Considering changing careers, looking for direction (long)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:52 pm   Post subject: Considering changing careers, looking for direction (long)  

In this bad economy, I've been downsized. I'm a marketing communications veteran with 17 years experience but will be out of work in 2 weeks.



At the gym a friend who is an agent told me I really should consider insurance as it is recession proof. So here I am, doing my due diligence.



I think I could do well in the field--I know sales, I know targeting prospect needs, my career has been built on finding that nuance and building the message around it.



I am educated (grad school), polished, comfortable with people, and people seem comfortable with me (always joke I should have been a psychologist as I get people to open up). I am also organized, diligent, a tad ambitious, and a great communicator.



My own experience as a client of insurance is simple--I have had the same auto and property agent for 2o plus eyars Health insurance on the other hand has been regulated by who was offering the best package (easily visible online). And in terms of life insurance, I saw how it impacted my family when my father passed away unexpectedly (and how important his decision was to have it and how poorly the representative handled herself when we filed the claim).



I'm in the process of trying to figure out what I want. It's simple, I think. I want to make a comfortable six figure income. Not to sound greedy, but NJ is expensive and I need that income for survival. I want work that has me involved socially. And I want to service people's needs in a way true to my character. I also want room to have a life.



I'm intending on asking my gym friend if I can shadow her for a day and ask her all sorts of questions. She has recommended someone in need of reps and I'll be calling that person next week. I'm also scouring the job boards to see what's out there.



I'm sure I will have a ton of questions, so please bear with me. But let's start here. If there's any advice you'd like to offer, I'm all ears.



I'm thinking I'm interested in property/auto/life. I am unsure about the variety of brands out there as State Farm has been my comfort zone.



...I'm happy to share more, so ask me anything you want...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:46 pm   Post subject:   

You lost me at the following:

Quote:
At the gym a friend who is an agent told me I really should consider insurance as it is recession proof.




I don't think your friend has a clue after a statement like this one. First, when any company goes out of business or cuts down on the work they are doing, they no longer need insurance. Also, insurance companies make most of their money by investing. If those investments don't make money, the insurance company looses money and guess what they then need to do?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:16 pm   Post subject:   

I'll echo t - insurance is definitely not recession proof. If people don't buy houses or cars...there is nothing to insure.



If you want to make six figures the first year...well, that is a huge goal, for any agent. I think it would be best if you talk to several agents with different companies to give you a good idea of what you are walking into.



I am an Allstate agent and would be more than happy to talk with you about my company.



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:10 pm   Post subject:   

Hmmmmmm....I'm going to have to disagree with tcope and LifeIsGood.



It DEPENDS on your target market and product line whether or not insurance sales is recession proof. If there is 20% unemployment I'll simply market to the 80% who are employed or who are financially sound.



Life, Health, Disability, Long Term Care and Annuity Insurance is recession proof....in my humble opinion.



That being said, Allstate and State Farm agents here in Florida, for all intents and purposes, have been relegated to selling only auto insurance as nobody will write homeowners in Florida because of the recent hurricanes.



Those agents ARE hurting if they are not generating life, health and annuity business.



Now I'm NOT slamming Allstate or State Farm but those two companies are nobody's competition when it comes to most product lines outside of auto and homeowners insurance.



But like a good neighbor...State Farm is there.

Allstate, are you in good hands?



Razz All that being said don't listen to me ESPECIALLY regarding the P & C side of the business as I readily admit I don't even know how to spell Properly & Casually! Wink



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:28 pm   Post subject:   

I dare say that overall yearly premium has decreased for both State Farm and Allstate in Florida once the homeowner moratorium came into effect.



If OP wants to concentrate solely on Life, Health, Disability, Long Term Care and Annuities, then she can sign on with, for example, Allstate as an Exclusive Financial Specialist.



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:50 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
It DEPENDS on your target market and product line whether or not insurance sales is recession proof. If there is 20% unemployment I'll simply market to the 80% who are employed or who are financially sound.
So what you're saying is that instead of marketing to that 100%, your now limiting it to 80%. How is this just as good?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:45 am   Post subject:   

Gary is right about life and health being recession proof. My business has realy picked up in the health area because employers are cutting benefits or laying off.



Small business owners are looking for way to cut healthcare expenses more so than ever before.



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:19 am   Post subject:   

Career as an insurance agent includes both challenges and rewards. Success in this field depends largely upon the individual ability of the agent. If you're quick and smart at learning you may enjoy success in this line from the very beginning. However, I too feel that the profession of insurance selling can't be looked as recession proof. The recession has hit hard all the professions and insurance is not an exception. Remember the insurance companies are also experiencing financial crunch with fall of Wall Street.



Quote:
Life, Health, Disability, Long Term Care and Annuity Insurance is recession proof....in my humble opinion.




Till the time people have enough food on their platters. Gary, the OP has experienced downsizing and similarly many others are also loosing their jobs in the current period. We can't expect the unemployed to pay for the insurance coverage when they don't have money to spend on dough. Given the current scenario the insurance industry is bound to experience some slack in business.



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:25 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Small business owners are looking for way to cut healthcare expenses more so than ever before.




That is one aspect, but at the same time they are also reducing their workforce and thus is adding to the unemployed population. The life and health line of insurance can't be entirely recession proof, rather I'd agree with LIG, the total premium money that could be earned in a year has gone down by a substantial amount.



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:30 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
So what you're saying is that instead of marketing to that 100%, your now limiting it to 80%. How is this just as good?


Since 80% of the business is written by 20% of the agents the 80% of the agents who only write 20% of the business will no longer be in the business which means the 20% of what they were writing will be written by the remaining 20% of the agents which means we will write the same amount of business except now we'll be writing 100% of the 80% of the business that's left which is the same as we always wrote.



80% of all insurance agents do this: ...with most of their time.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:28 pm   Post subject: Recession proof...maybe?  

I am not sure life and health insurance is recession proof. I would think auto/home insurance would be. Everyone who owns a home or a car, unemployed or not, would have to have auto and home insurance. As far as making 100K a year in insurance...well as we all know it is possible but it takes some time and now might not be the time to get started unless you have some friends and family you could sell to right now.



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:50 am   Post subject:   

Seems that we have diverse opinion on whether or not we can consider the insurance business as recession proof. However, IMO it may all depend upon the behaviour of the market in the coming days. If the situation goes worse and the per capita income of the population goes down, we would experience curtail in the household expenses towards insurance upto a magnitude irrespective of home, health or life.



However, I'd like to echo jonnypop's view that unless and until you have a quite a large number of friends and relatives, who will be ready to offer you the initial support, venturing into the field of insurance may not fetch the desired result.



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:52 am   Post subject:   

First and foremost, insurance is a necessity. People need insurance, if they don't buy now, they may buy later.



In any business, either it is good time or bad time, there are always two groups of people: those who do well and those who do poorly.



Recession is only a state of mind. What is more important is our belief in our products and our business.



With or without recession, accidents still happen. Either you like it or not, our household bills are always on the rise. Either it is boom or doom, there are people admitted to hospital everyday.



There ar always opportunities in crisis. While they are people leaving the industry, there are also people joining the business. Only those who are tough can stand the test of time.



Tough time never last but tough people do.



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:57 pm   Post subject:   

Obviously there are a lot of opinions about this. This is good actually - will give you something to think about. People's experience, location, insurance specialty, etc..all have input in our opinions.



Quote:
I'm in the process of trying to figure out what I want. It's simple, I think. I want to make a comfortable six figure income. Not to sound greedy, but NJ is expensive and I need that income for survival. I want work that has me involved socially. And I want to service people's needs in a way true to my character. I also want room to have a life.




To do all that you want, I would think that being an agent is what you need to do. My biggest concern about your thought process is thinking you are going to get 100K the first year. It's very, very, VERY doubtful you will generate that kind of income - the first year. I purchased an existing book of business (still have loads of debt) but it took several years before my "paycheck" equalled six figures. Hard work - it can be done...but right out the door, you probably wont' see that.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:55 am   Post subject:   

I'm with AmeriPlan. Even though I'm personally not an Insurance Agent, I have a lot of them on my team.



They do really well because they already have prospects coming in and they just have one more service to offer them. I think it really works out great for them since if you are working with someone that will not quailify or simply can not afford the monthly premium you'd then be able to present AmeriPlan.



Being licensed and selling life/health insurance is very profitable...its also very expensive to purchase leads, continuing education, etc. Things that are very hard to maintain if you are just starting out, you don't make a profit initially. AmeriPlan is different considering the monthly maintenance fee and the marketing is very affordable.



AmeriPlan offers daily pay, weekly bonuses, monthly residual income, awesome and easily attainable commission plan, bonus builder overrides etc.



Just thought I would share that for those looking to add a product line to your exisiting portfolio and in turn increasing your income.



Much success to you all!

~TaVona

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