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The Power Of Storytelling On Display At NAIFA Conference

Jamie Fleischner grew up in an insurance household, and learned a lot about the profession in high school and college. She decided to join the industry, attracted by its limitless potential for anyone willing to work hard. Like other young agents, however, her first few years in the business were not exactly a bed of roses. But after a series of setbacks, she refocused her energies on the business. One bright spot that helped her refocus? The disability insurance policy her mother had bought helped her go through a tough period in her life.

So Fleischner decided to focus on DI and life insurance. In 1998, she attended a NAIFA meeting, where she received critical success insights from some of the association’s top advisors. The following year, she decided to go out on her own. She obtained her LUTCF designation, hired staff for her office, and has never looked back. Today, she is the proud owner of a thriving financial practice which is 100% referral-based.

One of the secrets of Fleischner’s success was learning how to deal with rejection. All along, she said, she knew that the financial services industry is highly rewarding both personally and professionally, and that all she had to do was to stay the course in order to reap those rewards. “This business has brought me a lot of joy,” she said, “and I wish all of you a premium life.”

Fleischner’s story was one of many insights and ideas that were shared during NAIFA’s 2019 Performance + Purpose Conference in September.

Scott Mann, retired Green Beret and warrior storyteller, had a tough time after leaving the military. Mann went through a transition period during which he dealt with a lot of stress and confusion. All of this led him to consider committing suicide. But he made the choice to live and he pressed on. Mann used the power of storytelling to heal himself. “You can use it with your clients, team members, prospects and others,” he told attendees at the conference’s LILI 7 presentation.

Mann then gave the attendees an opportunity to tell their own stories and told them that they must incorporate two aspects of storytelling into their efforts:

1. The development of the story

2. The telling of the story

As the attendees carried out this exercise, Mann emphasized, they should write stories that describe a defining moment in their lives, they should describe the struggles or the journey, and the stories must be relatable. In addition, attendees should demonstrate how their lives changed and what they learned from their experiences.

After the exercise, Mann reiterated the fact that all human beings are hardwired to engage in storytelling, which he describes as the transfer of images from one human being to the other. All attendees should lead their presentations with stories because, he said, “you have earned your stripes to help other people.”

The conference was also the place for Guy Baker to share three important traits that led to his success in the financial services industry. Baker, managing director of BTA Advisory Group in Irvine, Calif., received NAIFA’s highest honor, the John Newton Russell Memorial Award. He described the three C’s that propelled him to new heights.


All of us have a sense of community and we quickly realize that growth occurs only in our communities.


This quality gets us through tough times, he said. Without consistency, he said, we will have to start all over again when we experience a setback. “The end of the journey is just one step away if we choose consistency.” Throughout the years, Baker has learned to be consistent in everything he does, including prospecting. “Prospecting was the only thing I could control,” he said.


This is the real measure of success, he said. “You can’t fake character. It comes from the depth of our being.”

The NAIFA 2020 Performance + Purpose Conference will take place Oct. 1-4, 2020, in Boston, NAIFA’s birthplace.

Ayo Mseka is editor-in-chief of Advisor Today, the official publication of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Contact her at [email protected] .

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