Lessons in Life Insurance
As Pacific Mutual continued to grow in the early 20th century, its leaders realized they didn’t simply want a big sales force. They wanted the best sales force. With this in mind, President George Cochran came up with the idea for the School for Salesmen. The goal was to teach the leading sales techniques of the day, giving salesmen the tools they needed to succeed in the field.
The resulting correspondence school, which launched in 1914, was one of the industry’s first company-funded training programs. Cochran asked Forbes Lindsay, “a man of varied experience in life insurance salesmanship” and former home office assistant manager, to design an original course load and serve as the school’s first superintendent. The three-month course combined practice and theory, preparing students for everything they might encounter on the road.
The first class of 130 students (including at least one woman) graduated in 1915. The school quickly grew, and by 1927 it had enrolled more than 10,000 students at an average of 800 per year.