Sun | Apr 5, 2020

Glenford Smith | Not cut out for selling life insurance

Published:Sunday | June 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMGlenford Smith

QUESTION: I am responding to the article 'Frustrated with life insurance' in the Wednesday, May 9, 2018, edition of The Gleaner because it hits close to home. The same thing happened to my daughter who is a recent graduate of UTech. She was told she had to do a course in advance and had to pay an exam fee in the sum of $13,000. She was told that at the end, she would receive a certificate. That was last year May, and she has not received that certificate to date. This is the highest form of scamming I have ever come across. They use people like my daughter, and they end up with the benefits.

- Angry Mom

CAREERS: Thank you for writing what seems like a really vitriolic letter. I understand your frustration, believe me. Nowadays, money is hard to come by. You said it cost you $7,000 per week, plus lunch, to give your daughter and it all came to naught. So, your anger as a mom is understandable. (By the way, your email had to be condensed for publishing due to its length.)

I read your letter, and I was asked myself if this was the same life insurance that another reader of my columns had written about. Leopold 'Steely' Williams wrote in to say some glowing things about selling life insurance. He said it was a "great career" and that "if he had to do it again, he would choose to do the same thing".

He said that he had gone through the very same pre-contract period as an insurance salesman and vouched for the quality of the guidelines used. He said, "The pre-contract period is well researched and used worldwide as a guideline for selection of good-quality insurance salespersons."

You can draw one conclusion: Not everyone can report as your daughter and as the writer of the 'Frustrated with selling life insurance' article. Some people are cut out for it, some are not. That doesn't make some people, like your daughter, bad.

You've said that your daughter was given the same six-week period to sell 15 policies but sold only nine, failing to meet the quota. She had to start a fresh nine weeks during which she sold a further nine, thus again not meeting the quota of 15. Your complaint and the source of your anger seem to be that all this time, she did not get a paycheck, and she has still not received the certificate.

I cannot say whether all that you say is true or if your daughter is truthful. I have not verified it. But I can clearly see your point and understand the source of your frustration. Now, as to your charging them with "having the highest form of scamming you have ever come across", I would have to disagree with you.

The life insurance industry is one of the most respectable industries we have. It has helped countless people by providing coverage in really troubled times. If the career doesn't work for your daughter, she should leave it. I would tell her that even though it's hard, it is best if she forgets that money and chalks it up to experience. Now she knows that she is not cut out for selling life insurance.

I want to commend you for the support - financial and otherwise - that you have been giving your daughter. She is fortunate to have a mother like you. She needs that support as she continues in a new field.

• 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'. Email: