Sales. Insurance. For some, these two words used in close proximity will send them running far, far away. Let me be clear about one thing – A career in insurance is not restricted only to selling. Risk and insurance careers are as wide and varied as one can imagine. The industry needs underwriters, customer service reps, information technology experts, business analysts, claim adjusters, premium auditors, risk managers, finance and accounting, loss control reps, just to name a few. And yes, sales.
Every business and every industry has a sales function. For whatever reason, insurance sales gets a bad rap, right up there with used car sales. To be sure, it is a challenge selling an intangible product that is basically a contract full of promises based only on the remote possibility of bad stuff happening. But here’s the thing… everyone needs this product in some fashion or form.
I was meeting with a group of insurance professionals earlier this week and the irrational fear of a career selling insurance came up. One of the esteemed insurance professionals offered a very astute observation about insurance sales. Businesses must have insurance of various types to comply with bank requirements, contract stipulations, and just to secure their own survival. Individuals must have insurance if they drive a car, get a mortgage to buy a home, or act responsibly toward their dependents. His point was that businesses and individuals will write a check to someone for insurance, and all you have to do as a seller of insurance is convince them that they should write that check to you.
This is not to say that selling any product or service is easy, but when you consider the open-ended, long sales cycle challenges that face many sales professionals for other products, the insurance product/service has an advantage. In my former life, I owned a firm that provided risk management services which certainly provided value to my customers, but they were rarely mandated by any legal or contractual conditions. Consequently, my sales team found that many prospective customers kept putting our services on the “back burner” as more pressing issues grabbed their attention. We had prospects who never did “pull the trigger” and sign up for our services, and others took 2-3 years before they finally decided that they would buy our services. Long sales cycles like that are not fun.
Insurance protection for most consumers and businesses is not something they can put on the back burner, at least not for long. They are going to write a check. Become an insurance sales professional and convince them to write that check to you. It’s a good life and a good career. Honest, I’m not kidding.