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  1. #1

    Thinking about going to work for Family Heritage?

    Hello, I am writing this for any of you considering going to work for Family Heritage. I have been in direct sales for 5 plus years and was very cautious when going through the process of employment for Family Heritage, but they have such an elaborate scheme that its almost impossible to figure it out until you have personally witnessed it. I will tell you what my experience was (as well as every other "employee" that I went to sales school) and try to keep emotion out of my post. Here was my experience.
    First and foremost - if you don't have a substantial savings account ($5000 minimum) to spend on your new career, you need to look elsewhere. I was trying to work another job and sell this cancer policy at the same time but they're not happy at all when you're not towing the company line and pouring your heart, soul, and money (from your own pocket) into it. The instructor at the sales school said that he hadn't ever saw anyone work this job part time. It is not because you can't - its because they don't allow it and as you will see, is an additional revenue stream for them-it actually makes them money when you quit or they terminate you.
    There are a few things that they don't tell you about before you go to the sales school. A huge one is that one week a month they have what is called a Trainmore. This is where you have to travel to a town (usually at least a 3 hour drive) and stay there for the entire week (Sunday night until the following Saturday afternoon) with the other people in your group. You raid a small town near your hotel and try to sell their policies. Keep in mind that almost all of these towns have solicitors permits that are required and were put in place BECAUSE of people selling insurance door to door. You can be arrested if you don't obtain and pay for one. The last town I was in was $10/day. I brought this up to my trainer and he acted appalled that I would even let the policeman convince me that I needed one of these silly little permits. But I actually respect the local laws and bought them behind my bosses back.
    Now legally they aren't supposed to be able to require you attend things like Trainmores because you're technically an independent contractor, so they dance around the subject with veiled threats because they cant just come out and require it. The Trainmore is where they weed out the ones who don't have this insane drive to work 90 hours a week and devote your life to them like a religion.
    COMMISSION STRUCTURE. Starting reps earn 35% of the premium. The rep can also get a 60% advance of the annualized premium. This is very complex and is meant to be that way. They have a couple of tricky little schemes that I I am now figuring out. By advancing you your commission, they are also charging you interest and making money on your commission (which is never mentioned by the recruiter or the sales instructor and eats up those other 5 months of commission). So on a $100 a month policy your yearly premium is 1200. 35% of $1200 is $420. 60% of $420 is $252 which would be your check if you opt for the advance on commission. So Family Heritage is so great that they are going to take 40% of you earnings so that they can finance your business. Awesome. Better yet- if you quit or they find that your not working hard enough, then whatever they have advanced you in commissions, you owe back to them PLUS interest-regardless of whether or not that premium is being paid by the customer.
    EXAMPLE. Lets say that after you have been there for 1 month you have sold a total of 10 policies at the same 100 but you decide that it isn't for you. So your advanced commissions are 2520 (10x100=1000 1000x35%commission =350 350x12months=4200 4200x60%annualized premium=2520). If you quit you OWE Family Heritage 2170 (2520-350 monthly premium) regardless if your client pays their entire annual premium or not - with interest. They will not even employ you without you giving them your checking account number and say that this is for direct deposit of your check but in the end they have all of your banking info. I have emptied my checking accounts out in fear that they are just going to one day try and drain them.
    The reason that I bring this up is that even if you are employed by them and you don't sell enough policies, which seems to be discretionary, or if you act even a little disinterested in the "opportunity" that they offer, they will turn on you as they did me. I was told that Family Heritage was a huge business (they were just purchased by Torchmark) and that it was going to get ugly and get ugly quick if I didn't pay down my balance of what I owe them (sales school plus what I owe them from policies that I have sold) I was in shock !!
    So in my experience I---
    1. Got licensed ( 45 hours of studying w no pay, $200 for the course, $80 for the state and national test)
    2.Went to sales school ( another week of studying w no pay plus $1000 for sales school )
    3.Worked for 3 weeks and sold 6 policies. ( Well I thought that I made about $550 but I guess I owe $500)
    4.While I was working those 3 weeks I spent on average $40/day in gas 6 days a week( $720)
    5.Paid $ in solicitors permit fees.
    6.Am being threatened ( not sure what Im being threaten with yet)
    I have wasted 5 weeks of my life and $2400+ under assumptions made by myself and from questions not asked by me to my "recruiter" ( I have been in direct sales for 5 years and I asked hundreds of questions, ). I thought that I had covered all of my bases but I was told what I wanted to hear some of the time, i.e. there is no competition for our product, and was not told the whole truth on many other things. In the end this may be the most elaborate and greedy scam I have ever seen.

  2. #2
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    Re: Thinking about going to work for Family Heritage?

    Sounds like you had a bad experience and lost a lot of money that you couldn't afford to lose. Do you think you would've had a better experience if you made different decisions?

    - What if you had refused the advance and lived on your own savings?
    - What if you had come in to the company with several thousand dollars to pay your living expenses while you learned the business?
    - What if you had bought your own leads? If you can't or won't buy your own leads, you will have to rely on the company to provide leads. This might mean you will be forced to go on those week long trips out of town.
    You are an independent contractor, so they can't "make" you go on these trips. On the other hand, they might withhold the renewal cards from you if you don't go.

    I'm not being critical of you. I'm just wondering if you could've made a go of this business if you had come in with some of your own cash. Maybe you could save up and try again when you're ready.
    "Wag more, bark less."
    .

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