Sunday, June 07, 2009

I got a phone call last week from a financial services company asking me if I was interested in coming in for an interview. Since I am currently unemployed I said yes so on Thursday morning I drove down to a strip office center about 15 minutes away not sure what to expect.

The hallway was long and dark. I found the suite number and entered a small room with a receptionist where I was asked to sign in and have a seat in another room. I entered a large room with several small offices around it. There were about 20 folding chairs set up in front of a desk and a a large pad on an easel. I took a seat and a man who turned out to be the owner of the company handed me some literature to look over. Eventually 4 other people also came in -all men. The job turned out to be sales for an insurance agency. We heard a spiel about how successful you can be selling supplemental health insurance to people over 65 since 1 person turned 65 every 15 seconds. If you make 15-20 appointments per week and get 2 sales per week you can make between $40-$60,000 the first year. Commissions range from $400 for senior life insurance policies to $9000 for annuities. You can do all this by calling 200 people a week.

We heard about the inadequacy of Medicare, the shame attached to having to go on Medicaid after having worked all your life, the uncertainty of the current stock market and how that is playing havoc with everyone's life savings. Basically you are preying on people's fear.

This is not something I care to do but it was worth going to check it out. After outlining the products we heard about the 12 agents currently working for the company who come from all walks of life; how the only limit on your earning power is you...very inspirational... then a parting remark, "Who else is calling you? How many calls did you get this week?" and a laugh. It was almost cult-like or like buying a car. We were asked to fill out a questionnaire listing 3 questions we would ask at our interview and to make an appointment for a one-on-one interview with the receptionist on the way out. She asked if I would like to come back the following day but I said, "I don't think so." "You'll call?" she asked.

You would also have to use your own laptop, buy your own business cards, calculator, map, planner, direct mail leads, stamps and envelopes and dress in suits.

It was an interesting experience.

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