Ok, I'll come right out and say it, I didn't know anything about insurance sales a few months ago. It's fine. Settle down. I'm not a salesperson. I'm a writer. But my dad was an insurance salesman. He sold it when I was a baby before he and my uncles took over my grandfather's florist, nursery and landscaping business. And then he sold insurance again in my teens after they sold the family business.
I know you're wondering why I sound like Rose from The Golden Girls, spinning a yarn about St. Olaf, Minnesota, but my lead in has a point. I always wondered why my dad would take on what I considered to be a real snoozefest of a career. He and my uncles and their pals had a blast hosting annual Christmas hours with Santa, selling flocked Christmas trees and sitting around DiStefano Gardens drinking Miller Lite after hours with the crew. But in the last few months, I've begun to understand why my dad, and why most of you reading this, have chosen insurance sales as your livelihood.
Here are 5 reasons why I think being in insurance sales kind of rules:
1. DOLLA DOLLA BILLS Y'ALL
Insurance sales can show you the money once you know what you're doing. My dad isn't what anyone would call a polished business man by any stretch of the imagination, but you know what he has loads of - personality. And if you have a personality that you're using properly, you can probably sell just about anything. Take it from the daughter of a guy who could sell a flocked wreath with 2 styrofoam cardinals on it and then turn around and sell a life insurance policy to the same guy. Personality means you can create relationships with your clients and those usually translate into successful selling and sweet commissions.
2. WEIRD FLEX, BUT OK
Whether you're an independent or a captive agent, the 9-5 grind is optional, depending on how you want to run your business. My dad was always at my soccer games in high school because he could schedule his client calls around my sports schedule. This is a huge perk when you consider lots of people are a slave to their cubicle, working under rigid schedules handed down from the man. If you decide to go independent one day, this gives you an even larger scope of what types of insurance you can offer the clients you're already serving - and on your own terms.
3. DOING GOOD
Ok this is the touchy-feely part. As we know, this country's health insurance has been front and center during the last decade, but health isn't the only important thing that people need insured. Being someone who helps give clients real security in order to protect their homes, their cars, and their lives, is no small potatoes, my friend. You can play it down all you want, but at the end of the day, when people find themselves in times of real trouble, you're the one who's made it possible for them to get help they need. You're slinging security, not car stereos. And it's pretty awesome.
4. COME ONE, COME ALL, COME WHENEVER
As is evident by my own father's career arc, you can be anyone and sell insurance. It's a great starter career for the nuts and bolts aspect of it - learning to sell, market, serve customers, set goals and manage budgets. But it's also a career you can segue into at any time, no matter what you did before or plan to do after. You have to hit the books for a bit to get licensed, but after that, you're in the game and you're shooting your shots.
5. MIXING IT UP
Mentioned above, being part of, or even owning, an insurance agency brings layers of opportunity for a business-minded person. You'll get the chance to get your hands into all aspects of what it takes to market and sell insurance. You're getting out of the office. You're meeting with clients. You're creating and closing deals. This means you're not being pigeon-holed into the same daily monotony of other careers where you'd do the same thing, all day, every day.
I hereby officially retract any misconceptions I've had since puberty about selling insurance being a complete snoozefest. I realize now that it offers more for the average Jim (my dad's name) than most careers. From flexibility to financial security, it locks most boxes for go-getters of all ages and it can bring a lot of personal fulfillment at the same time.