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AFLAC Inc. Message Board

  • tomcypert tomcypert Feb 20, 2003 4:13 PM Flag

    New AFLAC Agents

    My experience with AFLAC was very limited, but this is what I saw. Some of the postings that I have seen on this board may be too optimistic. Selling AFLAC is not a get rich quick scheme. Insurance is a very tough, competitive business. I think the Regional Coordinators oversell the potential monetary returns of selling AFLAC. A big part of their job is recruiting new agents. It is to their advantage to have as many agents as possible in the field selling insurance. They make their money off of you. There are literally hundreds of agents working in large cities and every prospective business you call will have already been contacted several times before by someone from AFLAC. Out of 100 calls, you will be lucky to get 2 or 3 appointments. You will only sell about 1 out of 5 appointments. Unless you are connected with a couple of large potential accounts, you will be fortunate to make 25 to 30K the first year. Most new agents drop out during the first year. Having said all that, there is a plus side. AFLAC is a good, reputable Fortune 500 company that has a reputation of treating its employees very well.

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    • Hi plane crazy,
      I too am interested in AFLAC. Can you contact me so we can compare notes on this privately please?
      My email is nytstyk@attbi.com
      I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

      jp

    • I'm sorry my post shocked you, but I simply won't have people on this board slandering AFLAC without answering. This "hard data" and "cases" are no different than the experiences of countless small business people since the beginning of time. Some succeed, some fail. I feel a piling on effect here, and I won't let it be unanswered.

      As a succinct answer to all of your "questions"...

      1. People know full well what they are getting into. In the interview when I ask, "Are you willing to put in very long hours to build your business?" and, "Can you withstand a fair amount of rejection?" I frequently get "yes" answers that turn out to be not representative of reality. Most people interview well.

      2. Of the 30 people in the training class, 50% won't show up to work at 8:00AM the morning after class. Not a good start to a new business. But that is a cultural issue.

      3. There are 50,000 more businesses in my state that don't have AFLAC yet. They are simply waiting to hear about it, or to hear about it from the right person. My state, like most of the US is penetrated at a rate of about 3.5%.

      My problem with all this nonsense is that the insinuation is that there is a conspiracy here. Anyone who doesn't have a handle on what they are getting into at the end of the interview process is hearing only what they want to hear. Yes, I'm emotional about these issues--- because of the 100's of thousands of people that this company has helped; either through its products, or on the career side. I've seen many lives changed for the better by this company, including my own, and I won't have these message board people blaming their personal failure on AFLAC.

      Legal action? I'm not threatening anything, just reminding a few people that it�s wrong to mislead people to sell their opinion as "typical".

      Look, if you want change, work for it. I, like MN, do every day.

      Read salondm's post #6646. If everyone had a good work ethic, we'd have none of these discussions.

      By the way, I have excellent people and business skills. I defend this company as you would defend your family--- as it feeds mine, and has never paid me less than what I was worth.

    • Parker & Everyone else - Please do not take my comments too negeativley. Let me 1st say the opportunity IS THERE , IF, that is,... IF one goes out & sets the table by marketing their butts off. All I am saying is that I personnally don't depend on income for myself from other AFLAC producers. I have NEVER enrolled a policy/premium dollar in anybody else's group. I guess I'm stubborn that way, becuase I want to create my own destiny & not depend on anyone else except that is, the PROFFESSIONAL people I invite to enroll in my groups.

      It is sometimes difficult to compete with ALL the AFLAC newbees sometimes but the accounts I call on & certinly the brokers can usually make up up their minds pretty quickly as to who they will do biz with. But hey it's a free & big world out there so I say good luck to all.
      Yes my current groups get calls weekly from the competition ...Allstate,Colonial & yes mostly AFLAC. I tell them that this will happen ...upfont, so there are no surprises.

      AFLAC has the maj. market share over our competition in a well under penetrated & fastest GROWING sector of the ins. Company wide have big plans & goals for gowing market share & the only way to really grow is to continually & agressively hire new agents. Sadly it's the mudd against the wall theory...it works for growth & satisfies sales goals & most importantly wall st. ....the only problem is very few make 1 in 10 in our area. That's just how it goes.....if it's not for you it's not for you. Don't want to sound too mean here but I am only worried about ME. I really don't wnat to recruit becuase I know the chances of someone making it are slim & really don't have the time to hand hold with someone new to the industry.....knowing they have a 90 % chance of not making it. Incidently I've known severl people who choose to focus too much on recruiting & many of them have failed ....becuse they are putting their income in the hands of new recruits many who have no industy exp.I firmly beleive the reson our ratio has a high failure rate is because of the demands that Columbus puts on it's field mgt.....ie they have to hire & hire a LOT

      Anyway like I said before AFLAC works if YOU work the problem is we have to hire so many people ...I really feel to meet high
      recruiting goals many times we contract just about anyone with a license...it's the nature of the beast & there is no other way in a commission only atmosphere. Because of all this I choose not to recruit & just concentrate on selling biz...yes if someone really wanted to join us I would help them , BUT I would be BUTALLY HONEST & tell them what the need to do.
      For example
      new guys should
      call call 50 per week{ not just dials getting thru to owner or HR & asking for appt.}
      Drop info/walk in & ask who handles ins. at least 20 X per week
      Have at least 7-8 new appt. with new groups per weeek.
      THE PROBLEM IS only 10 % of people ACTUALLY DO THIS.....the othe 90% don't & then wonder why they don't make it

      Sory for rambling ....gotta get back to the phones
      SDM

    • Long LTD,

      I was proposing to let sleeping ducks lie :-), but your post made me want to respond. Firstly, the tone of your post, the threat of legal action against people in your own company and your attitude as it comes across in your message immediately says something to me about your people skills and possibly business skills.

      The "negative nellie�s" as you call them are the more "successful" AFL agents out there it seems to me. They are at least part of the 1 in 10 that make it, makes you wonder what you must think of the 9 out of 10 that quit. And the "negative nellie�s" seem to present much more hard data, numbers and actual case information than the "positive pollies".

      I would like to get some similar information from you:
      - How many agents have you hired in the last 3 years ? How many are still with AFL ?
      - What was their typical AP or income in years 1,2 & 3. You must have all this information since the statements are so easy to understand.
      - How many people did you interview for the 30 you are going to train ? How many did you turn away to get 30 into the program ?
      - Are there 7500 qualified prospects in your area for these 30 new people to target and close (at a size that will generate enough AP for them to make a living), that haven't already been approached by other AFL agents ?
      - Do you inform the prospects that 1 out 3 will quit in year 1, 9 out of 10 by year 4, the average gross income in early years is in the 20-40K range and after insurance and business expenses the net is probably closer to 15-25K ?

      It certainly makes me wonder about your business ethics when are so quick to slam on your own fellow employees. I'm just trying to gather information and make an informed decision on AFL. jbsb12000 and salondm have provided concrete information from their point of view on AFL, mnachazel has provided the same type of information from a more positive point of view. You seem quick to respond emotionally and without hard facts when others from your same company question your "all positive" attitude.

    • ...There is a number of fishy accounting practices...

      What the hell are you talking about? Anyone with a 3rd grade education can understand their statement. This is slander, and I suggest that you cease it. Yahoo can be compelled by law enforcement to disclose the identity of posters. Why don't you just get out if it is such a struggle for you. From your first post, I can tell that you don't work very efficiently. If you were "enrolling and not marketing" you are a fool. Every employee you see at an enrollment has a spouse, parent, etc. that works somewhere else, or owns a business. If you didn't walk out of your enrollment each day with 10-25 leads to call on, on your way home, then shame on you. You aren't running your business like a business. You still have the employee mentality: "when will someone start to take care of me". That is why you fail. Don't blame the opportunity. The key to AFLAC success is to define your own territory. Pick 250 businesses, and only work on those. Develope the relationships, bring value, don't be a salesman. If you have a problem with the model, get the hell out. If you were in my state, I'd give you your 30 notice right now.

      I'm sick of this whining. Look at my post from last week. All AFLAC failures have a couple of things in common. And changing the business model will turn AFLAC into the biggest welfare state since California.

      As far as this MLM stuff, it's slander too. A larger team makes the pie bigger--- meaning more for all. It's easy to prove. Sales increases have equal to or greater than recruiting increases every year since I've been here.

      AFLAC spends 100's of millions of $'s every year in insure that AFLAC offers equal opportunity to all those equal to the opportunity. Take the hint, negative nellies. I'm leaving tomorrow to train 30 new associates. They will leave my class knowing full-well what they are getting into, and prepared to face it if they choose.

      I came to AFLAC in 1995 with a masters degree in science, and no formal business or sales experience. I'm glad you weren't doing the hiring then, I probably wouldn't have met your "criteria".

    • This s an obvious upper coordinator who feels that it is up to an individual to determine their outcome. Check my previous posting. I am also a coordintor and I can tell you that the company will have to change if it plans on increasing it's growth. It is easy to tell someone that it is up to them to succeed. However, it does not answer the fact that we can hire 20 people in a town of 50K people - How are they all to make a living? Why not hire someone based on education and experiance, and INVEST in the sales force. AFLAC does not invest in their sales force and they need to change this. I have to compete with people, to be honest, who should not be working with the public or in sales. How can a company honestly say that they care about their sales team and not invest in them? It appears that they are not as "caring" as they think. There is a number of fishy accounting practices as EVERYONE complains that they can not read their monthly statement. It appears that this individual has lived his/her dream - but at A GOOD NUMBER OF PEOPLE EXPENSE.

    • Thanks for some positive stuff on this business. I am a veteran salesperson working this as I do my other sales job....I will kick ass with AFLAC in time and do this only. If someone can sell, talk to people, get up and hit the phone and pavement CONSISTENTLY they can make a ton of money. For someone to go strictly by how many agents are contracted, it does no justice to the facts...I am real excited about the stock bonus and renewals making the potential real lucrative. No one makes big money these days without some downside..no health benis are not a big deal if one can make 200K year after a 3-5 years and have a spouse work a little as well.....anybody else who can post some positive news on this business would be very helpful....I also think if you are in a market which is still new to AFLAC..the chances for big money is better..the Northeast is supposed to still be majorly underserved...that is my location.

    • What we're really talking about here is the trading of security for freedom. Those top 5000 agents simply represent the full-time field force. You see, no one forces an AFLAC associate to work. The result of this is that there are a lot of people who insist that they can handle that responsibility in my interview process, but almost immediately fall by the wayside because they can't meet their manager half way and put in a few long days at the beginning to prime the pump.

      Many people interview well. (For the record, in my neck of the woods we are rather selective about candidates, but that�s because we have good interviewers that can attract good candidates.) But many also tell you what you want to hear, and carry themselves well. This results in a number of ill-advised hires, through no fault of the interviewer.

      As far as the training, maybe your area isn't what you expect, but my experience is that it is what you make it. Ask and you will receive.

      As far as the income, full-time associates don't stay at the $40-$60K level. Even if they never get better than their first years' sales level, their income grows through renewal commissions on previously sold policies. As far as retirement benefits, I can�t think of a better program that the AFLAC stock bonus plan. I�ll be retiring in my early 40�s on it.

      You have to remember. This is an entrepreneurial opportunity. This is a startup business opportunity. How many people that are starting a new business have to make tough decisions like: "do I go out for dinner 3 times a week, or do I buy health insurance"..."do I go home at 5:00, or do I stay until 6:00 and make a few calls, or stops"...etc. Nothing worth having is easy to get. But the best part is, the company advertises for you, so wherever you go, people know you. So what you have is an opportunity that has some of the perks of employment, with the freedom of income growth of business ownership. If that�s uncomfortable for you, I wouldn�t recommend you proceed. But don�t sit there and critique the opportunity from an employee�s point of view. It's simply apples and oranges.

      The employee mentality is poison in this business; and anybody that I was ever charged with training that had that mentality, I unloaded quickly. As far as asking Ex-Agents their opinion? Why not ask Bill Clinton his opinion of George Bush? As I said before, all the failures I�ve ever seen have two things in common: work ethic and attitude.

      Bottom line, here. I have seen a lot of people with huge potential fail at this business. BUT---- I have NEVER seen someone that worked hard and ran this thing like a business fail. NEVER.

    • This is an interesting forum, as much about becoming an agent as financial. So I'll continue the tradition ;-). I too, am middle age, contemplating a major career change. Here a couple of my observations after two meetings with AFL recruiters:
      - it can't be as easy or good as they say . . nothing is
      - the chart they give you says the top 5000 agents make 65K or more, that means 88% (35,000) of the agents make less than 65K per year !
      - no benefits, takes 8-15K net off my bottom line every year
      - retention rate is 60% in 2 years and less than 10% in 4 years, like all insurance agent jobs, more than 9 out of 10 people quit in 4 years or less.
      - The hiring people in my area will sign up anyone who breathes, literaly; no real interview, no discussion of background in sales, education , etc. The rep is certainly comped on warm bodies that sign up, not on people who stay more than one year, seems crazy to work for a company that will hire ANYBODY. Makes it feel like MLM, not like a real company looking for the best people.

      OK, all this being said, I'm still somewhat interested, but there sure seem to be a lot of financial holes in the story when you look into it, how can anyone survive for years making 40K-60K gross with no benefits unless you are a single 20 year old ? Given the program has no base, no benefits, AFL makes 65% off every sale anyone makes, even if they quit and 93% for every year after that even if they stay. There seems to really be no investment in training, equipment, benefits or salary ( at least what I would be used to), why shouldn't they just churn 1000's of people a year ?

      I guess my question to some of the AFL people on this board relates to some of the issues I've brought up. Am I completly wrong ? Is there something I'm missing here in regards to comp ? I sure wish there were some ex-AFL people to ask what they think about the program.

      Oh well, thanks for any insight people give me; in advance, I appreciate it.

    • I have been doing AFLAC for about 10 months. I started doing it part time but have since move more to a full time basis. I have been concentrating on mainly elephants. The sales cycle is a long process with the elephants. I have a total close to 100,000 employees over 8 companies that are going to make a decision within the next 4-6 months. If it all works out, I will be one happy camper. But I shall say this...Don't concentrate on elephants. Concentrate on the small businesses with 5 - 30 employees. You will make a decent living doing that.

      • 1 Reply to aflacelephant
      • And what is your take on the previous post that most agents will only make 25K-30K their first year? You said u are concentrating on elephants. Are there any other new agents in your district going the route of small busineses, who started around the same time you did and are doing moderately okay? If I can make about 46K the first year I will feel okay.

        I am almost sure I will pursue this career and I guess I need to take a small leap of faith, but any information helps.

 
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