Agents in this industry are continually solicited by independent recruiters, company recruiters, brokers, carriers, carrier/brokers, and other related companies.
When agents get these calls, they can expect to be flattered, offered gifts, cash, and promised the moon.
With companies aggressively coming after agents, some offers may be so incredible sounding, that many will ask:
- “This deal is so sweet for me, what’s in it for them…?”
- “How can they possibly make this a win/win for both of us? They are making ludicrous offers and promises.”
- “Is this one of those deals, that sounds too good to be true, and is?”
- “Can I trust this company/person?”
- “What should I think of this, what should I do with this?”
It is very common to feel flattered, surprised, and blown away with how good the offers may sound.
Wise agents will recognize and understand the tactics being used on them, and take time to step away. They can then scrutinize and analyze the offer and compare what has been said, with common sense and logic. If the offer passes the common sense evaluation, agents should, in order to protect themselves, get a copy of the contract and do the following:
- Spend the time and money to review it with an experienced attorney.
- Research the person and company making the offer.
- check with the BBB and look for news and reports filed online about the offering company.
In general, agents should do intensive research and verification of the offering company because their future and business depends on it.
Signing on with the wrong company is a death sentence for an agent’s business.
There are thousands of agents in our industry who have worked for companies that ultimately stole their business, or large parts of it.
A common offer from an aggressive recruiter is to give an agent a “sign on bonus” for a five figure sum of money. The catch is that it’s not a bonus you get for free. It is almost always a loan which could be forgiven as long as you meet its terms. These “sign on bonuses” come with heavy strings attached. Remember common sense, NO company will ever give you free money. There are always strings attached.
Those strings usually include:
- Minimum performance requirements (which typically pay the lender back many times over what they loaned to you).
- Exclusive contract commitment for a set number of years – commonly 2-5 years.
- A non-compete agreement – this one is especially dangerous as you have received “consideration” or money.
- Conditions which allow them to go after your business should you try to leave before your 2-5 years is up, or if you fail to meet any other requirement in the “sign on bonus” contract.
As you are solicited by many people trying to convince you to make a move, be very careful. It’s OK to be flattered, but don’t let yourself be blinded. Don’t make hasty decisions about your business. Get an attorney’s opinion.
Remember, you have something of great value. Don’t give your hard work away, and don’t let anyone take it away from you.