Log in to access resources reserved for MDRT members.
  • Learn
  • >
  • See people, see people, see people
View Transcript

I joined the life insurance business in 2001; they told me this is a very easy business. You take appointments, you meet people, you drink coffee, and, sure, you will close deals.

The more coffee you drink, the more deals you close! Some days I was going back home at night, feeling like a coffee machine.

The first year I met 500 people face-to-face. I closed only 20 cases.

The second year I closed a little bit more.

The third year I told myself, This is a very tough business, and I should quit.

But before quitting I told myself, Go, Naji, and visit the first life insurance agent in Lebanon, the legendary Zaki Zaher, who started the life insurance profession in Lebanon in 1952.

So I went to see him in his big house in the mountains with a big garden — me, him and my friend Peter.

I asked him, “You know, Mr. Zaher, this is a very tough business. I call people, and they don’t answer. I go to see them, and they are not there. I go to their door, and they run out through a window. It’s a very tough business, and I’m thinking of quitting. What do you advise?”

He stared at me without saying anything, stood up and went with his walker into the house.

Five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes — he didn’t show up. My friend Peter told me, “Naji, let’s leave. At age 82 maybe he went to sleep.”

I told him, “No way, man! I’m sure he will come back.”

He came back after 25 minutes, carrying with him a calendar and an agenda from 1954. He opened it to the month of April, and here I learned my first lesson: the importance of input management. He told me, “Look, Naji. During this month I contacted 400 people. I met 88 of them, and 44 were going to buy. How many cases do you think I closed?”

How many cases do you think he closed? I told him, “Two to three.” He stood up on his walker and said, “Zero,” and then sternly said to me, “Did you think I quit? I never quit, and after two years, I built my agency!”

And he told me, “First, Naji, this is a profession and not a business, and you cannot quit from a profession you didn’t enter yet. You need to learn about our profession. You need to learn what we do for people. You need to understand people, and you need to understand their fears, worries, dreams and goals. Go, Naji. Go listen to people, understand people, and make sure to give them what they need and what they want. And don’t go to make clients; go to make friends.”

The last thing he told me was “Go, Naji. See people, see people, see people.”

And here I am in front of all of you, my MDRT family, after almost 23 years in this lovely profession, sharing with you the first lesson in my life that lasted forever.

Always make sure to build relationships and see people, see people, see people. And surely you’ll make it to the top — to MDRT.

Jun 28 2023 / Annual Meeting

See people, see people, see people

Topics Covered