Marketer strikes gold in insurance sector
Poor pay and lack of motivation are two things that made James Kogi switch careers from teaching to insurance marketing.
Mr Kogi taught for eight years before realising that the job group issue would tie him down in spite of his passion to change lives.
Just two years into the insurance sector, Mr Kogi is proving to be a force to reckon with after winning the Association of Kenya Insurer Youngest Agent of the Year award.
He said the win came as a surprise, but he was quick to add that discipline and character were his guiding principles.
At just 30, he is a manager with CIC Insurance Group, handling 400 accounts for clients, who he said he knows by name.
“When a client calls, they expect you to remember them because you once met them physically. I hate awkward situations so I deliberately master their names,” he said.
He has a persistence of 95 per cent which means that only five per cent of his clients are defaulting in premium payment.
While noting the misconception that insurance is for the rich, he said majority of his clients are in the informal sector, with a number operating in Kariobangi and Ruiru.
“There are many opportunities in the informal sector and these are the customers whose cooperation has seen me rise to be a manager,” he said.
Mr Kogi now earns a monthly salary he said would have taken him five years had he remained as a teacher.
Keeping a diary has helped him to manage his time well and saved him the pain of having to make numerous calls to clients about appointments, which may at times get offensive.
Prior to being elevated into a manager, Mr Kogi was a financial advisor with the company which has made it priority to encourage the youth to venture into social and economic schemes.
He currently trains 8 youths on insurance marketing skills and etiquette and hopes to have grown the number to 20 by June this year.
He said what makes him stand out as an insurance agent is that he channels his energy in to customer needs and strives to make them see the sense in joining a particular scheme.
“I do not dwell so much on how much commission I would make from the deal but rather on client satisfaction in the long run,” said Mr Kogi.
His advice to people is that they should avoid living in debt as it is the one thing that will hinder their economic development.
He explains that there is a product that requires a contribution of Sh4.95 a day, translating to Sh1,773, which is affordable to most people in the informal sector.