Blog | Insurance and Risk Management

5 Tips for Building a Successful Career in the Life Insurance Industry

Building a successful career in life insurance is not easy. It takes dedication, commitment, and tenacity. After you’ve completed a program like the Life Insurance Qualification Program (LLQP) that we offer at BCC and obtain your license by completing the provincial licensing exam in your jurisdiction and obtaining your license, you’re ready to start selling life insurance. Like most careers, when you first start, you’ll probably find yourself in a low-level position and will need to work hard to move your professional abilities forward. However, many people find the life insurance industry accessible and a great way to make a decent living for themselves and their families. If you are not afraid of tough work and are a community-minded individual with a penchant for talking to people, chances are you will find this career rewarding and challenging. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you along your way to a successful career in life insurance and beyond.

Keep studying and learning

The life insurance industry is constantly changing and evolving. Just when you think you have the business figured out, something changes and you find yourself having to learn and adapt to new products, new policies or procedures, or an ever-changing societal landscape. Getting yourself in the mindset that you will always be learning will help prepare you for any challenges that come your way.

Business Career College’s founder, Bob Watt, shares this advice he received when he was first starting: “spend one hour a day studying some aspect of your business, and you will leap ahead of everyone else.”

Studying can mean things like reading articles online to keep up with current events in the industry, liaising with an industry expert or mentor, or reading a chapter or two of an industry-focused book or other publication. The point is to keep yourself current and educated so that you stay ahead instead of falling behind.

Maintain your License

Once you obtain your life insurance license, you’ll be required to renew your license regularly through your insurance regulator. The frequency and requirements attached to renewal vary by jurisdiction.

For instance, in Alberta, life insurance and accident and sickness insurance agents, along with general insurance agents and adjusters need to obtain 15 hours of continuing education credits annually (July 1 to June 30 is considered a certificate term) to renew their certificate of authority. In Ontario, 30 credits must be obtained during a 2-year licensing period. The credits also must be obtained while you are licensed.

Regardless of which jurisdiction(s) you sell insurance in (except for Quebec), you can obtain your Continuing Education (CE) credits through BCC either a monthly or yearly subscription.

Enhance your education with certifications

Obtaining certifications is one way to add to your resume. For example, the Elder Planning Counselor (EPC™) course will help you serve your clients better by helping them plan for the future. BCC has partnered with several organizations to offer a variety of specializations to help you further your career.

Avoid pressured sales tactics

Most professionals in the life insurance industry live off of commission that they receive from sales. Some types of insurance yield more in commission than others, so it can be tempting to convince your client to purchase additional insurance that they don’t necessarily want or need so that you can get some extra cash.

While pressured sales techniques or “overselling” might work in the short term, it isn’t conducive to building a good relationship with your clients that is based on trust, and you’ll most likely find that your clients are one-time customers. However, if you treat people right and take the time to listen and sell according to their needs, you’ll end up with lifelong clients.

Be community focused and build your communication skills

Being involved in your community is a great idea for life insurance agents and beyond. By being community focused, you build trustworthiness with your clients by showcasing your commitment to the betterment of those around you.

Another way you can better serve your clients is by improving your communication skills. Most areas have programs to help you improve your public speaking skills such as Toastmasters, but you can also seek `out free courses on online platforms like LinkedIn Learning and Coursera.

Building a successful career in life insurance and beyond

While the life insurance industry is quite accessible, it takes dedication and hard work to make a successful career out of selling life insurance. If you enjoy talking to people and are willing to learn constantly and push yourself out of your comfort zone to enhance your career, chances are you will find success.

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