There are two major elements of sales and distribution, the selling of insurance policies to the end customer, and the managing of the relationship between the underwriter and the distribution partner.
Selling insurance to the end customer is typically performed by an insurance broker, this involves sourcing leads, assessing the client's risk of loss, obtaining quotes from underwriters, then selling a solution to the client. Although the price of the quote is important in this process, the major sales skills at this stage involve convincing the client that this solution best provides cover for the clients needs at the most economical price.
An insurer will also have sales and distribution staff. Typically and insurer will have one Business Development Manager (BDM) looking after anywhere between 5 and 50 insurance intermediaries, depending on the size of the relationship and the strategy of the insurer.
This arm of the industry is largely involved with managing relationships. This includes training, driving results through managing other elements of the industry such as claims handling and underwriting, and analysing and reporting results both internally, as well as with business partners.
Whichever element of sales and distribution you are looking at, there are some common elements. Much of your time is spent on the road assessing risks, and visiting existing as well as potential clients. People in this area typically enjoy meeting new people and being challanged by new ideas and opportunities. Business lunches and dinners are often associated with sales and distribution, however in reality, most sales people struggle to fit a proper lunch in on the best of days.
Look at this area if you love working towards helping your customers.