Dan Viñal started in the insurance business back in the mid 70s, as an agent for Occidental Life, which was later acquired or merged into Transamerica. This was in the San Francisco Bay Area where he was born and raised.
His experience was probably typical of every other agent at that time, and maybe since. He was taught to sell cash value life insurance, but learned to sell term coverage, health insurance, and disability income to get in the door, and to generate some income while building a client base.
Of course this was all before the advent of the internet, and all the tech-enabled apps we have today. But he did take advantage of the latest technologies to improve his “sales” communication.
For example, when portable video machines came out with automated video presentations on common topics like Capital Needs Analysis, he bought one and used it very successfully for several years. Then he thought he had “outgrown” CNA, and moved on to what he thought were more sophisticated concepts - especially those targeting more affluent prospects - and stopped using the videos. Big mistake!
Soon after though, when Stephen Andersen (aka the Cold Call Cowboy) introduced the Audio Business Card, Dan bought it.
"It was relatively expensive (something like 10k as I recall), but it was worth it. It was a cassette tape of an interview with me, contained in a VHS package with my photo image on the front, like some rock star on an album cover. It was a great way to impress someone with my competitive distinction, while introducing myself through a third party, supposedly objective perspective - although it was all scripted. Incidentally, I still think Stephen Andersen is a very innovative marketer - especially now that he’s using video."
And when Transamerica (among others) came out with software for the Compaq portable computers, he also got one right away. It was about the same time that Universal life came into vogue, and the computer gave everyone almost endless ways to configure illustrations and design all types of payment / cash accumulation scenarios for split dollar and cost recovery deferred compensation executive benefit plans.
So you can see that Dan was always willing to adopt the latest technologies (albeit relatively simplistic ones) as they became available.
Dan also had an educational background in behavioral psychology, rhetoric and linguistics, which he had been using practically to communicate more effectively with his clients and prospects. So his proclivity or propensity to adopt technical sales tools, in combination with the sales skills he had learned and the evolving research in consumer psychology and neuro linguistics, all conspired to lead him into gradually developing what became WebPrez videos.
Dan always understood how critically important it is for a sales professional to transfer an idea or concept into the mind of the client or prospect. Obviously, if he or she does not understand the idea or concept, they cannot make an intelligent decision to buy or not to buy. And he had experienced first hand early in his business career the superior capabilities of video as a medium for presentation and communication. It was obvious that it held the viewer’s attention, and would consistently present a concept using just the right words every time.