In this article, I will discuss 5 pros and cons of selling insurance.
If you are investigating a possible career in insurance sales, or are assessing different insurance agencies to potentially join, this article is for you.
First, I’ll talk about my 5 favorite advantages selling insurance offers to insurance agents.
Next, I’ll talk about the 5 disadvantages of selling insurance and why an insurance sales career may NOT make sense.
If you’re a brand new agent or considering getting your insurance licensed, then learning these pros and cons of selling insurance will help a TON.
Let’s get started.
Pro #1: Freedom
What’s the biggest advantage of selling insurance?
Most top producers agree. It’s the FREEDOM the business allows that few do.
The way I define “freedom” is that I have total control over how I operate my business.
For example, I have total autonomy over my career choices, the insurance products I sell, which companies I represent, and the type of prospects I want to work with.
Even better, I’m not held hostage to a corporate entity, controlling my career advancement based on its agenda.
With Freedom Comes Responsibility
However, freedom does NOT mean you can lounge around and come and go as you please.
The flip side of the freedom coin is RESPONSIBILITY.
This means you have to pay your dues, sacrifice when necessary, work hard consistently for YEARS, in order to earn that freedom.
In my insurance business, it took me approximately 7 years of full-time 60 to 80 hour work weeks before I could “cool my jets” and relax a little.
Of course, the price I paid to get here is well worth it. My freedom level is tremendous.
I work from home. I have ample time for my spouse and 4 children. I go to jiu-jitsu 5 days a week. And I have the ability to vacation for long periods of time WITHOUT disrupting my income flow.
Sure, these are minor advantages. But they are meaningful to me because I know not every working person can readily access the advantages.
Bottom line, it’s the insurance business that facilitates my freedom. And the good news is you have access to the same potential, too =).
Pro #2: Wealth
Let me define how I mean when I say “wealth.”
Naturally, like many agents starting insurance sales, selected this business because of the income-earning opportunity.
And yes, that’s a TOTALLY fine reason to sell insurance.
However, as time passes, you realize there’s an opportunity to develop wealth in your finances AND personal life.
The wealth I’m talking about is MORE than just money in your bank and investments.
It also refers to the wealth of business ownership, personal and professional fulfillment, and living a lifestyle second-to-none.
Hopefully it makes sense.
Sure, the insurance business provides a fantastic high-income earning opportunity.
But more importantly, it gives you the means to live a meaningful existence.
Pro #3: An Honorable Profession
Unlike complaints with other sales strategies, you won’t feel “dirty” selling insurance.
This assumes you’re selling in the right way, of course!
In most circumstances, our insurance products offer valuable benefits to our clients.
And while some may not believe or want what we sell, there are more than enough that will.
And instead of selling them another consumer goods only to be discarded in the future, our insurance policy sits ready to serve in times of tragedy.
For example, perhaps your life insurance client passes away, and the policy you sold him leaves his family financially sound for the foreseeable future.
Shouldn’t that make you proud, not only what you did for him and his family, but also on EVERY sales call you help someone with their insurance needs?
In my national agency, I specialize in the “senior market.” We work with people 50 and older looking for final expense, Medicare, and retirement planning via annuities.
I’ve been in business long enough to service death claims.
And it’s true. If it wasn’t for my effort to approach the prospect, then there are high odds he’d NEVER have ANY life insurance protection!
That’s why you can hold your head high in this business. Feel proud of what you do. You do GOOD work!
Unlike other professions, you do honorable work for your clients, making a real difference in the course of their lives.
Pro #4: It’s An Old, Boring Business
Most top agents agree…
There is little to no sex appeal to selling insurance!
In fact, it’s a boring, predictable career.
So why is that an advantage?
Unlike other industries, the insurance business is not experiencing technological upheaval, or radically-new innovations disrupting the normal flow of business.
In fact, the insurance business models I teach have existed more or less the same for many decades.
Further, we have enough data and experience to know what leads and sales systems work well (nobody can guarantee success, that’s farcical).
What’s my point?
Take pleasure in this “boring” business of insurance!
All you need is to find an organization with a turn-key sales and marketing system, proven successful over time, then simply duplicate it on your own.
With final expense, it’s a straightforward strategy.
You buy leads and solicit them via door knocks or pre-set appointments.
It’s really that simple. And it works and continues to work wonderfully.
In fact, creativity is a barrier to having success selling many insurance products.
Instead, the values necessary for success include:
- A good work ethic,
- Can follow directions, and
- Take massive action.
Pro #5: A People Business
Insurance sales is great if you love people!
With the insurance business, you must deal with people daily. It’s a relationship business meaning it’s important to enjoy the process of helping your prospects.
Depending on the type of niche you specialize in, you’ll be there for years to help with questions, concerns, and claims.
However, if you don’t care much for others, selling insurance ain’t gonna work out =).
Selling insurance is not all rainbows and sunshine!
While it’s important to know why the insurance business is advantageous, it’s equally important to understand it’s drawbacks.
So let’s spend some time doing some “reality checks.”
Con #1: Years Of Hard Work Before Success
Expect to work for years before achieving a successful, lucrative insurance business.
However, don’t expect to eat beans and rice for 5 years.
Instead, you should have an income at or above the national average after your first year or 2.
However, for most agents, it takes YEARS of consistent, hard work before achieving a high-income and a sizable stream of renewal, passive income.
As of March 2020, I’m 9 years into the insurance business. Every year, I have seen increases in my income.
However, the last 2-3 years I’ve experienced very high levels of income increases.
Nevertheless, it’s hard to believe I actually quit the business back in 2012 temporarily.
In fact, there were many times early on that I doubted myself.
“Should I be in this business? I could make more doing something else.”
Also, my spouse felt the same way, too. She routinely suggested I was wasting time peddling burial insurance to poor people who didn’t have 2 pennies to rub together.
Thankfully, I kept the faith! I knew that there was something grand if I kept going, no matter the negativity around and inside me.
Con #2: Get Ready For More Work Than You Expect
If you’re not somebody who likes to work long hours, expect a lot of adversity.
Now, there’s nothing wrong starting selling insurance part-time prior to going full-time. That’s completely fine.
However, for full-time insurance agents, expect to put in working hours like a start-up business would.
Over time, the good news is you can let off the gas, live off of renewals, and your sales skill set so advanced you can work less hours making more money.
Con #3: Most Will Fail
Unfortunately, most of you reading this article who get licensed will fail.
The idea behind the name is that 8% of insurance agents are all that survives over a year’s time.
In other words, he estimates 92% of new insurance agents quit!
While I don’t know if that’s exact, I do know it’s fairly close to what others have said.
Why do agents fail?
There’s all sorts of reasons, such as:
- poor training,
- poor marketing,
- poor work ethic, or
- not what they thought it was.
Truly, it’s a shame.
The question you to ask yourself is this:
“How do I avoid becoming one of the many that will fail insurance sales?”
In my experience, the big things you MUST get good at include:
- Receive superior sales training,
- Get a great marketing program going, and,
- Work your a$$ off =).
Con #4: Watch Out For Multi-Level Marketers
Be aware that many large insurance organizations that heavily advertise sales positions are in fact multi-level marketing (MLM) companies.
What do I mean by that?
When I say, “multi level marketing,” I don’t mean that they’re scams.
In fact, the vast majority of MLM agencies are legitimate.
However, they all have a MLM culture of mass recruiting. They’re goal is to train new agents to recruit friends and family.
This has consequences on multiple levels. Let’s discuss them below.
What Can You Learn From Someone Who Knows Nothing?
Here’s the first consideration…
“What business do you have to recruit somebody if you don’t know what you’re doing actually in the first place?”
The truth in ALL organizations is your upline is one of the biggest factors to your success.
And if they have no “street cred,” what right do they have earning money from your sales?
Blame MLMs For Poor Training
The MLM influence perpetuates a lower quality of training for new agents.
Instead of focusing on the craft of selling insurance, these MLMs focus on recruit, recruit, recruit, enriching the top of the pyramid and depriving opportunity from the bottom.
What’s the solution?
Do your due diligence.
If the organization you have in mind talks hot and heavy about recruiting, it’s probably not a good place to be to learn how to sell.
Also, make sure you check with smaller agencies like mine where we focus more on producing more, not recruiting.
Don’t get me wrong. Recruiting isn’t a bad thing. It’s just something that makes more sense after you know a thing or 2.
More On Bad Training
Related to MLM, many agencies have poor training modalities.
They don’t have programs specifically designed to train agents to become top producers.
Instead, they throw agents to the wolves.
“Here’s your script, here’s a carrier, go get them!”
Now, there is some value in that. “You got to sh*t or get off the pot,” as the old saying goes.
Nevertheless, you DO need to know what you’re doing to a certain extent first before selling. Otherwise, you could unknowingly disservice your clients.
Training is valuable. The more training that you get, the better odds you’re going to see success.
Con #5: The Buck Stops With You!
As a newly licensed insurance agent, you are now in business for yourself!
And this means you have NO ONE to blame for your failure or success except YOURSELF.
For some of you out there, this is a great thing. It’s up to me to achieve what I want to. It all comes down to me.
I love holding responsibility. It makes me feel like a better person, empowering me to take massive action.
For others, the idea of basically being responsible for yourself and responsible for your outcomes is a scary concept.
The truth is that if you blame anybody else for your shortcomings or failures, you’re likely not to succeed.
Make sure that you do what it takes if you’re going to come into this business.
If you’re not, don’t do it. Do something else. Become an employee. There’s nothing wrong with that.
This business takes a level of responsibility and personal discipline that you just won’t find with a lot of other job opportunities.
Thanks for reading my article on selling insurance pros and cons.
I hope I either talked you into selling insurance or talked you out of selling insurance.
This business can be wonderful for the right agent and an absolute disaster for many people, probably for most.
If you think you can succeed at selling insurance, learn more about my national agency where I help agents become top producers in final expense, Medicare Advantage, annuities, and mortgage protection.