As you can see, there is much emotion coming from both sides of the fence. Bottom line, if you are in sales, you must have a product that you can sell. Some Farmers agents are able to sell the product in their area. Others, probably for specific geographic rate reasons, are not able to sell as much, or are losing clients. I am a Toppers club and Masters agent who has never had a problem being able to sell Farmers products for the past 10 years until recently. I, like others who have posted on this board, also consider myself a great agent. But, there is a difference between a great agent, and a great salesperson: I would never be able to take pride and sleep at night in being able to sell ice to eskimoes. But for those that can do this, keep doing what works for you. Here in Texas, by Farmer's own numbers, the average quote to conversion percentage on auto policies is at 15%. So, in order to sell 15 auto policies, you will need to quote on average 100 potential clients. In the spirit of keeping everything factual, my IA friends tell me that their quote to issue percentage is about 80% on auto. It takes them about 5 minutes to quote multiple companies and to find the very best rate for the client. As a Farmers agent, it takes me about 5 times as long, due to the Farmers cumbersome system. So, it appears that to be a successfull Farmers agent, you need to have one of two things working for you right now, or a combination of both: 1. An endless stream of clients knocking your door down to quote their business, or 2. be lucky enough to be located in area where Farmers rates are competitive right now. Given the choice, I would rather quote 20 clients and write 16 of them, versus quoting 100 clients and writing 15 of them. Much less time expended, and more business written. And I haven't even brought up the differences in commission, or what it means to an agent to legally own the policy and the renewal, versus not owning the book of business. Since the American consumer is viewing insurance more and more as a commodity, with the likes of gasoline and pork bellies, it would seem that this trend will continue with folks paying less and less attention to the company logo at the top of the insurance policy, and more attention to the rate they are paying. As they very well should. I wish all of you out there, whether you are a Presidents Council Farmers agent, an average agent, other captive agent, or current IA, that you will be able to find the measure of success you are striving for, no matter what path takes you there. All I know is, all the Farmers agents I know as well as myself are having trouble selling gasoline at $5.00 per gallon when our competition is selling it at $2.00 to $3.00 per gallon. And I do not consider leaving the business as an option, because I do not feel that I am any less of an agent than anyone else. But then again, the insurance companies my competitors represent are not paying a management fee each and every year to Zurich in the range of $2 billion plus, with this year's fee to the tune of $2.5 billion. (see http://www.ufaa.com/phorum/read.php?1,4239
) Peace to all, and keep "Adding Value" out there, whatever that means in your particular situation.