I finally found time to finish your excellent book Selling Benefits. I agree with all your comments. I particular aligned myself to chapter 20. I tell clients I am an advisor not a pharmacist - taking orders to fill out scripts.

I agree with your criteria for an order taker. I too have turned down prospects as there wasn’t going to be a good fit for long term relationship

Last year I tried to end a relationship with a client but he refused as I was “the only person that had the patience for him to work with him”
Not always successful

Great book. I have been in group benefits business 42 yrs and thoroughly enjoyed the book.

You all also made me rethink old strategies that I have not used in a while

Good luck in 2021

Joel Cadesky      

"I read your book and thought it was great! It underscores what I have come to learn about needing a strategic business partner who you can trust and who will fully analyse your needs. Beyond that, it underscores how companies/ organizations need to think beyond simply costs and engage a specialist who can provide the information and education needed to be effective in managing a benefits program, especially the risk management long-term planning aspects.

I can't tell you how relieved I am to be in the position we are now and it's funny, reading your book and then reflecting back at our conversations makes me grin, as now I understand how you were thinking. I can't remember if you initially turned me down as a client but I distinctly remember you not wanting to charge professional fees for advice which I found both refreshing a perplexing at the time. Now it makes sense!" 

Matt Garrison

Watch for the Audible book version coming in early 2021

There are many good advisors in the market doing good work. Many don’t know what makes them good nor how to move beyond and become great. 

Selling Benefits shines a light on some of the things they probably already do. Identifying those successful, and unconscious, behaviours allows them to consistently, and consciously, apply them to their daily business. 
Great brokers KNOW the value they bring to the table and how to deliver it to every client.  Kudos to you for sharing all “your secrets”. Because of you, there is a new breed of group advisors in the market today. 

 - Education builds confidence.
 - Confidence brings self assurance.
 - Self assurance creates the power to do what is right for the client, at all times.  A win-win for all! 

In my 34 years working in the group insurance industry, never has the advisor future been brighter. This book needs to be put in a can and fed to all new advisors thinking of selling group benefits.

Over twenty years ago, I remember us both lamenting about the lack of advisor education but you did something about it! 

Debbie Telfer       

Interested in buying one or two copies? hard or soft covers may take 2 months vs Friesen Press's 2 weeks hard or soft covers may take 2 months vs Friesen Press's 2 weeks hard or soft covers may take 2 months to deliver vs Friesen Press's 2 weeks

I tucked into Dave’s book on a Sunday afternoon and found it to be a highly entertaining read. But more than that, as someone from a completely different industry, I found myself analyzing my own practices and how I could employ Dave’s advice into my own financial advice practice. I highly recommend anyone (not just salespeople) running their own business to set aside a few hours and read this gem.

Mark McMahon       

Photo compliments

Mike Duggan


Front-step book signing

Helping clients navigate the seas of group insurance
by Leo Almazora - Life Health Pro - Dec. 2020

For any professional charting their career in the insurance industry, becoming an ultra-niche expert might feel like an aggressive and risky bet. But for the founder of Canadian Group Insurance Brokers (CGIB), Canada’s only broker-focused group benefits association, taking the plunge and becoming a specialist made perfect sense.

“Specialization has so many benefits,” David Patriarche told Life and Health Professional. “You only have to learn one thing, but the learning doesn’t stop because there's just so much to take in. It also means that you don't have to constantly reinvent who you are and reintroduce yourself to people … If you’re known as the person with all your eggs in one basket, then people will also know who to get eggs from.”  READ ARTICLE

How to prosper in the group benefits business
by Susan Yellin -  Insurance Journal - Dec. 2020

"For five years, Dena Patriarche phoned a prospect with an alternative group benefits package and costs for the entrepreneur's employee. They always chatted, but the businessman stayed firm with the plan and advisor he already had.

Then out of the blue one year, Dave Patriarche received a call from the business owner saying the renewal for his current plan showed up late and the advisor failed half of his service guarantee. So be immediately called Patriarche to tell him he was now on the account..." READ ARTICLE

Keeping a sales team and service team on the same page while working entirely remotely is brings about some terrific opportunities, including twice daily video scrums on Slack.  Then in our general channel as folks come online we post a ‘Good Morning!’ greeting.  However, inspired by the content of @Dave Patriarche’s book, my Good Morning posts this week have been in the form of a line or two from Selling Benefits.  
This morning’s being: “Know who your client is and who they are not . . . start the relationship by remembering who pays the bill. ”

Thanks Dave!

Howard Kettner       

Read the book to hear the stories behind these photos

Dave Patriarche

Sailor, Benefits Advisor, Speaker, Expert Witness, Author

Dave founded Mainstay Insurance Brokerage in 1996 as a one-person shop specializing in providing employee benefits to small and mid-sized businesses . Mainstay has grown substantially and now Dave only accepts one or two new clients each year and upon referral only.  This ensures that he has aligned and educated client partnerships that get the level of attention they deserve. 

Dave is a strong believer in continuing education and recognized the need for the group insurance industry to broaden its efforts in this area. In 2003 he started a small networking group, which evolved into breakfast meetings and then into regular educational seminars beginning in 2009. In 2011 he founded CGIB, the Canadian Group Insurance Brokers, an organization dedicated to supporting networking and continuing education for the group insurance industry.

Contact Dave

Click to visit

He is an accomplished speaker at industry events across the country.  Dave has worked “behind the scenes” acting as an expert witness in cases involving employee benefits and is often chosen as the “go-to” expert for others in the business. 

Dave is recognized as a leader in the group benefits industry and is a contributor to various industry publications. He mentors and acts as an informal resource to other benefit brokers, especially those new to the benefits field. 

Dave spends his spare time with his wife Joanne and their sons Matthew (now teaching in Vienna, Austria) and Mitchell (at Laurier University for business). He enjoys taking his clients, friends, associates and just about anyone that wants to come along, sailing on Lake Ontario, or on occasion on the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas.  He’s working on a second book that might make it out in 2021, or... 22.


Did you love the book and want to share it?


Want your sales team team to learn the lessons shared?


Are you looking a unique gift idea?


Do you wish your staff had a better grasp of these concepts?


Interested in buying copies in quantity?

The benefits book you've been waiting for

Lessons Learned - Voyages Travelled - Stories Shared

This is not just a book about selling employee benefits, another sales manual or a book about sailing trips and travelling the world. SELLING BENEFITS is all that and more, in an easy and entertaining read. You will enjoy and make use of the lessons shared to improve both yourself and your practice. Your business relationships will thrive and be more successful.



Looking for wider distribution? PDF versions are available with larger discounts for distribution to groups such as all

employees or clients.


Interested in having the author for a speaker or a book signing? Dave's BIO is HERE and is available, just call 905-886-9203.


If you want to buy in bulk and save?  Discounts are available for orders over 10, 25, 50 and 100 softcover copies.

Send an e-mail to:


Dave shares his learnings from his long term business partnerships and through those you will better understand:


- How to establish lifelong relationships no one will be able to break

- Lessons to help strengthen client partnerships

- How to build client loyalty that won't be compromised

- Ways of using storytelling to make business lessons stick.


Practical take-aways you can use immediately to improve your business and be more successful.


Did you read SELLING BENFITS and want to share your thoughts?

Purchase a copy on or on the FriesenPress Bookstore



and write a review, or send to us and we'll add it here.

Phone: 905-886-9203


Bulk Orders:


3 to 10 copies     


11 to 25 copies


26 to 50 copies


51 to 100 copies


over 100 copies


Pricing (CDN $ - not incl. tax & shipping)


$  30.00 each


$  27.00 each


$  25.00 each


$  22.00 each


$  20.00 each


Retail price: is $24.99 US & .ca is $38.00 Cdn

"It quickly becomes apparent while reading Selling Benefits, how passionate and dedicated Dave is to bringing his expertise to his role as an Employee Benefit Specialist. 

Its pages highlight everything you need to know about having a successful benefit practice, how to build meaningful and long-lasting relationships and how to educate and protect your clients from potential legal/liability issues. He is an advocate for continuous education which was his motivation for starting the Canadian Group Insurance Brokers Association. Throughout the book he uses his love for sailing and his experiences on the water to relate the good and the bad you can encounter in group benefits.

This book reads as if I was sitting next to Dave, having a casual conversation, discussing the industry's top issues. It’s clear that he has spent his entire career helping people, whether it’s clients, fellow advisors, carrier partners or friends. He really wants to make people better.

If you are currently or plan on becoming an Employee Benefit Specialist you should definitely read this book! "

Lindsay Gibson, GBA        

"This is the perfect book for all insurance advisors.  If you have one benefits client or 10,000 this book is for you. Dave is a professional, a leader and an expert in the employee benefits business.  Dave is sharing his knowledge and wisdom on how to be a true advisor with your clients and not just an order taker.  

The lessons learned from this book and if practiced by you, your current and future client relationships will strengthen and your competition will be left scratching their heads. Every chapter has a valuable lesson that can be used daily in your insurance and employee benefits practice.  Dave shares his successes through real life adventures, stories and experience.   Buy this book, read it, then read it again and again.  I wish I had it 32 years ago when I started in this business. "

Robert J. Crowder, CLU, GBA- President, The Benefits Trust