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Old 12-24-2013, 02:21 PM   #1
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Need Advice or Reality Check. Need Advice or Reality Check.
I posted this in another forum (starting to sell) but it isn't showing up, so my apologies for posting twice.

Hello everyone. I am in need if advice or a reality check.

I have been selling and servicing commercial, personal, life and health for 5 years. I was with one agency for 3.5 years and due to a buyout, moved to another agency a year and a half ago. I have been approached on starting my own company and have talked to SIAA. My network and abilities are not in question. Is what hurts is I only have enough funding for starting costs, some marketing and personal living expenses for 1 month. After that I have no money. After commissions start coming in, I'll be fine as I know I can do it and make it work. It is getting to that point that I'm worried about. Should I make the plunge and do my best or should I just keep dreaming of being an indy owner and stay put with my dreams on the back burner. I guess either advice or a reality check is what I'm looking for. Either way, I appreciate your opinion.
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:20 AM   #2
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Need Advice or Reality Check. Re: Need Advice or Reality Check.
You need your start up costs (double whatever you are estimating that will cost) and you need 12 months of living expenses as a reserve. It takes longer to ramp up because you are spending at least 50% of your time doing something other than selling while you are getting everything up and running.
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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TaxFreeIncome on Need Advice or Reality Check. - Insurance Forum
 
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Need Advice or Reality Check. Re: Need Advice or Reality Check.
Why do you need to start your own agency. You are an independent agent. Get a contract outside of the agency buy yourself some leads and you are on your own. The only reason to start an agency is if you are going to recruit agents.

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Old 12-25-2013, 06:34 PM   #4
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Need Advice or Reality Check. Re: Need Advice or Reality Check.
Originally Posted by TaxFreeIncome View Post
Why do you need to start your own agency. You are an independent agent. Get a contract outside of the agency buy yourself some leads and you are on your own. The only reason to start an agency is if you are going to recruit agents.
If he is doing P&C & Life/Health, I don't think he'd be able to get appointments for P&C without rolling a book. With a probable noncompete or no solicitation, that isnt something he could promise to a carrier. On Life/Health, he may able to get a contract but doing much of any of this while still employed at his current agency, isn't that walking on a really thin ice? Just curious that's all.
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:30 PM   #5
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Need Advice or Reality Check.
I left my captive gig last Feb and did not get my first real check until May. You need about 9-12 month in the bank.
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Old 12-26-2013, 05:31 AM   #6
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Need Advice or Reality Check. Re: Need Advice or Reality Check.
Originally Posted by Dennybronx View Post
Is what hurts is I only have enough funding for starting costs, some marketing and personal living expenses for 1 month. After that I have no money. After commissions start coming in, I'll be fine as I know I can do it and make it work.
Hi Denny. I was in a similar situation. I left a large brokerage house after my brother passed in a tragic accident. I had no income but I did have one thing... prospects. I was able to pick up one client in my first month but it took me probably 60 days to get paid. It was tough but I wouldn't change a thing.

When I started in the selling part of this business 15 years ago, I busted my butt because I was promised if I did, I would make lots of money and I did for about a year. I wrote over 200k my first year and tripled the production of every other agent in the company. My second year I doubled everyones production. How did I get rewarded? In two ways... First, our company was sold to a large bank who thought we made too much money so they cut our commissions in half. Second, they started passing out business from the previous owners to a select few agents who were hired by the new management. One received a book of business on day 1 at the same commission rate as me, that took me two years of busting my ass to generate. He never made a single cold call or drove a single mile. He was never in the office at 8pm doing proposals and he never came in the office at 3am because he couldn't sleep trying to see what he was missing on a big case he was trying to close. But at the end of his first day, his book of business was bigger than mine.

I left that company and all my hard work just to go to another company and found the same things happening there. It took me years of being miserable and the sudden death of my brother to get me to go out on my own where my hard work was mine. Where I set the rules.

When I started I had no money but I did have prospects and a NEED to succeed. Even though I wrote a case in my first month, it took me a couple months to get my first check. It was tough but when I look back, my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.

My advice to you is this. Get set up as much as you possibly can before you head out on your own. My non-compete was on clients but not prospects and if yours is the same, line up as many prospects as you can so you can jump into business on day one or shortly after. But the most important advice is to focus solely on new business from day one. Don't get caught up in computers, and pictures on the wall or anything else. You can work from anywhere. I started in my basement with a desk in the corner. There is a great story by the owner of sam adams where he was spending time looking for a computer to track sales he didn't have. lol I found it and here is a part of it. Also, here is a link to the full article:Portrait Of The Ceo As Salesman, | Inc.com

YEARS AGO, WHEN THE BOSTON BEER CO. WAS JUST getting up and running, I received a phone call from my uncle, a partner at Goldman, Sachs and one of my initial financial backers. He asked me how things were going. Fine, I replied; the first batch of Samuel Adams beer was in the aging tanks and would be ready for delivery in about five weeks.

"So," my uncle continued, "what did you do today?"

I told him I'd spent the day shopping for a computer system. When he asked me why, I explained that I figured I'd need a computer to keep track of sales, payables, and the like.

"Oh yeah," he said, "sales. By the way, have you got any?" I admitted that I did not.

"So what the hell are you doing buying a computer?" he demanded. "You know, Jim, I've seen a lot more businesses go broke because they didn't have enough sales than I've seen go under from lack of computers. Why don't you work on first things first?"


Just remember, there is nothing more important than a sale. Pick up the phone and call call call. Don't let anything distract you. If you REALLY want it, you'll succeed. Good luck!
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:17 AM   #7
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ZenSamurai on Need Advice or Reality Check. - Insurance Forum
 
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Need Advice or Reality Check. Re: Need Advice or Reality Check.
You are in better shape than I am. Here the reason why and I hope you take me as inspiration because I literally am in worse condition.

I started out in Mass mutual by a friend who failed out of Mass Mutual. I didn't know he failed out of it at this time. He lied to me and told me they were commission and had a small salary. So I figured. Alright so I'm not jumping into anything terrible. There's a small salary and he told me after 10 years in the business he's making 80,000/year. I found out the hard way after I quit my job (like I said, I was told there was salary as well as comp) then I found out about the charge backs and finally my upline told me that I wasn't allowed to have a second job because they'll fire me.

I didn't want to be fired and I wanted to make it work. I kept hearing "follow through" by everyone I spoke to, since I did enjoy the business. I followed through and almost had to declare bankruptcy. Eventually I got fired because I wasn't producing. Project 300 was their only way to prospect. They originally told me I could cold call and they'll train me, and that I can door knock ad that they'll train me for that. When I got in finally I was sent an email by my up line telling me he refused to teach me to cold call or door knock and to only go through my project 300.

I got two jobs and got back in the game. One job pays my bills while the other one pays for my direct mailing campaign and now I'm slowly paying off everything.

The point I'm making is you said you can do it. You proven to yourself that you can. I'm with the other guys where they say do it without an agency at first. Make your commissions and put that all into a mutual fund that way your money will grow much quicker. That is my plan at least. Then if I get charged back I'll pull out what needs to be pulled out or if I can pay it with my first job then I'll do that and leave the fund alone. Once you save up enough money just jump in and get your agency.

Hope I helped.
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:03 AM   #8
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xrac on Need Advice or Reality Check. - Insurance Forum
 
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Need Advice or Reality Check.
Originally Posted by ZenSamurai View Post
You are in better shape than I am. Here the reason why and I hope you take me as inspiration because I literally am in worse condition. I started out in Mass mutual by a friend who failed out of Mass Mutual. I didn't know he failed out of it at this time. He lied to me and told me they were commission and had a small salary. So I figured. Alright so I'm not jumping into anything terrible. There's a small salary and he told me after 10 years in the business he's making 80,000/year. I found out the hard way after I quit my job (like I said, I was told there was salary as well as comp) then I found out about the charge backs and finally my upline told me that I wasn't allowed to have a second job because they'll fire me. I didn't want to be fired and I wanted to make it work. I kept hearing "follow through" by everyone I spoke to, since I did enjoy the business. I followed through and almost had to declare bankruptcy. Eventually I got fired because I wasn't producing. Project 300 was their only way to prospect. They originally told me I could cold call and they'll train me, and that I can door knock ad that they'll train me for that. When I got in finally I was sent an email by my up line telling me he refused to teach me to cold call or door knock and to only go through my project 300. I got two jobs and got back in the game. One job pays my bills while the other one pays for my direct mailing campaign and now I'm slowly paying off everything. The point I'm making is you said you can do it. You proven to yourself that you can. I'm with the other guys where they say do it without an agency at first. Make your commissions and put that all into a mutual fund that way your money will grow much quicker. That is my plan at least. Then if I get charged back I'll pull out what needs to be pulled out or if I can pay it with my first job then I'll do that and leave the fund alone. Once you save up enough money just jump in and get your agency. Hope I helped.
Zen, you have what it takes to succeed.

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