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Newbie looking for advice


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Am not working in the insurance/financial service industry, am in the mortgage business. Spoke with a recruiter for Country Insurance/Financial Services. She peaked my interest on the company/industry. Now looking for advice from insiders. Would look for a company with a large product line of insurance products, along with a good, marketable line of legitimate financial services products. Reputable company that can also compete with the internet companies that sell only price/rate. Ideas?

They've been advertising for agents in Kansas City & offer a base of $3000/mo. I never heard of them, but I haven't been selling insurance long, so maybe it's just me . . . . .
If you are in the Kansas City area, look at NYL or Northwest Mutual. Both have market offices out here and I know agents at both if you want to talk to them.
You can't go wrong with the major companies, but I have heard good things about Country. Do you due research and if they offer a base salary, it may be worth considering, although the most important thing is training. The industry as a whole is terrible about giving new agents the training they really need.

Back to Country, there is also the advantage that they do P&C, as I really wish my company did some of that. Run P&C ads in the newspaper and you'll get calls and potential cross-sells. People buy homes and cars everyday and have the insurance needs immediately on their minds. Open an office on main street and sell little more than life insurance and you'll be making phone calls all day long. No one will walk in the door unless they want YOU to buy a candy bar or Girl Scout cookies.
The thing with insurance is that you can find agents who will go either direction on if it is a good opportunity or not.

I have a fellow agent I work with who left Country and is now with Humana. However, he has friends who are still with Country and are doing well. All depends on if it fits with you.

There are the ones to stay away from (Mega, Bankers, NAA, etc) since they are more about turning and burning agents.

Stick with the big companies and you should do fine. Just remember that it is hard work, long hours (esp at first), but if you do it right it offers a big rewards.
John P. started a post here listing questions to ask as a new person. Review it and other threads like it.

The key as mentioned is to ask alot of ?'s and ask the right ones.

Most isurance companies large (Mass, NYL etc) and small will take pretty much any one. They want to tear through your warm market and then see if you sink or swim.

Good luck and as folks have already mentioned do your research.
I used to be a captive agent with Country. They are a good company and run a tight ship. Excellent product training. Although they offer P/C - it really is there only to get your foot in the door and go for the products that they want you to offer = Life/Financial products/LTC etc..

I still have some friends that work for them and are doing well. Other agents that I worked with have gone indy and are doing even better. It is not a bad place to start if you are of a captive mentality. I have too much rebel in me to make it work - can't stand corporate/office politics.

Do know that the salary offered has high production quotas attached to it. If you don't hit your numbers, then you are heavily penalized in your wallet. They will not (nor should they) baby you along for very long. They are very aware that only about 1 out of every 20 agents that they bring on board will make it through the first year (for those that make it through yr 1, few will make it to the end of yr 2). They will cut their losses quickly - eg: place you on an action plan and the agency manager will make your life miserable (minute by minute accounting of your day etc.). The manager can and will read your email. I got out prior to any of that happening but I have seen it done to others (it was not pretty). Remember - if they pay you a salary, they own you.

If you are able to pass the personality test and then another 3 or 4 interviews after that, you might do well. If you are married, the last interview usually involves the spouse (they want to make sure that the spouse understands that you will be working about 12 hrs a day). There are a lot of other points that I could go into but I think you get the picture. Once again, if you can stomach the politics and being captive, then it may be a good place for you. If not, just keep looking. Whatever you decide, just know that if it was easy - everybody would be doing it. Good luck.