Who's the best sales trainer you ever had? Mine was ElmerFudd.

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Thanks to Mel Blanc and Looney Tunes, I grew up attendingSaturday morning sales training each week. And Elmer Fudd was thebest in the business. He opened many an episode by looking into thecamera and whispering, “Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm huntingwabbits.” It's genius, really. But it's also subtle.

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It wasn't until just after my 20th birthday that I had my firstFudd Epiphany. The carrier I had been recruited to work for sent meto a 4-day indoctrination, er, sales training program. Our trainersaid, “99 percent of U.S. businesses have less than 500 employees,and most of those have less than 10 employees, so guess where yourprospecting should be focused. Get those dreams of landing GeneralMotors out of your head. You're not going to eat if you wait untilyou bag an elephant. You have to shoot some rabbits along the way,and there are a lot more rabbits out there than elephants.”

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And so it was that the Elmer Fudd sales philosophy crystalizedfor me. According to the SBA, that 99 percent figure is as accuratetoday as it was in 1989. You build your business by nickels anddimes, not a million dollars a clip.

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Intellectually, we know that. Experientially? Well, that's adifferent thing altogether. Hunting wabbits is a messy business. Itwas for Elmer, too. We watched him shoot himself, blow himself upand inflict all manner of bodily harm upon himself, often afterbeing tricked by the wabbit.

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Hunting wabbits means literally getting your hands dirty. Itisn't glamorous. It's slow. It doesn't seem like much at the end ofa month, or even the end of a year. But here's some trivia foryou.

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Do you know how Aflac became the No. 1 voluntary provider? Itwasn't that duck. It was three enrollees at a time. I've signedapps on crates and pallets and the beds of pickup trucks, standingunder umbrellas at three in the morning. So have tens of thousandsof others. And we know that hunting wabbits on a daily basis willpay you handsomely over time. All those little 3 and 5 employeegroups simply add up and one day your book of business is thousandsof policyholders. And make no mistake. Wabbits will sometimes referyou to elephants. Those are bonuses and you're thrilled to getthem.

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But when a new agent starts talking about that elephant wheretheir mom used to work and they just know they can get anappointment, I put my index finger to my lips and politely say,“Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm hunting wabbits.”

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