New Opportunity

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erniec42
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New Opportunity

Post by erniec42 » Sun May 10, 2009 9:34 pm

I have an opportunity to work for State Farm Insurance as a producer. Short term, I will get paid a base salary plus commission.As I produce more,my base increases and my goal is to be sales manager within 90 days where I would earn $16-$20 an hour plus commission. At that point I would have the ability to hire new producers to work under me and part of their prduction would filter up to me.

I have had my p/c license for 3 months and very little experience. I am in the souther california area. Any feedback,thoughts, and opinions would be greatly apprciated on the structure of my compenssation

First 30 days $10 and hour -I would be trainging only.

60 days-$12-$14 an hour plus commissions

90 days $16-$20 and hour plus commissions.erniec42
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Big Dog
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by Big Dog » Mon May 11, 2009 5:40 am

Consider that the Southern California area is saturated with State Farm agents. Consider also that State Farm (along with Farmers and other proprietary agencies) have a high turnover rate.

You might want to look at affiliating with an independent agency that's willing to train you on not only how to sell, but what insurance, and "service" is all about. You won't get that from State Farm.

d's insurance store
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by d's insurance store » Mon May 11, 2009 8:18 am

What you're calling an 'opportunity' is most likely just another filled manpower slot for the hiring manager, slinging you up against the competitive wall to see if you can stick.

In the not to distant past, an appointment with State Farm was rather selective, exclusive and prestigeous. They truly went through a strict vetting of any and all applicants, and were careful not to over saturate a specific geographic area. Once appointed, agents generally stayed for life, loyal to the company that remained loyal to them, and happy to sell and service clients who then usually stayed loyal to the brand.

No more. State Farm has hijacked the business model from Farmer's and Allstate, willing to put new agents anywhere that has an open office space, then giving the sort of training that amounts to 'follow our formula and you will succeed', and then turning the screws for production of financial products (fancy words for life and annunity sales).

Of course, State Farm is a bona fide insurance carrier, and who knows?, you may succeed. But before commiting to this 'opportunity' I would invest about a weeks worth of time, seeking out and interviewing recently hired or launched State Farm agency owners maybe 25 to 50 miles from your potential location, so that they don't feel threatened by the new competition, and asking if you can discuss candidly the job as it really is, as opposed to what the glossy brochures say. If you take a work week and interview two per day, at the end of 10 meetings with different agents, I think if you're astute enough and objective enough, you'll have a very good idea if the contract is for you. After all, you were smart enough to seek out opinions on this site...

Good luck.

erniec42
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by erniec42 » Mon May 11, 2009 1:42 pm

Thank you so much for the input! I tried to work under a broker, who promised to teach me how to make money and in the end he was merely blowing smoke up my butt. What he wanted was a producer/message-taker/fill-in, and made it clear all walk-ins were his,whether he was out on vacation or out sick!

So he wanted an IA with w-2 responsibilites,me, and he wanted to split my production 50/50. It seemed fair until he started implying that I was trying to steal his potential clients and asked me not to service his clients. I thought ok you want to teach me,but you never helped me once with an application;you want to teach me but you dont want me to service your clients; you want to teach me but I cant help walk-ins (while out of the office or on vacation); you want to teach me by taking messages for you while you gab on the phone about personal issues.

I said to him look I will answer your phones and take messages but what is my compensation? To which he said, "your compensation is you have a workspace and access to my companies" to which I said "youre getting half my production earnings, how is that compensation?" In the end he said "look, if you cant be a team player and answer phones without financial compensation, I dont need you here." So I thanked him for the opportunity and left.

Any training I got was self taught because he was to busy in one form or another. So I am hoping if nothing else, I will learn product knowledge at State Farm and hope for the best.

kevinraz
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by kevinraz » Mon May 11, 2009 1:55 pm

Ernie - D is telling it like it is. Follow the advice given about talking to other SF agents.

I'll mention that you can probably give up on the "sales manager within 90 days" part now. It's more complex than that and even if you are the top seller in your area you won't have time to be looking for sub-producers in as little as 90 days.

And consider this regarding the insurance business: you sell a policy in May. If it gets issued in the same month (sometimes it does, sometimes it does not) you get production statements showing the sale in June. The commission payment comes in July - if everything goes right. A 90 day lag between sale and payment is not uncommon.

Here is where I failed with Farmers back in the 90's: do the math. If you make 10% commission and the average auto policy is $1,000 you need to figure out how many policies you have to sell per week in order to pay the bills & grow. Then multiply that by a factor of ten or so to see how many appointments or quotes you need to do in a week. For me it was a minimum of 20 appointments per week and it was hard, extremely hard, to get that many selling opportunities. Even with a part time xdater and another appointment setter.

We are not saying you can't do it - someone has to be successful. You could be the one. But get advice from other agents as D says and make sure you have a sales plan and that goals are attainable. If you give yourself unrealistically high goals it will take just a few months for you to wash out since you'll be bummed that you are so far behind.

Good luck!
Kevin Rasmussen AU, CIC

erniec42
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by erniec42 » Mon May 11, 2009 2:18 pm

Thanks Kevin, I was pondering the sales manager/sub-producer idea and thought:I'm new to this, how can I possibly have sub-producers under me and I'M STILL LEARING! Now that's a scary thought lol.....So I hear what you're saying there about the sales manager goal.

Since I am currently out of work, my attitude is let's see where this goes. To me, it's a lot better then sitting around and doing nothing or working for a self-absorbed, know it all broker who wants me to produce as well as answer his stinking phones while he teaches me nothing. All the while he is bragging how many broker commissions he has collected for the year as the months progress.

All your comments are greatly appreciated and I will keep you all updated on my progression with State Farm. Well, I am hoping for progression as opposed to digression!

kevinraz
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by kevinraz » Tue May 12, 2009 11:24 pm

Ernie - one more thought.

In some ways this is the best and the worst of times to start a new insurance endeavor.

I'll start with the negative. The market is pretty soft right now, rates are low and competition is high. There are going to be a bunch of hungry new agents out there as well, all fighting for the same clients you want. To get started and survive the first year plus will be difficult.

Positive: sometime the situation will change. The market will harden, rates will go up and your income will as well. IF YOU CAN SURVIVE you will be well positioned to thrive - you'll have experience and referrals that the new people trying to jump into the hard market won't have.

Go for it, do your best and pray that your efforts are blessed. All you can control is yourself and what you do. Any company has positives and negatives - know the negatives about SF and accentuate their positives and keep learning.

Kevin Raz
Kevin Rasmussen AU, CIC

erniec42
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by erniec42 » Thu May 14, 2009 10:13 pm

Hi Kev,

I appreciate the input and agree 100% with you on learing all about SF. My idea is to research which markets SF excells in,focus on them and grow with the company. I've been thinking to myself, there has to be some upside working as a captive agent/producer for such a well-know company such as SF. One thing I like about SF,is that it's a mutual company with financial stability. With companies like Allstate,Principal,Prudential and Hartford applying for TARP monies, now is a good time to sell potential customers on the idea of buying from a company with financial stability.

My goal is to find strong products with competitive prices in our product lines and sell those!

kevinraz
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by kevinraz » Thu May 14, 2009 10:46 pm

Ernie, forgive me if I'm boring you with too much info here. I liked the captive side when I was with Farmers - I knew my company, my products and the inner workings of it well. Knew how to get things done.

Being an independent agent does have distinct advantages - choice of markets being the most obvious - but you can't get to know a dozen markets as well as you can get to know one.

Advice I was once given that can make sense: "go ahead and put all your eggs in one basket, then guard that basket very well".
Kevin Rasmussen AU, CIC

erniec42
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by erniec42 » Sat May 16, 2009 9:49 am

You're not boring at all Kev, I appreciate the feedback! I learn through others so thanks for all and any opinions and information you can offer. In my brief time working for an insurance broker, I did learn that there was a market for just about anything and that is appealing.Once I get the basics on p/c down as I work for SF then I believe the time will come when I consider following in the footsteps of agents such as yourself and Porter and becoming on IA.

In the meantime I will continue to listen and learn to you all here and become successful in our business, which I truly enjoy so far.

captive and happy
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by captive and happy » Mon May 18, 2009 11:32 am

Ernie-

I would like to clarify a few things for everyone. From what you said about the opportunity, this is a chance to work "FOR" a SF agent, NOT SF directly as an agent. KevinRaz, take notice of that.

erniec42
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by erniec42 » Tue May 19, 2009 9:49 pm

That's exactly what my position is: producer for a SF agent.

captive and happy
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by captive and happy » Wed May 20, 2009 11:44 am

d's insurance store wrote:What you're calling an 'opportunity' is most likely just another filled manpower slot for the hiring manager, slinging you up against the competitive wall to see if you can stick.

In the not to distant past, an appointment with State Farm was rather selective, exclusive and prestigeous. They truly went through a strict vetting of any and all applicants, and were careful not to over saturate a specific geographic area. Once appointed, agents generally stayed for life, loyal to the company that remained loyal to them, and happy to sell and service clients who then usually stayed loyal to the brand.

No more. State Farm has hijacked the business model from Farmer's and Allstate, willing to put new agents anywhere that has an open office space, then giving the sort of training that amounts to 'follow our formula and you will succeed', and then turning the screws for production of financial products (fancy words for life and annunity sales).

Of course, State Farm is a bona fide insurance carrier, and who knows?, you may succeed. But before commiting to this 'opportunity' I would invest about a weeks worth of time, seeking out and interviewing recently hired or launched State Farm agency owners maybe 25 to 50 miles from your potential location, so that they don't feel threatened by the new competition, and asking if you can discuss candidly the job as it really is, as opposed to what the glossy brochures say. If you take a work week and interview two per day, at the end of 10 meetings with different agents, I think if you're astute enough and objective enough, you'll have a very good idea if the contract is for you. After all, you were smart enough to seek out opinions on this site...

Good luck.
I was trying to point out that "d's insurance store" was making it sound like you were being appointed by SF. I was trying to clarify that. Some agents retain staff for years ( I have had one for 6 years) while others "burn and turn" their staff, depends on the agent.

clloydjr1977
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by clloydjr1977 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:23 am

Hi, I was just wondering how this opportunity worked out for you?

sankykid
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Re: New Opportunity

Post by sankykid » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:27 am

Considering he was last active in May 2009, not sure he'll see this.

My money would be on D's assessment of the situation but would love to hear I'm wrong.

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