It’s no secret in the P&C insurance industry, and really the insurance industry in general, that there is a big problem in attracting young talent. With an average age in the 50s, the industry needs to get younger to continue the industry as you see it today. Now insurance is much more than just sales, but since that is my area of expertise, I’m going to stick to the agent/broker world. So I have to ask myself: how is it that an industry that generates as much wealth as insurance be so totally ignored by many of the next generation’s talented workers?
The insurance industry has a marketing problem
It’s interesting that in a field where marketing is crucial to success that recruiting can be so bad. The number one reason why there aren’t people lining up for a career in insurance sales is that no one is really getting the word out. Everyone knows a career on Wall Street will bring great financial rewards and prestige for those willing to put in the time and effort. There are television shows that depict attorneys as high flying rulers of the courtroom that spend more time spending their ridiculous amounts of money than they do earning it. On every list of high salary careers, physicians of one type or another are always listed at the top. But where is the insurance broker’s place in all of this? You don’t know? Me either…and that’s the problem.
Where did all the sales people go?
Beyond the insurance marketing problem, there seems to be a sales marketing problem. Walk onto a college campus or high school classroom and ask how many students want to be sales people in any industry…I bet there are very few hands that go up. Even as technology makes getting in front of the right people easier, many students are trained not even to consider sales as a career. Most people that I talk with that are in sales usually ended up there by chance instead of seeking it out like you would a career in engineering, medicine or law. Now, I’m not equating these careers as the same because they should attract different people, but they all provide value. With no sales, businesses don’t exist…plain and simple. I hate the pushy salesman as much as the next guy, but it’s really time to see sales for what it is, finding the right client who has a need for your product or service. If you have to force someone to buy something, you didn’t do a good job finding the right prospect.
With all of the uncertainty surrounding many positions and industries, there is something we know that every can count on: people will need insurance. Will the industry go through changes? Most certainly. Are there difficulties in a sales career? Too many to go into here. Are there rewards in choosing insurance sales as a career? You better believe it. If we simply spread the word about how great of a career this can be, the insurance industry’s age problem will take care of itself.
For more reading on this topic, check out this article: 4 Steps P&C Insurers Must Take To Recruit talent?