In this special interview, Asia Advisers Network’s Sharon Zhong posed the questions you have on your mind to Jaden Wang, Co-Founder of Assets Prestige Alliance, a group of agency units of Prudential Assurance Company Singapore.
Jaden is perfect for this interview as he has groomed multiple successful financial consultants and even two top rookie agency leaders in his career, so he knows what it takes when it comes to spotting and developing talent and making sure they establish success in the insurance world.
Characteristics of successful agents
Regardless you’re a fresh graduate or someone considering a mid-career switch, if you have these characteristics and personality traits that Jaden has observed, then you might fit right in nicely.
For those who want to be successful in the industry, he said, “First they must have the hunger. They want to achieve something phenomenal. They want to do something that is very different, and they also want something that’s meaningful in this career.”
“A lot of people think that this industry requires a finance background. Actually, no. This is a people’s business. It’s about communication. It’s about getting someone to like you as a person and communicating to them what they need,” he said, adding that the spirit to continuously learn is important.
Concerns of potential candidates
It’s always daunting for one to step into a new industry and start from scratch. So here’s his advice on how to cope, “You have to first find a mentor that suits you because I always believe different leaders have different coaching styles.”
“Find someone that you can connect with. You’re going to meet every single day, you must first like the person,” he said.
He also advised looking at the agency culture and the people inside the agency, and ask yourself, ‘Are you able to fit into it? Is it a positive culture?’
Unlike in the past, new joiners today have various pay packages and allowance schemes available to help in the transitional period. But ultimately, how well you do still depends on how much effort you put in.
He said, “Achievement and recognition are really determined by yourself. You get remunerated according to the effort that you put in.”
However, he added that one should not just focus on the income. Instead, focus on planning for the needs of the client first. “If you take care of your clients, the money will take care of itself.”
Joining the insurance world isn’t limited to one path of always meeting new clients and mapping out their financial future. There are two paths that you can take.
Consultant path: For those who prefer to take care of clients, every year they will only need to focus on servicing their existing and new clients. As clients go through different life cycles and develop new milestones in life, the consultant would need to update and review their portfolios to ensure their client is on track to meet their goals and aspirations.
Next, after being a consultant for at least 2 years and meeting the required performance benchmark, consultants may choose to become a leader.
Leadership path: Where a consultant will become a mentor and start grooming other consultants to be as successful as they are or become even better. As a leader, when your team does well, you will progress through the ranks.
Challenges for rookie agents in the first year
Jaden left his stable and high paying job as an auditor to become an insurance agent 10 years ago and has groomed multiple consultants to become leaders today.
Looking back on his experience and those of his mentees, he said one of the toughest challenges for most rookie agents is in facing rejection.
“A lot of people will say ‘no’ to you when you approach them. Out of five rejections, maybe one would give you a chance. So be positive. That’s why a mentor and a team environment is very important. When you’re used to this emotional roller coaster, you’ll become very mentally strong. Keep focusing on those that gave you a chance,” he advised.
The interesting thing is that two to three years later, those who said “no” to you in the first year may come back and become your clients, he said.
Taking the leap of faith
For anyone who’s keen to join the insurance industry, but is fearful to take the plunge, here is Jaden’s analogy: “You want to do bungee jumping, and you’re at the edge thinking about whether to jump or not. There’ll be a lot of feelings in your stomach. Let me tell you, take that leap of faith. Because once you take that leap of faith, it’s going to be a very thrilling and exciting jump for you. You’ll never know until you give it a shot.”
Get to know Jaden’s team here:
A day in the shoes of Asia's Top 5 Rookie Insurance Agent of the Year Jaslyn Ng
An entrepreneurial path with the right mentors
Thriving with the right mentor and organisational culture - Ryo Shu, banker-turned-financial consultant
Scepticism, rejection, and disappointments. Nonetheless, persist! - Ong Zhi Wei
Assets Prestige Alliance (APA) is a group of agency units of Prudential Assurance Company Singapore.
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