3 Types of Life Insurance Agents you may encounter

Posted 25 February, 2016 by Clearly
in Educate Yourself

Life Insurance agents – they are a colourful bunch. They come from all walks of life, approach you when you least expect it, and you may find yourself engaging their services after several encounters.

We thought it would be pretty interesting to categorize them into different groups and size up their pros and cons, and the end result is something that had us grinning uncontrollably. Here are the 3 main types of Life Insurance Agents that you may encounter.

 

 

Type 1: The Newbie

 

Hi, I'm Ronnie and I love to extend my hand to you awkwardly.

Hi, I’m Ronnie and I love to extend my hand to you awkwardly.

 

How you meet them: On the street, where they are canvassing for business. Outside MRT stations is their favourite haunt.

How you spot them: You can spot him a mile away. Eager, bordering on over-enthusiasm the moment you agree to stop for a moment to complete his “survey”. Even in under the hot sun, his smile is just as wide as his eyes.

The Newbie is an agent who has just joined the line, full of fire in his belly. He wants to do well for himself, and relentlessly pursues every single prospect. Literally. Chasing. You. Down.

He only speaks in sentences no less than 45 words, hardly pausing for breathe in case you should lose interest. But when you do sit down for the discussion proper, his inexperience can be pretty evident.

 

Q: Hmm, can this policy be backdated for 4 months?

A: I need to get back to you on that. (slight confusion on his face)

Q: What is your company’s policy loan interest rate?

A: I need to get back to you on that. (slight confusion on his face)

Q: Do you think I need to buy insurance from you?

A: Yes, definitely. (no confusion whatsoever)

 

One thing good to be said about Newbie agents – they will be more than likely to go that extra mile to secure your business. Don’t be surprised if you ask them to pick up your laundry and they say yes. They make up for their inexperience with their service attitude.

However they are also the most likely drop out of the industry after a few short years. One vivid example: the agent whom i bought health insurance from stopped her employment 2 weeks after I purchased my plan. Talk about come and go!

 

Type 2: The Suave Professional

 

Its all about looking the part, baby.

Its all about looking the part, baby.

 

How you meet them: Via a trusted recommendation from a friend, or perhaps from a seminar about financial planning.

How you spot them: In a word: Bling. Lots of Bling. They pull up in a BMW M5, effortlessly whip out a Mont Blanc Pen with not one, but two diamond inlays. The ladies tot Hermes bags, the gents sport handmade shoes from deer leather (cowhide is far too rough). They look like they are ready for a photoshoot on Elle Magazine, even though you are meeting them at starbucks.

The Suave Professional is the type of agent that has made it good in an industry where competition is fierce. He or she is likely to be an agency leader or director of some sort, meaning an elevated position – not just a regular insurance agent, mind you, but a successful one. (That’s why they are the ones giving speeches about financial planning)

They have been there and done that, met hundreds of clients and sold thousands of policies. He sizes you up in a mere matter of minutes after meeting you, and knows exactly what to say, and how to push your buttons – all without you knowing it.

He also knows his stuff, quite unlike the Newbie.

 

Q: Hmm, can this policy be backdated for 4 months?

A: That won’t be an issue, anything less than 6 months we will handle it. I can also put a special note to our underwriters if needed. (instant answer, full confidence in his eyes)

Q: What is your company’s policy loan interest rate?

A: 6% per annum, valid across all plans with cash value. (instant answer, full confidence in his eyes)

Q: Do you think I need to buy insurance from you?

A: Yes, definitely. (instant answer, full confidence in his eyes)

 

One plus point about Suave Professionals – they know their stuff. They are likely to be able to anticipate your questions even before you field them, and structure their pitch accordingly.

The downside to actually purchasing a plan from them – you are just one of the many hundreds of clients that they have, so don’t expect stellar service. Until you buy another policy from them.

 

Type 3: The Aunty

 

A face that no one says no to.

A face that no one says no to.

 

How you meet them: Likely a friend of the family. Perhaps a friend of your parents.

How you spot them: Unlike the Suave professional or the Newbie, Insurance agent aunties are harder to spot. They tend to tone it down a bit, preferring a bit of subtlety. The only time you spot them is when you already bought the policy, that’s when you know you’ve been hit by a smooth Aunty.

The Aunty is not a common figure you meet in the Insurance Industry, but they have been around. Its safe to say that they were in the industry even before you were born. They are probably still in the line because they enjoy doing what they do, and not because they need the money or recognition.

People buy from Aunties from totally different reasons they buy from Suave Professionals: Aunties make people feel at ease in their presence. Buying is simple, almost effortless and natural.

 

Q: Hmm, can this policy be backdated for 4 months?

A: Ah boy, we only need to backdate the policy if there is a genuine need. If not, why bother? (kindly smile)

Q: What is your company’s policy loan interest rate?

A: Aiyoh, why think about borrowing against your policy? Insurance is meant to help you save up, not give you a cashline. (kindly smile)

Q: Do you think I need to buy insurance from you?

A: Yes, definitely. (a bigger, but still kindly smile)

 

One advantage associated with Aunties is that they will likely stick around (as they have done so for the past 4 decades) and not disappear on you after the sale. You can always expect a more matronly type of advice that comes from them

A not so good point: You are likely to outlive them.

 

So these are the 3 types of Life Insurance agents that you could meet in Singapore today. Have you ever had an encounter with one of them? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!

 

www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.

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