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Embracing vulnerability

Matt Pais

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When your biggest sale turns embarassing.

You’re on the verge of selling an enormous policy to the CFO of a massive, international company. You’ve established a relationship with the client. You’re excited for him to at last buy this coverage.

So excited, in fact, that after ascending the driveway and getting out of your car, you forget to put on your emergency brake.

Hello, sale; goodbye, car.

“After I left, I had to go back to the house and knock on the door and say, ‘Have you seen my car?’” remembered Jay M. DeFinis, CLTC, a 17-year MDRT member from Cleveland, Ohio.

At first DeFinis thought one of his clients’ kids was playing a joke on him. Eventually they found his car, which had rolled down the hill and hit a tree.

“They made a scrapbook of pictures from the security camera; I was so embarrassed,” he said. “George put his arm around me and goes, ‘You’re going to remember this for a lifetime, and I’m so glad I can help you do it.”

What this experience taught DeFinis, however, was that making yourself vulnerable is a good thing.

“My honest reaction made me real to the client,” he said of the incident, which resulted in $8,000 in damage to the car and arriving home late on his youngest son’s birthday. “They still talk about it all the time.”

Jay DeFinis is a 17-year MDRT member from Cleveland, Ohio. Contact him at


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