Insurance agents are some of the most hardworking people I have met. They are admired for their passion, ambition and also perseverance. It can’t be easy being an agent, having to deal with people from all walks of life; convincing them to buy something everyone hates! So I decided to chat with my agent to find out what were the biggest lessons he had learned as an insurance agent. He gave me 5.
1. This job is not as easy as I thought it would be
I knew this was a sales job and that it wasn’t going to be easy. But what I did not expect was that not only this sales job was hard, but also that there was no tangible product that I was selling!
People are used to getting something from spending their hard-earned money. Something as big as a luxury car or as little as a book. But selling insurance is selling a promise that we will pay in case of a medical emergency or death – the things that people don’t want to think about.
So I no longer try to “sell” my product, instead I make them understand why they need it. I remind them of their aging parents, or their wives and kids that will be left behind if something unfortunate were to happen to them. It’s a mind shift, but it makes a difference.
2. Prospects appreciate it when I’m just being me
As insurance professionals, we were all trained to be a certain way, from the way we carry ourselves to the things we tell our prospects during a sales pitch. And in my attempt to make it in this business, I also emulated others who were already successful.
But that didn’t work for me. Not only I felt that the people around me were uncomfortable with me, I also felt I wasn’t being true to myself. People can smell fakery and this immediately created distrust.
So instead of copying others, I learned to understand my strengths and weaknesses better. Improved the areas that needed improvements and became a better (and humbler) me.
3. It’s a lot of hard work
People say the best part about being an agent is the flexible hours you enjoy. Although it’s not completely wrong, it’s not completely right either.
The hours we put in as insurance agents can be long and arduous. From making phone calls (and answering them), to driving all over town to attend to appointments. And that’s on a good day!
A bad day includes receiving a phone call from the relative of a client who has just crashed his car and ended up in a hospital and everything that follows suit. The physical stress we can handle. But the mental and emotional ones from seeing the people you care about going through difficult times can be a little hard. At times like this, I am grateful for being given the chance to help in any way that I can.
4. I won’t succeed without sincere need to help others
This business is about ensuring others’ well-being, not about me or my sales targets or how much commission I’d like to earn on a particular month. It is not about how confident, how smart, or how firm my handshake is. It is not about how fancy my product brochures are or how good I look in a suit.
I learned that what sets great agents apart from the rest are their genuine needs to help others. As well as their desires to bring value to the lives of the people they meet. Somehow, prospects sense this the way you can sense a genuinely caring doctor to one who is merely carrying out his or her duties.
A mind-set change was required but it wasn’t hard. I may not be a sincere doctor who saves lives but I can be a sincere agent who changes lives instead.
5. The satisfaction I get from serving others is greater than the monetary rewards
Many agents came into this business with the hope of earning a good living. They joined for the promise of flexible work arrangements and travel opportunities.
But in the end, I learned that the most rewarding experience one can achieve from being an insurance agent is the chance to make a positive impact in people’s lives. It comes from knowing that my job helps empower them by giving them the opportunity to take control of their future. It is from the trust and love that I receive from appreciative customers-turned-friends.
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