Selling insurance is no easy job

Victorious Unia Nakabiri has been selling insurance for five years

What you need to know:

Commitment: Victorious Unia Nakabiri has been selling insurance for five years now and shares what it takes to thrive in this field

Many young people feel like they do not need insurance as they are accumulating wealth and think they will not need it once they are wealthy...what are your thoughts?

It is because they do not know that insurance only helps you when you have it. They lack the right information about life insurance cover.

Why did you choose to sell insurance?

Every day you get an opportunity to work with a different person with different professional knowledge and experience in life and from a different work environment. It is obvious every time you meet a different person your perspective and approach to certain aspects of life changes. My mind is ever active because I am always looking forward to meeting a new person to speak to.

Secondly, the urge to increase my earnings the next month makes my mind active all the time.

How responsive are people when you are out in the field? 

The field is always full of opportunities, in our line of work you miss out on 100 percent chance of getting sales if you let a prospect pass you by.

The fact that most of the policies we sell involve parents and children, the response is not that bad.

Our education packages are so enticing and usually many parents want to start saving for their children as early as possible, although still some people still find it irritating. They show interest but when I call them to arrange appointments they feel burdened. But we keep on pushing them until we sign them up.

What has been your best experience on this job?

My best experience is always getting a sale, although there is a specific sale that energised me to educate more people about buying saving plans. This particular client was a businessman who never saw reason for buying an insurance policy but I insisted and he trusted me and bought a policy. After two and a half years into his policy term, Covid-19 hit. His company was making wine so with the lockdowns, there was no market and his business totally collapsed and the only savings he had were with us, so I advised him to clear six months so he can surrender his plan, which he did. He surrendered his policy and got his savings and he started a new line of work.

What challenges have you faced doing sales and how have you resolved them?

Some people do not understand the value of keeping time. We mostly deal with corporate people and for them it is usually meeting after meeting, so time is very crucial to them. If they give you an appointment, they expect you to keep time.

Also, a few people may go to our offices to buy a product, which means most of our work is in the field so transport costs in such a season are so high. URA should be considerate and stop imposing such heavy taxes on our commission so we can see how to balance our monthly expenses.

Lastly, a salesperson meets a stranger every single day so there is always worry about what kind of person we will meet. So we limit our meeting spaces to public places and offices to minimise risks.

In what ways do you think the concept around insurance can be improved to multiply sales?

Insurance companies should have more campaigns on sensitising people about the use of insurance and help them realise that insurance companies operate legally and are regulated by the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) in this country. Often we meet people who think insurance is a one-man idea to collect and steal money from communities.

Secondly insurance companies should come up with a simple and fast way of honouring claims. If people start sharing such testimonies of how their claims were easily paid, there will be less need to spend on advertising because people believe other people’s testimonies more than televison and radio adverts.

What are some of your achievements from this role?

I have been able to improve my saving habits. I am able to take my son to a good school and provide for him a good life. I am able to pay my bills without having to ask for favours.

I have made so many good friends in this line of work, starting from my workmates and clients.

 What is the best advice you have ever given to a client in terms of insurance policy and how exactly did it impact or change their lives?

Helping my clients embrace the real importance of insurance packages makes my work meaningful. Educating parents that much as these policies have interest, they are not designed to help them get rich but to secure a future for their loved ones and give them peace of mind in case of calamities such as death and permanent disabilities. Helping them realise that much as there are so many ventures where they can get more interest on their savings, they need insurance more because it is their best fall back plan in life.

What have you learnt from the field dealing with clients?

The world is vast with different people with different characters but at the end of the day I need to sit with these people and discuss the future of their families. As a salesperson, I have to study the situation around the person I am meeting and find the best approach to handle them. This has taught me humility and to focus on what I want from my clients rather than reacting to their character.

 I have seen families that would be completely shuttered because the breadwinner has passed on, but because of having bought these policies, the caretaker at least has a starting point, children stay in school, they can pay off debts and many other benefits because the plans we sell have a 50 per cent pay out to our clients in case of such hard times.

What advice do you have for salespeople out there on how to better their skill?

Like the Bible says, “The hearts of men are like streams before God, He channels them to whoever He wants.” Always pray that God gives you favour before his people.

Secondly, all salespersons should know that we are dealing with people who do not have time and who think they do not need our services, so be knowledgeable and always ready to offer advice. Have all the product knowledge of what you are selling before presenting yourself to anyone.

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