Are you interested in learning more about Equis Financial?
If you are thinking about selling insurance with Equis, and want to do your due diligence to ensure Equis Insurance is right for you, then you’ve found the right article!
Today’s article is dedicated to bringing you a balanced viewpoint on how Equis works, describing both the company’s advantages and disadvantages.
My goal is to empower you with the knowledge necessary to determine if Equis Financial is a good fit for your insurance sales aspirations.
- More About David Duford
- Am I Biased?
- About Equis Financial
- Market Specialty
- Company Structure – Is This An MLM Or Pyramid Scheme?
- How Does Equis’ Lead Program Work?
- Final Thoughts As An Experienced Insurance Sales Agent And Recruiter
- More Resources
- The in-person selling strategy to convert leads into paying clients.
- How to successfully set up face-to-face appointments over the phone.
- The insurance carrier underwriting, pricing, and application process.
- A well-thought and proven system of success to duplicate,
- Access to quality insurance carriers,
- Sales and marketing training to help you turn more leads into buyers, and,
- An experienced, tenured mentor that cares about your success.
- Two Equis agents explain their experience with Equis, and why one quit Equis, and why the other loves Equis:
- Indeed has multiple reviews agents and agency owners with Equis have left. Read reviews of Equis on Indeed.com here.
- There are many posts on Equis at the Insurance Forum you can find here.
- New to insurance? Check out my Introduction To Selling Insurance article for more useful information on how selling insurance really works.
- Learn more about how my national agency works here.
While this article focuses on Equis Financial, it’s important to question any bias or perspective the author has prior to taking anything written as gospel.
Having the facts and proper perspective is crucial in finding an insurance agency home, and I want you to know with 100% clarity on where my perspective lies.
That way you can determine for yourself if what I’m writing about is sensible in your own mind.
Since 2011, I’ve been a licensed insurance agent, focusing my efforts in the final expense burial insurance market.
Like yourself, I’ve been in the same exact position when starting my insurance career, evaluating different insurance agency opportunities in an effort to determine which is best for myself.
Over the years, I have been apart of multiple insurance IMOs, FMOs, and agencies, and have first-hand experience discerning which opportunities are best, and which ones aren’t.
Presently, I operate a national insurance sales agency, recruiting new and experienced agents across the country. Our focus is on serving the “Senior” market (ages 50+), selling products like final expense, annuities, Medicare Advantage, and to a lesser extent, Mortgage Protection.
Since 2013, I’ve recruited and personally mentored more than 1,000 agents across the country. So understand my opinion is not only based on only selling insurance directly to prospects, but also on training numerous agents nationally to do the same thing.
By now, you may question what I’m about to share since ,I’m essentially a competitor to Equis. And that I may bias my opinions in my favor.
Here’s the truth…
Yes, I am biased… But not in the way you probably figure.
Having entered this business selling insurance face-to-face, I know how important it is to find the right organization to partner with.
The last thing you want is to make a wrong agency choice. Why? Because doing so regularly and prematurely ends the careers of otherwise high-potential agents.
Understand this. By no means is my purpose to smear or defame Equis.
On the contrary, Equis has helped many more agents and insurance clients than most agencies ever have.
Nevertheless, keep in mind there is no perfect insurance company for all agents. Some organizations better fit certain agents than others.
And guess what? It is up to you to determine if any organization, Equis or otherwise, is right for your insurance career, with all the facts to back up your determination.
I guess you could say I’m biased towards the agent’s benefit.
Whether you do business with my organization or not doesn’t matter. What does matter in the grand scheme of things is empowering you to make this insurance career both long-term and lucrative.
With that said, let’s jump in and explore more about Equis Financial.
Equis Financial started in 2015. However, Equis’s executive management team has decades of insurance sales experience.
Barry Clarkson is the president and CEO with more than 40 year career in the insurance industry. Rounding out the executive team includes Rob Jones and Bill Martin, who likewise are well-tenured in the insurance sales business.
Equis Financial’s main product and marketing focus centers around the mortgage protection business.
What Is Mortgage Protection?
Mortgage protection insurance is life insurance, no different than you’ve seen or heard about in the past.
For example, if the insured passes away while the policy is in force, the beneficiaries receive the death benefit to use however they please.
Simply put, mortgage protection is a marketing term, delineating to a specific prospect (people who’ve just purchased a home) that there now is a need for life insurance protection to cover your biggest debt – your mortgage.
The sales pitch to your new homeowner prospect is that mortgage protection life insurance can reduce or eliminate the threat of foreclosure/eviction if the insured passes unexpectedly.
Is Mortgage Protection A Good Sales Opportunity?
Here’s a few reasons why:
Upwardly-Mobile Prospects: Your main prospects for mortgage portection are blue and grey collar lower-middle-class to middle-class prospects. Many of them are moving up in their careers and making a higher income. That means your prospects have money on hand to afford life insurance, and have a definable need to carry it.
High Quality Leads: Mortgage protection leads targets people who just purchased a home. And most life insurance sales develop from major life events like buying a home. Why? Because now they’ve created a problem via buying the house (the creation of debt) that only life insurance can solve if the unexpected happens.
Targeting new homeowners means a more-qualified lead, relative to other insurance markets.
I’ll cover more on how Equis develops mortgage protection leads later.
To a minor extent, Equis spends a part of its resources on developing agents to sell final expense, life insurance based college funding programs, and retirement planning via annuities, indexed universal life products, and cash-value permanent life insurance.
Equis Financial operates very similarly to other insurance marketing organizations.
At the top of the food chain is the Equis Corporate division. They recruit existing agencies and aspiring agency builders to grow the organization.
Agencies and aspiring agency owners duplicate the same process, recruiting both sales agents and future agency builders underneath them, with the goal of creating a downline to receive a percentage of each sale made in their hierarchy.
In most cases, the main target of these producers are newly licensed or soon-to-be licensed agents with little to no insurance sales experience.
Is Equis A MLM, Multi-Level Marketing Company, or Pyramid Scheme?
When singularly looking at the organizational hierarchy, the answer is yes, Equis’s recruiting platform is multi-level marketing.
However, Equis is a legitimate insurance marketing company, and is not a “pyramid scheme” or illegal “scam.”
The multi-level marketing hierarchy concept is simple to understand, and once explained, is not nearly as knee-jerk threatening.
People who are interested in growing teams are charged with the task of recruiting people and to their organization. And through that process teaching them how to do the same.
As I explain the insurance sales hierarchy to new agents and why it’s OK, their concerns turn toward how the insurance sales organization is run, as that that is the typical objection to anything remotely looking like a MLM.
Common questions I hear include:
Is Equis run like a “rah-rah” organization?
Should I expect a focus on recruiting my sphere of influence over learning the craft of selling insurance?
These are important questions to ask, so let me give you my thoughts.
Relative to other insurance sales opportunities, to maximize your commission levels to the fullest with Equis, you must put a full-time focus on agency recruiting over personal production.
If your only goal is to sell insurance to prospects and not recruit, chances are you’ll have a lower commission upside than if you focused on recruiting.
I’ll show you how I mean a little bit later.
How The Hiring Process Works
Let’s describe how the hiring process works with Equis.
If this is your first rodeo in the insurance business, understand that getting an insurance sales position is pretty simple.
If you show a basic level of gumption and motivation, odds are extremely high an insurance recruiter hires you.
As the old insurance sales recruiting joke goes…
“If you have a pulse, you’re hired!”
So… what does this mean to you
It means nearly every person is a prospect Equis recruiters target.
Unless you have a criminal background, or can’t get your insurance license, odds are Equis will recruit you.
If you’re curious to learn more about what to expect in an Equis job interview, go here for more information.
What Happens After Equis Recruits Me?
Step 1: Contracting
After joining Equis, your job is to complete insurance carrier contracting and sign Equis’s organization contract.
To represent an insurance company, every agent must complete carrier-specific contracting. Also, many organizations like Equis have stand-alone agency-only contracts that you must sign off on.
Step 2: Goal-Setting
Good Equis managers will get with you to help develop your sales and income goals.
They’ll ask you:
“What do you want to accomplish?”
“How much money do you want to make?”
“How much time can you invest in this business model?”
This is a great opportunity to put your goals on paper, and commit yourself to a plan of action.
Step 3: Attend The Next National Convention
Most Equis agency builders encourage new recruits to sign up for the National Convention held each year across the country.
These are paid events designed to motivate and train agents on how Equis works, and profile successful agents who followed Equis’s system.
Step 4: Studying To Sell
After submitting contracting, you’ll spend much of your time preparing to sell face-to-face to your prospects.
Some of what you’ll learn include:
This learning process takes motivated agents a few weeks to learn.
Step 5: Purchase Leads
Buying a regular supply of insurance leads is important to see success in Equis’s sales and marketing system.
Selling life insurance comes down to one simple task…
Seeing the people!
If your goal is to make a consistent flow of income, you’ll need to follow Equis’s recommendation and buy leads like most top producers do.
Equis offers various price points on leads to accommodate agents at any budget.
Leads are priced in order of newness.
A lead just returned is more expensive than a lead returned 6 months ago. Why? Because “fresher” leads tend to buy more often than older leads who have lost interest or already bought.
Also understand that Equis re-sells all leads. You’re essentially “renting” the lead for a short period of time (typically 30 days) before it is offered for resale.
This means that if you buy an aged lead, chances are another agent has attempted to work it.
This doesn’t mean there’s no sales opportunity. Sometimes prospects don’t buy because the agent didn’t do a good job. And reselling leads allows you to pay a much lower price than new leads with little age.
You can read more about how Equis’s lead programs work here.
An important subject to cover is what you are paid on insurance sales, and what the upside opportunity is in whatever insurance sales organization you’re thinking about joining.
Let’s address the first question…
Can I Make Good Money With Equis?
My thoughts are yes, there exists the possibility to do so.
Although I can’t say with accuracy, I’m 100% positive there are multiple 6- and 7-figure earning agents and agency builders that committed to the Equis system that will tell you it works with a resounding “yes.”
Just my opinion… focusing on agency building over personal production long-term is the key to creating a substantial income with Equis’s commission structure and advancement guidelines.
Starting Commission Levels
First of all, like most insurance sales opportunities, you are paid on a 100% commission basis. That means there is no wages or fringe benefits.
With Equis, the most-common starting commission for your primary product is 70%.
Note that some Equis-affiliated agencies may start you at a different (higher or lower) commission level.
Calculating Your Take-Home Income
A commission level of 70% means that you get 70% of the annual premium of your client’s policy as income.
For example, if the annual premium is $1,000, you get $700 in first year commission, assuming the policy stays on the books for the entire year.
Further, you are “advanced” 75% of your first year projected commission payout shortly after the policy is approved or issued.
Referencing the prior example, you get paid 75% of $700 shortly after the policy is approved, for a total advance of $525.
The remaining amount of $175 is paid out “as-earned” – meaning you are paid a commission when the payment is received in Months 10, 11, and 12 of the policy (since you have already been paid 9 months or 75% of your first year commission).
Hopefully this makes sense. If it doesn’t, feel free to reach out to me here, and I’ll try to explain it better.
Actual Commissions Vary
As a reminder, this 70% commission is only for one particular product. Other insurance products you have through Equis have a lower starting commission.
Go here to see more information on actual commission rates, depending on the product.
Increasing Your Commission Percentages
As you hit production goals over a three-month period of time, Equis provides a boost to your commission.
Note that beyond the 2nd and 3rd commission levels, you’ll need to invest your time into recruiting agents to see further commission growth, even if you’re hitting the production goals exclusively through your own personal sales.
How Does Equis Differentiate Itself?
Equis’s tagline is “The Agent’s Company,” indicating their desire to be the best home for agents looking to serve clients in the Middle Market with mortgage protection, final expense, Advanced markets, and the Latino Spanish speaking market.
Equis also claims many managers, personal producers, and agency builders are attracted to their bonusing structure.
For the record, I have never worked at Equis in any capacity.
However, based on my research, I believe the company cultivates an environment based on recognizing achievement in production and recruiting prowess.
Regarding day-to-day interaction, selling life insurance for most agents is a bit of a “Lone Ranger” occupation.
Unlike a traditional office environment, you will not have a local Equis branch office to report to. This means there are no bosses in the traditional sense to report to, thus self-discipline is vital.
Equis offers numerous conference calls focusing on motivation and training to help new and experienced agents succeed.
Here’s my opinion on Equis, coming from an experienced insurance agent and agency builder.
Bottom line, there is no doubt Equis is a fantastic company… for the right agent.
Here’s what I mean…
If your focus is to recruit over personal sales, Equis’s platform may make sense in the long-term.
However, if your present interest lies in selling to prospects only, consider exploring other insurance sales opportunities.
Why do I say that?
First, maximizing your commission levels is of paramount importance as a personal producer. Why? Because you will likely pay the cost of lead generation. Higher commission levels mean higher profit margins for your insurance sales efforts.
While commission levels aren’t everything, the vast majority of quality, independent agencies offer much higher commissions.
I can only speak for my own business, but I routinely offer commission levels 40%, even 50% higher.
Commission Level Math
Let’s say you question the importance of commission level. Let’s take a look at the math.
In my hypothetical example, you average a 70% commission level with Equis.
You produce $200,000 in mortgage protection business.
This means your commission before expenses is $140,000 ($200,000 x 70% = $140,000).
Your expenses (which are typically 90%+ lead expenses) total $50,000.
$140,000 – $50,000 equals $90,000.
This is your hypothetical net income before taxes at a 70% average starting commission with Equis. Not a bad take-home pay!
Now let’s compare working with an independent agency that offers higher commission contracts.
Since many independent agencies don’t have multiple levels of downlines, the odds are extremely high you’ll get a much higher commission rate.
In this hypothetical example, we’ll use an average commission level of 100%.
Just as before, you produce the same $200,000 in business.
However, since your average commission level is 100%, this means your gross commission is $200,000.
Commonly, organizations will claim your lead costs are higher working with an independent agency. While that’s not really the case, let’s grant the naysayers the benefit of the doubt.
Going independent and generating leads through other means puts you at a $60,000 lead expense.
$200,000 minus $60,000 equals a net income of $140,000 before taxes working as an independent agent.
With a 30% increase in average commission levels… even with an increase in your lead expense… your net income in this hypothetical example is $50,000 more as an independent agent.
Wouldn’t you agree that’s a significant difference?
Further, if you project this net income increase over a multi-decade career, we’re talking about an earning increase in the hundreds of thousands, if not the million-plus range.
Hopefully you see why starting commission levels are so important for the agent focused on personal production over recruiting.
Treat Your New Career Seriously – Always Vet Other Options
When you consider selling insurance, please take your time to find the right agency for your personal goals.
Out of everything in this article, this is the most important advice to follow.
Even with people who want to join my agency, I encourage them to check around at the other opportunities available.
Because selling insurance is a serious business, taking a serious level of commitment, if you want to see success.
All new insurance agents need the following:
As my friend Cody Askins talks about in his 8% Nation Insurance Conference, most new insurance agents drop out of the business within their first year.
Estimates suggest the number is 90% or more!
And while there is a host of reasons for why insurance agents fail out, picking the wrong agency ranks high on the reasons why agents quit prematurely.
Bottom line… don’t be a statistic! Please do your due diligence on which insurance agency fits you best. Equis may end up your primary choice. Either way, doing your fact-finding first will give you more confidence in your ultimate insurance agency selection.
Thanks so much for reading my article. I hope you received value from it.
Before you go, here are additional resources to help you better understand if Equis is right for you, and how the insurance sales business really works.