Step 1: Choosing a Career Path
Are you going to go Captive or Independent?
Ah, the age-old question amongst insurance agents.
Captive agents typically receive less commissions but have more extensive training, support and possibly “free” leads. On the other hand, independent agents have higher contracts, very little hand holding and are most likely are responsible for buying their own leads.
So, which is better?
I believe the answer to this question lies within oneself. I also believe many choose the wrong path due to our natural ability to deceive our self. I have experience on both sides of the debate. I have two-years experience owning a captive final expense telesales call center. Captive only for final expense telesales. On the independent side, I have over five years of success. I feel my two endeavors have given me adequate experience to talk to this topic from an educated position.
"The difference is huge but can be equally profitable for the agent. In my opinion the choice of which path to take, CAPTIVE or INDEPENDENT, should be made based on these three factors."
Experience - Experience determines the level of support needed. If you are brand new to insurance and even more specifically brand new to final expense telesales then there is a good chance you will be better suited for most captive agreements. There is an unwritten rule amongst insurance agents that says it is wise to go captive for the training and then once you have learned the ropes get released to go independent. Great idea but some captive non-compete agreements will not allow for a free release. Choose carefully.
Financial Resources - Independent agents are usually responsible for buying their own leads. Most likely leads will be the biggest expense you will incur. The upside is you will receive much higher compensation and thus be able to afford the cost of leads. Any decent captive IMO will have some type of free lead program to offset this cost. The trade-off is a huge cut in commissions. It is possible to find an independent IMO that has discounted and possibly even free lead programs. Be sure to do your research.
Self-Discipline - Going independent you will suddenly be your very own boss. Just what everyone wants, right? Correct, BUT what very few people need or can handle. Most people lack in self-discipline and will not work if they don’t have anyone to hold them accountable. Captive agencies are almost certain to hold the agents accountable. Another aspect to consider is your self-discipline with money. I have witnessed countless super talented agents fail out of the business due to running out of money. It wasn’t because they weren’t making far more than they needed to succeed, it was purely their inability to manage their finances. Can you take your new found wealth and build an emergency fund?
All three of these go hand in hand. I chose not to number the list 1-3 because I believe all three to be equally important. (I picked this up from a book I highly recommend, Tim Grover’s Relentless) I love being independent due to the freedom it provides. I can handle it. I am driven to succeed. I am 100% confident in my ability to close deals.
I would like to close by saying I have seen multiple agents succeed as both independent and captive agents. I truly believe there is massive success down each path. The key is finding the right organization to work with that provides you everything you need. Once you have found this you’re not on the path of a captive or an independent…You’re on the path of success and happiness!
As you may have read in my previous blog’s…BE HONEST with YOURSELF! Your future depends on it.