Mon | Jul 22, 2019

Selling life insurance a great career move

Published:Wednesday | June 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMGlenford Smith

I read your column in The Gleaner on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in which this university student wrote to you about her disappointment with the insurance agent who terminated her pre-contract agreement of six weeks. Now, I have a great career, moving from salesman to branch manager and got in the largest insurance company in the island. If I had to start my life over again I would choose the same career. When I used to select prospective agents I managed, I selected people who demonstrated a pattern of success in their previous employment.

- Leopold 'Steely' Williams

Thank you for responding to the young lady's situation. Your email had to be condensed because of its length. The title of the column that you referenced is, 'Frustrated with selling life insurance', and the letter was sent in by S.L., by the way.

It is very commendable that you've said you had a great career and if you had to do it again, you would do the same thing. So you obviously had a good experience. S.L. had a negative one and several readers have said that they, too, had a bad one. I am very happy for you.

Like I always tell people, they should look at it as showing them about themselves. If the experience is positive and they feel excited about the job, they can explore more of it. They can decide that is what they want to do. If not, simply move on, that job is not for you. It's just a learning experience. It's nothing to curse your boss and your co-workers over. It is just not yours.

In the whole wide world, don't you think there's one job that you're perfectly suited to? I'd ask. When asked like that, they usually see the silliness involved in hanging on to that one job. I like though, that you've come and given the opposite side. Selling life insurance can turn out to be a 'great job', if you're cut out for it.

It is, of course, a good practice to select a candidate with a pattern of success behind them. This gives them a feeling of having succeeded, and you know what they say. Success breeds more success. However, this lady has demonstrated an impressive history of success, and she didn't do as well as she had hoped. Who can tell how she might have done had she stuck it out?

One always has to be prepared, after having selected a candidate likely to succeed, to have him or her not working out. Some candidates are not cut out for some posts. That's a basic fact.

I agree with you that it's not over for her. I think she knows that too. She is young and smart so will bounce back. Like you've said, experiences like these are just obstacles to overcome to get stronger. Stepping stones on the young lady's path to excellence.

- Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'. glenfordsmith@yahoo.com