Advice for (fairly) New Agent in Arizona.

May 21, 2016

  1. stanley

    stanley New Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    Hoping to get some advice and I apologize in advance for what could be a long boring post. :D

    I've been a licensed agent for about 3.5 months (Life + Health w/LTC cert), and been a captive agent at Bankers Life & Casualty since being licensed (sorry, didn't know better apparently).

    BLC "cleaned house" at the office I am currently working out of due to 'ethics violations' by the previous agents (surprise!), and I was one of five agents contracted to 're-build' the office.

    At this time four out of the five of us are still surprisingly sticking it out, but personally I'm beginning to have serious doubts about either a) sticking with BLC or b) sticking with insurance period. The CARROT that is being dangled out to us, is that since there is only a single manager (UFT) at the location, that they will be looking to promote the manager up and promote us 'senior' agents to UFT status (paid employee + benefits + comm?). I'm not sure I will last that long, even if it is true, as I'm burning through my life savings trying to work the BLC system. I'm especially concerned that a fellow agent with previous experience with insurance (AFLAC + some others) is struggling just as badly as the rest of us.

    Since finding this forum I found the following post in a thread:
    And what I'm finding is that the post above is dead on accurate; however I'm not viewing this as time or money wasted as I have learned an enormous amount about Medicare, life insurance, health insurance and the insurance industry in general and insurance sales.

    Being concerned as I am about sticking with BLC as a long term career choice, I recently 'brushed up' my resume and have since been approached by Farmers, AFLAC, NYL, Progressive Group and some others, and so I am trying to evaluate my possible courses of action.

    I can 'jump ship' and move to another captive agency, or go independent of course, but naturally I'm concerned that I don't have enough 'real world' insurance experience to go independent - especially in light of the lack of training and support by BLC (except for dialing, man-oh-man have they trained me on that!). Would spending time at a different captive agency be smart at this juncture in order to build experience and gain additional knowledge?

    Thank you in advance for your input and advice...
    stanley, May 21, 2016

    SPUR CITY Guru

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    Here's my take on the limited amount of info I have on your situation.

    I have seen agents waste away waiting for that carrot that never comes. If you want something in life you gotta go get it. Don't wait and hope for anything. You might not realize this yet and may not for another year but this is probably a blessing in disguise.

    I started my career at NYL over a decade ago. Started with about 16 or 17 newbies who ALL washed away within 14 months or so. TOUGH GIG TO SURVIVE THERE.

    If I were you I'd pick an area to specialize in, find out who the best in that particular specialty is and dive in head first. Emulate their system & practices. Soak up as much knowledge from them as possible. Imitate their every move from their work schedule to their presentation and everything in between. Don't look back & don't listen to the nay-sayers. Put the blinders on, SET GOALS & WORK HARD.

    There will be times when things get rough and you will want to quit. Go ahead, quit for a few days if you'd like. But get back on the track and keep driving forward. Focus, meditate & envision yourself succeeding.

  3. DHK

    DHK Guru

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    If you want to work that same market, I have two suggestions for you:

    1) Look up your local Mutual of Omaha office in your area. They would also offer a similar product line (med supp, annuities, long term care, etc.), so you have transferrable skills, and (hopefully) better people there to learn from. They might also have some orphaned leads to call on too, but don't count on that.

    2) I'd take a look at Greensky's Medicare Supplement training offering and look at being an independent agent selling medsups. Being independent really is the way to go... but you've got to know how to survive in order to do it right.

    Here's his forum profile: Insurance Forums - View Profile: GreenSky Click on his Medicare Training 101 and see if that would help you to get started on a better track.
    DHK, May 21, 2016
  4. stanley

    stanley New Member

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    Thanks for the great feedback - I've been spending a lot of time reading various posts here on the forum, taking notes, and trying to soak up as much information as possible while working out what I would need if I decided to go independent.

    One of the advantages to working as a captive is of course access to various things like E&E insurance (automatically deducted from commissions), fact finders, brochures, forms, software etc - so of course going independent will require sourcing much of the same materials from other sources.

    Lots to think about here...


    Trying to keep my options open - had an initial interview with Farmers today that went well, they want to see me again Thursday morning for a followup.

    Weighing the pros and cons and going to discuss everything I found out today with my spouse...any input on Farmers is appreciated!

    I did stop by this morning early and speak with a local (former) Farmers agent that now runs a Budget Insurance office. They didn't have anything really negative to say and encouraged me to seek out and speak with current successful Farmers agents which I feel is good advice that I intend to follow.

    I've done a search for "Farmers" on the forum...hoping to glean some insight that way.
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
    stanley, May 23, 2016