Friday, February 5, 2010

That's All Folks...

Well, I'm upset when I say I haven't done any Aflac work in a long time. You might wonder why? I'll tell you why. One day, several months ago, I called in letting the office know that I wouldn't be able to make it in to work with another associate due to a family emergency. Were they concerned? Nope.

I had established great relationships with 4 companies and businesses and had started building one with a school. I was about to close on another and I was doing a 50/50 split on some business with another guy. All this work I put in and it was about to pay off.

However, later that day I get a voice mail from the CIT letting me know he would be taking this as notification that I no longer wish to work with the company. Wait, what???

I was fired. Laid off. Worked over for my leads. I couldn't believe the crooked and shady way I was used by this district. Around 550+ people I could have written business on. Just with what I had in my little hopper, all my warm market and referrals, everything I had yet to make money from, stolen from me. No doubt signed under the CIT or DSC's writing number within the following week of my termination.

I felt awful, I was sick. I couldn't believe it. Yet as I read online on some forums I found out that this was a lot more common that I would have believed. Aflac hires as many new associates as they can get their grubby hands on and uses them for their own gain. If they aren't making the districts money RIGHT OFF THE BAT they let them go while keeping their leads and built up relationships. Why do you think you have to work with and right along side your DSC? Why do you think you are required to share your hopper and groups you're working on with them?

Think about it. Let this be a caution to those wanting to pursue this career with Aflac. If you aren't cut out for it, you'll be cut out of it. You'll have only served the role of a tool. A tool to make other people money.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Been real busy lately, sorry for lack of updates. Just letting you know I'm still alive. I'll try to get something posted in the next couple days maybe...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Oh Boy, What a Week

Just over a week has gone by since my last post, let me fill you in. I've quickly learned that ReferenceUSA is awesome for looking up potential business. I've also learned that it's a very good idea to always call a business before cold calling it. You can save so much time and gas by doing this. I visited several places cold where I soon discovered the HR person in question could only be seen by appointment set by phone. Not only this but sometimes you don't know who you want to talk to in the first place without calling. You can also find the best times to stop in etc. So a good lesson to me, phone the business first if you can.

Also I have to tell you guys a secret. Good Will... ROCKS!!! I bought 2 pants, 2 shirts, and 4 ties, for about $20. Everything was perfect condition and VERY tasteful in my opinion as well as in line with John T Molloy's suggestions for successful dressage.

This past Thursday and Friday I had some training with Chris Bouldrey down near Cincinnati for Product Knowledge and Center of Influence aka Direct Marketing. They were really neat classes and I look forward to Sales school at the end of this month. For those of you who haven't gone yet, make sure to pay good attention and sit at the front of the class.

For this week, Chris Bouldrey has a little contest for those of us in his class. For every direct policy we sell we get a raffle ticket. Whoever has the most raffle tickets has a better chance of being drawn to win a small cash prize. I'm feeling good about this week, I'm pretty sure I can get 4 directs at least if I push hard. Who knows? I might do better, but I certainly won't try to do worse.

I'm feeling pretty confident in my approach scripts, which is good because we're going to be going over them and role play next sales class. I'm also familiar with paper apps and I don't have to feel so reliant on the laptop but too bad it wasn't as fast. I've also got a pretty good understanding of the AIA, or Accident Indemnity Advantage, policy. It's a really nice policy, I wish I get one for me and the family but I need some positive monthly income first. Gonna have to wait for that for a little while...

Not quite sure what this week is going to bring, I'm trying to put together a system for filing and organizing when I start amassing various mounds of paperwork around here before too long. If anyone has any suggestions on organization that might help me out, I'd love to hear it.

Wish me luck on the raffle!

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Swag

Well, as far as actual work goes, I didn't personally accomplish anything today.

I was to meet with my DSC at 8:30 at the office this morning, I got there at 8:00. My DSC went to the wrong gas station for coffee and got delayed about 20 minutes due to crazy lines or something.

When we finally got together, I sat there while she made a few phone calls and then she started quizzing me on my scripts. Admittedly, I haven't had a chance to go over them like I wanted to, and she was visibly upset. As was I, I might add. I really want to rock at this. I'm going to take tomorrow to finally memorize the blasted things.

Talking to people isn't my problem. It's knowing what I'm talking about, and that's something I'm really shaky on. So she let me peruse her binder thing for Employer Presentations and explained a lot of the policies for me. That helped more than anything. I need to get some copies of those myself.

OH! I also learned that my state application was FINALLY accepted and now I'm just waiting on my writing number so I can write insurance finally.

Anyways, so the whole point of this morning was to go sit in on a presentation or something at a skating rink with another relatively new agent. We didn't end up leaving until about 11:00.

After all is said and done, I made it back home around 1:00 just in time to get a little spoiled by a very generous relative.

I was taken to Kohl's and I ended up receiving a suit jacket, a couple new shirts, a tie, and a pair of shoes. Now I can finally ditch the crapola slip-resistant restaurant shoes that only kinda look like dress shoes. Holy smokes do I feel so much better about my appearance now that I had such a wonderful gift given to me. Only thing about it is I have to tailor my jacket. The only size I could even move my arms in was a 46R but the waist is ridiculously large for me. I do have very broad shoulders. At least until then I will look great in my new shirts.

(If you know any good affordable places to get suits tailored near the Dayton Ohio area, please let me know! Thanks!)

Guys, it was worth it to not go prospecting this afternoon so I could get that swag. Appearance is so important when doing business. If you don't look like you're in your own profession, you won't be treated like a professional. Go read New Dress for Success by John T. Molloy.

Ladies, don't dress your men for work, you will doom them.

Now that I'm not wearing slummy temp outfits, I'm expecting much better reactions when I'm out prospecting. Not only that, but my attitude about myself is so much better I'll be better.

I can't wait to start selling some policies, I'd really like to expand my limited wardrobe. I also want to pay off my stupid stupid debt.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day Prospecting

So today I meet up with my DSC around 12:30ish and we head out to do a little bit of prospecting from a list she had me put together. I'd have to say, I was a bit more nervous about this than I thought I would be on my first day out to set appointments. Probably because I hadn't had a chance to memorize my approach scripts yet and I didn't really know what I would say once I got together with the Decision Maker. Luckily my DSC is great and helped me out every time I needed it.

I think I caught a sweet lead too, I made contact with the HR lady (really nice and patient) of this one fairly big place who says they've never been contacted by Aflac before that she knows of. She was really interested in hearing more about it, but there was one other person that would have to be involved who was unavailable at that moment. She took down our information and said that she would call us later. I figure, if we don't hear back by Tuesday we'll give them a call back.

I also got to sit in and meet with an HR Exec of another nice sized business I actually know the owner of. She sounded maybe so-so about the whole thing, having looked at Aflac a couple years ago and decided against it. I think the Agent who previously contacted them might not have closed the sale all too well? Anyways, she agreed to let us come back and do a presentation and she'd  see if they would decide to go for it.

The major issue with that company was the fact that around 50% of the employees were over 60 with hefty salaries. Not quite sure how this is going to pan out. I'm planning on checking up with the owner personally and let him know what I'm up to and see what he personally thinks.

Other than that, there wasn't too much excitement. Just getting over cold calling butterflies again I suppose. I better get off here and work on those scripts...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Real First Post.

So, I've decided on what I want my blog to be about. Not too long ago I was contacted by Aflac to come in for an interview. They wanted me to be an agent for them. This is going to be my blog on my entire experience with Aflac. This will be valuable for all those out there who think that this might be for them and also to put to rest any  nay-sayers who have negative opinions about the whole thing.

First off, let me back up and give you some background information on what led me up to this point.

I was working with a security company called Platinum Protection. I was recruited initially by one of my friend's husbands to be a technician. I was the guy who'd be installing the security systems in people's homes.

Platinum operates mainly on a Summer Season model, work REAL hard from May through August and then take it easy for the rest of the year. Sounded nice, the idea of making $20k in a 4 month span of time, and it was! Yeah it was hard work, started the day off with a 9:00 am meeting and finished some times as late as 2:00 in the morning or later!

The job became routine and much easier, I was eventually to the point where I could put in a wireless Simon XT system from GE in 40 minutes or so, but the only thing I couldn't control were the number of sales that were coming in that had to be installed, so I was still out late every night.

I began thinking, "Man, those sales reps work less hours, make WAY more money, and always do all kinds of cool stuff. I want that!" I started to become resentful more and more as they made it clear that we were definitely not to be included among their circle.

After the summer I signed on for the "off season" to service existing accounts when they have problems and install sales from call-ins. It was great! I was living in a $1,300 month apartment right smack in the best possible location in Sunrise, FL. I was pulling in a minimum of $600 a week on top of that, often times making near $1,000 per week. Life was great!

Until mid-February when some idiot rammed into the back of me at 50 miles an hour or so after I just finished up for one evening. I was at a complete stop waiting for the ding dong driver in front of me to make up his mind on what he wanted to do when I saw the head lights come flying at me in the rear view mirror.

Needless to say, I was put out of commission. I suffered a broken rib, sheared a joint in my neck, and a compressed disk in my lower back. It sucked.

I couldn't do my job, I had ridiculous bills to pay with no income coming in, I quickly racked up some major debt and ended up moving into my in-law's house 6 hours north. There I sat until April when I was able to get up and moving around.

Geico can suck it.

I got in contact with a sales manager I knew in the Tampa Office which was about 90 minutes south of me and asked him if he would consider me to join his sales team. He's was great and loved my enthusiasm and said sure come right on ahead. I was given a sales script, told to use it word for word, got a couple hours of shadowing in with my sales manager (who sold the only two doors he knocked on making it look SUPER easy), and then was on my own the very next day.

It was rough! I had never done anything akin to door-to-door sales before and I was extremely nervous. Eventually later that day, either from luck or pity, I managed to make a sale. I couldn't believe it went through as nervously fidgety and unknowledged I was. I was walking on air!

I didn't have the same luck every day though. In fact, I think I only made 5 sales that entire month. They said it wasn't so bad for a newbie and things would eventually "click" and I'd have no trouble making one a day.

Never happened. I don't know why, but I just couldn't get the sales like everyone else it seemed. I wanted to be one of the ones pulling over $100k a year. My manager was rumored to be looking at between $700k - $1M with all his over-rides and personal sales. I started to feel sick about the whole thing.

To cut this story short, I couldn't live on what I was selling and it got to the point where I had just enough money to move from the Summer Office to my parent's house over in Ohio.

There my dad agreed to let me do his estimates for his concrete business (, I made the website from scratch! :-) ) and that became my short term income as I blasted the web with my resume.

Cutting the story short again, I unexpectedly got a call from Aflac inviting me to an interview with Michael Reber, the RSC in the area. I was told that they had viewed my resume and thought I had enough of a qualification to join the team.

I truly had fallen in love with sales when I was studying Brian Tracy, and enjoyed the thrill of cold calling when doing door-to-door, the personal relationships made when completing estimates for my dad's business and watching their yard be transformed by a new patio or driveway. Sales was for me. I knew it. I couldn't explain it, but it felt like my calling.

I immediately accepted the interview offer. To be honest, I had no idea what Aflac actually did when I decided to go for it, I just knew it was some kind of insurance.

Michael Reber is probably the coolest guy I know. Charismatic, killer suits, and he could probably sell me anything i wouldn't ever want or need.

During my second interview with him he told me about how well he had managed to do with as young as he was when he first started with Aflac. He talked about how tough it was, how people begged him to quit and get a "real job", and how at one point he had to either decide between a couple gallons of gas for the car or food. Then he told me about because of his persistence and hard hard work he was finally able to tell all the faces telling him to quit to SHUT UP because he was then making more money than they, and how he set many company records, for his age. He began his Aflac career at age 23. I'm age 22. In my brain something sparked a competitive fuse in awe of this man. I had to beat this guy's records. If he could do it, I can do it. I would learn everything I possibly could from him and those around me and use every advantage I could find to put my mark out there.

It was go time. He told me later that my age concerned him but he was willing to give me the chance because of my enthusiasm and determination. He gave me a list of things to do before I could actually start working, even though he was hiring me.

Step one: Get finger printed for a background check. Done, $40.

Step two: Register and participate in a pre-licensing course. Done, $245.

Step three: Take state exam for Life, Accident and Health. Done, scored 90 90 88 76. $74

Step four: Submit application to the state. Done, $5.

Total amount spent in licensing for the state: $364
Keep in mind, not a penny of this went towards Aflac, it was all required for the state license.

So where am I at right now? I just met with my DSC today to put together my calendar with necessary training by Aflac and by Michael, my RSC. Then we set up a schedule to go out tomorrow and do some of my first Aflac prospecting. I'm hoping to pick up a lot to use for myself when I'm out there rockin' it.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

So begins yet another blog.

I've been trying to think of something I could actually do with my website and I couldn't think of anything. Pretty sad. I've had a website for 4 years or more and I've never had anything come out of it other than hosting some files on it.

So maybe just a blog will do. What to blog about? We'll see.