Archive for the ‘Financial Services’ Category

Submitted by: David Duford

Would you like to know what kind of final expense commission level you are entitled to as a new final expense agent?

The answer, of course, is, “It depends!” And this article will set out to define what to expect regarding commission levels and also to further investigate what details final expense agents need to be concerned with that factor into what they will ultimately NET (which is different from what they will GROSS).

For the most part, there is an inverse relationship between your gross commission level and the level of support you receive as an agent. However, many agents will attest that this is not always the case, as there are plenty of low-brow final expense agencies that con agents into low gross commission contracts yet do not provide a high level of support in return. Hopefully, with the knowledge gained from this article on final expense commissions, you will be able to determine which outfits will provide the best balance of value and gross commission levels.

Another reason I have written this article is that most agents get involved in the final expense business through the first person they meet; they have no benchmark to judge an offer against. Simply put, new final expense agents don’t know what they don’t know.

The Benchmark – Street Level Contracts

Street level contracts are defined entry-level contracts any agent can get without requiring proof of production. These are the highest no-production proof contracts new agents can get. Normally, agents can anticipate gross commission levels in the 100 to 120 first year commission percentage rate ranges.

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So why don’t all agents simply pick up street-level contracts? Because with the exchange in a higher gross, comes less involvement from the upline to train that agent. Additionally, there is rarely any support in the form of marketing for the street level agent, either. The agent is left up to his own abilities to find a marketing program, learn how to sell, and learn the nuances of the final expense business.

Most new final expense agents shack up with an agency on lower-than-street level contracts in exchange with the expectation of training, support, and access to a proven lead-generation system. Many of these organizations will require the new final expense agent to purchase his own leads, while others do all the lead management for the agent.

Agents that are responsible for purchasing leads usually have a better gross commission contract than those who have the agency manage the lead program to reflect the added investment on behalf of the agent purchasing the leads.

A good rule of thumb for new final expense agents is to work with a final expense agency that will provide training, support, and a lead program (optimally using your own money) and in return, you should have a gross first year commission level between 80 and 100 percent.

Smart final expense agents understand that there is a lot of training he’ll have to undertake, from product selection, lead selection, underwriting, to salesmanship. all of this factors into where your commission rate should be. Finding a final expense agency that will provide all of this to you, along with you getting a feel that you get along with the manager responsible for you, is a great way to get started in this business.

Blue Sky and Unfair Contracts

Beware! Always be suspicious of the agencies that sell you on “blue sky” – IE, they show you money, cars, material possessions, et cetera. Many times these agencies gloss over the extreme level of hard work and emotional discipline that it takes to succeed, and excite you with the possibilities of being rich and famous.

Also, beware of agencies with super-low first-year commission levels in the 50 percent to 70 percent range that actually require you to buy leads at full pricing.

These agencies are committing highway robbery; the truth of this business is not everything you sell will actually stick, and you are at some financial risk from business that falls off the books and any advanced commissions you receive have to be repaid out of new business placed. Couple that with a full price lead bill, mostly likely in the several thousands, you have a recipe for financial disaster.

Ultimately, if you value support and training, and understand that you don’t know what you don’t know, you want to find a final expense agency that will provide you the tools to succeed in exchange for a short-term commission level reduction to reflect the value the agency is giving you. Yes, you do want to be at a street-level contract down the line, and if the agency is intelligent, they will show you to plan on how to earn you way to a top commission contract. Because, as first mentioned, your success is determined not just by what you make (your gross first year commission), but what you keep, which can be dramatically altered in a positive way by controlling lead costs, and optimizing your skill level to see more people and sell more insurance.

About the Author: David Duford is the owner of Final Expense Agent Mentor, specializing in helping agents new to the final expense life insurance business master the business through intense mentorship and guidance. Visit

feagentmentor.com

for more information.

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By Dennis Jarvis

Despite Hardware Restorations popularity, industrial lighting is not just a question of looks and aesthetics. Various industries have extensive lighting needs and the LED light is ideally suited for these needs perhaps above other lighting needs. Industrial lighting runs long hours (driving up electric use and cost) and requires very bright lighting to properly light the workspace. This lighting also tends to be high above which conveys many advantages to LED lights. Let’s take a look at the benefits of LED lights for industrial uses.

First, we’ll start with the cost to power a given industrial space with lighting. Industrial lighting is different from most office lighting in that fluorescents are not as heavily relied upon since they do not generate enough bright light. It’s not uncommon to have very high powered incandescent lights in an industrial space. The wattage for these lights can be 500 to 1000 watts per light and they’re typically place high above the workspace depending on the industry. This is a perfect set-up for LED lights. The best value proposition for LED lighting is against these high powered, high wattage incandescent lights (whether halogen, sodium halide, etc). We can usually take a 1000 watt light down to about 120 watts. Think about the cost difference even at 10 cents per KWH in an industrial space where lights are probably running a minimum of 10 hours (sometimes 24/7) if we’re dropping the wattage down from 1000 to 120. That alone is a reason for any industrial space to switch over.

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This is only the beginning of the savings with LED industrial lighting. The lifespan of our LED lights typically run 50,000 hours compared to 2000-5000 hours for most common industrial lighting (incandescent or fluorescent). That means less labor to switch these out and the reduced bulb replacement costs offsets the higher cost of LED bulbs up front. Industrial spaces tend be more complicated in terms of accessing lighting fixtures for replacement as well.

Industrial LED lighting even works against fluorescent lighting but the savings are not as significant. Where an LED light might reduce the cost (over 5 year window) by 90%+ versus incandescents, the savings might be closer to 30-50% versus fluorescents. Of course, the best approach is to request your LED light quote for specific savings that you can expect. There’s one more important wrinkle that many industrial site managers are planning for now. The T12 fluorescent, the most common fluorescent bulb that’s ubiquitous in industrial lighting set-ups is being phased out Jan 1st, 2012 with the ballast already unavailable. The good news is that we do not need to replace or remove the existing fixture and/or ballast to retro-fit with LED industrial lights. We just bypass the ballast and keep the existing structure to minimize cost, down-time, and inconvenience.

Let’s get to the best part of installing LED industrial lighting. The government rebates. Industry drives the U.S. economy as we would expect, the greatest rebates for LED retro-fitting goes to LED industrial lighting installations. We can help you with this but it’s not uncommon to have rebates per LED bulb, per wattage saved, and even per square foot. If you add it up, the initial higher cost of the actual LED bulb can be mitigated leaving you the ongoing savings associated with energy, replacement, and labor savings. Let us run a quote for your situation and we’ll show you specifically how LED industrial lighting can save you money. Now is the opportune time since your existing bulbs are most likely being phased out anyway and the next replacement will make LED’s the best option if not the only option.

About the Author: Dennis Jarvis writes extensively about

LED lighting and LED light bulbs

for industrial, office, commercial, grow lights, and residential lighting and how they can save energy costs and money.

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