Mike Sandoval is a 29 year veteran of the financial services industry, all with the Mutual of Omaha Companies. Mike and his wife, Gina, have 2 adult children, Stephanie and Sydney, and have resided in Tucson since 1996. As of the distribution of this directory, there will be a new member of the family, Carlos, who will be marrying Stephanie in January 2023.
Mike arrived in Arizona in April 1993 after a short career in the airline industry with Qantas Airways in Los Angeles as a group sales representative. Following the riots in Los Angeles in 1991, Mike decided to move back to the southwest and settled in Tucson. Selling insurance was appealing to him as it was one of the former careers of his father, Raymond G. Murphy, a Medal of Honor recipient.
Mike recalled how he would go on appointments with his father in Santa Fe during those days in the 1970’s to collect premium payments from his clients for the Prudential. Yes, those were the days of the debit business in insurance. It seemed like an appealing career with lots of freedom and the knowledge that he was helping to make his clients’ lives better. However, the career did not prove to be in the cards for long-term success. Although Mike’s dad had a brief amount of success in the business (qualifying for the Million Dollar Round Table one year) he ultimately transitioned into management work for the Veteran’s Administration in Albuquerque. The experiences Mike shared with his father and his clients proved formative in his development.
Fast forward to 1993 and Mike’s arrival in Tucson. Wanting to transition away from a “traditional” job and presented with the opportunity to create one’s own path with Mutual of Omaha, Mike jumped on board as an insurance agent. The first couple of years were successful, but then Mike was presented with an opportunity to transition to management with Mutual as a district sales manager in the Tucson division office. That phase lasted for 4 years before Mike returned to personal production. This time also coincided with Mike and Gina getting married and the arrival of their second child, Sydney. It was also during this time that Mike was introduced to NAIFA in 1998.
My Story I had been in the business for a couple of years and for the most part, I had been successful. However, as is often the case with new agents, I arrived at a rough patch where sales were minimal, and worse yet, my car had broken down. Without the resources to get my car fixed, I turned to my parents for a loan. I made the mistake of turning to my mother for assistance instead of my dad. She reminded me of the fact that she didn’t understand my reasoning to go into insurance sales, especially with my college degree. She further emphasized that it did not work out financially for my dad, and he got out of the business at her insistence. Needless to say, she said no to my request for a loan. This was the best thing that she could have given to me up to that point in my life! I now had unbridled motivation to prove her wrong and to prove that I could indeed be a success in this business. I put my “nose to the grindstone” and grinded to get appointments (on joint calls with other agents) to generate enough commissions to get my car fixed and get back on track. I could say after that, the rest was history. But something else occurred within a few weeks thereafter.
One of my first clients I encountered in the business (an orphan client as we used to call them) and who had become something of a mentor to my efforts, passed away. I had the opportunity to rewrite his coverage and secure more life insurance coverage for him and his family. Although there was expected sadness at the news of his death, during the claims process, my mission had become crystal clear: I had made a definitive difference for this family. From that point forward, I made it a point to always inform prospective clients that I would always make a promise to them: that they would be better off for having met me and for hiring me as their insurance agent.
That emphasis continues to this day, except in the context of financial advisor.
Finally, when I was starting in the business, trainers and home office personnel would always comment on the fact that you weren’t really in this business until you delivered your first life insurance claim check. I had thought that was a bit of an exaggeration and hyperbole given by folks whose charge was to get you to buy into that. But what I’ve come to realize over these last 29 years is that what we do is extremely powerful and invaluable! If it wasn’t for us and what we do, most folks would not follow through in securing the protection that they and their loved ones need. Delivering those claim checks was not only transformative for those families but for me as well!
I want to finish by reiterating something that one of the legends in our business used to say: “What we do is hard. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it”. So keep after it! The families that you come in contact with will be forever affected in a positive way. You cannot put a price tag on that! See you all soon and all the Best!