Becoming an insurance agent or salesman is quite easy and very lucrative if you’re willing to put in the efforts required to earn substantial income in the business. Apart from the oil and gas industry, finance and banking industry, and telecommunication industry, the insurance sector is one area you can make good money as an insurance agent/salesman or corporate agency.
Challenges in being an insurance agent
The major challenge with being an insurance agent is that it is a sales job. You must go out to prospect for customers who may not be interested in what you have to sell – insurance cover. Most people are skeptical about insurance coverage and they regard it a fraud, and this skeptism extends to insurance salesmen. Most insurance agents have to make cold calls by knocking on doors and approaching people everywhere; and they mostly get “no” for an answer rather than a “yes”.
It is not for the faint-hearted, and you must be able to stomach insults and rejections or deal with a lot of wasted explanations to earn your paycheck and commission at the end of the month. Another challenge is that you may be expected to market to your friends and family – and truth be told, it is best to start with them to get a foothold of how to handle people in the business.
- Life Insurance Lingo: Know These Terms before Talking To Your Agent
- Insurance Agents And How They Function To Service Your Needs
What are the qualifications of an insurance agent?
The good thing about being an insurance agent is that you do not need to be professionally or academically qualified to become one. Anyone can become an insurance agent. Most insurance agents do not have any formal education. It is true that insurance companies may request for applicants to be graduates, but most successful insurance agents are only college or high school graduates.
The basic truth is that most insurance companies have internal training programmes for potential agents they employ as salespeople. It does not matter whether you are a university graduate or a high school dropout, or have sales experience with other insurance companies – you will still be trained by your new employer before you are employed or sent out into the field. If you are in the US, you may be required to pass state exams and get licensed before you practise as an insurance agent.
The only qualities that potential employers want to see in you, and which you actually need to succeed in your career are: a positive spirit, an extrovert attitude, ability to handle rejections and convince people, a tenacious spirit, and an instinct for pitching and closing sales deals. When you have these qualities and you’re ambitious to succeed and also show signs of absorbing training lessons, then employers would not consider your qualifications before hiring you.
How much do insurance agents earn?
First of all, it must be pointed out that insurance agents are largely paid commissions and not salaries. A hardworking insurance salesman will earn more with commissions than with salaries, and this is the whole essence of the job. The amount you earn depends on your state or country, the set percentage of your commission per customer you win, and how well you are able to win new customers every week or month. But in the US, a hardworking insurance agent earns an average of $100K per year, and that is something.
Apart from commissions, some agents also get basic salaries to keep them going. It is also possible to earn money from consultancy services where the agent helps customers with financial planning and professional advice. These service charges go a long way in helping the agent to sustain himself while serving the needs of both customers and employers.