I got a call from a final expense agent today who is currently contracted with another agency, has done some time with this final expense agency and has realized he is getting short-changed on his opportunity to sell final expense because of what this agency does not provide.
I figured it would be a pretty good idea to write about how to get out of your current agency arrangement without spilling blood (and I mean that sincerely).
Many times final expense sales agents get involved in this business that like the opportunity; they’ve been sold on a business plan that just sounds great, but they get out there and they may like the business, but they realize that the current organization that they’re with is just not really the best-suited for where they are at or where they are going to go.
So the thing is, and this is really important to understand, as a final expense agent looking to jump ship, you’ve got to do things the right way and you’ve got to do it in a sequence that isn’t going to penalize you. Because many of these agencies anticipate a certain percentage jumping ship at a future date, and they set up their program to really put up an agent up against a wall in a pressurized sort of way that is not to the benefit of the agent.
What I’m going to detail are just some simple steps you can follow as a final expense agent to move your final expense carrier and final expense lead arrangement to an agency that you feel will give you a better opportunity.
So what are some good reasons to move your final expense carrier contract? I think the first reason is is that you’re just not getting the support that your upline promised. Support usually is the biggest thing in the form of personalized training and final expense leads— you may not be getting your final expense direct mail and final expense telemarketing leads and no matter how well your training is, it’s worth nothing if you don’t have people to see.
Also, you may be short-changed with your carrier contracts, you may not have access to the best final expense carriers that are required to succeed continually in this business, and you may have seen or experienced this by talking with other agents, experiencing different situations with different agents and by coming across policies you can’t replace and you wonder, “Hey– well why can’t I pick those up?”
All of these situations, built over time, are good reasons to consider– what can you do to improve your situation. Because I will tell you the bottom line, as an agency and as a producing agent who has gone through all of this several times in my history, I will tell you that you need to look out for yourself, number one. You need to find opportunities that best suit you and where you are in your career and you don’t want to leave money on the table, for sure, and you don’t want to be dragged along by an agency that promises you the moon but doesn’t do anything to actually deliver it.
So what can you do to get out of a bad situation? Most people don’t make changes until the last minute when shit hits the fan, and usually at that point it’s the hardest to move. The guy I was talking to earlier actually has been in the business long enough to see he likes it, but it’s been long enough to know that there’s probably some long-term problems coming down the pipe. So for me, he’s in a great situation. The earlier that you find that there’s a problem, the better.
If you don’t get the sense that, where you’re working is actually a good opportunity, then you’re probably right and you probably need to follow up on that gut instinct because more often than not, as I can attest, it’s correct. So identify the problem quickly and act on that problem by switching.
But step number two is don’t act too quickly, especially if things are going OK and your final expense opportunity is not complete garbage; take time to do your research and due diligence. Understand that you probably got in the situation the first time because you did not do your due diligence, so you’ve got to something a little bit different this time and set your situation up in a way in which you take your time, research people involved in the organization, ask a lot of good questions about final expense leads, final expense commission levels, what it takes to advance, ask for testimonials or references and be patient with the process– don’t rush into anything that may come back to haunt you, even worse than where you’re at right now.
Take your time to do that and lastly, don’t burn any bridges, even if you’re not having a good situation with this particular final expense organization you’re involved in. You never know how the wondrous world of final expense will come back to you. It’s always a good deal to leave on good terms, to wrap things up as smoothly and as respectfully as possible, even if there is bad blood. You don’t want to create more problems than really are necessary.
What I would recommend you to do is, in a perfect world, do all the due diligence and research well in advance of making any sort of initial move, talk to a lot of people, sleep on it, give it some time, take the time necessary to let an idea or concept or something, you know, smooth over so that you can get a good sense if, you know, you really sit well with was is being offered to you as an alternative to where you are right now.
And when it’s time and you feel like there’s possibly some advantage to making the switch, I always recommend that you contract the new carriers that you’re looking at prior to cancelling your agreement, or switching your agreement from your present carrier because what happens is is that if you quit your current operation, they may pull your final expense leads that you paid for and it may also cancel your contracts at the same time and in effort to prevent you from replacing business that you may have sold with your new carriers and they’re trying to eally squeeze you to death so that you won’t do anything that will come back to haunt them potentially.
It’s a dirty way to treat agents, but it happens and it’s better to be prepared and patient than it is to rush into something and then you’re really screwed more than you are right now.
Like I said, I’ve been through it several times. We all have been through it, have been in the business long enough. Very few people find that the first person they deal with is the best one for life and so out of respect, respect them for what they provided you, hopefully with something. And, take the time to switch over and make sure that the switch you’re making is a verifiably good decision that will benefit you as well as be just a definite improvement upon your situation.