The 5 Minute Career Coach

Helping Career Changers Around The World

October 2013

Tips from an insurance salesman


I was at a talk a few days ago where the speaker shared what used to be a common practice used by life insurance salesmen.

Apparently the salesman would visit prospects at home and after chatting with the husband and wife for a while, he would then invite the husband to step outside for a moment and would take him round to the window so he could look in and see his wife sitting there alone.

‘This is how it will be for her if you go first’ the salesman would say, pressing home the impact of the husband visualising his wife being alone and uncared for.  This simple trick would almost invariably get the husband signing on the dotted line.

Not a recommended tactic!

Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think this tactic would be allowed these days.  It certainly has an unpleasantly manipulative feel to it and I am certainly not recommending it.  But it is worth asking yourself why it worked so well.

I believe it was because it moved the potential buyer from a place of trying to make a rational decision, weighing up the pros and cons of the insurance, to a place where the decision was being driven by emotion.  The salesman was getting the husband to decide from the heart first and then the head rationalises the decision later.

So what has this got to do with you and your career change?

I am not recommending a career in insurance sales here, but I am suggesting that you use this idea of stepping outside of your current situation to get a new perspective and more importantly, a perspective that connects emotionally for you.

Overworked Businessman

Think of where you work at the moment.  The career where you are feeling frustrated, bored, undervalued.  The job that you know you need to escape but you can’t work out how.

Step outside

Now step outside for a moment and look in at yourself through the window.  (OK, if you are on the 5th floor you may want to borrow some wings or a window cleaner’s cradle!).

Is this what you want to be seeing this time next year? Do you want to be sitting at the same desk, dealing with the same irritating clients, putting up with the same moaning colleagues or bullying boss?

Just think how you will feel if in a year’s time nothing has changed.

Not good, huh?


Just stay with that emotional connection for a while and let it sink in.  Let it grow into a fire in your belly.

You know that it is down to you to take charge if you want to avoid finding yourself in that scene in a year’s time.  It’s time to stop simply thinking about it, weighing it up like the pros and cons of an insurance policy.  Just consider the consequences for you if you do nothing.

No, I mean just FEEL the consequences for you if you do nothing and let that feeling be the catalyst that spurs you into action.

Ready to commit?

Great – go for it!

Something to think about

“Your intellect may be confused,
but your emotions will never lie to you.”
~ Roger Ebert ~

Best reads

Decide: Better Ways Of Making Better Decisions

David Wethey

Decide Better Decisions

Life is full of decisions so we need to practise this skill every day.  Too often we make decisions without fully considering the options and implications. Or much worse, we find ourselves dealing with the consequences of avoiding taking difficult decisions.


Decide sets out a clear and easy to follow model that will enable you to make decisions effectively, proving that it does not have to be a long drawn out process, as long as you use a mixture of left and right brain thinking.

Filled with relevant case studies, Decide is a vital book for anyone whose life revolves around successful decision making – in other words, all of us!

With best wishes for your career change success

5MCC Back Issues from May 2012

About the author

Amy Thomas

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