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Successful Respo Businessmen

Creator: n/a
Date: 1960
Publication: Toomey J Gazette
Source: Gazette International Networking Institute
Figures From This Artifact: Figure 1  Figure 2  Figure 3  Figure 4  Figure 6

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A profitable job is as near as your telephone! BOB MITCHELL, a respo of California, is not only earning money by making initial telephone contacts for an insurance agency, but is also selling a book that tells you how to develop telephone salesmanship. ("How To Get More Business By Telephone," by Jack Schwartz)


Bob works for the Harold K. Barlow and Associates, insurance brokers. He is learning and conducting this business by the use of a specially built telephone, made for him by the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Go. The system includes a head set with a transmitter which is placed over his head or on the pillow and a small button-type hand switch fitting under his left thumb. When the button is activated it connects with an operator who, in turn, dials the number that he wishes to call. On incoming calls, it works in much the same manner; when the bell rings, Bob presses the button which then puts him in contact.


Bob carries on most of his business in the evening from 7 to 9, when the men are usually home. After making his telephone contact, Bob turns on his tape recorder by pressing a switch plate with his right toe and dictates information on his call. Later he turns over the information to the insurance broker.


When he is not working, he is busy reading and studying books on the insurance business. Bob lives with his parents at 6881 Grand Avenue, Buena Park, California.


I firmly believe that insurance is the best occupation for most of our paralyzed male victims!", says DICK ASHLEY, paralytic polio of Baltimore, Maryland. Dick's faith in this belief was so strong that soon after his discharge from Children's Hospital, Baltimore, in 1954, he founded The Richard L. Ashley Insurance Service.


He uses his arms fairly well with the help of braces and gets along with the use of a battery-powered wheel chair. Dick says, "I almost felt like a cripple until I got the powered wheel chair four years ago." The chair is collapsible and can be put in the rear of his car, driven by an assistant, enabling him to do more business outside his home.


Dick modestly admits to teaching another polio, Ronald Gentry, all about insurance. Ronald is now running his own agency.


In 1958, Dick was joined in the insurance business by LOUIS (BUD) DABNEY, a respo, also of Baltimore. The nucleus for this association had its beginning when the two men were "cell-mates" at Children's Hospital in 1953. Dick, who had worked in insurance as a side line prior to polio, gave Bud a book on insurance and interested him in the subject. Bud was doubtful about it all because he could not use his hands and was dependent upon positive pressure. After treatment at Toomey Pavilion, Rehabilitation Center, Cleveland, Ohio, Bud finally decided to join Dick and now says, "Before I went to Toomey, I did not do very much of anything, but sit in my chair or lay in bed with a chest piece on. Now, some days the time goes by so fast I wonder where all the time has gone!"


Bud, a respo with some use of his legs, conducts all of his business from a specially built desk. It has a switch board with switches for positive pressure typing stick and electric typewriter. The telephone is one with an operator's head piece. The phone is mounted on a board 10" x 13" with a large handle so he can lift it with his foot and move it around to where he wants it. Once the head piece is adjusted, Bud can talk to his customers for any length of time, turning the connection on and off with his foot. He contacts the operator by push button and she gets his number for him. Bud, like Bob Mitchell, makes most of his calls in the evening.


This Ashley-Dabney combo (by wheel chair and telephone) has brought their agency in first in their division throughout the nation for four years in a row! The business address for their company is Richard L. Ashley Insurance Service, 2001 North Broadway, Baltimore, 13, Maryland.


Dick, 39, former Naval officer, lives with his wife, Grace, and six year old son, Rickey, in North Baltimore. Bud, 34 years old, Navy veteran with four battle stars, lives with his wife, Nadine, and eight year old daughter, Debby, in Loch Raven Heights, Baltimore.


Another successful young man who feels that "insurance is a very good thing for a disabled person to get into" and who has proved it, is ROSS EAGAR of Utah. Ross, 28 years old and a respo since 1952 has been an agent for Farmers Insurance Group for the past two years. Even though he feels it will take five years to get his business established and really growing, Ross is more than encouraged with the success he has already had and cannot say enough in favor of this type of work.


When asked for suggestions and opinions for this article, he wrote, "First end foremost, the telephone is my most important tool!" He conducts his business mostly by phone. However, much personal contact is made with clients at his home. He and his wife work as a team. She helps him with the filing and figuring of rates and he types most of the contracts with arm slings and one finger on his right hand.

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