It wasn’t who he was being, but once Brian Davis learned to live from the inside out, everything changed.
“I’m a very reserved and introverted person,” says Brian. “And this career has forced me, in a good way, to open up my personality and be a better version of myself. It’s OK to be introverted, but I didn’t realize it was keeping me from opportunities to get out of my comfort zone. I’m now more outgoing, more social. It’s not that I prefer to be quiet. I prefer to listen and not talk. But I’m a leader, so I have to talk and to listen even better. This career has made me a better dad and a better husband. I think it’s because I’ve become more extroverted. My confidence is not somewhere it would have been otherwise.”
Brian works as a Field Sales Leader for USHEALTH Advisors, offering individuals, families and the self-employed the opportunity to gain access to affordable health coverage options. He’s built a successful team of more than 50 people… and why not, he’s living in the town of Prosper, Texas!
But it wasn’t always like this. For a long time, Brian thought he was doing OK. Born in Provo, Utah, he graduated from Brigham Young University in 2010, with a finance degree. Within a month, Brian and his wife Lauren moved to Austin, Texas so Brian could start his job with Stanley Black & Decker. “I’m making $40,000 a year. At the time I thought that was so much money,” says Brian. “I figured Lauren and I were going to change the world with that kind of money. But after having our first baby, I realized $40,000 doesn’t go very far. I was working a lot of hours, too many hours and figured there had to be something better than this. And as I looked up the ladder at those above me, I saw many who had issues… they had so many problems that work was all they had left in life. I didn’t want that. I wanted income and my family.”
So Brian decided to leave Black & Decker and went looking for an opportunity that would keep him in the state. He found a start-up company, but it was an opp0rtunity which ended with him hating the job, hating it so much that he quit without anything else on the horizon.
“The experience cut me pretty good,” says Brian. “The last boss I had, it was just a bad situation. I was doing business development for this start-up and they always thought I could do way better. They would say disparaging things like, ‘what would you do if your wife knew how you worked? If she knew how bad of an employee you are?’” “Yet none of it was true. It killed my confidence. I withdrew from everything – my wife, my friends, I even stopped playing sports, which I love to do. My confidence was beaten. So when my wife took the kids to go visit her family for a month, I decided I was quitting. I called to tell her, she was not happy, but it was what I had to do.”
Brian really wanted to take control of his income and his time, so a few friends recommended Brian take a look at the insurance industry. “One of my friends was a top agent at Allstate,” says Brian. “I interviewed with a number of insurance companies but was not impressed. Then I got an e-mail from Teaira Still for a company called USHEALTH Advisors. I went in for an interview and I thought it was one of the weirdest things ever. I was in a room of about 50 people. There were a lot of people older than me and as it turned out with experience in the industry. My first thought was, ‘there’s no way I’m getting the job, maybe this is not for me.’”
But then Teaira’s husband Jay gave a presentation and talked about the company’s mission of HOPE, Helping Other People Everyday, and he also spoke about the financial opportunity. When I sat down for a one-to-one with Jay he asked me why I wanted to work here, because I was a lot younger than most who were interviewing. I told him if this HOPE thing is real, I can get behind it. My religion and my beliefs are everything to me and I should give it a shot. I try to help in all that I do, work, sports, family. Jay promised me HOPE was real and I figured if it was, I am competitive enough and even if introverted, I can learn everything else I need to know.”
It was August of 2013 when Brian started with USHA and he says his trainer failed to close the first three appointments they went on, mostly for reasons out of their control. “But I got to hear him present,” says Brian. “I recorded it and I would listen to it all the time – at home and in my car, I was doing a lot of driving in Texas, and I had to figure this out quick. I didn’t have time to waste, I had a family to take care of.”
Brian did well, but not well enough, at least not by his own standards. “I started off OK,” he says. “I’d sell a policy or two here and there and I was making enough money to say I know this is where I want and need to be, but I got frustrated when people would say ‘no or I want to think about it.’ “I figured if the coverage was more affordable, what was there left to think about? I wanted to be perfect. If the people I was talking to were healthy and the budget was good and the coverage was good, why would they tell me no? I mean logic proves everything.”
As Brian was about to learn logic might show proof, but when it comes to human emotions, there’s a much better way to make things make sense.
Enter, Simon Sinek and his legendary Ted Talk.
“I don’t even know how I found that Ted Talk,” says Brian. “I’m not into all of that. I don’t really read a lot of books. But I watched it and then I understood, this is USHEALTH Advisors! So how do I adapt my presentation to this? Before I was talking to clients about how benefits paid and what the product did, but that wasn’t enough. It was then I understood why someone wouldn’t buy. I changed my presentation to focus on “the why”. My interaction with my clients changed from selling coverage to educating people about the industry and the challenges the country is facing when it comes to health care. I focused on explaining all of this better. I started teaching, not selling. Educating, not selling. Then my work became addicting. People understood “the why” and the paradigm shifted, everything shifted. It got so much easier on the back-end too with customer service and keeping people on the books. My clients realize, ‘this policy is working just like Brian told me it would and it’s going to perform better than the alternative.’ “It became not about making a sale today, but keeping clients happy, engaged and on the books.
“The why” became HOPE for others. (For those who want to view Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk the link is below. It has more than 9 million views since first being published online in 2010.)
Defining “the why” and taking a peek in the rearview mirror, also became Brian’s impetus to go all-in. Being promoted to a Field Training Agent, Brian won the team award for #1 Field Training Agent in the country in 2015, and then last year he won the individual Quality Award for having the best taken rate in the company. The taken rate is the percentage of policies which are approved and issued after application… and that are kept by clients!
“I always want to do my best for myself and my family, I’m very competitive,” says Brian. “But part of the reason for going after and winning those awards is because of what my old boss and others at the start-up company would say about me and my family. I wanted to prove to those people what they missed out on! And to prove it to myself. Those two Phoenix awards made me feel like I was on top of the world.”
Brian also credits his success to being “super social”. For the man who claims he was an introvert before, he has become a rock star on social media. He’s doing things right and asking others to share their experience, and because of it, Brian has seen a big boom in his business. “After I help a client I ask them the question, ‘if you liked the process and you like me, would you do me a favor and post up a testimonial on Facebook and tag me in it?’” Those Facebook posts and testimonials help make others aware of what Brian can offer and what he does for others, spreading his message of HOPE and leading to a ton of referrals. The social connection leads to referrals from friends of friends of friends from clients, not just those in their normal circle-of-influence.
“It’s non-intrusive,” says Brian. “The client doesn’t have to approach anyone to speak to them. They are just online posting about their experience and their feelings. So they post and their friends see it. The great thing is I’ll get referrals and I’ll say, ‘who do you know that I know?’ “and they might say, ‘oh, it’s an old high school friend from 30 years ago.’” “Well if I had asked my customer for a referral, they never would have recommended a high school friend from 30 years ago! But because of Facebook and how we are tied to each other, you are getting access to way more people.”
Brian says the opportunity USHA presents and the work he puts into it has led to a great quality of life for his family. And he and Lauren, (the two met and married after dating for only a few months), have a growing family… with four children ranging in age from 8-months to 8-years-old. But it’s part of his family who is no longer here, that also helped Brian to realize “the why” and why he’s at USHEALTH Advisors in the first place.
“In December of 2014 my dad passed away,” says Brian. “He died from pancreatic cancer, which seemed to come out of nowhere. But because of this career, it was one of the best experiences I ever had… not because he died, but because of the time I got to spend with him before he passed away. I went back home to Utah, because of this job I had the freedom to do so. I could still help people and help my agents, because we do so much business in a virtual setting, online. That way I could spend time with my dad and talk to him. I wanted to get as much information from him as possible. I said, ‘hey, you are leaving this earth, tell me all I need to know because you’re not going to be here.’ “It was a sweet, tender, emotional, but amazing time. I have few regrets about it. It was the best gift he could give me and I could give myself. I look on that now as one of my greatest accomplishments, to be there for him and he for me.”
We all have a reason, we all have a purpose. Like Brian, find your “why” and find your way.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.