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What we learnt at MDRT

Twenty one people from New Zealand attended the recent Million Dollar Round Table conference in California. Here some ofdelegates tell you what they learnt at this premier event.

Friday, July 20th 2012, 10:29AM 3 Comments

The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), an annual event attended by nearly 7,000 people from the financial planning industry, was held last month in Anaheim, California, USA.

The nearly 7,000 strong attendees, from 58 different countries, made this one-of-a-kind four-day event a huge success by contributing their ideas and expertise.

Founded in 1927, MDRT provides its members with resources to improve their technical knowledge, sales and client service while maintaining a culture of high ethical standards.

The MDRT meeting was made up of an incredible array of world class speakers, inspirational presentations, motivational sessions, networking events and people from many countries around the word sharing knowledge, experience and ideas. Highlights of the meeting can found at

Every single person I met at the MDRT event was passionate about their chosen industry, they were energetic, they were fired up, they freely shared their knowledge and they were humble enough to sit back and learn from others. Their attitude was that if they took just one idea from this conference, the investment would have been more than worth it. I have no doubt that anyone attending MDRT would have left with a suitcase bulging with ideas.

New Zealand was well represented at the meeting with 21 attendees. Here are some of the attendee's comments;

Roy Norris  - Fidelity -Special Guest

"As an invitee I had one of the best working experiences of my life  - WOW! I had no idea what to expect and put my name down for as many sessions as I could. The platform speakers were sensational where we were reduced to a few tears and lots of laughter. For me it reinvigorated my attitude to the industry and made me realise again what a fantastic service and roles we play we in our clients lives. I have many ideas that I have started Implementing in our business starting with focusing on developing our strengths, not our weaknesses. I reckon every insurance agent should experience at least one MDRT in his/her lifetime."

John Ray - Life & Qualifying MDRT Member

"Having not attended an MDRT Annual Meeting for some years and making the decision to attend Anaheim this year, I'm pleased I did. You tend to forget just how amazing the whole event is.  I've come back refreshed with some basic ideas that will enable me to free up some time and grow my business.  Some of this year's speakers were by far the best I have ever heard. Also, to take some time out and meet with like-minded people from various parts of the world is special.  Something which you only find at MDRT!"

Richard Toon - First Time MDRT Attendee

"After many years of threatening to join MDRT and attend an annual meeting I finally took the plunge

Over many years several of my associates within the business had told me how good the meetings were and how worthwhile attending a meeting would be to my business, my clients and me. The first thing that struck me was the professionalism of the organisation, from applying to become a member to registering to attend the meeting.  The next thing was the immediate impact on my self worth. Immediately I was being told that my achievements over the last 24 years in the insurance business were worthwhile to my clients and the community I lived I and then there was the quality of the speakers - motivational, inspirational and practical.  Plenty of great ideas to enhance business and life.  We have already implemented some new initiatives which will improve our business and have shared many of the lessons we bought home with our staff. The relationships and friendships we formed and developed will be invaluable to our business and my life.  Yes I would go again and I would recommend anyone that had even briefly thought about it to take the plunge"

Craig Nolly  - First Time MDRT Attendee

"After many years of avoiding the MDRT experience I decided to put aside my prejudices and visions of an Amway convention and attend the Anaheim conference as a first timer in June of 2012.The conference was an opportunity for me to reinforce both my belief and enthusiasm for the business I had chosen some twenty three years ago which has grown into a lifetime career. A simple statement on the main platform  A mans self worth is not measured by his net worth  has had a profound difference in my thought process since returning and has encouraged me to view my life and business through different eyes.I see myself returning to MDRT to enjoy the friendships I have made and challenge my thinking through being exposed to our profession's best of the best."

Peter Chote - Life & Qualifying Member

"I went along recently to my 20 th MDRT meeting in Anaheim California early last month. As always the annual meeting delivered all that I expected and some. The opportunity to hear from the best speakers in the world and to socialise and network with the best life insurance based financial advisers internationally is , for me, an opportunity not to be missed. It was great to see 21 New Zealand delegates attend and to also see so many new faces. There was plenty of evidence that our essential industry is well cared for when you look at the calibre of these members. The ideas shared at the annual meeting have already been brought back to the office and shared with our advisers which I know will help them to be the best that they can be. I would like all those advisers who aspire to a long and successful career in our great business to commit to at least one MDRT annual meeting attendance".

Dean Young - First Time Attendee

"I went along to the MDRT 2012 meeting in Anaheim without any great expectations about what I would learn or take away from the conference. What I did come away with was a lot of confidence, inspiration, knowledge & global contacts, as well as fitting in a little bit of fun along the way. Firstly it was good to spend some time away with the NZ delegates & share some thoughts & ideas with them which can only help into the future. The main platform speakers at the conference were fantastic with a lot of takeaways & inspiration. I have literally come away with many one liners & quotes that I have shared to our staff, clients & company facebook & twitter followers, I have a book full of them !!I also managed to get along to a few breakfast & Lunch sessions where the speakers are more specialists to what we do. My best learning came from these sessions having literally come back & implemented these fresh ideas into our own business. At these sessions you also sit at tables of 10 people from all around the world who were there for the same reason - to learn & share. Some great conversations took place here which literally ran over time & into the bar at night. I have connected with many of the people I met at these sessions on my return to NZ & have tapped into this network twice already for my clients that needed advice as they are expanding into the US market I guess for me the best thing I took away was the people I met from all around the world. Literally everyday I am still getting emails from these people I met & have arranged to catch up again when I am next in the US in September. I will definitely be attending more MDRT conferences in the future & recommend to anyone that is considering it to make the commitment - you won't regret it !!


Mark Solomon  - MDRT NZ Chair

Please join us in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania June 9-12 for the 2013 MDRT Annual Meeting. With a new lineup of speakers, new events and activities, and a new location to explore, you won't want to miss it!

« MDRT Minute: Take the First Step200 clients the max: Moore »

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Comments from our readers

On 23 July 2012 at 10:55 pm Brian Klee said:
An excellent report guys and well done Mark for collecting these, especially from the 1st Time Attendees. Hopefully they will inspire others to achieve this Level of Attainment and also be inspired to continue Membership.
When I think back to the late 1990's when we had over 100 Members it would be great to get this back to these numbers, not only for MDRT but for the future of those Insurance-based Financial Advisers which MDRT was founded on.
On 24 July 2012 at 2:02 pm Warren Borlase said:
The main platform speakers at the annual MDRT meeting in Anaheim were excellent. I am lucky to have attended ten meetings since 1988. If you are a Financial Adviser you should attend one meeting. It's an investment in your career.
On 22 August 2012 at 2:28 pm Selwyn Kenneally said:
The MDRT is the Olympics of life insurance selling. Its services in the past were responsible for some achieving substantial increases in production greater profitability and increased efficiency, so I am amazed that some today are still 'surprised' at how good it is and that there is some bias towards it.

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