Like nearly every person I know in the insurance industry, I fell into it. My career is closing in on 40 years and with very few exceptions – perhaps younger people who went to school for risk management or children of insurance agency owners – I never met someone who said, “All I ever wanted to do was get into insurance!” There may have been some, but it was a running joke that everyone in the industry fell into it.
In my case, I’d accepted a retail job while I was still in college that would have taken me to Akron, Ohio. I only interviewed with The Travelers Insurance Company because a girl I dated at the time lived in the Columbus area. As fate would have it, I got the job and met my wife, Jane, on the first day of work! As much as I love the industry, the best thing insurance gave me was the opportunity to meet Jane.
Prior to entering the industry, I didn’t know anything about it. In my mind insurance was ugly paneled offices and leisure suits. That perception was quickly erased by The Travelers and all of the professionals I met during my first year.
Now, with decades under my belt, I often tell people that insurance is a noble industry. That’s a pretty big claim, calling something noble, but I believe it.
Insurance is a noble industry for two main reasons. First, we help people. Second, we help the economy. Let me elaborate a little on both.
When I say we help people consider this. When tragedy strikes, if the insurance agent and company have done a good job with their clients, then they help people get back on their feet.
No person ever said after a tragic loss, “Darn my insurance agent, she has me fully covered. I’m not out a penny!” Unfortunately, many have said, “Darn my agent, he didn’t sell me the right coverages or the right limits and now I’m out thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of dollars!” As someone who loves the industry this is unacceptable.
How do we help the economy? Do you think a bank would be willing to loan you a large sum of money to buy a car, purchase a home, or start a business, if you couldn’t guarantee repayment if tragedy struck?
No smart investor would be so foolish! However, the insurance industry makes those guarantees on your behalf. The insurance industry allows consumers greater opportunity to purchase homes and autos as well as start a business.
But it doesn’t end there. Think of all the people who have to make the cars, build the homes, and do things that are related to the businesses you may start. The guarantee the insurance industry makes creates a ripple effect throughout the economy that allows for more people to work, more goods to be produced, and allows more people to purchase those goods.
Helping people and helping our economy grow and stay strong are indeed noble things. Although I don’t work for an insurance company or an insurance agency any longer, both groups are my primary focus. I concentrate my efforts there because of my years of experience within the industry and my understanding of how the industry operates. On top of that, I believe if I help insurance agents and company people do their jobs to the best of their abilities, then I remain part of something noble and that’s worth pursuing every day.
Brian Ahearn is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE. An author, TEDx speaker, international trainer, coach, and consultant, he’s one of only a dozen people in the world personally trained by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the science of ethical influence.
Brian’s first book, Influence PEOPLE, was named one of the 100 Best Influence Books of All Time by BookAuthority. His follow-up, Persuasive Selling for Relationship Driven Insurance Agents, was an Amazon new release bestseller. His new book, The Influencer: Secrets to Success and Happiness, is a business parable.
Brian’s LinkedIn courses on persuasive selling and coaching have been viewed by more than 500,000 people around the world!