Careers Career Paths Insurance Sales Selling Peace of Mind Share PINTEREST Email Print Aslan Alphan / E+ / Getty Images Career Paths Sales Technology Careers Sports Careers Project Management Professional Writer Music Careers Media Legal Careers US Military Careers Government Careers Finance Careers Fiction Writing Careers Entertainment Careers Criminology Careers Book Publishing Aviation Animal Careers Advertising Learn More By Thomas Phelps Thomas Phelps Starting in 2002, Thomas Phelps was on frontlines for sales. Since then, he's been a manager, coach, and consultant and writes about sales careers. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 06/25/19 Life, accident, health, property, and casualty are the main types of insurance most consumers will have during their lifetimes. While there are many other forms and types of insurance (there is even livestock and equine insurance), these critical five make up the product portfolio of most insurance agents. For those who choose to sell insurance as a career, the rewards can be incredible. From unlimited income potential to earning trips around the world, there are many attractive benefits. However, many who try their hand fail within their first year. An Overview Most insurance agents begin their careers with a list of prospects and maybe a few inactive or semi-active accounts. In other words, entry level agents start with nothing and have the daunting task of building their own businesses from scratch. That means endless hours of prospecting and networking, late nights meeting with potential customers, reaching out to friends and family, and purchasing leads from polling agencies. Starting out a career in insurance is tough. Not only do most have competition from other agents in their own office, but they also have to compete in one of the most competitive sales careers. Insurance agencies are everywhere, on practically every main street in America, and all over the internet. Try to watch TV without seeing at least one commercial for an insurance agency and you'll understand just how competitive the industry is. So while an insurance career is very challenging to launch, the longer you are in it, the better it becomes, mostly due to residuals. Once you sell a policy, you continue to earn a commission each year the policy renews. The more policies you sell, the greater your residual income becomes. An insurance policy becomes a gift that keeps on giving. While no policy remains in effect forever, agents will earn more money the better they are at keeping existing policies in effect. This residual income is the primary reason why those in the insurance industry stay in the insurance industry. While the first few years may be very challenging, the long-term rewards are fantastic. Competition To say that the insurance industry is competitive is akin to saying that the ocean is wet. The vast majority of those who enter the insurance industry leave due to competition. American consumers have too many options for buying insurance for everyone selling it to earn six-figure salaries. With so many choices for life, home, and auto insurance to choose from, pricing (and profit margins) drop. The Secret to Success With all the competition and price-conscious consumers, you might think getting into the insurance sales industry is not a good choice. However, if you can dedicate yourself to building relationships, networking, prospecting, and a lifelong commitment to training and education, the insurance industry may be perfect for you. Every sales industry is filled with those who are in sales because they couldn't find another job and those who love sales and are committed to being the best. Those who are focused on being the best will beat out 90 percent of the others just by showing up with the right attitude. That means you truly only have to compete against the remaining 10 percent. Yes, you will have to outwork, out-network and over-deliver, but you will succeed. As long as you never resort to going on cruise control, your dedication to your customers will outsell the low-cost providers. You and your ability to create and maintain relationships will serve you well and allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labor. And the rewards will come in the form of residual commissions, a flexible schedule, and the respect you will earn from your co-workers, competitors, and—most importantly—from your customers.