“Set aside time to plan how you will spend your time.  Think about what’s important.  Then do those things first.”


You have the opportunity to learn from the best and then

make the choice to apply the principles to capture the result.


“You can evaluate the principles I’m sharing with you by one standard only: the action you take and the results you achieve.”


“Only a fool learns from his own experience.  The wise man learns from the experiences of others.”

“This is a fun business. You have to look at each day as a new adventure.

When you think the craziest thing that could ever happen has happened to

you, something will always come along to top it.”



“People won’t buy what you’re selling just because it has a low price.”


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Ken Smith has 35+ years experience both in field and home office positions.  Prior to starting Ken Smith Sales Training & Consulting, he was Director of Health Product Sales with Assurity Life for over 12 years.  Prior to that he was with Mutual of Omaha over 10 years as first vice president of critical illness and disability income.


He was one of the organizers and president of the Critical Illness Working Group, and he is currently past president of the National Association for Critical Illness Insurance. Ken is considered by many in the life insurance business to be one of the leading experts on critical illness sales in the United States. He is also a member of the International DI Society and Nebraska Association of Health Underwriters.


Ken has written numerous articles for insurance industry trade publications, and he has conducted many presentations and training sessions on sales techniques, critical illness, and disability income to a variety of audiences. His usual audience is made up primarily of producers and financial advisors.


Ken also produces and posts regular producer-oriented videos that include sales ideas and sales concepts. These blogs are popular among many producers and marketers in the insurance business and were highlighted recently at the LIMRA Marketing Conference.


Ken understands firsthand the challenges of the sales profession. He speaks hundreds of times each year to agent groups.





“When you have the attitude of a problem solver, your perspective changes totally.” - Ken Smith


Ken has been a presenter at:

  • World Critical Illness Conference
  • Critical Illness Conference
  • International DI Society
  • Numerous State and local NAHU Chapters
  • Numerous State and Local NAIFA Chapters


  • Principle Centered Sales Training

    Ken Smith’s new independent training program reflects what he’s presented in his book and all he’s learned in his sales training efforts.  The program is based on the knowledge and understanding that sales and success principles are like the laws of nature – they never change!

  • Critical Illness Sales Training

    Ken has a deep background of experience in the Critical Illness market.  He is one of the founders of the Critical Illness Working Group, and was the organization’s president from 2001 to 2003.  He is past president of the premier Critical Illness Insurance organization in the business, the National Association of Critical Illness Insurance.  He is a passionate believer in the value of Critical Illness Insurance, and he is eager to share his expertise.

  • Consulting Services

    Ken is an ideal partner if you’re looking for help in the following areas:  Development of sales and marketing strategies and overall plans; training and managing sales teams; structuring and implementing a sales program to educate and incentivize your team; and any other area where an experienced leader can assist you in reaching your goals.

"Just as 20% of salespeople make 80% of the sales and earn 80% of the money, the 80/20 rule also applies to individuals in a different way. It says that 80% of success is mental and emotional, not technical and physical." -- Brian Tracy and Michael Tracy


Sales are the lifeblood of our wonderful business. Successful and well-experienced advisors understand that, and it's one of the reasons why younger, less-experienced insurance advisors need a foundation in sales principles. Ken Smith's book goes a long way to address that very concern, as he not only examines the inspirational lives of four of the greatest sales people our business has ever seen, but he also delves into the practical principles that drove these 'masters' to succeed. In short, Ken does an excellent job of melding the inspirational with the practical. All insurance advisors -- from the least-experienced new advisor to the most-experienced MDRT members -- will benefit from these timeless lessons. Jennifer A. Borislow, CLU 2012 MDRT President


A significant fact central to the success of the agent and the potential benefit to those he would come in contact with is that he simply has the motivation to set out each day to help someone—breadwinner, family, business owner or group of employees. Pursuant to that, Broker World friend and editorial contributor Ken Smith, Assurity Life, has published a book entitled Sales Lessons from the Masters in which he explores the sales techniques, principles and philosophies of four insurance industry icons: Frank Bettger, W. Clement Stone, Ben Feldman and Joe Gandolfo. Smith devotes a chapter to each of these sales giants and then outlines the common denominators that made each of these men successful. In his forward to the book, John F. Nichols, president of Disability Resource Group, states that “The most important person today is you…because of your application of these sales principles, you will be positively serving others with your products and services.” He goes on to add, “Let these universal principles positively impact you and those who come into your life.” Broker World


I started reading and did not put it down until I finished.  Your message is spot on.

I just hope tons of people take the time to read this book.  GA’s and BGA’s should be giving this book away like candy. Chris Carlson, The DI Coach


This engaging book contains the elements to a successful career. I found several new focus points as well as confirmation of those I've implemented over the years. Emulating the proven techniques of others is the fastest shortcut to finding our own success. Art Jetter President, Jetter and Company

Additional Sales Resources


  • Why did you write Sales Lessons from the Masters?

    Joe Gandolfo said, “Selling is 98% understanding human beings and 2% product knowledge.” If you look at the insurance industry during the last 15-20 years, the focus has been 98% product knowledge and 2% understanding human beings.  When doing critical steps training in 2013, I incorporated material from Bettger, Stone, Feldman and Gandolfo. My audience loved it. The material touched a need that generally was not being met. I found a hunger for sales principles in the industry from IMOs, MGAs,  wholesalers, and most importantly brokers’ agents and advisors.  I had numerous people telling me that our industry needs this message:  we need to go back and focus on fundamentals (principles).

  • Who should read the book?

    The original target audience for the book is the insurance industry.  But the audience and appeal has become much broader.

    I’ve had an attorney share that she learned ideas to improve communication.  Another shared that the book contains great life lessons.  A Mary Kay distributor said it re-energized her business.

  • Are there any other sales masters who influenced you?

    Yes, I am planning to include more about them in my sales blogs.

    One that I will mention is Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones.  I learned the lesson of flexible planning from him.

    Flexible planning recognizes that you must have a plan, but that you can only grow with a flexible plan.  Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, so you plan on it going wrong.  The key is that you have to be prepared to adapt.


Thank you for your interest in Sales Lessons from the Masters.  Ken would love to hear from you with your questions and comments.  Please fill out form below to contact Ken.