How I Conquered MDRT during a pandemic
January 27, 2021 | Mike Togle

Many say that 2020 was the year for the Insurance Industry and Financial Consultants. A lot of people forecasted that it was the year that a lot of MDRT Qualifiers will come from the Philippines for the simple reason that a large part of the population was still uninsured.

But it definitely was a different experience on ground for many of us.

The 2020 MDRT Back Story

I entered 2020 brimming with confidence that I could reach MDRT Court of the Table. Around the end of 2019, I presented to almost a handful of corporate clients who wanted a Retirement Fund Plan and Keyman Insurance for their workers and primary stakeholders.

I worked tirelessly to prepare presentations to the owners and their board members for them to understand the benefits of the plans for them and their workforce.

And they were ready to have the Corporate Secretary prepare the documents. If you’re a financial consultant, you would have been excited if you were in my position. From just these clients alone, their policies could already bring me to MDRT Court of the Table level.

Then, 2020 came with a lot of surprises.

The MDRT Journey Surprise Damage

When Taal Volcano erupted, two of the companies were badly affected since they were based in Sta Rosa, Laguna, and the other in Biñan. I figured that we just had to wait for them to recover from the damages, so I called them up and they said that we can reschedule to around end of Q2.

Whew! That was fine for me. 

Taal Volcano Eruption

Then, COVID19 hit the Philippines on March. It hit our economy hard, especially when they implemented the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

ECQ caused the other two corporate clients that I had to stop their operations. While their business was at a standstill, they still had to pay off their workers’ salaries and settle their liabilities with zero income. It was not a good time for them to invest on their financial plans.

This led to an 8-Million peso drop in my forecasted sale for the year.

At that time, I could see the MDRT flag wave me good bye.

Pivot or Go-Home

On March 2020, I experienced my first ever zero month. It didn’t feel right! That wasn’t me, and it definitely left me confused. I’m a results-oriented kind of guy and not having something to show for one month was frustrating and depressing.

But I knew I had to push on.

I had to keep going!

What I did was a mix of a journey back to when I started and an introspection of why I wanted to be successful in this business.

I went back to my roots and worked with myself to achieve my goals for 2020.

Mike Offering Quality Services

This was me before the pandemic and chilling in Starbucks to plan out my plans for 2020.

PIVOTING MINDSET – My MDRT Mission: Secure Lives

When you align your career with a noble mission, you find purpose in what you do, and that’s what I did. During a health crisis, death and taxes are compounded with sickness.

Families needed a fighting chance at survival in case the breadwinner passes away because of the virus. With the pandemic causing undue stress on people, there was also a higher risk of people getting sick of other chronic diseases. 


Those who got sick were not necessarily infected by SARS-Cov-2. Many of those who got critically ill last year were by the usual culprits – cancer, stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and lung failure.

That’s why I focused on this need — people’s need to have an emergency fund through critical illness insurance.


I shifted my strategy from reaching out to the affluent market into offering better insurance protection to families.  It was quite a shift since I had already contacted several contacts. What was very evident was that the supposedly well-off business owners had a lot on their mind as their businesses were affected.

By focusing on families, I could help more people be prepared for the health crisis. 

PIVOTING ENERGY – From Myself to my team

One of my goals in 2020 was to have enough manpower in my team to form my own unit. At the start of the year, I declared UMCOT during our branch kick-off. This meant that I planned to become a Unit Manager and an MDRT Court of the Table at the same time.

Because of the challenges, I decided to dial down my effort in sales and target to become an MDRT Qualifying Member. Then, I put more focus on helping my team and setup our system and programs to allow us to be fit to become a Unit of our own in 2021.


The MDRT Sense of Accomplishment

When I retired from corporate work, I wanted to prove to myself that I can do really good in this business by doing my best for my clients. By the end of my first year 2019, I managed to get awards and recognitions up to the regional level in Prudential.

The feeling was surreal!

All my apprehensions of whether I can succeed in this business or not were quashed. All I could do from that point on is to just get better and bigger. Then, 2020 came with all its challenges in tow and it made me struggle with myself.

So, imagine being in my shoes, and receiving confirmation that I was able to meet the parameters in becoming an MDRT Qualifying Member.

MDRT is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. And when I say internationally, I don’t mean regional. We’re talking about global!

Aside from the recognition, the MDRT membership gives me access to a lot of learnings on how I can improve my services further and it also allows me to provide more quality coverage to my clients.


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“Challenges make the Victory all the more worthwhile and meaningful.”

Mike Togle, Retirement Coach


  1. Jov Tabat

    Wow!! Such an inspiring story Sir Mike!!!! This made me realized that there are really a lot of ways to do this business. I can feel the courage from your sharing. Keep it up!! I wish to have one-on-one mentoring from you soon.

    • Mike Togle

      Heya Jov! Thank you as well for the energy. Let’s talk soon!


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