A career in Sales Network Management – Gizem’s recipe for success

Mar 8, 2021.

Around 420 employees work in Sales Network Management at Generali Switzerland. One of them is Gizem Açal. At 31, Gizem is one of the youngest Sales Network Management employees and is very successful. That is why we named her “Newcomer of the Year 2020”. She is one of our top 25 advisors.

Gizem, you have worked in Sales Network Management at Generali for two years now. What brought you to Generali?

Ending up at Generali was a happy accident. Originally, my husband had applied for the job. After the interview, when he told me about the position, we realised that I was a much better fit. So, I submitted my application and one thing led to another.


Like many of my colleagues, I came to Generali from a different industry. Before that, I had never worked for an insurance company or in sales network management. It was important to me to have a job where I could apply my knowledge as a certified Business Administrator (Federal Diploma). I also wanted to pursue my passion: working with all kinds of different people. Working as an insurance consultant is the perfect combination for me.


I had a great start at Generali and got to complete an excellent training course at the Generali Academy. I spent a lot of time learning about the products and services in depth. This allows me to offer expert advice and tailor-made solutions to my customers.


What is particularly important to you when it comes to your work?

For me, working in sales network management for an insurance company does not mean selling insurance. I feel it is my job to give my customers security so they can live a life without worry.



What does your average day at Generali look like and what is your recipe for success?

What makes my job so interesting is that every day is different. Every customer appointment takes its own course. My recipe for success is that I approach every person individually and pay attention to their needs. I listen and schedule enough time for my appointments. For me, what matters most is that I can offer every customer optimal insurance coverage.


Proper preparation for customer appointments is very important to me. And I can count on a wide range of support tools from Generali to help me prepare. I am also happy to take initiative. For example, during the lockdown, I created a presentation so that I could offer my customers the best possible advice.


At the end of the day, good work-life balance is key. It is nice to come home from work at the end of the day and enjoy the time I spend with my family.



There are still very few women working in sales network management. Why is that?

I think the reasons for that are societal. For many years, sales network management was an industry dominated by men. Many people still see it that way. I see it as an appeal to all women. We have to think about what jobs interest us. We need to move away from traditional gender roles. It is important for us to serve as role models for other women so we can encourage them to step into the world of insurance advice. I would certainly recommend it to every woman.


Do you feel you are treated differently day to day compared to your male colleagues?

I have not noticed any difference in how I am treated in my day-to-day work. I do not feel that I am treated any different than my male colleagues, or that I have any advantages or disadvantages as a woman. I think that appearing competent and enjoying your work as an advisor are much more important than gender when it comes to being successful at this job. I think that my natural demeanour and my in-depth knowledge are what make me stand out.



Finally, let us look to the future for a moment: what are your goals?

Next, I want to complete a professional development course to become a financial advisor and then ultimately a financial planner, so that I can offer my customers even more comprehensive advice. I have also set myself the ambitious goal of once again being a top advisor at the next “Generali Lions Club” awards ceremony – preferably in first place!

The Generali Lions Club

Every year, Generali honours its top 100 advisors at a gala dinner. Together, we celebrate their excellent achievements. The top 25 out of the top 100 receive extra special recognition with a group trip abroad – as soon as the pandemic situation allows for travel.