The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog

Health Care Reform From One Person's Perspective

Trailblazed: Proven Paths to Sales Success

Posted by Alan on April 3, 2010

This is an off-topic post. Way off topic. But I have news to share: my book was published this week. The book, Trailblazed: Proven Paths to Sales Success, describes the findings gleaned from a study I conducted that sought to discover the behaviors and attitudes shared by successful sales people, but not widely practiced by their less successful peers.

The study, which was done in conjunction with Steven Miller, PhD of Miller Marketing Insights, focused on health insurance producers in six states who sell individual, small business and senior coverage. We focused on health insurance brokers for two very simple reasons. First, the study was underwritten by insurance companies and a general agency. Second, by law and regulation, health insurance brokers in a given market sell the same products for the same price. They are prohibited from offering discounts. They cannot alter the terms of the policy. As a result their sales success is based on what they do — and don’t do — rather than on what gimmicks they employ. When it comes to identifying the shared practices of successful producers, you couldn’t ask for a better context than that.

What will not surprise brokers who visit this blog with any regularity is that among the characteristics successful producers share are those that underscore the value brokers add to the health insurance products they sell. These include a commitment to the interests of their clients, a desire to be worthy of the trust those clients place in them, and a dedication to finding the right solution for their prospects’ unique needs.

Even more significantly, it turns out the practices, procedures and perspectives shared by successful producers help them master the massive changes that inevitably impact their business, whether those changes are the result of economic trends, losing a major client or new regulations. Given the need to prepare for the impact of health care reform, I consider this a welcome and reassuring finding.

Trailblazed will soon be available through online vendors such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders (it takes a few weeks for the publisher to get the book into their systems). But the book is available now at  the Trailblazed Sales web siteAs a way of thanking readers of this blog, and to celebrate the launch of the book, from now through the end of April, the book is available at a 10% discount from the list price when purchased through the Trailblazed Sales web site. You can also learn more about the study there.

As most readers know, I write this blog out of a passionate interest in health care reform, as a forum where I can share my views on the topic and benefit from your views and perspectives. This is also where I can offer an occasional insight on an important issue and provide links to what I consider interesting news and useful resources.

This book is not about health care reform. For those sales professionals among you thinking about the future and how to prepare for it, however, my hope is that Trailblazed: Proven Paths to Sales Success will be an additional source of helpful strategies and ideas.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled blog.


6 Responses to “Trailblazed: Proven Paths to Sales Success”

  1. Meg McComb said

    Congratulations Alan! Many of us have enjoyed attending your motivational seminars in California, and I’m sure we can glean even more from purchasing your book.

  2. Alan,

    I only have time for a quick comment (whew, huh? :)), had to make an unexpected and quick trip to Seattle.

    Mazel tov, on your new book! It takes guts, fortitude, and a lot of hard work to write and have published, a book. How you’ve found time to do that, run this blog, run your company, and have time to breathe is beyond me. While I’m now retired and don’t need to learn new sales tools, in fact have taught them, as do you, I’m going to get your book and read it. You have the most incredible light touch of anyone I’ve known in our business. I can understand, more easily, why you were a popular and good leader of NAHU, and why I enjoyed serving under you on the NAHU Leg Council.

    Kevin Luss, a new poster here, commented about your measured style and comprehension (paraphrasing) and insights regarding our very complex profession. He is “spot on”.

    I realize that we don’t usually compliment your achievements here, but Alan, you richly deserve these many remarks of respect!


  3. Gary Weiss said


    Congratulations on the publication of your book. I’m sure it offers much value to all of us in the insurance industry.

    I have a question for you–I learned about Bob Laszewski’s blog by reading your blog. I read both yours and his with great interest. He hasn’t had an entry to his blog since 3/8; it would seem he would have plenty to say about the Bill’s passage. Do you know anything about his sudden silence?



    • Alan said

      Good question Gary. I’m not sure what Bob is up to. Of course, these days, everyone’s a bit busy. Hope he’s well.

  4. Alison said

    I am buying one and recommending it to my network as well. I anticipate it will offer much to me and my staff.

  5. Kevin Luss said

    Dear Alan,

    I discovered your blog a few weeks ago when searching for valuable information about healthcare reform’s affect on my business. Since then, I have had to look no further. Thank you very much for the information you share, and the measured style you use in your presentation.

    You insight is second to none on the web when it comes to what is really applicable on the front lines of day-to-day practice. I am off to get your new book now.

    Thank you,
    Kevin A. Luss, CFP, ChFC
    Southampton, NY

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