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Insurance Sales Manager Job SCAMS Primerica & More

Updated on April 22, 2013

How Stuff Works: 101 - "Job" or "Scam"

Are these jobs a "scam"; yes and no. It depends what you consider to be a "job" - if you consider a "job" to be something you do in exchange for guaranteed pay, then you can label this "job" a SCAM for sure. If you consider a "job" to be something you do that you may or may not be paid for, then it's not necessarily a "scam" - but to label it such would mean that you are OK with working for free. If you are working without pay, then you are essentially volunteering. Now, there's a third way to view it; if you consider a "job" to be something that PAY to work at, then you have now become essentially a business owner (you can also call it an "independent contractor", per say. For example, I own a retail store. I work at my store. I do not "get paid", I also pay to work (inventory and all other "costs of doing business".)

So depending on how you view the term "job", you may or may not deem this a genuine scam. But here's how this works:

How Stuff Works: 101 - The "Interview" (Scam?)

Most people expect an "interview" to be a manager or owner of the company they apply for to sit them down, review their experience and offer (or not offer) them a position with some form of pay in exchange for services. For example, if I hire a cashier for my store, I interview them then offer them a job making above minimum wage if they are someone I can see needing little training and being an asset to the company. Their pay is hourly and agreed upon. I also like to run incentive programs at random that allow my employees to earn more or get gift cards to the store.

This is NOT what you are walking into at your "interview"...

You may find yourself in a room filled with people who are all going to be "interviewed" - this is a red flag. Every single person will be "hired" because this is not a job-job, this is a "work-for-free and maybe get paid" job.

Or, you may walk into a pretty non-fancy office or suite that you do sit down, one-on-one with someone who hires you... but again, theres no "pay". In fact, you may even be asked to PAY TO APPLY. They call it an "application fee".

Or, you may have either of the above scenarios and find yourself "hired", then asked to purchase supplies to begin working for free.


"WHY WOULD ANYONE PAY TO WORK?!?!?!?", you ask, well....

How Stuff Works: 101 - The Bait and Hook

First, people who pay to work or work without pay (but since time IS money, you're still "paying to work"), have the *idea* that, in the end, their efforts will pay off.

See, these "programs" work by recruiting you to sell - but your pay doesn't usually come from the actual sales, it usually comes from recruiting people on your own. Its often referred to as an MLM program. MLM stands for Multi Level Marketing (and is usually a pyramid scheme in terms of operation).

When you are at your "interview" a very popular technique used to show you how "EASY!!!" it is to make "TONS OF MONEY" is the interviewer will hand you a piece of paper and ask you to write down the names of as many people as you can think of in two minutes. - At this point in the "interview" you have no clue what's going on, so you do it. After the 2 minutes are up, you have this list of names; "mom, dad, brother, aunt june, aunt betty, uncle sam, uncle tom, cousin jimmy" etc. The interviewer then explains "See! You are the PERFECT person for this position!! All you have to do is show Aunt Betty how awesome this product is and you'll make money!" - but this isn't true. * Aunt Betty needs to purchase the product in order for you to make money. AND, in order for Aunt Betty to purchase the product, you have to sell it to her. UGH. I don't know about you, but I really don't want to be knocking on my relatives doors trying to sell them insurance policies, vacuums, knife sets or anything else that I never even used.

SO NOW WHAT? Well.....

Is There ANY Money in This??? EVER???

Yes and no. It depends who you are, who you know, what kind of "selling power" you have, what your product is, how passionate you are about selling the product and how legitimate the product is.

If you are selling a product that you genuinely LOVE and personally USE *AND* you are able to access THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of people, then YES, you will make money... if you are GREAT at sales. For example, if your company provides you with web banners and such and you have a website that gets AT LEAST a few hundred hits per day, you may make some money. Or, if you have celebrity influence or celebrity friends who will endorse you, and the ability to rent out banquet halls and run advertisements to get large groups of people to come see and purchase your product - you likely will find success. IF you have a large amount of money to invest in advertising the product, you will likely get a return on your investment.

You MUST be self driven; you have to be willing to drive short or long distances, throw "house parties", promote your crap to every Dick and Nancy you meet at every single place you go... it's a non-stop hustle... with no guarantee of anything.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you WILL FAIL. And IF you do succeed, hopefully your company is HONEST and pays you on time, and properly.

Be ready to hear NO...often
Be ready to hear NO...often

How Much Is This Going to Really COST Me to Work?

Let's do some simple math -

First you need to invest in the product or the application fee. There are a few slim cases in which you may not have to purchase materials. But we will just say $50. Some places are $200 or more, but let's just say $50 for the sake of argument.

Next you have to either sit at home and cold-call your OWN "leads". Hopefully your phone plan has unlimited long distance calling. Or you can buy Magic Jack and use computer calling in effort to save money. So lets just say you invest in a Magic Jack in effort to save money; $30.

Now you have to drive to meet with whomever you set up "leads" with. Let's pretend gas is $3.50 a gallon and you get around 24 miles to the gallon (expressway driving) and drive an average of 60 miles a day because you're cranking out "leads" - that's $262 a month in gas and 1,800 miles on your vehicle a month.

At 1,800 miles a month, you are going to need an oil change every other month, or maybe every 2 months. Let's say you go cheap and do a $30 oil change - that averages to an extra $10 to $15 a month.

God forbid you get a flat tire, need vehicle repairs or go over your allotted mileage in your leased car.

Go ahead - add up the costs of getting your sales "rolling".

NOW lets look at how much you NEED TO EARN -

How Much Do I Need to Earn to Make Money?

It almost seems silly that we are examining how much you must EARN to MAKE MONEY, but here we go -

Average Household Incomes By Age - 2011 Data
Average Household Incomes By Age - 2011 Data

In 2010 (as provided by 2011 data), the average 40 year old HOUSEHOLD is making around $50,000 a year.

In order for you to make $50,000 with an MLM / sales program, you will need to sell the following:

at $15 commission per sale: 3334 sales per year (about 10 sales per day, 7 days a week)

at $25 commission per sale: 2,000 sales

at $50 commission: 1,000 sales

at $100 commission: 500 sales

So in reality, the only way you are genuinely going to make money with the least amount of work is to sell 500 people the product at $100 commission BUT, I can guarantee you, if your commission is $100 per sale, the product you are selling is likely upwards of $300 - $700+. GOOD LUCK.

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    • profile image

      Tom 4 years ago

      Its really become a problem for recent college graduates who are totally unaware of the nature of this scam. They are contacted by a company they have heard of such as AXA, Met Life, NY Life or AllState and they believe that this is a true opportunity to interview with a major firm. Once they "pass" the interview and spend a weekend studying and passing the insurance licence test (have to be brain-dead to fail) they are told to prepare a Personal Potential list which includes anyone they met or can find in the yearbook from college. Every distant relative and friends of friends they can try to push a policy to.

      Best of all, they actually start off OK because aunts and uncles want to support them so they purchase a policy they don't really want or need. The problems begin once the list is exhausted and cold calling starts. In about 6 - 12 months they are let go from this none paying sales position and fell as though they are complete failures because one guy from Omaha earned 650000 last year. We never actually get this one guys name LOL. Now a year wasted and unemployed, all of your personal network of friends from college are avoiding your calls because they don't want to buy an insurance policy. This scam needs to be stopped.

    • thehaplesshostess profile image

      BG 4 years ago from PA

      Nice write-up about these predators! I receive multiple emails a year from companies that have discovered my online resume and have an "immediate opening" for me - as a truck driver or insurance salesperson, neither of which has ever appeared on my resume. These inappropriate contacts are very bizarre. But in today's economy, it's easy to see why people might feel compelled to treat them as an opportunity.