About to Complete my 5th Month As a New Agent.

Oct 25, 2015

  1. Passion
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    Passion New Member

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    About 5 months ago, I signed my contract to become a life insurance agent for AIL in Metairie, Louisiana. I have a little over 40,000 net alp with about 4000ah from a71/cancer policies. I am about to move into management and train others. I look forward to finishing my first year 7 months from now and earning residuals. My experience has been good.

    But I am questioning for the future if I should go independent or pursue a property and causality license. My experience is limited to only 5 months with AIL and maybe I am feeling like the grass is greener on the other side for the future. I am unaware of what the true income potential is on the property causality or independent side of things is. I know that I will most likely stay with AIL but I am questioning what else is out there besides just selling life insurance for one company (mainly whole). I would love to sell health insurance but our company only sells a71 and cancer portions as last resort options.

    Any advice for me? I'm sure that I am not the only agent who has felt this way. I would like to at least get my property and casualty license in my spare time. What is the best online course to get the P&C license? AIL pushes us through xcel test solutions but they only offer L&H. What other insurance or related licenses should I spend my spare time earning? What would I read to learn more about becoming an independent agent in the future? Thank you.
     
    Passion, Oct 25, 2015
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  2. CIServices
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    CIServices Expert

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    I don't have answers to everything your asking. I do know that America Professor worked for me in my licensing. I skipped all the videos they offer and went straight to the books. Highlighted pertinent information and then printed out their mock-tests (they offer a few variants of each section). I then took those tests over and over until I consistently scored 92%+ That seemed to work

    DISCLOSURE: I'M NOT AN AFFILIATE OF AMERICA PROFESSOR...SO PLEASE DON'T RAG ME...just trying to help out
     
  3. HomeService
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    HomeService Guru

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    Going from AIL to P&C is like going from the corner store to Wal-Mart.
     
  4. SmartWorker
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    SmartWorker Expert

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    If you're doing well with AIL, I would seriously stay put and possibly even try to avoid management as long as you can. You've more than likely seen many, many people burnout and you've outlasted them. More people burn out again in management due to the constant pressure to recruit.

    P&C is the slowest way to extract profit from the insurance industry, so if you can keep riding the wave you're on as a producer... keep going
     
  5. bluezebra48
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    bluezebra48 Expert

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    With AIL, your supervisor makes bonus on you for the first 6 months, then you are on your own. I'm sure your leads are good now, but if you don't have at least 50% referral business you will struggle once the 'bonus' leads go to the newer people. (7 months at AIL 2012, SF Bay Area) Buying leads on your own can cost a small fortune up front, but unless you can find an IMO to split with you, that might be your best bet. And, first thing you do when you leave AIL is replace everything! Once you leave you will not get any backend. They will change agent of record. Good luck.
     
  6. Passion
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    Passion New Member

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    Smartworker, I could stay a career agent and play it safe but my numbers qualify so I believe management is an opportunity I must take in my career as an agent at least once. Especially because my goal is to be an SGA (over a state) in the future. I can always step down if I don't like it but from what I have seen, the managers all have teams and our new agents tend to stick around. We are also moving to a larger office in January so we will focus more on recruiting which creates a great opportunity for me to build a team and accomplish my long-term career goals. I don't need finances so I am willing to write business in my new agents names and take the time to train them.

    Bluezebra48, we have many agents that have stayed over 6 months with us and I have not seen any of them deprived of leads so I have not seen that problem. I am very interested in buying my own leads in the future though because I think it would be worth the investment for me and my eventual team but so far my leads have been great so I have not had a need to do it yet. I do know leads could run out for anyone eventually so I would like to know where to buy leads for the future if anyone has any suggestions. I always focus on getting a lot of referrals so I can be lead-pack independent but I still have them and most of my schedules are referrals because they are a much higher closing percentage for me.

    I have sold 10 of my last 13 presentations which are mainly referrals. My gross ALP with AIL is 43,496 and my net is 41,105. My gross A&H is 4,274 and my net is 4,274 according to my PnP report released on 11/1/15 (two days ago) and I signed my contract with AIL on June 1st 2015 to be trained.

    I am not naïve enough to believe that AIL is the best company in the world or that being a captive agent for one company is the best use of my time but I have a lot invested in the company so far and I have been treated fairly so I may stick around. I am also lacking in experience because I have only been with AIL for a few months so I don't yet possess the knowledge or experience to venture into other areas yet. But I am extremely interested to know if my time would be better invested in the P&C or independent side in the future. So I am very interested to know the best place online to get the certificate for P&C to take the PSI exam. I am also interested in any good sources to buy leads for when I may have too because I know every well dries up eventually.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
    Passion, Nov 3, 2015
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  7. walksthedogs
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    walksthedogs New Member

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    Congratulations on your success with AIL. As for captive vs independent, that depends on what you want. There is an interesting article that might help you. Google LifeHealthPro "Independent vs Captive: Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?"

     
  8. SmartWorker
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    SmartWorker Expert

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    A bit of background here. I was with AIL for 6 months but was unable to make much headway. I'm no cheerleader for them, but I do know that some people do very well with them. I've since moved to a P&C agency as an independent producer.

    My sincere advice is to run with AIL as long as you can as it's a good place to earn money if you can work their system. The support available to you means a no-nothing newcomer can make serious money right off the bat. You're going to make the convention qualifications shortly and I can assure you won't get a free trip like that in your first year many other places.

    As for buying leads, I would strongly recommend against it for 3 reasons:

    1) AIL's system rewards those who gather referrals and close business, both of which you already do. You should never have a problem getting leads if you're closing at the rate you stated. Additionally, management receives leads for new agents and you can live off the leads that they leave behind when they quit.

    2) Leads, in my opinion, are generally crap for life insurance. Why pay for something you're already paying for (see 3)

    3) AIL's commission structure is lower than other companies to account for their providing leads to you. You're going to be paying for leads on top of paying for them through AIL.

    Put in a few years, go to conventions, and start raking in renewal checks and then see how things look. If you decide you want to go independent at that point, you'll have experience and resources to go forward. Put your idea about P&C aside for now and pour everything into doing well at AIL. Good luck!
     
  9. Corporate Death
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    Corporate Death Guru

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    ^^^^^^^Sound advice. Doesn't get any better than that. Seriously.

    I was with AIL about 22 years ago. Brought 8 applications in my first three days in the field. Not sure I know how I did that. I just didn't know what I didn't know. Of course, I got lazy after a few months (big head, goal was to impress my girlfriend and have money for the bars, piss poor 20-something habits...).

    Now, AIL is trying to recruit me again here in Charlotte. I haven't been in the biz since 2012. This agency actually SETS appointments for you though. Up to 30/week they claim. I can't bite because I have commitments with my lazy 12 year old and his homework on weeknights.

    I think AIL is a good company to start with to cut your teeth. Some make it long term and even retire (My old Manager retired about 5 years ago with HEFTY income), but that is rare. The good thing is, they will teach you to get in front of people and close.
     
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