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Debunking myths and assumptions of being an adviser

| 13 Oct 2021

Video edited by Azri Bahari

There are many myths and assumptions about being a financial adviser representative - unstable and risky income, stressful job environment, and a heavy focus on traditional face-to-face sales. However, five of the following representatives from NTUC Income's different distribution channels, including the Sales Management Associate (SMA) programme, have come together to debunk these myths.

Myth 1: Need to have a background of insurance or sales to succeed

After spending seven years in the travel industry, Angeline Yong, took a leap of faith and joined Income’s SMA programme in 2021.

“Some of the skills that I have picked up from my previous employment continue to be relevant in my current role. For example, interacting with people and customer servicing are all skills that remain relevant regardless of which industry I go into,” she said.

Mid-career switches are never easy and venturing into the insurance industry with no background knowledge of the field is no small feat. For many of us, it would be outside our comfort zone. However, for Yong, she adapted quickly with the support of the management team and experienced supervisor.  It also helped that the SMA programme is designed to allow people who are new to the industry, to learn and acquire proficiency at their own pace.

Myth 2: It is a commissioned based job with an unstable income  

Joining the SMA programme at the start of 2021, Jacky Tan, said he was able to receive a monthly salary even while studying for the required insurance papers that are a prerequisite to becoming an adviser. Being able to earn as he learns gave him assurance and one less worry while studying for the papers.

As part of the SMA programme, trainees go through a personal mentorship programme with Income’s senior management team. In Tan’s case, his mentor is Income’s chief agency officer, Tan Chuan How himself.

As with any other jobs, it can be challenging. However, he finds it manageable with an understanding and experienced supervisor who is always around providing guidance. Coupled with good colleagues, he is able to build a strong support system to overcome the challenges. 

Myth 3: It is all about traditional face-to-face sales

As a daughter, wife, and mother to a 3-year-old child, Adlina Jasmuri is also an adviser.

Her answer to juggling all her duties: Leveraging technology by e-meeting clients through video calls such as Teams and Zoom. Income’s Remote Customer Engagement (RCE) platform allows Income advisers to communicate and engage customers anywhere, anytime as they can now virtually meet up with customers to review financial needs securely and complete insurance purchases.

Traditionally, advisers would need to rush from one location to the next to meet their clients. Now, with the use of technology, advisers like Jasmuri can simply e-meet with their customers. With the time saved, many advisers are seeing a boost in their productivity as they can meet and service more customers a day than they used to.

Jasmuri said, “I’m so glad that here at Income, we have leveraged technology in all that we do. This saves time and makes work more efficient. I am now able to connect with more clients remotely. Also, there is flexibility to manage my time and that extra time has allowed me to spend more time with my child and family.”

Myth 4: Tough to get or generate own leads

Understanding that generating leads could be a pain point for new joiners, Income lends a hand with its Leads Management System (LMS).

In fact, for financial services associate director, Chan Xin Yi, 80% of her customers come from the LMS. “We assist to review policies for customers who no longer have servicing agents, to make sure this group of customers are not underserved,” she said.

For most customers, their financial needs changes across their life stages. And having new advisers reach out to them prove to be helpful as many of these customers have feedback their appreciation for the assistance provided.

Over time, these new advisers will build up their own clientele base through referrals and word of mouth. “When clients feel that we genuinely want to help them equip themselves with proper protection to cater for different milestones, they will naturally introduce their friends and families to us.”

She added, “Without this lead generating system that Income provides for new joiners, I think I will face more struggles to kickstart this career. I am grateful for the opportunity Income provides. It allows me to touch base with more people and help them with their financial planning.”

Myth 5: Insurance is all about sales

Addressing the most common misconception of all time is team manager and principal client advisor, Jay Lee.

“Insurance is all about sales” – To which Jay debunks and shares that we are in the business of taking care of people and serving their protection needs.” It is the mission over the commission with the right mindset.  Clients’ needs should always come first. Lee finds a sense of gratification when she helps process claims and savings plan’s maturity proceeds for her clients. 

It is about growing together with your clients. For Lee, some of her clients have grown to become friends over the years, treating each other as family and being invited to family dinners and celebrations.

At the end of the day, Lee said there is satisfaction knowing that her customers are adequately protected and it is all worth it.

Looking for a fulfilling career in financial advisory?

Join Income’s Sales Management Associate programme and earn as you learn. Get access and personal mentorship from Income’s senior management team and be part of a dynamic team that comes from all walks of life.

For details on the SMA programme, click here.

More from Income:

Singapore: NTUC Income launches first subscription-based insurance

NTUC Income: 1,200 job openings with earn-as-you-learn Sales Management Associate programme

#YouAskWeTell with Income Chief Agency Officer Tan Chuan How

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