Is It Time to Quit the Biz ?

Aug 15, 2016

  1. CJ Tibbs
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    Ok Guys,

    Not sure what to do or what's up with my manager. Or maybe i'm just not cut out for sales anymore (sigh).

    I've been doing PC sales now for 2 yrs for a mid-sized independent.

    Whether your argument is that sales can be a lucrative career, or that it is soul-sucking and hopeless. Not sure at this point. I sell insurance– or at least, I try– and each day, I leave my desk wondering if I should even bother coming back the next day.

    Once a month, the company president asks me when my numbers will go up. Once a month, I explain to the company president that out of ten ‘prospects,’ three are out of business, four do no not speak English, one is insured by our competitor, one says he or she isn’t interested, and one will let my call go to voice mail. Each month, I out-call the other sales person with whom I was hired by 160 or more calls. Each month, two of my clients prematurely end the quoting process because they are sick of supplying more and more information to my underwriter. My underwriter tells me one figure for a premium, and my supervisor tells me another. The company president tells me I can sell a particular program in a particular state, and my supervisor tells me I cannot sell that particular program in that particular state. The company president tells me we may have to re-evaluate my employment if my sales don’t go up, and my underwriter refuses to let me issue a multi-million dollar policy at a premium that would literally secure my job for the next two months. (Uggh).

    What’s really ridiculous is that the company president wasn’t even aware of a deal-breaking exclusion on the policy until I told him about it. I learned of this exclusion after four months of selling the policy. The president oversaw the company for six years before I brought the exclusion to his attention.

    I love the concept of insurance. I see insurance as the US’ ultimate victory: we, as a nation, have capitalized upon the concept of communism. Premiums and claims = ‘Each gives according to his ability, and each receives according to his need.’ I love the contracts, the details, the math, the language.

    • I do not love the constant pressure vice formed by my manager and my underwriter.
    • I didn’t go to college for four years to have every Debbie, Carol, Cheryl, and Donna in the US hang up on me.
    • I didn’t ace every language arts exam I ever took, or read entire books in a single day, or ‘Wow!’ my journalism professor with every piece I ever wrote just to be 2nd in sales to a colleague who misspells the words in the subject lines of the emails he sends to clients.
    • I am more educated, articulate, and reasonable than most of the ‘prospects’ who reject me on a daily basis.
    I don’t want to succeed in this environment, because success is causally linked with manipulation and luck. I have been lucky enough in my general life experience, but know better than to let my future depend on it. What’s worse than watching someone I don’t respect defeat me is knowing that I’m wasting someone’s money while simultaneously wasting my own time.

    Outside my sales job, I’m a painter, and a bartender. I make more money per hour at my bar job than I do at my sales job. I only took the sales job because I don’t want to be forced to keep the bar job forever, and let’s face it: there is no job security in liberal arts.

    People who succeed in sales are a necessary part of the US economy. I don’t intend to bash the position. Sure, my belief is that success in sales relies on manipulation and luck. It’s a capitalist economy, so if someone can make a buck by manipulating someone else at an opportune moment, then great: have at ‘er.

    I don't know...maybe i'm just having a bad couple of months. But lately, sales leaves me wondering day after day where I will be in two months, two years, two decades. Sure, like Miley Cyrus said, “It ain’t about how fast I get there; it ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side; it’s the climb,” but sales is a brittle, rotting branch sticking out of the side of my life’s metaphoric cliff, and I don’t know how much longer I can hang on.
    • What's wrong with me....am i expecting too much?
    • Am i not cut out for "intangible sales"...maybe i should be selling Real Estate?
    • Anyone else been at their cross-road before in PC sales?
    Since i'm not getting decent guidance from my Manager, i thought i'd Look for some insight from the experienced pros on the PC sales section....

    Thank you, again, for everything you guys have written.
     
    CJ Tibbs, Aug 15, 2016
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  2. insurance1822
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    If you're going to stay in this career path, your goal should be opening your own agency. That's where you'll make serious money. This business takes serious time outgrow the cold calling stage. Eventually, you'll start closing more accounts. Eventually, people will start calling you via word of mouth & from referrals & the cold calling will cut back a bit. In the beginning it's a grind to get business on the books etc.

    In order to succeed you need to be hitting the streets. Shaking hands with COI's, following up, smiling etc. Building a local presence. It takes time (at least 6 months..) to start seeing returns.

    nobody gives a $hit about how you scored on tests in college.

    I started out of college doing the same thing. After 5 years I opened my own agency after being tired of the BS. By sticking w/ this career & making my goal of owning my own operation, I'm now 31 years old clearing $350,000 per year.

    It's hard, it's boring, it feels really worthless calling all day & getting hung up on. you feel like a loser, but eventually you'll start closing sales. Eventually you'll start to dial in on how many calls you need to make to earn X amount of dollars. It's all a numbers game in the beginning & it's certainly NOT FUN.

    If you're going to stay in this business I suggest you understand the renewal commissions & how they exponentially increase over time. Starting out w/ commercial experience is a seriously lucky thing (I never had commercial experience.)
     
  3. DanteThompson
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    Go independent after 5 years as an independent agent I now own my own insurance agency with gross revenues of 125,000
     
  4. TFMSINC
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    C.J.

    Insurance 1822 is giving you good advice. You sound very depressed. This might not be a good time to make a decision to "kick insurance as a career to the curb".

    I've been doing it for almost 30 years now, but only when I want to, and when it fits with my other business.

    The only way to go, in my opinion, is to be independent.
     
    TFMSINC, Aug 15, 2016
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  5. runtilmylegsdrpoff
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    Wait a minute OP; you mean you did not go into this industry with the mindset that sales is all about "What have you done for me lately"?

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    Given your views on Capitalism and sales, I would say that your personal beliefs are in direct opposition to your current job and that is a huge part of why you're not doing so hot. Yes, it sounds like the Insurance industry is definitely not for you.

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    Wow, you're an inspiration. I'm ten years older than you and I want to congratulate you on your success at a relatively young age, great job Sir.
     
  6. Todd Preston
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    OP....you are working in the wrong place.

    1. Sounds like your trusting your Manager too much (s/he sounds like an idiot).
    2. Your working a crappy cold call list
    3. Your cold calling businesses (that's tough)...your gonna get PO ppl who don't want to talk to you.
    4. Your pitching product that your Manager doesn't even know how to underwrite
    5. Company President and Supervisor don't see eye-to-eye....NOT GOOD
    6. You gotta Manipulate to close???

    ???

    WAT DA....yeah, i would QUIT too....(Wat da HELL are you doing in this place?)

    I THINK you should ditch the commercial (too tough for your shop) and find a company that just does personal lines locally.

    Get the hell outta that place before you loose your mind. There are THOUSANDS of places where the manager's dont' know what the hell they are doing...and they will bring you down with them.
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    Dude...you're an old man...BULLYING some young girl who has the balls to cold call businesses???

    (You got 16 posts and your from CA.....nough said). And stop suckin up to some kid who's 10yrs your junior. Its embarrassing....he's not impressed nor are we.

    Jaysus...(where do they come from)? Get back there in the alley and detail my car. Make sure you get the rims clean this time.

    For Christ sake...find someone your own size to pick on!
     
  7. runtilmylegsdrpoff
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    What I said is considered "bullying"? Wow, I thought Insurance people were made of tougher stuff.

    I merely said the guy was an inspiration, I guess we're not allowed to give accolades either.:goofy:

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    I get it Todd. I totally get it now. You're jealous of me!!
     
  8. insurance1822
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    Ya kind of random post from Todd Preston?

    I also got the impression the OP was an entitled millennial pansy liberal, but I didn't say that right away. The reality here is this business is incredibly lucrative if she wants to leverage what it has to offer. I gather she works at this agency & doesn't have an understanding yet of the industry compensation as a whole. I didn't when I started, I just was young & stupid and got kind of lucky.

    Bad advice on getting out of commercial. That's a blessing in disguise to have access to that experience.
     
  9. thomasm
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    CJ, If you have good personal lines carriers, and have lots of cookie-cutter suburban homes in your area, get off the phone and go door knock.

    All the advertising on TV is in your favor! It keeps insurance top of mind, but it doesn't really motivate them to pick up the phone and call.

    But they will let you quote them if they have a slight interest in saving money when you stop by.

    People tell me all the time they never had a home & auto insurance man knock on their door!

    I'm cleaning up! Got 11 leads tonight in just 3 hours of knocking!

    By the way, you run across all the self-employed trades and home based business who need commercial this way too! Easy pickings!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
    thomasm, Aug 16, 2016
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  10. CJ Tibbs
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    Sorry guys...I must apologize because there's been a family issue that has affected my thinking lately (my little boy was recently diagnosed with diabetes ...so its been a hard). And dealing with an incompetent manager has just pushed me over the edge.

    But i had it with my Manager. I am not a socialist, but yes, i do think of Insurance as a large pool of resources that targeted insureds pay into and then pull from when a catastrophe hits as a form of socialism. That's how i sell it and that's how its sold (i dont' tell them the president of Nationwide got a 2 million dollar bonus last yr). But, that's my broad brush political philosophy of the ins. business. Insurance is a community business that without, our country would fail. Take that view for what its worth. You wanna tell your small business clients that the president of Chubb makes 5 mill a year at his expense???---go right ahead.

    My office targets several states in the area and the fact that i live in a small town on the east coast, makes it possible to work other nearby states.

    Anyway, i've decided to send out my resume to other companies in the area. I'm a good worker, and feel with the right team i can do well. I'm an excellent communicator and hard worker. I know 2 other languages and haven't meet or seen anyone in my present company who works as hard as i do. HOWEVER, this manager, supervisor and president are simply not on the same page. I often wonder who's really the boss? The manager has been with the company for 6mths (he's the son of an owner) but many others have left in wake of his promotion; I stuck it out.

    I appreciate the thoughts and pep talk. I'm gonna sharpen my pencil and figure out my next move. I didn't bust my arse to get that licensed to be defeated by some "silver spoon" manager who doesn't know his arse from a hole in the wall. I think i may add some Personal lines to beef up my menu, just not sure how to get it done.

    RUNTILMYLEGSDROP?
    ---NICE. I never approached any of my work with that attitude. Ca. drought getting to you? Thanks for encouraging others who need a pep talk. Guess 1822 needs another boot licker here on the forum. Perhaps you should consider a manager position somewhere?


    Everyone else, thanks very much. Your straight talk is appreciated. Will keep you informed of my progress. *Break a leg!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
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