I have been to quite a few multi-level marketing recruiting meetings over the years. I consider myself to be an open-minded person, so I don’t mind meeting with the recruiters and really learning what the company is all about. It helps that I don’t have much desire to follow the crowd and don’t have a problem saying no or leaving when I realize it is not what I was interested in.
I met with someone from Primerica a few months back, and just got a call from a different recruiter a few days ago. Since they seem to be growing, I figured I would share my thoughts and see what everyone else thinks.
I was intrigued by Primerica because, having worked in banking and currently working in the brokerage industry, I understood that they were offering a valuable service to their clients. Primerica is a divison of CITI, one of the largest banks in the world. Citi offers just about every financial product under the sun and they use Primerica as a sales force of their many products.
What I think is brilliant with Primerica is that their goal is to help their customers use their existing income and shift things around freeing up extra cash to fund retirement and other savings goals. In the example they showed (I am not sure if it was the average American’s financial situation) they refinanced the customers mortgage and switched them from a cash value life insurance policy to a term policy freeing up $500 a month. They then take this $500 and show them how to make good use of it by investing in mutual funds for retirement, saving for college, etc…
The reason they can hire anyone is because they have a computer program that does the advising for them. The Primerica rep gives the computer specific information about the customer’s financial situation and it spits out what they call an FNA (Financial Analysis). This analysis shows the rep and the customer how they can save money and what they should put that extra money towards.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they encourage their customers to pay their mortgages twice monthly rather than the traditional monthly payment. This results in thousands of dollars of savings over the life of the loan. In addition they sell term life insurance rather than whole life, even though insurance companies make a lot more money off of whole life than they do term. I am not naive to think that they are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts (public companies that large typically have one thing on their minds: putting money in the shareholders pockets).
Coincidentally or not, this seems to be somewhat of a win-win. CITI is willing to make a sacrifice and make a little bit less money on a few products in order to free up the client’s money that will likely be spent on other CITI products.
- They are still a multi-level marketing firm. The problem I find with many MLM’s is that many of them coerce and pressure people to join – personally, nothing turns me off quicker than when I feel like I am being pressured into something.
- I did not sign up with them so I don’t have a full understanding of how they get paid. My rep said something about there being four ways, but seemed to intentionally keep it vague. From what other Primerica reps have said, most money is made from recruiting people rather than selling products – and it is difficult to make much money if you don’t recruit a bunch of people.
- The commission payouts are lower than other salespeople in the industry. My assumption is that since they aren’t looking for financial expertise when hiring, they can get away paying lower commissions. Many of the reps hired wouldn’t have the credentials to work many other places in the industry.
- If you do leave and stay in the industry, they have a non-compete clause for 2 years within a 50 mile radius of your address. If you leave, you must leave behind the clients that you worked so hard to get in the first place. Probably typical in the industry, but something to keep in mind nonetheless.
I am sure there are bunch more pros and cons, but honestly, since I never signed up I don’t know all of the details. I would love to hear your perspective if you heard of them, been recruited by them, worked for them, or currently work for them. I know a lot of people are very passionate about MLMs one way or another, so if you comment please keep it civil.
del.icio.us Tags: Primerica