Entering the financial industry for the first time can be an overwhelming or even scary experience. There are many conditions to take into account when choosing the right financial advisory to join. Let us discuss the most important ones to help you make the right choice to kickstart your financial career.
Find a Suitable Mentor and Company Culture
You should make sure to find a mentor that suits you and your personal needs as different leaders will always have different coaching styles or techniques. Have a good chat with the mentor you might be potentially under. Your friend might be a successful manager with many agents under their care, Successful yes, but how much time can they allocate to you to groom you? To nurture and help you grow?
We’ve heard countless stories of agents being left on the sidelines once they are not producing and are left stuck in their careers. It is also important to find someone whom you are able to connect with. This is because you will be meeting and being around this person every single day so you must like the person.
The same goes for the people you work with, you want to work with people you like. Some, but not all, agencies could have a toxic environment. Try to observe beforehand, if you like the people in the agency. People who are keen on joining the insurance industry usually join their friends who are doing pretty well, but what works for them might not work for you.
You should choose an agency with a company culture that fits your personality the best. Certain agencies are filled with youngsters with high energy, while some agencies have a slightly older age range with a calmer environment. Trust your gut feeling when it comes to people and whether you think you’ll enjoy working with them.
There are two paths you can take in the insurance world.
Consultant path: This path is for those who enjoy caring for clients and focusing on servicing their current and potential clients. In this path, a consultant would update and review the client’s portfolios to ensure that they meet their goals and aspirations according to different life cycles and milestones in life.
When a consultant has been in the industry for at least 2 years and has met the required performance benchmarks, they may choose to become a leader.
Leadership path: As a leader, you will mentor and start grooming junior consultants and guide and nurture them to be the best consultant they can be. If your team does well, it reflects positively on you and creates opportunities.
With that being said, to get to any of these stages in your career, your agency should support you and your personal growth. Every agency provides training, but most of the time you are left wasting your precious hours clocking in CPD hours to fulfill MAS criteria. If you’re hoping to lead your own team one day, or run your own agency, does the agency allow room for that?
Ask about Lead Generation Activities
Some agencies focus on doing countless roadshows. While that may work, for people who are not as outgoing as others, this may be a difficult and unpleasant experience.
Not to mention, the chances of you having to pay just to be part of the roadshow are pretty high. Other agencies might focus on doing seminars (offline and online) and some focus on HNW (High Net worth Products) and some do pretty profitable niche services. While some just teach you to close on your natural market such as friends and family, which usually leads to a very uncomfortable and awkward situation.
That is why it is important to find out how the agency carries out lead generation activities so you can choose the best suited for your personality type.
In the end, insurance is all about the products you sell. There are many different insurers selling different products. If you are particularly financially savvy and want to be exposed to multiple instruments and products, you might consider choosing an independent financial advisory that has a plethora of financial instruments. If you are looking for a brand name such as AIA or Great Eastern, choose from the many life insurers whose brand resonates most with you.
As you are going to be expected to attend training sessions and agency meetings often, office location is important, especially if you’re not driving. You don’t want to travel halfway across Singapore just for an hour-long training session.
If financial freedom is what you’re after, choosing an agency that produces top agents might be the right choice for you. Be sure to ask what percentage of the agents are part of the MDRT. While this may not ensure that you will reach your goal, it is always good to be in a company where agents work hard together and support each other. It might also mean that these agencies are doing lead-generation activities that actually work (Yes, there’s more to life for a new agent than the dreaded roadshow).
Nowadays, agencies have various pay packages and allowance schemes available to newcomers to help in the transitional period. But ultimately, how much you make still depends on how much effort you put in. If your clients are well taken care of, the money will take care of itself.