Newbie needs advice

Aug 8, 2008

  1. ohioinsure
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    ohioinsure New Member

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    Hello all,

    I currently work in a factory but got my license for life/health/annuities back in January. I haven't done anything with it since then as I was intending on working with my agent/advisor with whom I have my own personal life policy and IRA. Long story short, the training available was not at all what I had anticipated. Just a mentoring process. Of course one needs a mentor, but I would also like more formal training too.

    So now I would like to look to other opportunities because I really want to get out of the factory!! The one thing that keeps me from jumping into the industry with both feet running is that I have 2 little ones (newborn and almost 2). I feel that I need to have the PPO from work until I can build enough of an income to get into my own policy or HSA. At the same time though, I feel like I really want to go full time into insurance so that I can have my FULL focus on insurance. So I'm trying to weigh my options as far as whether to work under an agent part-time or just go for it whole hog. I have received a few recruiting packs in the mail from a local agency representing MassMutual. I'm seriously considering that. Any advice? I'm in the Toledo, OH area and have both Ohio and Michigan licenses.
     
  2. xrac
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    xrac Guru

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    In my opinion having a mentor is more important than any formal training program. There are a lot of links on this board discuss this topic and I would read through those. John Savage was one of the Life Insurance industries all time greats. Although he is deceased he was from Toledo and his business is still there.

    http://www.savageandassociates.com/agents/agentsframe.html
     
    xrac, Aug 8, 2008
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  3. ohioinsure
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    ohioinsure New Member

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    Oh yes, Savage & Associates. Definitely a big name here in Toledo, including Savage Hall at the University of Toledo.

    Certainly there are those which people can always point to and say, "Well they did it without all the training. This person had no one and they built an empire!" Sure, those people exist, but what percentage of the producer population are they? Sorry, not everyone is a one in a million producer, are they? Everyone has different levels of natural talent and learning curves. I just know that I'm one that needs to have a few more questions settled in my mind before I feel confident enough to actually go out and talk to people. Y'know, silly things like, product knowledge!! I seen a quote recently that said, "Insurance sales is 90% people knowledge and 10% product knowledge, and you better know 100% of the 10%!" That's what I'm talking about, I need to have some sort of training to at least feel confident enough about knowing the 10%.

    The very first time I sat down with my mentor he started showing me replacement forms!?!? For like 12 hours! I think it took me 8 just to understand why I'd even be using a replacement form. I would've thought that getting familiar with the products we offer and the feature/benefit of each might've been a more logical start.
     
  4. xrac
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    xrac Guru

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    Product knowledge is the easiest part to gain. It can be gained by simply reading the policies, reading the applications, setting in on vendor classes, buying and reading books independently, taking continuing education courses, etc. The hard part is finding someone you can sit and watch who knows how to sell.
     
    xrac, Aug 8, 2008
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  5. Crazy Rick
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    Crazy Rick Expert

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    I agree 100%. Stick with your mentor and try and go out on a few calls with him. In time, they'll happen and you'll learn more from that experience than what you can read in any book. If you have two little ones at home; go part-time for now, especially if you have someone in your life to watch them when you're out prospecting or out on a call. DON'T just jump in with two feet if you have financial oblilgations such as children to consider.

    I was the same way just last month! The difference between us is, I could jump right in. My financial obligations aren't as great as yours.

    You're on the right track. You're licensed in two states already, have been since January. You found a mentor. You're educating yourself on the products. Ease your way into the industry man, it'll wait; it's not going anywhere. You've got a lot at stake and I know the feeling of wanting out of that goddamn company, but you'll lose your health benefits and you know Murphy's Law. Hell, I need new power steering pump! Naturally, after I quit the $34k a year job! Naturally! But that expense is peanuts compared to what could happen with children at home and all.
     
  6. ohioinsure
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    ohioinsure New Member

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    Oh yeah, forgot to mention that my mentor is in Cleveland which makes it really hard for us to get together. I have a staggered schedule which is great for having the days off to work the insurance biz. Unfortunately, every time he has a few appointments in the area that he feels comfortable having me sit in on, it's a day that I have to work the other job. :arghh:

    Again, I understand that having a mentor and actually being out in the field is the best 'training' there is. That's why doctors have 2 years of internship. But would you really want to go to a doctor that ONLY had 2 years of internship without any of the 8 years of schooling they go through to get there? Or better yet, a surgeon? I suppose it's possible for one to learn completely through mentorship, but how much longer would it take?

    Student: What're we gonna be doin' today doc?
    Surgeon: Today, we'll be performing a tibial valgus osteotomy
    Student: A what?

    Now wouldn't it make it a little bit easier to follow along when you've got that previous 8 years of schooling that allows you to know what a tibial valgus osteotomy is anyways? Sure knowing it from a book and actually doing the surgery are 2 vastly different things, but you still need to acquire a certain level of knowledge to be able to follow along effectively, hence the 8 years of school for a doctor prior to internship and then residency. So, is insurance brain surgery (or in the case of my example, knee surgery)? Of course not. That's why it's only a 40 hour course to get your license. But let's face it, the 40 hour class was just enough to get past the test. I don't know how many times the instructor said, "Well, I'm not going to get too much into that because your company will get more into it when you go through their training." All I'm wanting is to have some basic idea of what basic steps to take to go from "Hi, my name's Brian and I sell insurance." (Obviously not THAT forward, but the point's made) to closing the deal with the client's signature and a check or AFT. But I haven't even gotten that. Does this make sense?
     
  7. The Rabbi
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    The Rabbi Guru

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    You're on stage performing. You need a script. Memorize the marketing materials. Highlight what is really important. Learn to qualify, present and close.

    The best way to learn this business is by doing it. You need to see one presentation. That's all. I can train you by phone, pitching the product to you. Then you duplicate. Overcoming objections is a real skill and comes with time.
     
  8. moonlightandmargaritas
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    moonlightandmargaritas Guru

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    Looks like ole Rob Liano has got hisself some competition...
     
  9. OHInsAGNT
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    OHInsAGNT Super Genius

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    I have one question for the person starting the thread: Have you ever been in sales before?


    Sales is an interesting game. Personally, I love it. I have advanced experience and education in financial management. But, quite frankly, I enjoy sales because it's more challenging to me than binomial option pricing or statistical process control. A lot of these guys and gals on here won't tell you this; they might not even believe it. But, the ones who are successful have a talent and dedication that is hard to learn quickly. It takes time, whether you know you are learning it or if you pick it up before you get in sales and realize you were exposed to it without knowing.

    My point is, don't give up what you've got. Make sure it works for you. You may be tremendously successful. But, it will be tough, extremely at times. I thought I was the master when I launched ahead of everyone in my first role, only to be humbled later.

    Work hard, try it out, decide if it's for you. Don't let some smooth talking agency talk you into quitting your job before you know it works.
     
  10. ohioinsure
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    ohioinsure New Member

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    OHInsAGNT: The only sales I've been is a few MLM's and 2 weeks with a window company. With the MLM's, of course, it was all about recruiting. Nothing worse than trying to convince everyone and their mother that they should do the business that you're doing. As for the windows, the sales manager wanted us to spend no less than 3 hours in people's homes. Needless to say, they used a telemarketing shop to set the appointments and, when I showed up, the people were usually expecting me to take maybe 10-20 min. to measure windows and then give them a price. On top of that, I hated giving a price that seemed almost completely arbitrary.
     
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