STEP 7: The Importance of Non-Competes and Free Releases
Don’t get trapped
I will probably upset some folks, but I will say this openly and honestly. I am not a fan of non-compete agreements. I would never sign one if I felt that I had adequate knowledge to make a good living on my own. With that said, I will admit I signed a non-compete with the upline that introduced me to FE telesales. Why? The non-compete was strictly for final expense telesales. I didn’t know the first thing about final expense telesales and knew I could make it selling face-to-face if it didn’t work out so I signed on the dotted line. It also helped that I trusted my upline whom was recommending the telesales venture.
So, what should you do? It depends!
If you’re new to final expense telesales or insurance in general you may be best suited to sign a non-compete to gain the know-how. If you’re a seasoned vet in final expense telesales then I would not recommend signing anything. Unless there is some added value that you feel is important to gain for your business.
For the Novice
Anytime anyone asks you to sign a non-compete or non-disclosure agreement, ask yourself why? Why should you sign? Why do they want to restrict your freedom to take your business elsewhere? The answers should line up and go something like this…They have intimate knowledge that will take your business to the next level.
There are some very bad non-competes and agency agreements out there. One IMO has a clause that says you can’t contract with any carrier they have regardless if you were ever contracted or not. These types of deals are why I included this in the blog. No way should you sign a deal like that. They are simply trying to tie up all the carriers so you are stuck with them if you succeeding. In the event you're failing I am sure they will be glad to send you packing.
A bad non-compete can be the death of your business. A win-win non-compete will propel you to heights you never imagined. Be very thorough in your search for a partner. Once they have given you their non-compete review it and ask questions. Make sure you understand exactly what the offer is and what restrictions you're agreeing to, should you find the opportunity below their promises.
Free release can be a great thing for both the IMO and the agent. Many people think the IMO’s are praying from morning to night that they don’t get a release request. In reality, the good IMO’s are happy to ditch failing agents that are wasting their time, not following the advice of the upline and are a chargeback time bomb waiting to happen. The longer you are in the insurance business the more you will realize that some guys will never be successful because they are always chasing the next big opportunity. They never stay in one place long enough to succeed. In this case the IMO’S are glad to send them packing.
In closing, you should always look through both your eyes and the eyes of your future partners. Understand what is at stake and how it relates to your freedom in the future. Make sure you ask the key questions during your interview of your perspective IMO. Don’t sign anything that restricts you from any future business that is not directly related to what you have to gain. Finally, if you have a desire to take your business to new levels in waters you are not familiar navigating...don't let fear hold you back. Vet the company you're entering into an agreement with and partner up!