Central Life’s 1993 Master Pacesetter is CLAUDIA GONZALES of the Altmann Agency in California. When you first meet Claudia, you see a poised individual with a smile on her face; but this outgoing Career Agent is quite an ambitious go-getter.
Claudia was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, where life was not easy. “The experience made me very resourceful and determined to succeed,” said Claudia. “My spiritual beliefs inspired me to believe that I could have a better life if I wanted to work for it; and my parents always told me that they’d support anything I wanted to do.”
Though the culture of the Philippines usually restricts the activities of women, Claudia’s parents gave her freedoms while growing up that other young girls didn’t enjoy. Emphasizing education for all children, Cluadia’s parents managed to pay for the education of each. She graduated from the University of the Philippines, the top education institution on the islands, with a degree in business administration.
Also graduating from the university was her older sister, Shoda, who continued her schooling and residency in New York City. “Shoda was a great inspiration for me. She was the first of our family to come to the United States,” commented Claudia. “She still lives in New York City and is a medical doctor, specializing in pediatric cardiology. I knew when I decided to stay in America that she would help me if I needed it.”
Claudia first came to this country in 1989 to visit her aunt in California and decided to stay. “I was studying for my real estate license in 1990 when an aunt told me about a training opportunity,” said Claudia. Roly Jose of the Altmann Agency was offering sales training to new agent recruits. Claudia accepted the opportunity. She received her license and became a broker for Roly in 1991. She continued part-time as a broker, also working as manufacturer’s customer service representataive, until June of 1991 when she felt confident enough to go full time. Claudia became a Career Agent in February 1992.
Claudia’s induction into the Central Life family gave her a sense of loyalty to the company, selling only Central Life products. “We really started from scratch and worked really hard,”related Claudia. “But the training was excellent and continues even today. Roly is very patient and gives us a lot of interaction, with lots of meetings. All of our appointments are set by Monday evening; then we sell all week. During the week, we have three meetings to work on advanced underwriting; and on Saturday mornings, we brainstorm with case studies and problem solving.”
Claudia has found, however, that her age has not worked to her advantage. “Even at 27, I find that when talking to older people,” she said,” I have to work twice as hard to convince them that I know what I’m talking about.” But this is only a slight hindrance for this energetic agent.
Constant follow-up is the key to Claudia’s pacesetter success. “I look at each pending case to make sure all underwriting requirements are met –even if I have to pick up the ARPs myself,” said Claudia. “I never mail policies. I always deliver each and every one of them myself and get a policy receipt.
“Also, it’s a numbers game–the more people I see, the more successful I’ll be,” continued Claudia. “I always have a backup plan in case an appointment should cancel. Either I’ll have another appointment or plan to deliver, review or service a policy.”
Claudia enjoyed the 1993 Learders’ Club. “The wonderful trips that Central Life plans motivate me to make sure my applications are issued and paid in the least time possible,” she added.
Claudia has found other benefits from her insurance career. Being from the Philippines, Claudia is very family-oriented. “In the Philippines, any good friends of the family are considered part of the clan,” she said. Besides her aunt’s family, she also has several aunts (close family friends) and co-workers that she views as family.
Claudette is engaged to Michael Klein, a computer software engineer with the Oracle Corporation. “I met Michael when a classmate of mine from the Philippines gave me his name as a lead. He was one of my first clients. I always wondered why I had to go back so many times before he bought the policy,” laughed Claudette. “Now we all laugh about it.” Michael joined Cluadette for the 1993 Leaders’ Club in Washington D.C. “He’s very supportive and understanding of the hours I work,” she concluded.
Coming from very little, Claudette now seems to have it all–love from a close-knit family in the Philippines, a substitute family support group in California, and her fiance, Michael, as well a very successful career in the insurance industry. This ambitious professional is determined to go far.
May – June ‘ 93 issue
A MAGAZINE FOR CENTRAL LIFE ASSOCIATES