Should I even bother with AXA?

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Jun 1, 2009 10:30 pm

Greeting everyone!

I'm a long-time reader, but first time poster.

I've been looking into FA jobs for a little while, but no luck actually getting a job yet.  I guess it's harder than it used to be to find firms that will take you without a license.

Anyway, I have been going through the interview process with AXA Advisors.  From what I hear, it's more of a life insurance job than an FA job.  They haven't revealed too much about the training or how the marketing funnel is supposed to work, but maybe I am too early in the process.

So far, I have been to an orientation, and an interview with a branch VP and his "top advisor."  I took some online test that is supposed to measure my success and they have called back since... in a very excited tone.

I have a million questions... really, I'm not even sure if I should call them back.  Most of the forums seem to be pretty negative about AXA.  Can anyone say anything positive?  It seems many life insurance companies don't have you take the series 7(AXA is one of the one companies that does), so isn't that a benefit?

Since all the training stuff is "pre-contract," I was thinking about accepting the job (if offered) and keeping looking for something better while in "pre-contract."

If I can't get a better job, I figure I'll just stay and hash it out.

Oh yea.. they mentioned that they don't do traditional prospecting.  My assumption is that I have to bug all my friends to buy stuff.  Am I right?  What happens when I run out of friends?  I mean, even if I have 300 friends to call on.... they will eventually dry up if I don't do any more prospecting of any kind.

Why is this sounding like Amway to me?

Any thoughts? Advice?

Jun 2, 2009 4:32 am

What does a financial advisor do?


There are certainly better companies if your want to sell insurance than AXA.


You don't have to bug your friends to buy stuff.  However, you'd be a fool not to call them.  Who is most likely to give you referrals?  Your friends and family.


If you are going to sell insurance and you think that insurance is important, at death or disability, would you rather make sure that you've protected the family of a stranger or your sister?

Jun 2, 2009 2:42 pm

Muhny,

I am in the same boat as you. I was offered the conditional job at AXA
and accepted. I passed the 7 and the H&L insurance exams and only
have the 66 left.

The only other firm I found that was hiring newbies
was Edward Jones (which might be what you are looking for as it is a true FA job), but be aware
that you are locked in there a good amount of time due to the way their
contract works.

I figure I will give AXA a shot and at worst I will
have my licenses and a year of sales experience when applying to
other firms (in what will hopefully be a better economy).

Another reason I figure I will give AXA, aside from the fact that
ML/SB/UBS/WF  have canceled their training programs and are not hiring,
is that the they are all in the process of combining and merging. I
can only imagine will have major cuts and huge changes to their
systems. It will probably take them a year just to get all of that
straightened out which matches up with the time frame that I will stay
with AXA if it is not a good fit.

Good Luck!

-Fellow Newbie

Jun 2, 2009 7:51 pm

Something about their tone and structure turned me off. 

Jun 2, 2009 11:25 pm

I sadly admit that I have an interview with them tomorrow. 

On the bright side, I have a phone interview with EDJ in the afternoon.

I have to work somewhere if I don't get hired by Jones.  Why AXA? because they will sponsor me for my series 7.  Do any other life insurance companies?

Jun 3, 2009 11:29 am

Okay, so I went to the interview with AXA this morning.  They gave me a bunch of worksheets to fill out where I have to give them financial details of 100 of my closest friends.

Basically, he said that if I complete the forms, I got the job.  He says he promises not to call all my friends when I turn the forms in.  The supposedly need them to do a "market analysis" or something.

This marketing model doesn't seem to be very sustainable (for the individual).  What happens after I burn through my 100 friends?  This is beginning to sound like Amway.

The manager said that they never do cold calling of any kind.  I can't imagine growing a business without ever prospecting.  So my question is... why don't I leave my friends alone and go straight to prospecting?

Perhaps AXA requires selling to friends because their products suck so bad that only a friend would buy them.

Then there is the fact that I have to pay for everything up front.

Jones is looking better every day.

Jun 3, 2009 12:08 pm
MBA2FA:

Okay, so I went to the interview with AXA this morning.  They gave me a bunch of worksheets to fill out where I have to give them financial details of 100 of my closest friends.

Basically, he said that if I complete the forms, I got the job.  He says he promises not to call all my friends when I turn the forms in.  The supposedly need them to do a "market analysis" or something.

This marketing model doesn't seem to be very sustainable (for the individual).  What happens after I burn through my 100 friends?  This is beginning to sound like Amway.

The manager said that they never do cold calling of any kind.  I can't imagine growing a business without ever prospecting.  So my question is... why don't I leave my friends alone and go straight to prospecting?

Perhaps AXA requires selling to friends because their products suck so bad that only a friend would buy them.

Then there is the fact that I have to pay for everything up front.

Jones is looking better every day.

 
You're probably too smart for this business. Why did you choose to name yourself after your degree? Did you know that rectal thermometers have degrees, also?
Jun 3, 2009 1:19 pm

"The manager said that they never do cold calling of any kind.  I can't imagine growing a business without ever prospecting.  So my question is... why don't I leave my friends alone and go straight to prospecting?"


 
Go back and read my previous post.  I probably went 10 years without making a cold call.
Jun 3, 2009 6:11 pm

Well, I have a few problems with the "list" thing.  First, my contacts know me as a pharmaceutical marketing executive.  Most of these are HNW individuals who have existing accounts with big wire houses. They have been helping me in my search for jobs in my industry (to no avail).  So, next week, they are going to believe I just became an investment expert and they are going to transfer $1MM+ in assets to me and AXA?  Sure, some may throw me a bone out of pity, but will it be enough to replace a six-figure income in 2-3 years?

At least with a model like EDJ, the prospects don't know me from Adam... but I am a nice guy with an MBA and a firm they have probably heard of before.  In the first two weeks, I can make more contacts than I presently have... and I don't have to worry about everyone hiding from me at church and neighborhood BBQ's.  Sure, I don't mind selling to my friends, but I don't want my livelihood to depend on it.

I have risen to the top of sales forces multiple times and I have always started from scratch and never have needed to call on my friends if I didn't want to.

Jun 3, 2009 6:43 pm

What anon is referring to is going to your Project 100 is to show them what you do and get referrals from those folks.  They may never become clients, but if they're friends, they'll want to help you.  In fact, your sole goal of each of those meetings is to get as many referrals as possible.


I hope this helps.

Jun 3, 2009 6:53 pm
MBA2FA:


I have risen to the top of sales forces multiple times and I have always started from scratch

 
You're lying. A top salesman would either still be at the top or would be snatched up by the firm of his choice. You are neither.
Jun 3, 2009 7:10 pm
MBA2FA:

Well, I have a few problems with the "list" thing.  First, my contacts know me as a pharmaceutical marketing executive.  Most of these are HNW individuals who have existing accounts with big wire houses. They have been helping me in my search for jobs in my industry (to no avail).  So, next week, they are going to believe I just became an investment expert and they are going to transfer $1MM+ in assets to me and AXA?  Sure, some may throw me a bone out of pity, but will it be enough to replace a six-figure income in 2-3 years?

At least with a model like EDJ, the prospects don't know me from Adam... but I am a nice guy with an MBA and a firm they have probably heard of before.  In the first two weeks, I can make more contacts than I presently have... and I don't have to worry about everyone hiding from me at church and neighborhood BBQ's.  Sure, I don't mind selling to my friends, but I don't want my livelihood to depend on it.

I have risen to the top of sales forces multiple times and I have always started from scratch and never have needed to call on my friends if I didn't want to.

 
Let's try my previous previous post again because reading comprehension seems to be an issue with you. 
 

You don't have to bug your friends to buy stuff.  However, you'd be a fool not to call them.  Who is most likely to give you referrals?  Your friends and family.  (Translation:  The idea is not for them to hand you million dollar accounts.  You are correct.  They won't do it.  They know you and like your professionalism.  They will refer you to colleagues.  They will refer you to friends.  They will refer you to new associates.  If they are respected, these people will become clients.  Because they came to you via referral, they will be more likely to refer you to others.)


If you are going to sell insurance and you think that insurance is important, at death or disability, would you rather make sure that you've protected the family of a stranger or your sister? (Translation: When one of your doctor friends becomes disabled and their family is screwed because of a lack of coverage(due to you not calling on him), part of the responsibility is squarely on your shoulders.)



Let me make this real simple for you.  There are no points for degree of difficulty.  They want you to call on your friends because your friends will give you referrals.  If you build a referral based business with a company like AXA, success is almost guaranteed.  If you build a cold call practice, failure is almost guaranteed.


 
"I have risen to the top of sales forces multiple times and I have always started from scratch and never have needed to call on my friends if I didn't want to."
 
Something doesn't pass the smell test with this one.  Please tell me what I'm missing.   People who are at the top of a sales force make high 6 figure or 7 or 8 figure incomes.  Yet, you are trying to take 2-3 years to get to 6 figures. 
Jun 3, 2009 10:20 pm

Anonymous, thanks for your explanation. Also thanks for your request for clarification on my past experience.  I'm not sure the insult on my reading comprehension is necessary, but I appreciate your advice nevertheless.

Alice Cooper, you make accusations based on assumptions I never stated nor implied.  I am not a liar.

I never claimed to be a top producer as a Financial Advisor.  I don't even have a series 7 license.  I have been a top sales producer in OTHER INDUSTRIES.

I don't know much about being an FA beyond what I have learned in business school, research on the Internet, and by watching the movie "Boiler Room" That is why I am here asking my stupid questions.  I'd rather look stupid here than in a job interview.

Going back to the 100 list.  I guess I assumed I would be selling to my contacts based on the fact I am supposed to provide the following information on each of them: Annual income, age, marital status, children, occupation, product needs, etc.  Oh yea... and the manager said I would be pitching to them.

Jun 4, 2009 6:35 am

Why are you still not at the top of these multiple other sales organizations?  With your track record of great success, why don't you have your choice of great firms?


 
 
Jun 4, 2009 6:17 pm

I spent the last several years in the pharmaceutical industry.  I moved up from sales into sales management, then marketing management.

My company laid me off.  This is what happens when several of your drugs go generic and your company has nothing to market.  The industry is in serious decline and there are very few pharmaceutical positions where I live.

I probably would have my choice of great firms.... if they were hiring in my area, but they aren't.

Remember... just because you don't understand my situation doesn't make me an idiot or a liar.  It just means you don't understand my situation.

Jun 4, 2009 9:48 pm

I'm not calling you a liar, but I am questioning you.

 
Top sales people don't move up from sales into sales management.  That is a move down for top sales people.   Sales management is a move up for average sales people, but a giant step down for people who were a top sales producer.
 
At the very least, I'm sensing some giant exaggerations. 
 
How many multiple times did you rise to the top of your selling profession?  How much money were you making?
Jun 4, 2009 9:59 pm

Anonymous,  you are very wrong about top sales people moving into sales management.  Happens all the time for a variety of reasons. 

I've seen it first hand dozens of times.

Jun 4, 2009 10:10 pm

If you build a referral based business with a company like AXA, success is almost guaranteed.  If you build a cold call practice, failure is almost guaranteed.



Does that mean I'm screwed without contacts?
Jun 5, 2009 6:32 am
voltmoie:

Anonymous,  you are very wrong about top sales people moving into sales management.  Happens all the time for a variety of reasons. 

I've seen it first hand dozens of times.

 
Please tell us more.  I'd like to know why dozens of people that you know would take pay cuts to move into management roles.
Jun 5, 2009 6:37 am
ReadyFireAim:

If you build a referral based business with a company like AXA, success is almost guaranteed.  If you build a cold call practice, failure is almost guaranteed.



Does that mean I'm screwed without contacts?
 
It absolutely does not mean that.  It means that you are going to need to learn to get referrals from your cold calls.  You'll need to get the referrals BEFORE they become clients.   Otherwise, without very deep pockets you will starve before you have a chance to learn the business.