Thursday, June 25, 2015

Life as an insurance agent? What would "changing" have meant for me?


What kind of life might I have led had I actually taken up the invitation to become a life insurance agent or financial planner back in 2005?  Both New York Life and Humana approached me then, based on the resume that showed twelve years in the life insurance business as a computer programmer.  The law of karma seems to say that techies are supposed to learn to sell.
  
New hires were told they had to get off to a “fast start” and the first exercise would be to develop 200 leads.
  
Social media sites were not as well developed ten years ago; Myspace was humming but Facebook had just been invented. 
  
But if appears today that agents watch or “troll” services that send them leads from websites offering consumers quotes.  That is explained here at this link. The technique involves calling consumers quickly who show up in these leads. I would think that this would run afoul of "do not track" options and could be difficult. 

  
Note the advice to publish a video blog.

Toda, though, with Facebook and Twitter so dominant (and with Facebook’s “no double life” and “real name” policy), agents have to live their sales life 24x7.  I, given what I have done with my own journalistic second life, could not envisions the idea of “becoming something else” again.
Is this way of doing business kosher? I don’t want to get phone calls just because I was at a site (unless the site tells me that I will, and have started a transaction).  I don’t like rude calls that say “drop what you’re doing….”
  
But there has been a cultural change.  A lot of people grow up in a culture where manipulating others to buy things is “normal”.  Today, with the Web, the picture is much more mixed, with some introverted people (especially IT careerists) expecting the Internet to give them more self-sufficiency, and extroverted others expecting them to give them new ways to approach others. 
  
From my personal perspective, “selling” has come to seem tacky. But is that an attitude I or the rest of us can afford?

No comments: