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Posted 28 April, 2016 by Clearly
in I just want to say
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Tears, Hardship, and Constant Rejection: The Tale of an ex Insurance Agent

This isn’t an insurance agent, but she could be.

We love to hate them.

Yeah, Insurance Agents. Hate is a strong but appropriate word to use.

They call us on our phones.

They pester you along the streets.

They knock on our doors to offer a “non-obligatory” financial review.

They appear every now and then in the news – for all the wrong reasons.

I once pranked a nosy friend (who didn’t contact me for years) when she asked what I was doing for a living. “Agent lor, sell insurance.”

Never had a person hung up on me so quickly.

We (many of us) tend to think of them as people living the high life. Flashy cars. Fine threads. Expensive holidays.

Some of us think of them as parasites – feeding off the unwary and overly trusting. I’m sure we can all name a case or a story where an agent cheated someone we know – perhaps buying a wrong product, or getting an unsuitable plan.

But behind the facade of luxury, past the accusations of financial fraud and misrepresentations, how many of us actually has taken a closer look at the inner workings of an insurance agent?

Amanda Tan (not her real name) was gracious enough to share her story.

 

I just wanted to give my parents a comfortable life in their golden years

 

Stalk by stalk: Not the easiest way to raise a family

 

Growing up, we were neither poor nor rich. My parents put me through school by selling vegetables in the wet market. After I graduated from poly, I initially worked in a bank as a teller. The hours were fine, and while the job was a little stressful at times, I never did face much difficulty.

After years of hard work, my mother was falling sick more frequently than before, so my father had to operate his stall alone. It pained me to see my aging parents having to slog it out. It pained me even more to see that my earnings each month was hardly enough to contribute to the household, let alone support them fully.

I saw some of my banking colleagues earning close to 5 figures in a quarter. I was instantly interested – like any other 19 year old. Over fourteen thousand dollars earned in 3 months! That had to be my ticket out.

I began to explore this option further and learnt that this level of income was pretty routine – for the sales staff that were performing decently well. But selling in a bank was pretty restrictive.

I did hear that insurance agents earned even more, with far fewer restrictions. After a close friend of mine joined a local insurer as a representative, it didn’t take much persuasion for me to follow suit.

 

Everyone was not too supportive, even my own mother

 

Just not enough space for the other thumbs

 

When I first started, I was full of fire. My agency leader and the other seniors warned me that it wasn’t going to be easy.

Of course, it wasn’t going to be a problem for me. I was different. I was hungry. I was determined. And I would overcome.

I started to prospect my friends. Friends from school, friends from work. It didn’t take long for them to avoid me. Sometimes I wondered what the bloody matter was. Insurance is an essential part of everyone’s life, so why were they so resistant to the idea? Didn’t they know that I was performing a service to them?

My dad was indifferent to what I was doing. Just go ahead to try your best, he added. My mum however, was a different kettle of fish. Girl ah, why don’t you just find a regular job? No need to do sales. No need to be insurance agent.

If I did that, I would be resigning them to remain selling vegetables for the rest of their lives. Not that selling vegetables is anything to be ashamed of, but it sure is backbreaking work. No way I was going to let them do that if I could.

So I pressed on.

 

Ten doors knocked, six doors slammed

 

At least this type of door can’t be slammed

 

The modus operandi of our particular agency was door knocking. Other agencies favored cold calling (dialing numbers off a list till someone was interested), street canvassing (conducting a survey about saving habits to gain financial information about a prospect), and road shows (setting up booths in a populated place like an MRT or shopping centre). But ours was door knocking.

Why, you may ask. Because the agency leaders and directors made their fortunes by door knocking. So they figured, make everyone else under them do the same. It should work, right?

Door knocking is not a prank. It is damn hard work. It involved us going round in pairs, and knocking on doors (no surprise there). Telling the occupants we were there to inform them about different CPF plans available to them, and how they could go about purchasing it.

It was tortuous work to say the least. Both mentally and physically.

In some of the nicer estates the reception was warm. They would invite us in for a drink. “Its so hot outside, come in to sit down”. This was even BEFORE we mentioned a word about our purpose.

In the not so nice estates, we would experience the rudest residents around. Door slamming was pretty common. I mean, why not just reject us nicely and save the wear and tear on the poor door?

As stated, it was physically tiring. Often I would be door knocking for 10 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. (More people would be at home). My feet started to swell only after two weekends of such abuse.

Mentally it was also a drain. Nevermind the people rejecting us, but it was the nasty ones that really ruined our day. We got chased out of a house by an angry housewife (the husband let us in) because she thought we were out to cheat their money.

 

Is this insurance? 

Are you selling insurance?

If you want me to buy something, I’m not going to entertain you.

Get lost.

 

Yes, I’ve heard it all. And I was sickened by it. Rejection after rejection. And most of the time, when we did close a case, we would earn a grand total of… $75. That’s the going rate for eldershield plans anyway. (Editor’s note: Its $150 commission per case, but they operated as a pair, so its $75 on average)

Every 2 hours we knocked, we might get one successful sale. For many, many nights, there was no sale.

I tallied my earnings for a particular month. Just shy of $2,700. Not bad right? I worked for 26 days that month, and was out door knocking nearly every single night.

Imagine standing on your feet for two hours straight.

Imagine facing rejection for two hours straight.

I had to do that for nearly 150 hours that month.

And it was a good month.

 

I cried after I did the tally.

All that, just for $2,700?

 

Paying for the pleasure of standing on my feet: The Roadshows

 

These poor people paid good money so they could stand around to gather attention

 

 

Then sometime early this year, the agency decided to change tack.

Lets try some roadshows, it should be a good alternative to door knocking.

As many of you know, roadshows involve a bunch of agents standing around trying to block the paths of shoppers and getting them to listen to their spiel.

What many people may not know is that, roadshows are not free. Yeah, they have to be paid for. Consider it a space rental from the shopping centre/MRT.

With my earnings remaining low for the past few months, I decided to try it out. Afterall, how many doors can a girl knock before she goes nuts?

Here’s the catch. I had to pay $300.

Every.

Single.

Time.

Crazy right? I was barely earning a few hundred dollars each week, and I had to blow $300 just to have the privilege to have people swerve in mid stride to avoid me.

I had sales all right. The younger folks, mainly. They don’t really know any better and they always feel obligated to buy. The trouble was, they also didnt upkeep their premium payments – and there goes my income.

Furthermore, it also impacted my persistency ratio adversely (the number of policies still active vs the number of policies I sold). It prevents agents from misselling by keeping a close eye on their existing policies. Frankly, I couldn’t have cared less. Ratio or not, I had to get fed. And also had to recoup my $300 investment each time.

Even then, I went for 3 consecutive roadshows without a single closure. Yup, $900 down the drain. At least no one slammed a door in my face.

 

Hidden Expenses and the Last Straw

 

I guess enough is enough

I guess enough is enough

 

Till this point you may think to yourself, actually this isnt that bad right? If you were a bit better at selling you would probably be making ends meet.

Actually I did make ends meet, for some time at least.

But one thing about the autonomy of agencies is that, there is no standard code of conduct when it comes to management. Which meant for some pretty surprising bills.

I had to contribute to an office fund, without fail. It was meant to upkeep the stationery and also any files and folders I was giving out to my clients. At 80 bucks a month, I suppose it was managable. (Author’s note: This is an outright tax of some sort. 80 dollars a month yields you some pretty serious pens and pencils)

That wasn’t so bad. My agency leader (in a bid to boost sales, no doubt) came up with sales challenges. Once a month we might have an all out drinking session. And the tab was left to a losing team to pick up. All I can say is, I am pretty unlucky when it comes to teams, and also, I never knew agents could be so thirsty.

One night the bill came to over $600. Shared among me and two other poor sods. We already didnt do well in sales, which is why we lost in the first place. And now we had to cough up another $600.

This went on for months. And then one day I had enough.

 

Epilogue (From the Editor)

 

I knew Amanda from my days in the bank. She was (and is still) a hardworking, pleasant girl. She tried the insurance line in part because of the quick money, but also for its prospects (perceived?) of wealth and prestige.

Her tale is not too uncommon. Years ago as an agent myself, I saw some of my colleagues go through the same process. Infact, there was a China girl in my batch about 9 years ago. I still see her some mornings at Raffles place MRT doing street canvassing. I admire her persistence.

Its a rough job, I’ve been through it myself. One night I was stood up by a prospect in a most interesting fashion. He gave me his address and I travelled across the island to his home. Given that his unit was on the 15th floor, I searched for a lift. The highest button came to 9. Needless to say, any calls made to him went unanswered. I had just tore a parking coupon for two hours too.

People sometimes forget that Insurance agents, like many of us, provide a service and many of them genuinely want to do their job well. They perform a function of education for the general public. They can be equally hardworking, and committed to their jobs just like any of us. We may rant and rail about their commissions, but fail to respect the fact that they do not receive a regular salary of any sort.

They face pressure on all fronts, not only from clients and prospects, but also often from their families as well.

The perceived ill image of an agent probably arises from the occasional article about fraud or misselling, and also from our own experiences with a pushy agent. We don’t think about the lawyers, doctors, and engineers that also have frauded their clients and ran off with millions of dollars – we certainly don’t hold these professions in any lesser regard.

So why the particular chip against agents?

I hope this article has helped to shed some light about the life of an average agent.

If ever you have to turn down some poor door knocker, just remember to do it gently.

 

48 comments

  1. Tim0thy

    A typical sob story to make one’s job seem like more difficult than others.

    Everyone has to work hard and long in here. Nothing new to see.

    1. Timothytheloser

      Hey Timothy, u fucking loser. And yet you finished reading this post and bother to comment. This meant something new for you. Don’t patronise people for the effort of coming up with a post instead of a **** comment. ******* loser.

      1. Neutral

        There’s nothing wrong with Timothy’s comment tbh. It’s either you have been taking it too personal or you might be an agent yourself. Assuming you are right about him reading till the end before making a comment, that’s being respectful. Well, we won’t know if he read it or not. I’m sure bloggers are already prepared to receive comments like this, or either they won’t last, if not whats the point of discussion when people are not allow to disagree. As neutral as I want to be, every jobs have their tough side, thats the fact. Both the blogger and Timothy are definitely legit in their points. Just hope you will stop putting personal feelings in such comment and inflame a neutral comment like this. Nevertheless, I get your intention. :) Just stay respectful in the future.

        1. Tim0thy

          Thanks, Neutral.

          Just pointing a different perspective.
          What’s up with all these sensitive agents ?
          Keyboard warrior.

  2. Sardaukar

    People might be better of targeting sales of specific insurance products and understanding the difference between consumer and enterprise insurance, as well as specialising in specific sectors. How they go about it in Singapore can be rather…unintelligently. That’s the diplomatic term. Take it from someone working in the niche business of selling insurance for unmanned aerial vehicles.

    1. Surely

      I am guessing the nature of a life insurance and a niche insurance like yours are vastly different.

      Your experience will be much more unique and we will love it if you may share more.

  3. J

    I was an ex agent before, and I know how hard and how trying being an agent can get. It isnt easy trying to close a case, and to make your way up the ladder.

    Besides rejections, the money out, you would have to spend 90-95% away from home. Sometimes when I return home, it would be like 12am.

    Yes the money was good, but after that I decided that all these isnt worth it for the time that I neglected my family and friends. Cos by the time you wanted to connect with them, friendships and family – probably they would have moved on without you.

    Maybe my story is me being too emotional, but i treasure relationships – friendships and the like.

    Cheers!
    J

    1. Surely

      It’s ironic that when one is busy building relationships with clients, one may lose their existing ones with loved ones.

      Anyhow, thanks for sharing your story with us!

  4. Felix

    Been an insurance agent in the era of CPF investment scheme earning 4-7k per month till I choose to quit in the 3rd. The money is good and quick. But the fact that in Singapore even the 50+ easily know what is insurances hearing from their social circle. The era I in was that of overcrowding of insurance agents and even govt help setup loopholes to entice common people to new ways of conning their money to feed these agents. You will lose yr moral and ethics easily for the $$$ easily. Just a rational thinking, if one need to buy insurance, there is more than enough channel for people to get it on their own. Any selling of these products/services where public had basic and even high knowledge, required something called hard selling/high pressure selling techniques. Then come the worst part that for those already hard up on money, you will have to scheme against them to take up unnecessary investment with CPF, car loan, sign up hp line, or even as fees for credit conselling etc just for the sake of earning commission to keep yrself alive. In my third month I spent more time to advice/help poor people warning them of the loopholes and further consequences they had to bear which make all the choices I can offer them in the short term as not worthy options. Its like steve job never let his children use Ipad for reasons u can think of. There is no room for new comers unless an old bird decide to pass his portfolio over to you to take over that you can stay clean on high ethics and earn a decent living. No longer is this trade about hard work that a few rotten apples had made it even harder, but there is just no prospects at all to even try. Reasons why insurance companies give such high commission and keep their recruitment in top gear in to unconsciously tell the newbie to do all the bad stuffs while in so called legal standard and cast an even wider net to catch those few left out fishes or force conversion to their companies through yr relationship. Find a decent job which is low or you will soon become a insurance, property, car agent all 3 in one sooner or later, not because you are good salesman but you will be forced to do it. Timeshare and MLM included. Don’t be enticed by the high pay initially for you may once live in the cloud in the beginning, but land hard coming out of the system. There is no easy money anywhere and stop letting others make use of yr hard working attitude. There is no room for pity to those that put in the effort but not get rewards as measured with deal closed only, ended quitting is just that they are gullible to be sucked in the first place .

    1. Kenneth

      We need more pple like you to educate those who are still blinded by this trade… they really do not know what they are in for…

  5. N

    While in university, I was an agent for a tied agency for 6 months. Took all the papers, did roadshows, surveys, the works. Throughout the six months, some things became clear.

    Firstly, the emphasis on money far outweighs any material benefit insurance provides. This is particularly true for ILPs. Certain types of insurance, such as medical, fire, or corporate plans do have value but there are very few people who genuinely are there to provide a service. Fewer still are the actual products that have actual value.

    Secondly, the trouble starts from the top. The tank and file sales people are largely clueless about how to fix the system or even that the system needs fixing.

    Thirdly, a woman i prospected with the sales tactics i was taught said to me, “i have cancer, i have no value to you.” That hit pretty hard because it basically nailed what i was turning into had i continued. if you can sell you have value, if you can’t you failed as a human being.

    I quit a few days later.

    To those still in the field, i wish you well and that you not lose your moral compass.

  6. Surely

    Thank you for all your inputs.
    It is incredibly real and right on point.

    On one hand, it is great that some of you realise you may be heading into a wrong direction if you continued on the same path.

    On the other hand, good people who truly care about people like yourself are leaving or have left the industry.

    It is such a conundrum!

  7. Ted

    If you think Insurance agents are persistent, wait till you encounter the pink polo tee shirt heart foundation roadshow sales person. They will pester you non stop and some will show displeasure if you ignore them.

  8. Unbothered

    I’m an insurance agent and I’m proud of it. I don’t need people to tell me who I am and what I do is bogus. So long as I know myself and what I do is proper, I’m happy with it. To all them haters/lovers out there, we all have our own nightmares and Dreams with our jobs. It would do good to judge less and perceive more.

    Good day to all

  9. Anony

    I think insurance agents are some of the worse jobs in this society.
    I rather my daughter be a vegetable seller. At least she is selling something people need.

    Seriously they should just make it a fixed pay job where people who needs it can go to the agents. Some agents are so pushy, some are so persistent in selling products that make more money for them.
    Along with property agents, insurance agents are some of the nastiest jobs where the people are in it purely for money, have no heart or passion, and simply try to push through deals so that they can make a commission. I thought anyone in these lines can touch their hearts and say honestly that they are not in it for money, but i guess they cant.

    1. Bala

      I disagree.

      I am not an agent. But I got a good agent with 20 years in the field, known him since his 6th year. Insurance helps in many ways depending on the products you buy. My agent gave good advise and I managed to allow some of my money appreciate. Helped me pay my bills when i got hit by a hit and run motorcyclist, appreciated my CPF to give me more during downpayment for my property. Gives me a more secured lumpsum when i retire knowing that CPF alone isn’t enough. He came with yhe intentions of helping me make money with my money. He didn’t come only to make money out of me. 14 years down the road, I am grateful to God for knowing this good agent.

      Some rogue agents doesn’t mean insurance is nonsense.

    2. Stranger

      If you think insurance is something people don’t need, you have no idea the amount of times people haved been saved from the disastrous medical bills and loss of income

    3. Jh

      I am quite shock and sad when you are saying. Insurance is not a need by ppl. Btw. I am not an insurance agent. But an auditor. Our job are also tough. And client won’t appreciate.

      1. Hj

        I am quite shocked and sad at your grammar. No wonder you are an auditor, because you suck with language. Between Insurance and Audit, I choose Insurance.

        Auditors are a bunch of hypocrites – you get a salary you dumbass. Insurance agents don’t. If you are not happy with your job, no one is bloody forcing you to stay on. Quit, and do something you think people will appreicate.

        Dumbass.

        1. BT

          I think you misunderstood his commented, granted his grammar makes it difficult to understand him clearly. I believe he meant to say that he is shock that some people the misconception that insurance is useless. Peace.

    4. Darren

      Insurance buys Dignity. Everyone of us will eventually gets sick and falls ill one day. Imagine yourself getting sick without an insurance.. You will be the one going around asking for money for treatment. Think abt it.

    5. Esther

      Are you not in any job just for the money?
      Unfortunately most people work hard not because they have passion for the job but because they have to survive and earn a living. Don’t we all want progress in our career? How are insurance agents less worthy of what they are earning? Those who succeed are the ones who worked hard and really made it despite all the hardships. What we are focusing on are the black sheeps in this industry who made it seems easier to attain what they had. There’s so much skepticism because it is easy to get into this industry, and there’s too much temptations to hardsell. It is true that agents who made it are richer than an ordinary employee, but what we missed out on are the years of hard work they put in other than closing a deal.
      Other jobs seem more decent because those jobs need a degree/a level of experience to attain. They require skills that a typical agent may never have acquired. It is never easy making it to the top of a normal corporate ladder because it requires years of experience and promotion. And when we reached an older age, we risk the sad truth of getting replaced or retrenched.

      On the other hand salesman jobs like agents don’t have such risk and we only need a diploma to enter such industry, what’s more making it to the top may probably seems easy to some. This is why people tend to look down on agents. It does not give credits to meritocracy. At the end of the day, a nasty personality can sit at manager or director level in companies just because they are well educated and they have years of experience, but a good agent who is well loved by his clients only need to be responsible and be able to handle relationships well.

      I know my opinion is biased, but I’m just offering my perspective.
      Insurance agents can also be well loved by clients, and these agents are the true gems.

      I pretty much hated insurance agents all my life, until I knew a director who have the kindest heart I never found in any of my friends or people I know.

  10. Quix

    Anony, it seems like it proves the point that you are not the type of person who will reward someone who did a great job, or even a job career position should’t get pay, since it’s their job

  11. Penpaperpromise

    It is so interesting to read all the opinions.
    Again, as I always say…”Opinion is FREE”
    I am a Financial Consultant, now a Director of an agency force.
    I hate insurance back then until my Dad had stroke.
    I was suppose to be the next CFO in line for a US MNC BUT I choose to quit because my job PORTFOLIO is to retrench my coworker who are expensive in their late forties.

    The key to insurance industry is I am NOT in an insurance business. I am in a PEOPLE business, setting up my own “franchise” + Legal MLM” to do a GOOD cause.

    I graduate with a Master Degree with NTU. I left my job that pay me $15k per month to join insurance market.

    I wanted a business that will take care of me in my retirement. Everyone need that.

    I am a lousy salesman that am paid well because my clients (now all my bros and sis) DO NOT allow me to failed.
    Every year, my claim ratio is HIGH but again, in my several platform speaking opportunities, I always ask…Who pay me my commission?

    Everyone joined an industry for a reason. But 2 keys pillars to hold on:
    1) Do it for a REASON and NOT a season.
    2) Have a mentor to guide you.

    To conclude:
    To know how important insurance is. Pls seek opinion from the right person. Go and ask a Widow, Orphan, Disabled and Stage 3 cancer patient.
    You will get the Right answer from the Right person.

    I dare u to call me at XXXX XXXX.

    1. Sim Hoo

      Insurance is important, nobody denies that. It’s the stupid scammy shit like ILPs that they sell that gives them all a bad name. They won’t even bother mentioning the existence of a term life insurance because of how cheap it is, meaning low comm for them.

      They always approach people in shopping centre or cold call about a “savings plan” which is usually a ILP. And ILP is definitely a scam and if you got a problem with that then you go argue with Tan Kin Lian.

      1. Kel

        ILPs are good. It’s just that people are unware on their benefits. There’s roadshow that promote tradition savings as well. Dont judge so quickly.

        1. Koh

          Ilps are good? How so? Our agency educates the public about not to buy ilps n we actively try to persuade our clients not to get ilps. If want to invest, do proper portfolio planning instead. Ilps are good to lie pockets with good comms.

          1. Somebody

            That’s where you’re wrong, kiddo. I believe you know the concept of the financial pyramid. Clients who wish to grow their money at a much faster rate can do so via ILPs. While an endowment provides returns as well, they are not as fast as their growth is capped, and the company will keep the rest as profit. Whatever company you’re in, either you don’t have very good funds/fund managers or your agency is very conservative. But then again, to each their own.

  12. Clearly *

    There are definitely some bad apples in the barrel, we don’t deny that. Which is one big reason why we started this site – so that the general population can educate themselves on these matters and we raise the bar for insurance as a whole.

    Appreciate you dropping by and sharing your thoughts!

  13. Pingback: Standing up against the appalling insurance stereotypes - Singapore's Life Insurance Blog: Expert and Unbiased Views

  14. An agent

    Well, the struggle is real. But the rewards are great too. In any occupation, some prioritise monetary rewards, while some job fulfilment. When I did my first major claim for my client, and the cheque came within a week, the gratitude on my client’s face is unforgettable. He has recovered now, family and savings intact. This gave a purpose to my job and the drive to help many others. Today, I see myself more of a well paid social worker. So guys, please be more open minded when anyone comes to you. While there’s black sheep in every industry, you will never know that guy might be the one saving your life. Cheers!

  15. Wilfred Ling

    The job scope of an insurance agent is noble. The issue is the manner the sale is conducted is often unprofessional.

    There are two main issues i see.

    1. The financial needs of a typical person has become more complex compared to the past. Their needs go beyond just insurance. Clients expectations have also risen. Many agents join the industry without even a clue on finance. In other words, they are not even qualified to advice wholistically. This is mistakes number 1.

    2. Many agencies and firms do not provide much value add in terms of lead generation and financial planning know how. Their agents are just down lines left to struggle on their own. The top line just keep on recruiting hoping their will eventually hit a jackpot if one of their down line turn out to be a high performer. Joining the wrong agency/firm is mistakes number 2.

  16. Unknown

    It is much worse if you took up allowance scheme, imagine your bad sales, your sunk costs in roadshows plus other miscellaneous charges like roadshows late charges (when they said you’re self employed) and you still got to repay back the allowance they gave you… ended up working to be in debt instead of earning.

  17. X-agent

    Insurance sure stems from a noble idea. As a community, the large number of individuals who pay for the insurance will essentially contribute to the medical needs of the few individuals who do claim from their policies.

    However, combine this noble gesture with the free market economy, human greed, herd mentality, and a plethora of human psychological biases, the whole system becomes crippled.

    There is no way to know if an insurance agent will favour the client’s interests, or to deepen his/her own pockets. Furthermore, it does not help that insurance complexes are swamped in flashy cars belonging to you-know-who; and that majority of agents are in it primarily for the money.

    I recall attending the module lessons where they taught the principles of insurances, and after the first few pages, it’s all about insurance policies and commission rates. It is all a huge money making factory.

    IMHO, we do not need higher insurance sales, or better sales tactics, or more insurance agents. We need educators, who can enlighten the general public of the benefits of insurance to a community, not to a single individual.

    And for those who are considering the position as an agent, I’d say look for a job that creates wealth instead of a job that transfers wealth. It is more rewarding, both to the individual and the community.

  18. Dude

    To each agent, it may be the first time he/she knocked on your door. But to the residents, it’s the 99th goddamned time they’ve had to tell an agent that no, they’re not interested.

    That’s why people are so rude to agents, and that’s why door knocking is never a good tactic.

  19. ILProNot

    Insurance is an important issue for every and anyone but it’s just how it’s being put in place (bought or sold)
    An ex agent myself I admire those ethical ones who really do an honest living. Some not so flashy others flashy in their life style but honest.
    The issue is the ethics the agents have and how they are craved to…
    You have bossed who help you pay your downpayment for your BMW n give you a reason to work hard cos now you need to feed your car…
    They are those who put a price tag to everyone in your contact lists including your immediate family members.. those who criticised you when you don’t make enough for the month cos then you are not contributing to the agency for all the awards…
    Those who make you feel worthless by their words… etc etc…
    Then you have those who encourage you and help you up your so call career…
    Fact is insurance is not for everyone… but then if you don’t try you won’t know…. but after trying just beware if by then you are not cut out to be an agent the loads of people you had offended are still out there..
    It’s a tough industry…

  20. Who owe u a living

    I usually refrain from reading or commenting from internet forums because sentiments and comments can be so opinionated, superficial and unresponsible. So Much things can be posted with seeing sonlittle. But, today I shall post my first ever comment, not for haters, but for insurance agents out there who r still confused but still have that little faith and belief it what they r doing.

    I too, am an insurance agent, and for almost a decade now.
    I am in it for money initially. But in years, I realise, money alone cannot help u do well in this business. You need to have a cause, and if I dare, a Noble one. Otherwise, you will find yourself with no reason to carry on, even if the money is there. Because mentally, it is absolutely draining, and disheartening. Why would u stay in a job if u r never appreciated at all. U do a claim well, well, it is ur job to do so, otherwise, why r u receiving commission from me? But if a claim is rejected due to exclusions, u screw up. Clients flare up, and u r there to face it, alone. We are somehow similar to a goal keeper in football matches, most of the time, goalkeepers are more often scrutinise for their mistake rather than being appreciated for their ability for clean sheets.
    Anyway, we must understand how society function; and that is no one owes you a living. At the end of it , u provide as much aid to ppl whom u meet, perhaps w a claim to a policy that no agent is servicing, but we must not expect return, because true intention comes with No expectation. Then, u know at the end of it, u r doing ur job as an agent to serve the greater good and let it be judged by ur trueself. So don’t be despair, don’t be disappointed when your cold call hits a nasty client, don’t be disappointed when a door is slammed upon u, or when u have sniding remarks from passers by during roadshow, u must see beyond them, and have faith in doing what u do. These nasty individuals will always have a grumpy comment over something, every single day, don’t let their words devalue ur existence. Some ppl will appreciate and thank you for ur job, but most will not. But it should not matter, because no one owes u a living , and at the end of it, u know u have done something right. With this, then perhaps, u can consider this ur career, and not just a job.

  21. Cunningsiteowner

    After reading article and all comments, it is a conclusion of my own that the story was written to both excite interest and incite distaste for the profession – for what? Increase web traffic to clearlysurely.com – for what? Generate advertising revenue…(possibly on top of their insurance jobs)..good job clearly! There are many who see, yet do not observe!

  22. Avallis Financial Pte Ltd.

    Avallis Financial Pte Ltd. is a crap company that said client service is important but frankly, they did not service at all but just earn your commission and then agent went around to have fun and provide nothing there after. Their customer service lady called to say policy is about to lapse and I asked why no one called, but she was totally lost of word. Asked them to send an apology email for the agents’ oversight but still did not reply to my request. What do you think? Agents sucks and agency sucks further. Like boss, like agents – what goes around comes around.

  23. Education!

    There comes a point when people think that they know about insurance but they don’t really know. It’s all assumption. Being an agent myself, countless times I’ve told my prospects or clients that life insurance pays out even due to natural death like old age. It’s true some agents are trying to force sell, but it’s true that some agents also are trying to educate as well. The main goal is to help the client to get to better position than he was before meeting you, not worst of. There isn’t an insurance product that is bad. It’s more of whether it’s beneficial or useful to them. I could be paying $500/mth on a savings plan(some banks do that) or $100/mth for term life. It comes down to which one is more beneficial for me.

    Insurance is just like a handphone screen protector. Most people have one in fear of dropping their phones and cracking the screen since repairs would be expensive. It’s just a matter of perspective and help people relate to the unknown future of what’s to come. It’s not a waste of money if you don’t get to claim your insurance. It means you’re healthy! Money is never more important than health.

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