New Agents - Before you sign anything

Dec 13, 2007

  1. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    New to this business? Before you sign anything, read:

    1) Never sign contracting papers that you can't take home and read over. Some agencies will sit you at a table and sign 30 pages of stuff that you obviously don't have a chance to read over. Just tell them that you need to bring the paperwork home so you can read over it carefully. If you hit a lot of resistance that's basically everything you need to know.

    2) Do not pay fees to join any agency. The only fees you should incur are licensing and appointment fees. If anyone is asking for money beyond that run, don't walk to your nearest exit. Ask any agency if you have to pay interest on either advances or debt.

    3) Always ask what the commission schedule is. An agency may state that your commission on a certain product is 55%. Ok, is only 60% available and that's a fair deal or is 100% available and that's a horrible deal? Any ethical manager or agency owner will tell you the entire commission schedule.

    4) Stay away from signing on with agencies that only talk about money and how rich you'll get. Are they talking about agents making $10K, 20K a week? Agents making $300,000 or $500,000 a year? These are generally "turn it and burnt it" outfits.

    5) Do you own your book of business? Always ask before signing anything. If you don't that might be fine, but you should know before going into the deal.

    6) What happens if you quit? Can you transfer your appointments to another agency? In a lot of cases you cannot move your appointment or if you do a six month period of time has to pass where no business is written. That could have drastic implications on your career.

    Example: You sign on with "John Doe Agency" to sell the products of "ABC Insurance." You come to find that the John Doe Agency is simply horrible so you quit. But now you come to find that you cannot move your appointment with ABC Insurance to another agency, and you're dead in the water. This needs to be discussed before signing anything.
     
  2. exofficio
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    Thanks John!

    Now if only I could find an agency in my area that fits the bill... I've already found plenty of boiler rooms.
    :skeptical:
     
  3. 2112Greg
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    2112Greg Guru

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    All excellent advice...especially the one about paying an agency to work for them. I've never done it, happily, only because it never made sense to me. Can't believe that some outfits get away with such nonsense...

    Good one about appointments, too.

    Hell, they are all good bits of advice...nice job!
     
    2112Greg, Dec 13, 2007
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  4. arnguy
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    arnguy Guru

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    John, it's good to have you aboard again. Your thoughts and sage advice are a welcome addition to this forum!
     
    arnguy, Dec 13, 2007
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  5. Bhains Insurance Broker
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    Bhains Insurance Broker Expert

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    Thank you for that advice. I would like to add to it as well

    1) Sometimes a contract sounds to good to be true. Make sure you read everything as healthagent mentioned. Go above and beyond to make a move.

    2) If you are looking to be appointed, be appointed with someone who's been in the business for a while and the reputation is there to support your sales. This is very important!

    3) Regarding taking the book of business with you when leaving. Read the non-compete clause, have a lawyer take a look at it. Sometimes the non-compete clauses can be broker depending on the circumstances. The previous company/broker has to have proof you are takign that business. Have an attorney/lawyer look at it and make sure you are safe before making any wise decisions.

    I hope that helped
     
  6. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Ask your manager or agency owners to explain fully how you can make that six figure income their touting - have them work the numbers backward:

    Agency: "You can make six figurers first year."

    Agent: "What's my average commission per deal?"

    Agency: "Average commission is $600."

    Agent: "Ok, so I need just over three deals per week. How many leads does it take for me to close a deal on average?"

    Agency: "You should close 1 out of 15 leads on average."

    Agent: "Ok, so I need over 45 leads per week. Are you providing me with those leads or am I responsible for generating them?"

    And on and on. You need to run the math before signing on with anyone.
     
  7. Mr. Bill
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    Mr. Bill Guru

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    Lovely. If we could only collapse the multilevel marketing scams of the FMO/IMOs (on the fixed annuity and life side), the world would be a better place.

    Talk about a bunch of do-nothings!
     
    Mr. Bill, Dec 13, 2007
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  8. Ins155
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    Ins155 Expert

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    Great information, keep'em coming I need all the education I can get.
     
    Ins155, Dec 13, 2007
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  9. Ins155
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    Ins155 Expert

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    Hey HealthAgent, I have a shirt with your motto "Give a man a fish"... I wear it when I go out on my boat on a lake near my home. Unfortunately, sometimes its true. LOL.
     
    Ins155, Dec 13, 2007
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  10. HomeService
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    "Never sign contracting papers that you can't take home and read over."

    Check this out, some torchmark companies take this one a step further, for the worse. A step backwards, as it were.

    They have you sign one of those electronic signature pads, that's on a long teathering wire. It can reach out to you where you sign, and they can have the computer on the other side of the desk- with the monitor facing away from you- whereas you cannot read what you are signing!! Hilarious. They can affix your signature to "lord knows" what.
     
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