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How frustrating is it to work on a prospect, really put your heart and soul into the client, and then not get the business? How maddening is it to be told, “I really like you, but…” or “I really appreciate your work, but…” or “There just wasn’t enough of a price difference for us to make a change”? The most frustrating thing about these examples is that the prospects put you into a box labeled “peddler” or “insurance salesman” or “vendor.” In fact, in this instance there are a lot of categories the prospect can use to describe you. Unfortunately, very few of them are flattering.

I recently visited with a close friend of mine, who is 78 and one of the most respected insurance and risk management consultants in Houston. He built a very successful insurance agency over a 40-year period, and then left that agency to became a consultant. When I asked him what was the biggest difference between consulting work and his career as an agent and agency leader, the first word out of his mouth was “respect.”

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