Joe Lee Age: 37 Occupation: Insurance Manager Young Post: Why did you join the insurance profession? Lee: Working as an insurance agent gives me a lot of freedom. I'm not confined to the nine-to-five office routine. Now, except on Mondays when I attend a meeting to report on the progress of my work, I don't have to be in the office on time from Tuesdays to Fridays. I enjoy this working style a lot. YP: What are your job duties? L: My main job duty is to sell insurance polices to clients. I need to explain the details of the coverage of an insurance plan and the terms and conditions. I also need to help my clients file claims if, touch wood, something bad happens to them. I don't receive a salary. All the money I earn is from commissions provided by my company. So, being an insurance agent can be quite an unstable job, as how much I earn every month depends on the number of clients I get. Also, after you set up a policy for a client, the amount of commission you get from that particular policy will decrease as time passes. So instead of relying on your old customer base, you need to seek out new clients every month. YP: Have you filed any claims for death? L: Over the years, I have filed five death claims, of which two were for my personal friends. The most painful moment for an insurance agent is when a client with whom you have established a bond for many years dies. When one of my friends died prematurely in his 30s, I was really sad when handling his case. I also regretted that I hadn't persuaded him to increase his amount of insurance. But on the positive side, I'm also glad that I can help my late client by arranging his posthumous premium and ensuring his family is well taken care of. YP: Is your job satisfying? L: The most satisfying part of my job is that I can help people. Insurance gives people protection. When you are young and healthy, you may think buying insurance is a waste of money. Some conservative people may even think that buying insurance is bad luck. But if you fall ill or have an accident, your insurance will help settle the exorbitant hospital bills. YP: Persuading people to buy insurance often touches on such ominous topics as death and accidents. How do you manage your sales pitch? L: I try to be tactful. Instead of imagining a scenario where my client dies or is in an accident, I ask them to think about what would happen to my family if I died. An insurance agent must be sincere to gain people's trust. Being too money-minded will surely backfire. For example, when I go hiking with my client, I won't think about selling insurance policies all the time. When we reach the peak, I won't ask him to imagine what would happen if he falls off the cliff. I'm just his hiking buddy, and I enjoy our friendship. Only when the right moment comes will I begin my sales pitch. Having been in the industry for so many years, my hunch always tells me when the right moment is.