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haven't posted in a while


bargainbabe

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Haven't posted here in a while. Thought I would update, just to be able to come back later and see how things have changed or stayed the same.

 

We are still in treading water mode. My commissions were cut unexpectedly at work a few months ago (I am in insurance-this was a carrier decision, not my agency's, their income is down, too.) I am doing ok selling, but when your commissions are cut by 2/3, you have to sell three times as much to make the same amount of money. I am moving into other types of insurance, but there is a learning curve involved and I haven't been able to make up what I have lost yet. Still trying, though. We have lost several agents lately because they can't make it work.

 

I am slowly accepting that my hopes and dreams are on a very slow track, and we may never be able to pay for our kids college or take them to Disneyworld or to summer camp or any of the things that were done for me growing up. I am working a side job that makes me about $200 a month in addition to my regular (30 hours a week) job, my husband is as well, maybe another $300-400. This has made up for some of the shortfall in my commissions. We need a major home repair, so the money we put aside for a newer car will probably go towards that. We are doing the best we can. It just isn't in God's plan for us to get ahead, at least not at this point in time. That is a hard pill to swallow.

 

I try to remain hopeful and seek opportunities where I can but I am weary after working so hard for so long. I am just trying to stay faithful and not let me kids see my cry. We continue to tighten our belts, we are just about to the last hole, though.

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Sorry for the cuts at work and that you are feeling so tired and defeated. You have worked so hard and struggled so long, it's no wonder. It really sounds like time to seek out a different, more dependable employer. Honestly, I don't see that God doesn't want you to get ahead, but He may be nudging you to take a different path to get where He wants you to go.

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I'm sorry to hear about the cut in commissions. Your employee is giving you clear notice that this work is unappreciated.

 

What product lines do you sell?

What others do you have available?

Would you consider a different employer?

 

The writing is on the wall, something's gotta change.

I'm curious about the 30 hour weeks, you are clearly willing to work more. Why not double down on your primary job?

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Thanks guys.  I agree something has to change.  I am a health insurance agent.

 

My agency has actually been wonderful, it is the carriers that we represent that do not value health insurance agents anymore.  Most insurers in my area have discontinued or reduced commission on individual plans.  Like, literally sending an email a month into open enrollment sayings "effective today, we will be paying 2% commission instead of 5%".  Or "plan x is no longer commissionable".  This isn't my agency, this is the insurance company, and they are doing it state-wide.  So, even though we still get calls for people who need insurance, we won't get paid on what we sell. 

 

I am focusing more into Medicare with some success.  Many people are "locked in" for the rest of the year so I can't move them.  There are some exceptions, and I get people who are new to Medicare, and sometime can switch others' supplements.  I am considering other insurance areas like life and disability insurance.

 

More than 30 hours a week would involve higher childcare costs, if I can get some sales I could do that, but it is a vicious cycle.  I am definitely willing to work more and do if I have appointments but it has been slow lately.  I have some administrative duties that I am paid a small salary for, otherwise I am on commission.   I feel like I have been given good opportunities, just the rug has been pulled out from under us.  I have more clients than last year with good retention, I think I would have been making nearly double last year's commissions if the cuts had not been made.  I haven't done the math, too depressing to think about it.

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With your resume I would think that you could find a good, stable, secure job within the medical system - administration in doctors offices, hospitals, etc.

 

I had a friend who worked at a hospital as some kind of patient helper. Basically she did suicide watch late at night. She would ring for a nurse if the patient needed anything and was free to read or websurf while the patient slept. I know she didn't work for minimum wage, had plenty of work, and was allowed some flexibility in hours. All that to say check hospitals and medical facilities and keep an open mind.

 

I'm not saying to abandon insurance but you aren't really in a position to be in a commissioned job where you have to sell products without a commission. Can you talk to some successful insurance salespeople outside of your agency and ask them to mentor you so you can learn what works and what doesn't in the business?

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I know what you mean about health insurance commissions. That's not just in one state.

 

At work it looksike you have the authority to build your own book.

 

Life and disability Would be a great diversifier. Do you have authority to sell those lines at this job?

Those lines are great for paying immediate commissions. Don't count on them for residuals.

 

Look for the truth in this: Linda Evangelista, the original supermodel in the 80s once said. "I don't even get out of bed for less that $10,000"

Do that, but with your time.

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Yes, I do have authority to build my book.  I have a lot of freedom to do whatever I want.  I am not licensed for life yet, though.  Trying to figure out if that is what I want to do, or focus more on Medicare.

 

I have gotten to the point where I don't sign people up unless it pays a commission.  I will just tell them to call the exchange or whatever to enroll if they want a product that is no longer commissionable, I hate doing that, but they would suck down all of my time, I can't work for free.

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Smart move. I wouldn't go wash someone's car if they called me and asked. Same difference.

 

Look for products you can pivot. Many I've agents started out as a prospecting assistant. You don't even need to be licensed for that.

Just off the top of my head: if they're looking for individual ACA policies, they are maybe working for a small employer without benefits or left an employer recently.

Both of these groups typically have a need for buying individual life and retirement products. I know agents who will pay $10 a head for setting appointments like this.

 

You can come off great to the caller by asking them a few basic questions before sending them to the exchange.

"What has you looking for personal benefit today? Health? Ok, I can direct you towards there. Does your employer provide life? Do you have defendants? Ok, I'll get you directed towards there. Do they have retirement options? Ok, I'll get you that as well.

For life & retirement, are you available for a call on Wednesday at 10, 2 or 6?

For healthcare, start by looking at healthcare.gov.

 

Boom, junk call just earned you $15 for setting a double appointment.

If you start feeling jealous of collecting commission on those instead, go get the life license.

 

If you don't know any agents with these sorts of arrangements, let me know where you are and I can see if I know anyone local.

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