Do you know the highest grossing insurance agents in the world earn more than a crore each year? Yes, it’s true! Selling insurance policies can be a great job for hard workers. There are two good reasons for this. One, it pays well; second, it’s relatively easy to start a career as an insurance agent. You don’t need sales experience or a college degree. What you do need is a strong communication and the ability to remain thick-skinned when doors are slammed in your face. Some of the highest grossing insurance agents went through the same when they started their careers. However, their love for this profession led them to the winning side.
Let’s look at their insurance journey:
Ankur Agarwal was just 19 years old when he became the youngest highest-selling insurance agent in the world as he sold life insurance business worth Rs 2.2 crore (Rs 22 million) in terms of premium income. At such a young age, Ankur earned an annual commission of about Rs 40 lakh (Rs 4 million). He capitalized on his father’s business contacts- made presentations to corporates, discussed with them their balance sheets in terms of ensuring future profitability and earnings. At the end of the exercise, he sold them a solution in the form of keyman insurance cover.
Narendra Kumar Tulsian
Insurance agents selling insurance in India face a tug of war between Life Insurance Corporation of India and private insurance companies. Narendra Kumar Tulsian went through the same. He said that “most customers had blind faith in the old LIC institution, and this posed a major challenge for us agents. Additionally, he faced the biggest stumbling block in selling as there was a notion in public that “I will not die”. Yet Narendra Kumar Tulsian did business worth millions of rupees by tapping his contact base of thousands of individuals.
Rajesh’s story is an inspiring rags-to-riches one. He sold pens at train stations to support his family’s income as a young boy. By recognizing his knack for selling early on in his life, he decided to become an insurance agent even though he did not have the contacts (having contacts is assumed to be critical for success in this profession). Today, he sells policies worth millions of rupees.
Parekh missed out on playing cricket and watching matinee shows during his youth but is now a millionaire who can afford most luxuries of life. As an agent, his annual income is in crores. The sweat and toil behind selling 1,000 odd policies a year, helped Bharat Parekh marry his five sisters off.
As in earlier days, being an insurance agent was still taboo for the middle class, finding a bride for him was an uphill task. He even had to produce his income tax returns to prove to his potential father-in-law that he earned enough to take care of his daughter and bring up a family.
It was in 2002 when Jethani gave up his job as a sub-broker (after the technology bubble burst) and made insurance selling his full-time job. It was glamorous to be a stockbroker, but not an insurance agent, and moreover, it was difficult to switch to insurance. More than a decade after choosing insurance as a career, Jethani earned over Rs 3 crore a year in commission. But that did not come easily. To earn that, he attended, on an average, 2.5 meetings a day and just one in ten meetings led to a policy sale.
He says that his happiest moment was not when the LIC chairman presented him an award, but when the state-owned insurer wrote a settlement cheque within a day (precisely six hours) of an insurance holder’s death.
Gideon du Plessis
Plessis failed in his 10th grade and never went to college. But he was one of the highest earning insurance agents in the world, with annual commissions amounting to Rs 70 million plus. His success mantra was- “People buy people, not policies.”
He says that “the idea is to ask questions and more questions, collect information about the client and then go back to him/her with a solution”. He further adds, “Just selling is not the solution, but rather providing a solution to meet people’s needs”. This is the reason why he has come so far in his career.
Although the insurance business can be challenging, it can be immensely rewarding for those who are willing to learn the necessary skills. If you are passionate about insurance and have similar traits to the people outlined above, you have a great shot at having a long and successful insurance career!