Ben Feldman (insurance salesman)
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New York City, New York, United States
November 7, 1993 (aged 80–81)|
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
He sold life insurance policies with a total face value of about $1.5-billion for New York Life from 1942 to his death in 1993. He once held the world record for the most products sold (by value) by a salesman in a career, a year ($100,000,000), and in a single day ($20,000,000). Near the end of his career, his annual commission totals were over $1,000,000 per year. At the time, these sales totals were equaled only by the entire sales forces of other insurance companies, though they have long since been nominally surpassed.
Born in New York City in 1912 as one of nine children to Isaac and Bertha Dardick Feldman (who were Russian Jewish immigrants), he began in sales when the family moved to Salineville, Ohio to open a wholesale poultry business.
Feldman spent most of his adult life living in East Liverpool, Ohio, which is where he began his career in life insurance sales. When asked how he could sell such an intangible product as life insurance, Feldman responded "I do not sell life insurance. I sell money. I sell dollars for pennies apiece. My dollars cost 3 cents per dollar per year."
Feldman was the subject of four books: The Feldman Method, The Incomparable Salesman, The Supersalesman, and The Supersalesman and Creative Selling.
- "Ben Feldman, 81, Dies; Was Premier Salesman". The New York Times. 10 November 1993. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- Vernyi, Bruce (8 November 1985). "Super Salesman Tells How To Sell Insurance". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
- Henry Allen (March 31, 1979). "Supersalesman". Washington Post. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- Rick Hampson (December 12, 1993). "The Death--and Inspiring Life--of an Extraordinary Salesman : Motivation: It's not Ben Feldman's fault that life insurance isn't universal. It's just that he didn't have time to sell to everyone". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
- "Ben Feldman, considered best life insurance agent". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. November 8, 1993. Retrieved June 8, 2018.