‘Low Maintenance’ Producers Can Pull In Higher Commissions
If given the choice, would successful fixed annuity producers sacrifice product support for additional compensation? Exclusive Producers Network is betting they would.
“If you’re willing to get your assistance on the Web, then we’re willing to pay you more because you’re low maintenance,” says Shelby Smith, a vice president and advisor to Exclusive Producers Network, Houston, Tx.
Exclusive Producers Network (ePN) is a marketing organization that provides agents with fixed annuity products from a number of different carriers. All product support is done on their Web site. There are no toll-free numbers to call, nobody to talk with. Instead, support is handled online, and when personal support is needed, agents can use the chat feature to interact with a live person.
“We are strictly Internet based; its a business to business Internet portal,” says Smith. “We offer all of our support and all of our products on our Internet site.”
Smith contends that agents who become members of ePN’s organization will earn higher commissions by sharing in ePN’s national override commission.
“We’re targeting the independent insurance agent who offers fixed annuities and is on the high end of the production scale,” continues Smith. “We want to see $50,000 a year or more in income from fixed annuities.”
Smith describes the type of producer he expects to become a member: “In the real world the agent who’s been selling fixed annuities for 20 years and makes $100,000 a year, he gets a street level commission.
“He’s been doing it so long, that he requires absolutely no handholding,” he says.
“So what we’re saying is let’s put everything on one Web site and attract the prolific producer that needs no handholding and pay him a higher commission,” continues Smith.
On the other hand, he describes the type of agent ePN is not targeting–the agent who requires a substantial amount of support. “He always calls the home office, he wants illustrations, he has to have forms federal expressed to him and they [home office] have no idea if he’s going to be productive or not.”
Smith says that its the experienced producer who doesn’t need a lot of support that ePN wants to work with. “You make us a low cost distributor, and we’ll pass some of those savings on to you [the agent],” he says.