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Why are some life insurance salespeople so pushy?

Life insurance salespeople have long-suffered from a bad reputation. We are typically considered pushy, aggressive, manipulative, and untrustworthy.

How did we get such a bad name? Here are some thoughts:

The big money is in whole life.

Agents with prominent whole-life carriers want to sell that product. They will sell term simply as a stepping stone to converting that policy to whole life. That’s where the bigger commissions are, so they push the client to convert sooner rather than later.

An application means a commitment to buy.

Commissions get paid only when a policy is taken by the client, and put into force. It can sometimes take months for that to happen, as underwriting can get complicated. So salespeople push the client to submit the application, to get that process started.

Life insurance selling is a tough business.

Some people consider it the toughest sale. It takes an awful lot of patience and perseverance – and, especially, the ability to take rejection. Many sales people over-compensate by developing a hard shell in their personality. This can make them aggressive and domineering.

Obviously, not all life insurance salespeople are like this. Many of us are professionals, and keep our client’s interests and comfort front-and-center. But many of us have also had to overcome these obstacles to get there.