Sunday, January 16, 2011

Selling Insurance In India

What my insurance agent does differently?

Insurance agents are the animals who we all have encountered somewhere or the other in our everyday life. I call them animals because of their go getter attitude to hunt down their prey and achieve their sale. They are the most aggressive salesmen I have ever seen. They are wild and out there roaming around in this civilized and corporate jungle. Of course, they are selling something that is very important to us and secure us, but there is something in the way most of them sell, makes us avoid them to hell.

Here I have tried to make a note of a few things what other insurance agents generally do and what my agent does differently, why I do not avoid him and buy most my policies from him?

Some facts about insurance and insurance companies in India

These are the real facts that I have heard from some of the insurance agents who tried selling to me.

  1. Every company has been in the insurance business since ages.
  2. Every company is a leader in insurance sector, may be in some other country, some other rating, some other sector. The point is that they are leaders in some segment/region/area
  3. Every company has a record of giving its customers much more than what was expected. Means, if you invest for insuring your life, you also get huge returns in interests/dividends

What I mean to say, that all insurance companies are more or less at par. Not much difference in their operations/ working styles

Some facts about insurance agents in India: This is what I have noticed common amongst all the insurance agents who have approached me

  1. They all started selling insurance as part time business. They are either still part time or they have now moved on to become full time. Some of them have now started something like portfolio management.
  2. They are the people who I know closely/they know me closely. My relatives, friends, neighbors etc and think it is my moral responsibility to give them business/help them complete their targets.
  3. They only talk about how beneficial the investment in the insurance will be for me and my family. It is a set of advantages they have by hearted, which they would be using for everybody.

Generally, most of my encounters with the insurance agents are dreaded. Whenever I see them, I either change my path or get busy (start talking on a phone or something like that)

What does my agent do differently?

My agent does some things differently and hence I mostly end up buying insurance from him.

  1. Integrity: He never asks for business from me during chance encounters/odd hours. If he is coming for business, he will call me and ask me what time will be suitable for me to talk about business. Never will he discuss it on phone. Whenever we happen to meet sometimes, he will talk about everything else except insurance. For explaining insurance, he requests me for my undivided attention. Even if I say I do not have time, he will invariably take an appointment, even if it is 3 months away.
  2. Knowledge about customer: He knows my family inside out. He knows what I do for a living, my mother’s religious interest, everything about my family. He will specifically ask about my area of interest whenever he meets me, which gives me a feeling that he is genuinely interested in my life.
  3. One stop solution man: He will always respond immediately. Be it insurance issue or some other matter. Even when he is in meeting, he will answer the call and ask for some time to respond. He keeps links with everyone. So if I ask him what will be the best way to get a driving license or a passport he will link me up with the right man. Not only that, he will call in the evening and ask if the job went smoothly or anything else needs to be done. He does not invest much time in such activities but it leaves a good reference of him as a reliable guy.
  4. Own Achievements: whenever we meet and I ask him about whats going on in his life, he will surely mention about his achievements in selling insurance. He will mention about his trip to Singapore as a part of incentive, his new bike that he got for achieving target, and he receiving the best sales man award from his company. That way he instills the confidence in us that he is a lambi race ka ghoda and he will still be there to solve our insurance issues even after 10 yrs.
  5. Constantly in touch: He will regularly send remainders about new policies coming up via sms. About the due dates of the next premium. Wishes for Diwali, New year or even India wining in CWG. He is a tech savvy guy. He will use all the mediums like Email, Sms, FB etc yet take care that he will not invade my personal space.

Some learning’s I gathered from observing him are:

1. All insurance companies are at par

2. Insurance is sold by the agent and not by his company.

In fact, whatever I have written here is applicable for Mutual Funds, SIP and Bonds etc. Just change the Insurance with MF or SIP or whatever.

So, Mr Agent, I buy insurance from you because I consider you Mr Reliable more than Mr Agent…!!!

Cheers.

3 comments:

bhakti said...

I really think all the companies that invest so much into telemarketing should read this

SP said...

A very well presented Blog.

But my personal opinion is that its little bit biased.
Also subjective, example: some wuld like receive updates about new offers via sms or emails, some find it irritating.
Well i truly agree /believe "you dont need to be a salesman to sell a product", but u need to b a guide.

I will surely write a blog on this with my perspective (if i do get time).

Never-the-less a good composed Blog.

satinder kaur said...

Very nice blog.. All the facts you mentioned are really worth knowing. And i totally agree with you.. By reading your article now i would also like to add on my behalf that to be saved from fake commitments and to choose the best policy at reasonable premium one should always check and compare all the polices online.. For comparison there are websites like http://www.policyx.com/