Hi guys. Been lurking here a long time; just decided to join..thanks for having me!
Here is my dilemma: I started in insurance in 2001-voluntary benefits, 99% with Aflac. I did very well, built a huge book of business, but then the company changed its hiring philosophy; everything became focused on recruiting new agents, and it seemed we were just one big pyramid. I got out in 2015. Vested 100% in a moderate book that I still earn renewals off of.
Next step: I took a job with a small, local Nationwide Agency (as an "associate agent.") They were 9/10 personal lines and told me they wanted me to "grow their commercial book substantially."
Ok...fast forward: its' been 7 months. I hit the ground running, putting in grueling days cold calling, telemarketing, pounding the pavement, etc. It paid off: i closed 21 groups in short period of time. Am #1 in commerical production for the state (of Nationwide agents.)
PROBLEM: I've been very successful at closing groups, BUT...I'm miserable, and about to have a heart attack.
The owner of the agency is a young guy (bought the agency from him father.) He doesn't like to leave the office, and he absolutely cannot sell.
I'm the only person in the agency actively marketing, selling, doing any kind of assertive outreach. There is small staff that services the personal lines.
Average commission on a commercial account: 14% and I have to split that with the agency. So I get 7%...not a lot, but hey, okay, I knew that going in. But when I LEAVE the agency, I DON'T KEEP MY BOOK.
Is this normal and typical? I don't like busting my back to make renewals for someone else. As long as I work there, I get them, but they really belong to the agency. Hmm. Not happy.
I don't like working for someone else, and I absolutely don't like NOT keeping my own book.
I'm 10-99, receive a modest base that will diminish every year, until its down to zero. Zero benefits, no health insurance, no retirement plans, and to be honest, no room for advancement. If I'm going to work this hard (and I'm not afraid to...I'm 54, but haven't lost my zest, work ethic, or enthusiasm.) why don't I work for MYSELF?
Any advice as to what I should do next?
I LOVE to sell and am not afraid of really hard work...I can slam on the phones all day and not break a sweat...not trying to brag, just being truthful. I get results...but I"d like those results to make ME richer (relatively) rather than some Principal Agent.
Again, comments, feedback, suggestions, anything anyone (esp the veterans out there) would be appreciated.
One more thing: Nationwide's appetite--commercial wise---is narrow. I am always scoring appointments with groups that NW declines...for example, electrical contractors...if they install fire alarms, NW won't touch them. It pretty much eliminates a big swath of that industry.
40% of the cases I bring in get declined because NW's underwriters are often ridiculous. I wonder if they want the company to make any money at all.
The office I have to report to is 9-5, and not a very cheerful place to work. I feel like a total outsider, trying to scrounge up BOPs and competing with OTHER Nationwide agents. I'm a heavy hitter, but lately I just feel like something is wrong. I can't even put my finger on the total reason for my intense dissatisfaction with this job...I AM used to working for myself..that's got to be a big part of it. Mostly I want to build my OWN book...but now I'm just repeating myself
Sorry if this is rambling...hope someone answers!!!!
I've though about:
-working for NY Life: I'm good on the phones, love to sell life, and they've tried to recruit me a dozen times, I'm just unfamiliar with their contract.
-buying an existing book somewhere
-buying an independent agency
-forming an independent agency.
ME: Female, attractive, 54, married, kids on their own. BA, MBA, love to sell.
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