowed some coasting but what I have come to realize if you are going to play in this game, you better come ready to play every day.

      Insurance and sales are still a good fit for me and I will always be eager to learn and grow. However, the one thing that will not change with me at this point is changing my style. Some might say I could be more effective in a ‘challenger’ role, but I’m very comfortable and reasonably successful with my model. Let the relationship open the door and then I can show my true value.

      The big thing in sales is bringing value; otherwise you are just a vendor and easily replaced. I get it and always work hard to ‘earn’ my money.

      Thanks for dropping by, hope all is well with you.

  9. Dude! (May I call you “Dude”, dude?) I LOVE it when you write about sales, and why the way you your job is beneficial to your customers. I learn a lot about (1) sales, (2) the insurance business, (3) practical understanding of dealing with customers and (4) how to be a better blogger.

    So there.

    • Of course, I use it quite frequently myself….

      Thanks for the kind words; good, bad, or indifferent I’ve been living sales long enough I certainly know something about it.

      My premise has always been people first and then let the rest work its way out. And that applies to sales, insurance, customers and blogging. For whatever that’s worth, huh?

      Hope you have a very happy holiday season sir.

        • α€˜ α€œ ထတ α€€ ပ α€™ α€” ထခ α€” α€€ α€Šα‡ α€” α€› α€œ α€€ α€€ α€” α€†α€š α€” α€› α€œ α€€ ထထ α€ž α€α€š α€— α€œα€Š တ ဖတ တ α€› ထပ ထ၀င ပ α€œ ထ α€œα€• α€›α€€ တ ဆ တစ α€™ ပ α€… တ α€€ တ α€€ α€› α€€ ထ α€α€š ထ နတ ထခ α€” α€› α€α€š ဆ ရင ပ ပ α€ž ရင Time Edit α€œ ပ ပ တင α€α€š ထ α€œ α€œ ပ တင ထ တ α€€ ခရ α€ž နတ α€™ ဆ α€œα€Š ပ α€… ပ α€™ α€” တက α€” ထ င α€œ ပ α€œ ရတ ပ α€’ α€™ α€™α€Ÿ တ α€… တ α€€ ပ α€€ တ ထခ α€” ထ ပ α€α€œ တ ပ α€œ α€€ α€› α€” ပ α€… α€€ တင ပ α€ž α€–α€… α€ž တ ပ ထ α€œ α€œ ပ α€α€š တတ င ရင တ α€„α€š α€„α€š တ α€” α€€α€œ α€… α€€ α€€ ခ α€” တ α€€ α€‡α€š α€œ ပ ပ ထ တ ထ α€€ င ဆ ပ ထစ α€™ α€›..ခ α€… α€™ α€” α€› α€œ α€€ α€”α€™α€š ဆ ရင တ α€… တ α€€ တစ α€€ င ထ α€™α€› တ ပ α€… တ ထ ပ ရင ပ α€œ α€žα€œ α€œ ပ ခ င တ α€€ ထ င α€š α€ž တတ α€α€š .. α€” α€€ တစ ခ α€€ α€€ α€› တ α€Ÿ တ α€€α€œα€Š α€₯ α€α€Š α€› တစ ခ α€α€Š α€› α€™ α€” တ ပ ထတက ထက ထရမ ပန ပ α€— α€€ α€ž α€€ α€–α€… α€ž တတ α€α€š တ α€€ ပ ပန ပ တ α€€ α€œ α€™ ပန ပ တ α€€ င ပန ပ ..(α€€ α€” တ ဆ α€™ α€œα€Š ထ α€œ α€–α€… နတ ထမ α€€ α€› α€α€š )α€’ တ α€€ α€… ဖတ α€ž α€€ α€‘α€”α€Š α€” ထမ တ ထ α€€ α€š α€€ α€–α€… α€œ α€™ α€™α€š α€œ α€€ α€” တ ထင α€α€š α€˜ α€œ ဆ တ α€’ င α€š α€› ထစစ α€™ α€™α€Ÿ တ တ α€– င တ α€ž α€™ ထ α€žα€„ တ ထ α€€ င ထရ တ α€€ တ ထ α€€α€Š တ α€ž α€˜ ပ ပ α€˜ α€œ α€™ α€˜ α€œ ဆ တ α€–α€… α€œ ခ ရင တ α€’ င α€š α€› α€€ α€œ တက ဖတ α€– α€œ ပ ပ α€œ α€€ α€žα€œ α€–α€… α€ž င α€α€š ( α€› တ ထမ ထစ α€™ α€… တ α€› င တ ပ α€œ ခ α€… α€™ ထ α€€ င ထရ α€” α€š α€₯ ပ α€› တ ထရ တ α€€ ပ တ ပ ) α€” α€€ တစ ခ α€€ α€Ÿ မင α€› ခ င α€’ α€Ÿ မင α€› ခ င α€Ÿ α€Ÿ တ α€™ α€› ခ င α€’ α€Ÿ တ α€™ α€› ခ င α€–α€… နတ α€™ ကတစ ခ တ α€œα€™ α€€ α€š α€› ထ α€”α€Š α€™ တ α€€ α€ž ပ α€…α€α€š α€’ ထခ α€€ α€€ α€žα€ ထ α€›α€™α€š ထခ α€€ ပ ထင တ α€”α€€ ပ α€™ α€€ α€š ထ α€€ င α€œ α€™ α€™ α€ž α€œα€€ α€š ထတ α€€ ထ α€›α€š α€› α€œα€• α€œ α€€ α€” တ α€š ဆမ α€α€š α€€ α€š α€› ပ α€™ α€” α€˜α€α€€ ပ ပ ပ ထက ပ α€‘α€α€Š α€› α€€ α€œ α€… င α€α€š α€₯ပမ .. ပ α€… တစ ခ ပ α€–α€… α€–α€… comment တစ ခ ပ α€–α€… α€–α€… α€€ တင တ α€” α€€ တ တင α€œ α€€ ပ တင ပ α€ž တ ထခ α€™ α€™ α€™ α€™ α€ž α€œ ပ α€œ ဆ တ ထ တ α€€α€œα€€ α€› နထ င နတ ထခ α€” α€€ ထ α€€ α€‘α€š α€€ α€–α€… င α€α€š α€— α€’ α€ž α€˜ ပ ပ α€ž ပ ရတ ပ α€€ α€” တ ထင α€”α€žα€œ α€œα€Š α€Ÿ တ ခ င α€™ α€Ÿ တ α€™ ပ ထ α€€ င ဆ α€€ တ α€˜ α€œ α€™ α€˜ α€œ ဆ တ α€–α€… နရင တ α€ž ပ α€™ α€€ င α€ž α€˜ α€— … ခ ထ င α€›α€™ α€œα€‚ α€™ α€… တ α€œ တစ α€š α€€ α€œ α€–α€… နတ α€™ α€€ င α€˜ ဆ α€žα€œ ပ α€˜ α€› တ င α€Ÿ α€α€š α€™α€œ α€‘α€œα€š α€œα€™ ဆ တ …α€€ α€” တ α€œα€Š ထ α€œ ထဆင α€› α€€ ထ င α€€ α€… နတ α€” ပ ပ α€…α€œ ပ α€” ပ ဆ ပ တ …

  10. Bill, the proof’s in the pudding. You’re a 30 year survivor in commission sales — not a lot of those around. Change to adapt to circumstances or to get better, not because of the management fad of the week. Happy holidays bud!

    • We can always work to get better, right? And there is certainly no ‘one size fits all’ in this business. I had an opportunity present itself last wk on Wed, we had to make a ‘capabilities’ presentation on Thursday and this past Monday they called and said I was ‘their guy.’ Nice way to end the year and essentially I just went in being ‘myself’ knowing what we could or couldn’t do in that situation.

      Hope all is well.

  11. Christmas Cookie Walk at Agape Church of the BrethrenDon’t have time to make homemade cookies or candy for the holidays? Don’t like to bake? Have a last minute get-together and need dessert? We have the solution for YOU! Come to the β€œChristmas Cookie Walk” at Agape Church of the Brethren, 11610 Lima Rd. (between Carroll and Dupont Roads) on Saturday, December 8, from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon. We will have many different varieties to tempt your taste buds. Some of the cookies featured will be: holiday cut-outs, buckeyes, peanut butter blossoms, monster cookies, and many more. We will also have a limited number of homemade Chocolate Covered Caramel Apples decorated for Christmas. Mark your calendars and get there early for best selection of these yummy treats at only $6.00/lb. Proceeds will be used for Women’s Fellowship projects and Outreach Ministries.In addition, holiday and gift items, handmade by Agape craftpersons, will be sold. A variety of wooden, quilted, knitted, crocheted, and β€œcrafty” specialties are available with proceeds going to the Agape Women’s Fellowship projects. AND the youth group will be selling HUGE jelly beans as a fund raiser for their activities.Lots will be happening – hope you can join us! For more information call the church office at 260-489-6908.

  12. I had a rather hard time choosing just one type of physician I would want to work for. So many of them fascinate me, and with me not really going into any medical field other than support, I never gave this any thought in the past. After reading the list, I am more favorable of working for a neonatologist. It is difficult to think about how neonatologist physicians sometimes have the most difficult job in the world, but I can only imagine how amazing it would be to be a part of saving a baby’s life. I had a coworker once whose baby was born at 36 weeks, and her baby had a lot of heart and lung problems. There were concerns about whether or not they would ever fully develop once she had him, but after many months in the NICU, and many scares that happened during it, the doctors were able to save him and he is now a very healthy 5 year old. It is because of that I have a higher interest in the neonatologist field.I hate to say which type of physician I would care less to work for, and it is because I worry that many will take it the wrong way. When I was 16, I used to help my mom at an assisted living home as a caregiver. We would get to work at 7:00 A.M. every morning to prepare breakfast for four of the elderly men and women that we were caring for. We would then make sure that all bedding was changed, rooms were cleaned, meals were prepared, and appointments were handled. We worked 12 hour days, and they were always grueling. The owner of the home made sure that everyone had their medicine and made it to their doctor appointments on time. However, she was more worried about getting paid for her services than actually helping the elderly. She would yell at them if they did something wrong, and even call them terrible names. My mom reported her and we both quit our job, but it has always left a sting in my heart since then. It is because of my experience with that situation that I do not think I could ever work for a gerontologist. I know that the situations would be much different, but ever since my experience with caring for elderly individuals it is very hard for me to think about assisting a physician in geriatrics because I worry that someone else might treat the elderly in the same way the owner of the home did. I am a firm believer that the elderly deserve the ultimate care and comfort when going through any treatment and aging in general, but I do not think I could ever work in that environment again.

  13. Nice post. I learn something more cnialenglhg on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

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