When your friends have problems, are you the one they always call?
You ever wish you could get paid for always being there for them?
If you’re empathic (not to mention honest and hard-working), you can be that person by becoming an insurance agent. There are many things that make it an excellent career. Here are some of the big ones:
Money isn’t everything, but it’s a lot. Insurance offers one of the few careers where you can make great money your first year on the job. The median pay in 2010 was $46,770, but you can truly set your income based on how hard and how smart you work. Many sales agents are paid through commissions rather than a fixed salary, so in a sense the sky is the limit. To maximize your earnings, you think about selling a variety of insurance types. Increasing your product portfolio gives you a much larger customer base, exponentially increasing your earning potential.
Insurance agents may work long hours when an emergency happens. This means lots of evenings and weekends. But you can also take days off when you want. Most agents are pretty much their own boss, meaning they can make their own hours and attain business success without getting anywhere near the dreaded corporate ladder. You’ll typically spend your mornings making calls to set up appointments. You’ll spend the rest of your days meeting those appointments, staying active in your community, making connections and networking with potential customers.
Lives are changed when disaster strikes. As an insurance agent, you can make things better again. After an accident or a death, a competent insurance professional is nothing short of a guardian angel. Although the work can be hard, knowing you’ve helped someone in their time of need is a fantastic feeling. Talk about job satisfaction!
of Labor Statistics estimates insurance sales agents will be in huge demand in the next few years. With projected job growth of 22 percent, the outlook is incredible.
Good insurance agents have their pick of companies to work for. They also have job mobility. Although you’ll have to re-build your customer base from scratch, moving to another state usually means getting a certificate of good standing from your state’s insurance department and sending it to your new state along with an application and license fee. You probably won’t have to take a new test in your new home state.
Low barrier of entry.
So, how do you get started? Your first year on the job you’ll be handing out so many business cards you’ll feel like one of those guys who hand out fliers on Broadway. But until you get your first few sales (and commissions) you’ll have no other choice. Your company may offer a salary, but more and more agents these days are paid (a little) for training before going “commission-only.” You’ll be a captive seller (representing a single company” or an independent seller (representing multiple firms).
Before signing a contract, do your research. Google companies and be sure to check out Glassdoor to see what others have said about working for them. You want to work for a company that matches your goals. Check the company’s rating in the industry. Don’t forget to make friends in the industry. Their experience will prove very helpful to you.
After you apply with a company, follow up with phone calls. Be persistent! Call once a week until you get a “you’re hired” or a “no thanks.” Many recruiters want to see initiative and tenacity, so here’s your chance to show them. Showing that you don’t give up without a fight demonstrates that you have what it takes to be a successful salesperson.