It used to be hard to discuss about the things I dislike the most about being an insurance agent with my peers, it still is to be honest. People just don’t want to hear any negativity. Even if deep down they feel it too. It’s nicer to pretend.
But over the years I have learned to not pretend but to identify these things that bother me. Instead of whining about them, I tried to look at them with a new perspective. Why I dislike them and how to turn them into the positive. Seeing them in a new light so to speak.
So here are the 3 things I dislike about being an insurance agent:
1. Having to wait for prospects who are either late or don’t show up
At times, we are made to wait and wait at the mamak’s for half an hour.. an hour.. or more. We keep telling ourselves, let’s wait 10 more minutes. And then 10 more. We’ve all been there.
What’s worse is when the prospects finally get there, we have to put on a smile and pretend it’s all good. No problem at all that I have spent the last 45 minutes glancing at my watch every twenty seconds and asking myself if this was really the job for me.
What I realized later is that there was no way for me to change this. I can’t control other people and how they manage their time. Consequently I accepted that these “waiting periods” are part and parcel of the job.
When I plan my day, I make sure to factor in the expected delays. It’s amazing how much of a positive difference this had made to my attitude. Instead of waiting idly, I bring my work with me making these “waiting periods” as part of my working day where I finish off some paperwork.
2. Prospects who can’t make up their minds
Oh the time spent on prospects who just can’t make up their minds! The endless follow-ups and countless re-quoting can drive an agent up the wall. It isn’t easy dealing with such prospects knowing your time can be put to better use elsewhere. However, there is nothing much you can do as you try to convince yourself that the prospect will finally buy from you… “any day now”.
Then I realized that it’s not so much about them not being able to make up their minds. It’s much more about my continuous hoping that I would close a sale real soon and pocket my commission. As well as the continuous disappointment as long as this isn’t achieved. These are the real causes of my frustration.
So to avoid myself from going insane, I shifted my focus. I try to identify the cause of my prospect’s indecision. It could be that they don’t really have the budget, or they are merely looking for information without any real intention to buy. Maybe their spouse is the one not interested, or they are simply not ready due to whatever personal or financial issues they face.
I developed methods in tackling each cause while keeping in mind my objective is to offer value to them for their own betterment.
3. The stigma that comes with being an agent
The public perception about insurance agents can be brutal! I never realized how much agents are disliked until I became an agent myself. So who do we blame? Well, no one. Because blaming anyone doesn’t get you anywhere.
I can’t change the public’s perception about insurance agents, and for the most part, I can’t blame them either. Especially since there’s truth to it. This is a hard fact to swallow but swallow we must. However, I can change their perception about me as an insurance agent. All I can do is give my best, each time and every time.
Putting the customer first is a good place to start. Realizing that this career requires a lot of hard work is another.
Some people say that this is a sales job and that we are all ‘salesmen’. I’d like to call myself a server instead because my first priority is to serve. When prospects and customers start to notice your sincerity in serving them, their perception towards you will quickly change. And when that happens, the stigma can no longer harm you.
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