Flying High and Fast: Top Gun

Sun Life reps from each sales region nationwide recently attended the annual Top Gun Academy, jointly hosted with MGIS, to hone their selling skills in the physician disability market. This intensive two-day training academy centered on the Top Gun theme, and included a competition culminating in one rep earning the designation of “Top Gun” for each of the three training waves. A total of 33 reps were selected to participate in this year’s academy.

“This training is the perfect combination of in-depth product/process training and hands-on presentation experience. Reps come away with key insights into selling this specialized product, along with the opportunity to sharpen their skills in presenting to brokers and decision makers in a finalist-type setting.” – Curt Barnard, Director Niche Markets

Sessions included in-depth product differentiation, competitive positioning, proven methods of closing more proposals, operations, claims, and pointers provided by peer-reps who have had success with the product. A guest broker also addressed each session, sharing insights that can help reps work more effectively with them.

The Top Gun competition awarded points in each of three categories: territory business plan, written exam and finalist presentation. Territory plans were completed and graded prior to the training academy, and presentations were peer-rated.

Top Guns for each of the waves include:

Wave 1: Lauren Duffy
Wave 2: Bill Lockey
Wave 3: Lisa Kostelnik

The culminating Top Gun Academy experience was the chance to fly in a World War II Boeing Stearman trainer bi-plane. Cadets had the option to take the stick and actually do some flying, and some experienced the thrill of aerial acrobatics – including loops and barrel rolls.

Top Gun graduates will now compete throughout the remainder of 2013 for the coveted overall Top Gun position. The winner will have the chance to fly in an L-39 fighter jet early next year.


MGIS RVPs Keith Mangrum and Matt Ririe provided expert instruction on the finer points of the Sun Life LTD contract and nuances of selling to physicians.

Their presentations are available here for your use/reference.


On the last day of Top Gun, participants were given the chance to put their knowledge and skills to the test by way of a finalist-type presentation. Reps were paired up, given a scenario, and put in front of a panel of experts to make their case for 15 minutes. Following the panel’s critique, winners were chosen by peer vote.

Videos of each presentation are available below, including the winners from each wave.

Live Leaderboard

Top Gun Leaders as of:


Throughout the remainder of 2013 (6/1/13 - 1/1/14), Top Gun participants will be vying for the overall, company-wide Top Gun spot. This leaderboard will keep you up-to-date as to who the current leaders are. Numbers are updated frequently.

Remember, the winner is not only recognized as THE Top Gun, but wins a ride in an L-39 fighter jet early next year.

Points and ranking are determined by a simple formula comprised of Top Gun points, new cases and new premium. Click here to see the formula components.