Becoming a State Farm Agent

Discussion in 'Getting Started Selling Insurance' started by shawn17ths, May 14, 2008.

  1. Gooner
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    Gooner Guru

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    I skimmed it. .
     
  2. Guarding Destiny
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    Guarding Destiny New Member

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    State Farm is now rated the fourth worst insurance company in the USA, so I would highly suggest going with a higher rated company; one that stands for ethics, so you can hold your head high.
     
  3. JRSOne
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    JRSOne New Member

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    Hello All, I really wish I would have found these forums earlier.

    I don't want to bore everyone with a life story but, this might help with some of my questions. I have been in hospitality management for over 20 years, 10+ with the current company, and have 6 direct reports and approx 100 people under them. I currently make around $75K/yr base, plus around $15-20K a year in bonuses.

    I have to be honest, I am not really all that enthusiastic about sales, however I have come to learn that I now have to sell in my current job and over the past several years I have gotten a knack for B2B sales. I was considering making a career change and I have been searching for opportunities for the past 6 months or so. I spoke with a recruiter for SF and really went into it without much of an expectation. I ended up really liking the opportunity and have made it past the first couple of stages and will be presenting my business plan proposal in a few days.

    After reading some messages here over the past few hours, I am having some of my own concerns realized. I am worried about going into debt and burning out in a few years. I honestly have confidence in my ability and don't plan to fail, but I am also realistic and know it's a possibility.

    During the process of pursuing the SF opportunity, I was contacted by a Farmers Insurance agency and they are putting the pressure on me to go with them. I have met with them a few times and even spoke with an agent who is leaving due to some personal issues and is looking to sell her small book of business.

    Again, JUST found this forum and interested in hearing some opinions. I had never thought of going independent and SF seems to give new agents a LOT of support.
     
  4. DT1970
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    DT1970 Expert

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    Received a standard SF recruiting letter via Linkedin this week. Typical stuff how impressed they are with your success, leadership, blah blah blah. The one thing I thought was interesting was the note mentioned taking over an existing SF agency.

    Having read this entire thread color me skeptical. Do they typically use a "take over an agency" carrot with recruiting letters? And that really doesn't mean anything does it I suppose.

    Would it be safe to assume they would not provide the current sales/revenues/makeup of the business book they are alluding to? Thought I would ask before I hit the delete key although I'm pretty sure I know the answers to these questions already ;)
     
  5. Greenway
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    Greenway New Member

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    I ran across this entire thread and like most things on the internet invested WAY to much of my time into reading something that ultimately does not effect me. I decided to post simply so I could give my own view point of the State Farm opportunity and try to add some objectivity to what seems to be a one sided thread throughout the years.

    I will not spend time trying to validate my viewpoint to you all by explaining to you who I am or my experiences/qualifications, so you will just have to choose whether to believe another faceless opinion on the internet...or not. I will say this though: I am not a recruiter for State Farm.

    For anyone looking at this opportunity;have things changed throughout the years? Yes. Are some of the older contracts more lucrative potentially? Maybe.
    But what company, not even necessarily just in our industry, hasn't seen change through the years? This thread was started nearly a decade ago and a lot of the posts are not only outdated opinions but are also opinions that are NOT based on personal experience, but simply based on what that individual has read online themselves (Re: Xrac).

    The truth is, like most small business opportunities, it is not a perfect fit for every market. Some markets it can soar, some it will only ever be so-so, while others could be a huge struggle and money pit. Ultimately though we are discussing a company that as of 2016 held 18.3% of the US Private auto market share. They haven't sustained their success over the past decade, since the inception of this thread, by having a 50% failure rate with their new agency force, like some on here would suggest. Though, while that statistic may be true in niches throughout the country, I can only speak for my region as a whole and what I have seen.

    Over the past decade I have known MANY enter into agency with State Farm and not a single one of them are bankrupt, out of the business or struggling. Most are living VERY comfortable lives with exorbitant amounts of freedom. In this time I have only known of one particular person not receive his contract or " get fired". This was due solely to his inability to get out of the office chair and work.
    Not all sales people make great business owners. That is the difference in the State Farm model and the way a lot of other companies or independents operate, they are searching for a manager not necessarily a salesman. They want you running the business, not focused on selling, as this is the only possible way you can cover all of the products offered and max out your scorecard bonus which is how you will profit through the years. It is a different way of thinking about things but if you can be a coordinator and put the right people in place to run your "playbook" , it is a very lucrative career. A majority of the agents I am in close contact with have scorecard bonuses over a 100k every year. Some exceeding 300k.

    Some of the negatives stated throughout this thread do hold true as well though as there are negatives with any company or career in life.
    As stated:
    -You DO NOT own your policies, the company does.
    -They CAN pull your contract with the company, though after your TICA period it would have to be something very serious.
    - Big Brother is always watching
    -The company atmosphere currently is more about numbers, or chasing a front run report, than the customer. But unfortunately that seems to be a majority of businesses in today's society , I believe due to the ease we have of running analytics on every detail of an operation.
    -They do want you producing all lines that they are involved in, which they enforce by having financial services tied to your SMVC and heavily on your scorecard. So if you don't want or know how to train a team to sell these products... avoid the opportunity. If all you want to do is sell P&C, you will fail.
    - They do want you having liquidity available to invest in your business, as you would have to have if you are starting any business. Several of the agents I know though (even starting scratch) started with no debt and continue running things without any debt at all.
    - They are offering scratch positions more often these days as no one is retiring and opening up books that they can give someone. Most sales leaders in my area though have "back filled" these scratch agents once someone finally does retire. (I am not saying completely trust the sales leader in this though. It is up to their discretion & not guaranteed)

    Most on here simply hate the idea of it because it is a trendy thing to do at times, hate the big company. Some think it is a bad opportunity simply due to the (average) 9.5% renewals, yet they don't understand how the bonus structure works or how lucrative the bonus can be.


    I know there are many other things that I have not addressed, so feel free to ask. In conclusion the original AA05 contract that was offered was not ideal for Agents. But as for anyone looking into the opportunity currently, luckily it is 2017 and the current contract has been changed for the better. I know agents 5 years into it taking home 200k+ a year, working 20 hours a week with their business still growing rapidly due to having the right team in place.

    My advice would be to simply research your area. Talk to young agents and see how business is for them because most experiences will be market dependent. I would also suggest working for a successful agent for awhile. Learn the ins and outs of what makes a State Farm agency tick and decide for yourself if you are capable or not. Worse case scenario you find out the opportunity does not fit you or your market but gain great experience in running an agency.

    Like one of the most previous level headed posters stated I am not saying it is the best opportunity out there, there is no such thing due to the differences in people and their situation in life. But it is still an unbelievable opportunity if run correctly in the right market. And in my region, it is superior to all captive opportunities.

    Do your research, gain experience, work hard and the best of luck to everyone and the path that you choose in this extremely rewarding industry!
     
  6. Greenway
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    Greenway New Member

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    I ran across this entire thread and like most things on the internet invested WAY to much of my time into reading something that ultimately does not effect me. I decided to post simply so I could give my own view point of the State Farm opportunity and try to add some objectivity to what seems to be a one sided thread throughout the years.

    I will not spend time trying to validate my viewpoint to you all by explaining to you who I am or my experiences/qualifications, so you will just have to choose whether to believe another faceless opinion on the internet...or not. I will say this though: I am not a recruiter for State Farm.

    For anyone looking at this opportunity;have things changed throughout the years? Yes. Are some of the older contracts more lucrative potentially? Maybe.
    But what company, not even necessarily just in our industry, hasn't seen change through the years? This thread was started nearly a decade ago and a lot of the posts are not only outdated opinions but are also opinions that are NOT based on personal experience, but simply based on what that individual has read online themselves (Re: Xrac).

    The truth is, like most small business opportunities, it is not a perfect fit for every market. Some markets it can soar, some it will only ever be so-so, while others could be a huge struggle and money pit. Ultimately though we are discussing a company that as of 2016 held 18.3% of the US Private auto market share. They haven't sustained their success over the past decade, since the inception of this thread, by having a 50% failure rate with their new agency force, like some on here would suggest. Though, while that statistic may be true in niches throughout the country, I can only speak for my region as a whole and what I have seen.

    Over the past decade I have known MANY enter into agency with State Farm and not a single one of them are bankrupt, out of the business or struggling. Most are living VERY comfortable lives with exorbitant amounts of freedom. In this time I have only known of one particular person not receive his contract or " get fired". This was due solely to his inability to get out of the office chair and work.
    Not all sales people make great business owners. That is the difference in the State Farm model and the way a lot of other companies or independents operate, they are searching for a manager not necessarily a salesman. They want you running the business, not focused on selling, as this is the only possible way you can cover all of the products offered and max out your scorecard bonus which is how you will profit through the years. It is a different way of thinking about things but if you can be a coordinator and put the right people in place to run your "playbook" , it is a very lucrative career. A majority of the agents I am in close contact with have scorecard bonuses over a 100k every year. Some exceeding 300k.

    Some of the negatives stated throughout this thread do hold true as well though as there are negatives with any company or career in life.
    As stated:
    -You DO NOT own your policies, the company does.
    -They CAN pull your contract with the company, though after your TICA period it would have to be something very serious.
    - Big Brother is always watching
    -The company atmosphere currently is more about numbers, or chasing a front run report, than the customer. But unfortunately that seems to be a majority of businesses in today's society , I believe due to the ease we have of running analytics on every detail of an operation.
    -They do want you producing all lines that they are involved in, which they enforce by having financial services tied to your SMVC and heavily on your scorecard. So if you don't want or know how to train a team to sell these products... avoid the opportunity. If all you want to do is sell P&C, you will fail.
    - They do want you having liquidity available to invest in your business, as you would have to have if you are starting any business. Several of the agents I know though (even starting scratch) started with no debt and continue running things without any debt at all.
    - They are offering scratch positions more often these days as no one is retiring and opening up books that they can give someone. Most sales leaders in my area though have "back filled" these scratch agents once someone finally does retire. (I am not saying completely trust the sales leader in this though. It is up to their discretion & not guaranteed)

    Most on here simply hate the idea of it because it is a trendy thing to do at times, hate the big company. Some think it is a bad opportunity simply due to the (average) 9.5% renewals, yet they don't understand how the bonus structure works or how lucrative the bonus can be.


    I know there are many other things that I have not addressed, so feel free to ask. In conclusion the original AA05 contract that was offered was not ideal for Agents. But as for anyone looking into the opportunity currently, luckily it is 2017 and the current contract has been changed for the better. I know agents 5 years into it taking home 200k+ a year, working 20 hours a week with their business still growing rapidly due to having the right team in place.

    My advice would be to simply research your area. Talk to young agents and see how business is for them because most experiences will be market dependent. I would also suggest working for a successful agent for awhile. Learn the ins and outs of what makes a State Farm agency tick and decide for yourself if you are capable or not. Worse case scenario you find out the opportunity does not fit you or your market but gain great experience in running an agency.

    Like one of the most previous level headed posters stated I am not saying it is the best opportunity out there, there is no such thing due to the differences in people and their situation in life. But it is still an unbelievable opportunity if run correctly in the right market. And in my region, it is superior to all captive opportunities.

    Do your research, gain experience, work hard and the best of luck to everyone and the path that you choose in this extremely rewarding industry!
     
  7. Mattjm24
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    Mattjm24 New Member

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    I work for a State Farm agent, was in their Agent Aspirant program, and recently made the decision to go independent based partly on stuff I have learned on this forum. I can tell you that no one gets a book larger than $1.2M assigned to them. That's the largest. If I had to guess the average, I'd say it's $500K. And you'll lose 20% of that in the first 2 years. You'll earn between 8-11% on P&C and the way they structure their "score card" bonus, you'll need substantial production in Life, Health, and Bank in order to actually make a decent living.
     
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