If you join an agency, what's the deal?

Jan 23, 2007

  1. Guest
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    A small family-owned agency (4 agents) that does P&C, Life, has asked me to join them (to do health). I've not yet interviewed or even agreed to interview... but I was flattered to be asked...seeing as I don't know what I don't know yet!

    If you work for the John Doe Agency (in Calif):

    1. Do I keep my appointments or do I have to change them to the name of the agency?

    2. If I sell a policy, is it my client (should I leave) or theirs?

    3. Assuming it is their client, would I still get to keep the renewal if I leave?

    4. What kind of 'stuff' should I expect besides a free desk, phone, and mail (or will I even get that?)

    5. Blue pays me 20% as an independent. Will the agency pay that... or will they take a cut (or pay me more?)

    I understand being independent (as I am now) and I understand being captive (say to NYL or Met.) What is the deal working for an agency? Do any of you work for one? Please enlighten us.

    Al
     
  2. Sam
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    Sam Founder Administrator

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    Al,
    I am assuming that this agency is independent, and not a captive outfit. If that is the case, then there is no boilerplate answer for you. They will try to get the best deal for them, and you will try to get the best deal for you.

    What they offer, aside from a phone and desk, is possible leads, as they may allow you to contact all of their existing customers for health. Additionally, they probably get a lot of requests for health, if they are looking to bring someone in.

    I doubt they would let you own your own book, but you could probably negotiate either a salary, or a big slice of the commission. I guess the main question is, how much business can they help you generate, and how much easier will it be than generating the biz on your own.
     
  3. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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    Al -

    Email me and I will put you in touch with a friend in OH who has worked in a P&C agency for close to 20 years. He can give you as much information as anyone about the good & bad of these kind of relationships.

    [email protected]
     
  4. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    The standard arrangement for working for an agency is they own the book of business, you get a commission cut but in trade they give you free leads or access to their book of business so you can call and generate business and normally some type of salary/draw.

    I've seen some very bad arrangements though. There are agencies without enough clients for you to gain any significant amount of health business and they also don't have the funds to generate leads. Then you cold call all day from a desk for reduced commission and you don't own the business. Walk away from a deal like that.
     
  5. James
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    James Guru

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    My good for nothing ex brother n' law down in Houston TX had these deals. He was lazy, overbearing but funny I have to admit, and I guess the quaint essential sales person. Had a great closing ratio, he did nothing but sit around the house waiting for his agency or agencies to call with pre set appointments. He would go and close the sale, he has been doing it that way for some 20 plus years and makes a good living. Don't know all the particulars but it was obvious he made a good living and way to lazy to go out and prospect for himself.
     
  6. tedreed20
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    tedreed20 New Member

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    I'm in preliminary talks with Country Insurance and Financial Services. This would be a career change for me and I'm curious if any of you have had experience with them. From what I know thus far they are a P&C company, they pay a salary, seem to have very good training and mentoring programs, and go 50/50 on leads.

    Based on what I've read, most of you favor being independent, but I'm curious how this company stacks up among the Captive agencies that you may be familiar with.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.
     
  7. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Had a very good friend of mine strike a deal with a local Nationwide agency. He was gonna come in everyday and sell health to their existing client base - the Nationwide owner was gonna do a mailing to every client (HUGE client base) and my friend would follow up with calls. He was so excited I thought he was gonna burst - they gave him a desk and small base pay.

    Two month later it was over. Very lacking mailer response and when he started calling the existing clients he was treated no better than a telemarketer.

    Individual health is a very niche market
     
  8. MIBizInsurance
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    MIBizInsurance Guru

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    Main question- Who will own the book?


    Most likely answer - The agency
     
  9. natem2112
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    natem2112 Super Genius

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    Keep in mind that you will have to pass their personality test before the will hire you, look up the search function on Country Insurance on this forum and I believe there is a thread about it.

    Being micromanaged will be the norm if you are not within their upper sales production for quota's.

    With all that that being said, I think taht they would be a fine company to learn the multi-line approach from and be able to pay the bills at the same time.

    Just keep in mind that whatever you build up with them...belongs to them.
     
  10. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Being micro-managed when you're brand new in this industry isn't necessarily a bad thing. Most people need a kick in the ass and I can guarantee if they're paying a base and you're not pulling in clients you'll get a nice talking to. At bare minimum you'll see if you have what it takes to close deals.

    Don't discount atmosphere - which an overwhelming majority of sales people need. When you're new it's fun to close deals and get recognized. It pushes you and makes the job fun. When you're independent and land a client you can hear the crickets chirping in the background - no one cares. When you're indie and spreading your business around you're not even recogized by your carriers. You might have an outstanding week personally, but the business went to 4 different companies. So to each one of those companies you're just average to below average.

    Being independent is EXACTLY like running your own small retail business. You can bat it out of the park and no one knows or cares. The reasons for being independent for me are:

    1) I don't play well with others
    2) I don't want anyone telling me what to do
    3) My production is none of anyone's business and I don't need managers who are getting overrides off me bugging me all the time
    4) If I decide not to work today that's my business and I'm not running it past anyone (except my true boss - my wife)
     
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