Are you looking for more information on an insurance sales career with People Helping People (PHP)?
Has a PHP recruiter described his opinion of the company, but you’d like to do your own due diligence?
Perhaps you’re skeptical. You may wonder if PHP is a multi-level marketing company, and wonder if it’s legit.
If this describes you, then you have found the right article!
My job today is to provide an “insider’s” perspective on all the inner workings of People Helping People. I want you to have ALL of the facts, and become aware of what the opportunity really is like.
Bottom line, my hope is that you’ll gather enough information from this article to decide if PHP is right for you or not.
So let’s begin.
- About The Author
- Question Of Bias
- About PHP
- Market Specialization
- Is PHP A MLM Or Pyramid Scam?
- Lead Programs
- Author’s Opinions
When I first began investigating the insurance sales market, I discovered a truism of the business I want to share with you now…
You MUST vet any organization or individual trying to impact your perspective towards a company or insurance sales career path.
Because bias runs rampant in this business. You want guarantees that anyone influencing you has your best interests at heart.
And this vetting process includes vetting me!
Because of that, I will explain my career selling insurance since 2011. That way you know my perspective and I reveal what are my interests and motivations.
I started selling what’s known as final expense life insurance in 2011. I jumped into the insurance business because my first business in personal training was on the ropes.
Basically, I got into insurance out of pure desperation. Nobody was hiring at this point during The Great Recession, and insurance sales was my only option.
Thankfully, I found a great opportunity in the business. I did very well initially, but failed out 12 months into the business due to my own poor mindset and lack of discipline.
At that point, I went back to work for a Fortune 500 company. And what I learned throughout my tenure was that the difficulties of the insurance business FAR outweighed the difficulties of working for someone else.
So I planned my escape!
And within 12 months, I quit my job, and was back into selling final expense full-time. Thankfully, I’ve never returned!
By 2013, building my own agency became important to me, so I started my national insurance agency to recruit and train agents to become top producers.
I’m happy to report I’ve been extremely successful in building my agency and helping many agents to success across the country.
I’m also an author of three best selling insurance sales and marketing books, and operate a popular YouTube insurance sales and marketing channel.
After reading my bio, you may ask yourself, “What bias do you have that I should be aware of?”
First of all, my goal is to grow into a personal “center of influence” on all-thing insurance sales and marketing. So building and keeping my integrity intact is of utmost concern to my long-term success.
What this means is this: I am ALWAYS biased to providing more information (both good AND bad) to agents investigating insurance sales opportunities.
Obviously, there is the potential for personal gain writing review articles like this.
These articles will eventually rank in Google Search, and people researching PHP will discover my opportunities to sell insurance nationally. And yes, some will decide to work with me.
However, despite the opportunity for personal gain, the amount is fractional relative to the whole.
If anything, the vast majority reading will either skip out on the PHP opportunity because they determine it’s not for them. Or end up joining as my review has boosted their confidence in the organization and provided a better perspective on what to expect with People Helping People.
Bottom line is this…
What you do with the information I’m showing you today is totally up to you.
There’s many reasons why agents fail out of the insurance business. And working for the wrong agency is a common reason for premature quitting.
To summarize, yes, I AM biased. But… helping agents out long-term without expectation of anything in return is paramount. And giving away your time and effort always results in positive outcomes in business and in life.
Now that I’ve cleared the air on my background and motivations, let’s begin our investigation of People Helping People.
People Helping People was started by Patrick Bet-David in 2009 in Northridge, California, after working for World Financial Group for many years.
Since then, over 12,000 people have become licensed agents with PHP, and over 200,000 families have been served through PHP promoted insurance products.
People Helping People is partnered with well-known insurance carriers such as National Life Group, American National, American General, Mutual Of Omaha, Global Atlantic, and more.
Mr. Bet-David is an interesting personality. He runs a multi-million person subscription YouTube channel called Valuetainment, and served in the 101st AIrborne prior to starting his insurance sales business.
As a boy, he immigrated to America from war-torn Iran and understands first-hand what rags-to-riches really means.
You can learn more about Patrick Bet-David here.
People Helping People targets what’s known as the middle markets for insurance-based financial planning..
There are different target markets that an agent can focus on.
For example, an agent may target the low-income senior market to sell products like final expense or Medicare Advantage. Or maybe an upper-income markets the sell more advanced life insurance products like annuities and retirement planning.
The middle market PHP targets consist of folks making middle-class incomes. Compared to wealthier markets, middle markets don’t receive as much attention despite being the largest market of life insurance sales opportunity.
Why Agents Partner With PHP
In PHP’s Agent Opportunity brochure, they describe several reasons why agents choose to partner with People Helping People:
- Being Your Own Boss. Entrepreneurship and control of your income is heavily promoted as a core PHP value.
- Multicultural. PHP has a focus being a place for multicultural agents to go and work.
- Vesting: Shorter vesting period on new business than the competition (I’ll discuss what this means a little later).
One thing that many brand new agents worry about is whether or not their insurance sales opportunity is oriented towards a multi-level marketing culture instead of a traditional work environment.
First, I’ll address the thought some of you might have:
Is People Helping People a scam?
Bottom line, despite its multi-level marketing hierarchy (I’ll talk more about this briefly), People Helping People is definitely not a scam.
In fact, PHP is a legitimate financial services company helping hundreds of thousands of people across the country.
Now, let me address the question of the MLM structure of PHP.
The truth is this. The entire insurance business is structured on a hierarchical basis, much like a traditional multi-level marketing company looks like.
Producers in your downline allow you to make what’s called an override, which is a percentage of each sale the agent closes. With enough consistently-producing agents, having a downline is a very lucrative opportunity.
When I consult with insurance agents about their multi-level marketing concerns, their issue isn’t necessarily the structure of the company.
The issue is with the culture of the company.
Here’s how I mean…
Agents who express concern in the culture of an insurance organization are concerned that the organization may place too much importance on recruiting, instead of training competent and effective insurance agents.
Maybe you fit into this profile. Maybe you don’t. But there are some agents who just flat out don’t want to recruit and just want to sell.
How important is recruiting to PHP?
Review the PHP compensation and promotional guidelines here.
As you navigate the document, it becomes clear that career advancements require focused effort on recruiting a downline.
For example, you must recruit 3 direct business partners to advance to the Level 2 commission, and have 15 base recruits and one direct associate to advance to Level 3 commissions.
In a moment, I’ll give you my opinion on what you should consider… IF you ONLY want to sell, not recruit. More on this shortly.
While PHP does not offer leads for sale, they do teach you how to develop your own leads from your sphere of influence using what’s called the “Project 100” method.
What Is The Project 100 Method?
Project 100 involves you meeting with your manager and devising a list of as many friends, family members, and former business associates.
These connections become your pool of prospects to meet with and discuss opportunities to help with insurance-based planning.
Here are some of the benefits of the Project 100:
- No Cold Calling. Traditional no-cost prospecting systems require you to approach residences and businesses cold. And anyone who has experience knocking on doors will tell you it is brutal at times.
Since the Project 100 method is a list of people you already know, you are prospecting your “warm market.” Basically, your connections will have more willingness to meet with you to see what you’re offering. Plus, your warm market refers more often than cold-prospecting business.
- No Cost. Insurance lead programs can cost thousands of dollars a month. The Project 100 method costs nothing beyond your time time employ.
- Referral-Based Marketing. Any insurance agent will tell you that referrals are the best leads. Referrals buy more and refer more. The Project 100 method allows you to base ALL of your prospecting efforts on generating referrals.
This is a basic explanation of Project 100. There’s more to it that your PHP manager will teach you. Typically, you are taught the business on your Project 100 with your manager riding along with you to demonstrate the sales presentation.
Let’s shift gears from prospecting methods to compensation.
First and foremost, PHP is a 100% commission based opportunity, contingent upon you writing business and training other agents to do the same.
There is no draw, wage, or salary. As the old saying goes, “You eat what you kill!”
Follow this link to see People Helping People’s updated commission schedule.
How To Increase Commissions
At the core of PHP’s commission advancement is downline agency development.
In other words, personal production alone several limits your ability to advance your commission percentage relative to other agency opportunities like mine that more highly value personal production from the beginning.
For example, commission starts at 30% for new recruits. To increase your commission at all levels above starting commission, you must recruit more and more agents into your hierarchy.
Now that I’ve laid out a basic understanding of what PHP is about, I am going to lay out my opinions and criticisms of People Helping People in this section.
As a reminder, my “bias” is for showing you the entire picture, and bringing up potential concerns to consider more thoroughly before joining.
Commission Is Low For The Personal Producer
In my research of different insurance sales organizations, one common theme is that the recruitment-focused organizations start commission lower relative to other agency opportunities.
This is the case with PHP.
Starting commission levels with PHP is 30%. Other organizations start agents out at 55% to 70%.
Even further, producer-oriented agencies like mine that focus on teaching the craft of selling insurance start agents out on most contracts at 100% or better.
Why is this such a big deal?
Because, the LOWER your commission level, the less money you earn. And the less money you earn, the harder it is to stay profitable.
Here’s how I mean.
Two agents make the same sale. It is a $2000 annual premium indexed universal life sale.
One agent has a 30% commission. The other has a 70%.
The agent on a 30% commission makes $600 first year income, but the agent with a 70% commission makes $1400.
That’s an $800 difference in payout!
And if said agents made 50 sales the entire year, the agent with a 70% contract makes $40,000 MORE commission than the agent with a 30% contract.
Then Again, Commission Isn’t Everything
Low commission insurance sales opportunities will suggest that looking at commission on its own without measuring other value-added benefits like training, support, and lead generation is faulty thinking.
I tend to agree. You shouldn’t choose to pass on the PHP opportunity because of commission levels alone.
Evaluate the training and support your recruiter provides. Ask them about their insurance sales experience. Ask for a ride-along opportunity to judge the business before going through the process of licensing and appointment.
As suggested, take the whole package into consideration before jumping into PHP.
Get Comfortable Selling Friends And Family
With PHP’s lower start commission levels, it does not make sense to involve yourself in any purchased lead program. You simply do not have the margins to make good money while covering your costs.
So that leaves the Project 100 as your only prospecting strategy. Which means you MUST talk with friends, family members, and business associates about insurance.
And not just insurance, either. PHP wants you recruiting new agents from this same Project 100 list. So if you want commission level increases, sell not only insurance policies but also recruit your sphere of influence.
Don’t Do It If You’re Not Comfortable
If you’re like me, you do not like the idea of doing business with friends and family.
Sure, there are some advantages. Friends and family buy and refer more often. But, in many cases, pursuing your sphere of influence for either insurance sales or career opportunities will burn many bridges.
While I am sure some agents can navigate this concern, I never wanted to pursue my warm market immediately because
(a) I had no experience and didn’t want to sell them a product that was inappropriate, and,
(b) business dealings with friends and family gone wrong can permanently damage relationships.
At the Duford household, we separate business from pleasure. Unless a family member pursues me for help, I do not solicit them for sales or joining my agency.
Again, this is a personal preference. You may have total confidence and no concern following the Project 100 method. If that’s the case, then PHP’s prospecting teaching will fit right in. If it isn’t, you may want to consider other insurance sales opportunities based around purchased leads.
Some Start-Up Costs
People Helping People has start-up costs.
First, there is a $250 initial fee for new agents getting appointed.
Second, you must also purchase errors and omissions insurance for approximately $500.
Third, expect your upline to encourage you to attend PHP’s massive annual conference. Travel, accommodations, and entry range approximately $200 to $1000.
Vesting is defined as when agent ownership of his book of business takes place.
Ideally, the sooner you own your book of business, the better. Why? Because if you quit prematurely before your book is vested, you will lose all future commission payouts.
And while there are organizations that require 10 years of service to fully appoint (they incrementally increase vesting year over year), PHP shortens that to only 1 year of service before 100% vesting occurs.
Vesting Is Unnecessary
Yes, 1 year vesting is better than 10 year vesting, but my complaint is, why even require an agent to spend time to vest?
Many organizations like mine vest 100% immediately upon appointment. In other words, any business you write is YOUR business. Whether or not you work with my organization, you continue to receive your contractual commissions.
Added, if you are bringing in prospects through referral methods, is it right to say that the agent should not own that business outright?
I can understand if the company is funneling leads to the agent, sure. But not when the agent is doing the heavy lifting of finding qualified prospects.
In summary, PHP is a great opportunity for the right agent. Those joining PHP must have a desire to build an agency, and be completely confident in prospecting your warm market for sales and recruits.
However, if anything rubs you the wrong way, I’d recommend evaluating other insurance sales opportunities. There are plenty of fish in the sea, and finding the right fit is paramount to your success.
Thank you so much for reading my article! I do hope you got value out of the content.
To continue your due diligence of the People Helping People opportunity, I have included a few more resources below to consider:
- Here’s the PHP Opportunity Brochure highlighting the benefits of working with the company.
- Negative reviews of PHP are found on Reddit, here on Yelp and here on YouTube.
- Positive reviews of PHP are found here on Indeed and here on YouTube.
- This article on BehindMLM.com explains the PHP hierarchy system in great detail.