For some, restarting their career as an insurance agent during this pandemic may be the option. Unlike other regular jobs that are limited by the number of headcount the companies can afford to keep, insurance agents, do not typically depend on this model. Insurance agencies are always looking for talents to expand their network.
The Covid-19 pandemic has slowed Singapore’s labour market and added strain to employment and job security. With that, there may be some who are exploring to pivot to another career altogether, becoming an insurance agent might seem like a realistic possibility to many.
On average, an insurance agent’s salary in Singapore can be close to $3,600 a month. Some of the insurance agents’ income can be as much as $7,000 a month, depending on the number of cases closed and the amount of commissioned earned from the type of products sold.
However, an Insurance agent’s pay does not come easy. Such pay comes with effort and persistence, and it is naïve to expect such pay without putting much effort, or to expect to be financially rich in an instant. In some realistic cases, some insurance agents may only earn about $1,500 a month on their first year of their stint.
Furthermore, agencies may paint a rosy picture of what potential insurance agents can expect, beyond the rose-tinted lens lie other pitfalls or challenges that are not often discussed.
What will you put first? Your clients or your commission?
An insurance agent who is out to only earn a commission, regardless of the needs of the client, is unlikely to last long in the business. An insurance agent who listens carefully to what their prospects have to say will be likely to earn their trust, which takes effort and time to cultivate.
While it may be tempting for an insurance agent to focus on hitting his target for a certain product, such a move may come at an expense – the prospect may be paying for something that does not suit his or her circumstances, which may cause further monetary or opportunity losses that are generally irreversible.
Therefore, when new insurance agents learn the trade, it is important not to be motivated solely by the commission. Instead, insurance agents must learn act ethically. An insurance agent should go above and beyond for their clients. Even if this means they would be recommending a suitable product that may pay lower but better fits the need of the customer. One of the main priorities an insurance agent should have is adequately and accurately responding to customers’ needs, this cultivates trust and opens future opportunities.
In addition, insurance agents must also consider that their customers will want an insurance agent who can be contacted in emergencies, even in irregular hours. A timely response to texts or calls is a must, and the insurance agent must be able to execute what was said they will do.
Can you display persistence and handle rejection?
Persistence is perhaps the most essential prerequisite of any insurance agent. As a job that involves prospecting clients and the sale of products, the insurance agent must persist in spending hours on their feet or making calls to prospects or with their clients. While digital marketing has enabled insurance agents to widen their reach, it does not necessarily take over the importance of phone calls to secure appointments.
In addition, insurance agents must also be able to handle rejection from prospects, which is an occurrence that happens almost every day. Emotional intelligence plays a vital role in this, as insurance agents must remain professional even in the wake of facing rejections or receiving the cold shoulder from prospects.
Despite the circumstances, insurance agents should never put on a dreary look. Instead, insurance agents should always appear eager and energetic. Afterall, an insurance agent with a dreary outlook might rub prospects and customers the wrong way.
Can you hit your sales target?
Every agency or financial company will have its own sales target, where there is a minimum number of cases or sales to achieve each month. As there are many insurance agents out there who are not paid a salary, they sometimes will go out of the way to achieve the targets to get paid.
This brings to a case of forgery back in 2009, where an insurance agent was feeling pressured to hit her sales target, that she forged her client’s signature to effect a CPF investment even though the said client was not keen to take up the product. While this was not done out of greed, it nevertheless brings up a point where she was on the receiving end of negative remarks from her manager, which left her feeling like she had to take extreme measures to hit her target.
While new insurance agents may turn to their family or friends as an easy way out to achieve their target, there is only so much family and friends one can turn to in order to close deals. Therefore, it is important to get a hold of referrals and to have a good network.
Can you remember every product you can sell?
A good insurance agent goes beyond the idea of selling insurance policies. Successful insurance agents will also have strong domain knowledge, coupled with a knack for effective insurance selling skills. A good insurance agent will be able to remember, understand and offer a comprehensive selection of products and services that can meet any reasonable need a customer may have.
In addition, the insurance agent must also understand the tax and legal aspects of the products they are selling, and how they are designed to fit into their customer’s overall financial needs and situation.
The bottom line before working towards being an insurance agent
So, we presented you the answer to the question: “How to excel in insurance sales? What skills do you need to be an insurance agent?”
As you can see, it takes more than clearing the exams to kickstart a career as an insurance agent. To be a successful insurance agent, one must have persistence, moral ethics on top of looking at how much commission insurance agents make.
For those with a knack for selling insurance policies, and the perseverance to eke through the early years of the career, being an insurance agent need not be a bad career choice. Becoming a successful insurance agent, however, requires one to accept some short-term sacrifices, such as less time for social interaction and hobbies, and to uphold moral ethics when dealing with clients, in exchange for long-term career prospects.
With everything in mind, are you still up for becoming an insurance agent?
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