Unlike most of her colleagues, AIA financial planner Bobo Chow Po-yu is not a university graduate. After secondary school, she worked for a few years as a waitress and receptionist before becoming a secretary to Matthew Lui, her team head at AIA and former secondary school teacher. Under his guidance, Chow discovered an interest in and talent for financial planning, and decided to make it her career. She talks with Wong Yat-hei.
What is your academic background?
I left school after Form Five. I don’t have a university degree.
How did you start your day?
From Monday to Friday, I arrive at the office at 8am. I attend meetings and training sessions by different colleagues to learn about financial products and sales techniques. At 10.30am, I do paperwork, helping clients with claims. In the afternoon, I meet with clients. If there are no appointments, I make cold calls to source potential clients.
What did your job entail?
I provide financial planning services, such as selling various insurance – medical, accident and life, and so on. I also advise clients on fund investments, and assist with their insurance claims.
What have been the major challenges?
The first two months on the job were the toughest. I was worried I might not last as I was unfamiliar with the financial products. I made up for this by investing time. My friends saw I was willing to work hard, and many of them became clients. Mr Lui helped me a lot. He took me to meet clients to teach me the right way of communicating with them.
What have you learned about your chosen career and what are your plans?
I have learned three things: work hard, plan adequately, and keep on upgrading your skills. Hard work is the key to success for all agents, this is what my superiors told me. Good planning is the best solution for problems. A person who plans well is able to handle all tough situations. Lastly, keep learning new things to keep yourself up to date with the market. My short-term goal is to have an annual income of HK$330,000. My long-term goal is to be a successful agent like my mentor Mr Lui and to build my own team around me.
Any advice for those who want to enter the insurance industry?
I have only one advice – work hard. There is no such thing as a free lunch. You have to be proactive to do well. If you don’t mind listening to other people’s problems and are willing to help, this is the job for you.