.Agents urged to shun staff mentality
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Chuks Udo Okonta
Insurance agents nationwide have been charged to imbibe the mindset of an entrepreneur to succeed in the ever competitive business environment.
The Immediate past President, Association of Registered Insurance Agents of Nigeria (ARIAN), Gbadebo Olameru, while speaking at the 2017 Annual National Conference, Election and 8th Award Ceremony in Lagos, said an agent that works like a staff will not succeed no matter how much they pay him or her, urging them to see themselves as the CEO of the respective companies they represent.
According to him, “We are beginning to teach agents to have the owner’s mindset, not the staff’s mentality. They should start to think like they are the CEO, which they are. If an agent does not think like a CEO, he will not go extra mile even when the businesses are not forthcoming. So, we want them to think that they are an entrepreneur.”
An agent that acts like agencyprenuer, he said, would succeed, noting that the dynamics at which the industry is going now demands greater aggressiveness from the agents to deepen insurance penetration in the country.
Believing that the competition for insurance industry is not within the sector, but outside it, he added that, the value the industry needs is to demystify greater value to see how agents can increase the reach of the insurance industry to the outside market.
“So, we are also projecting to our agents to begin to think outside the box, to put technology at the forefront of selling their business. You need to think outside Lagos, Abuja and Portharcourt. There are so many other areas that can generate more businesses aside these three major urban areas. The agents should begin to see how they can generate more businesses that will crystallize into a better result for the insurance industry,” he pointed out.
In the same vein, the Managing Director, Equity Assurance Plc, Moruf Apampa, said technology is changing the perception on how businesses are done, saying, the sale of insurance products and services is becoming more appealing.
Apampa, who was represented by Rotimi Aleshinloye, noted that the era of traveling from one place to the to close insurance business deals is fast fading away, as most multi-billion Naira deals are now being sealed on Internet and social networks.
Stating that the business is changing, he stressed that if agents want to maintain their relevance in the insurance industry, they must research more, increase their appetite for knowledge by becoming a professional in the industry and a taste of great ambition.
He urged insurance agents to be the only reliable and relevant stakeholder to move the industry to its next level because retail business is the only access that can grow the industry.
At the election that took place at the event, General Manager, Mutual Benefits Life, Ademola Ifagbayi, emerged as the new National President of ARIAN. He emerged as the president unopposed, while Olusegun Padoye from Leadway Assurance, becomes the Vice Chairman.
The position of the National Secretary went to Ms Opeyemi Osiyemi, who is an independent agent, with Ms Patricia Okeke from LASACO Assurance PLC, becoming the Assistant National Secretary. The Treasurer is Ms Mokahan Mary from Custodian Assurance Plc, while the position of Financial Secretary went to Mrs. Laurence Constant from AIICO Insurance Plc. The Social Secretary is Mr. Malachy Maduako from Standard Alliance Insurance, even as the Public Relation Officer (PRO) is Mr. Moses Itoya from FBN Insurance.
Commenting on the election, the Outgoing President, ARIAN, Mr. Gbadebo Olameru, said he has no doubt that the incoming president will bring on board his immense wealth of experience, adding that this is the first time a G.M is contesting for the presidency of the association.
“I think he is capable, he is a man of great value and experience and result speaks volume in his organisation. He has the capacity to even surpass my achievement. And the history of the presidency of this association shows that he can do better, because since the establishment of the association, the succeeding president has always done better than the previous ones,” he stressed.
At the event, nine members, with a minimum of 15 years experience in insurance industry, were inducted into the Fellowship of the association, while Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, Director General, Nigeria Insurers Association(NIA) was installed as the Patron of ARIAN to succeed Sir Chief Oladipo Bailey as the pioneer patron of the association.