Primerica is a service-based network marketing company that focuses on insurance. The approach is unusual, as most such companies choose to offer tangible products instead. Primerica is well-known throughout the United States and Canada. Some estimates suggest that there are somewhere around 120,000 Primerica representatives out there, which is an impressive figure.
While the focus on services helps to make Primerica stand out from other MLMs, services can be more difficult to sell than physical products. One difference is that you'll need to spend longer explaining the benefits of Primerica and how the services compare to the market. That type of sales pitch isn't needed if you're doing something like selling jewelry at a party.
Primerica makes the process a little easier by offering a Financial Needs Analysis for customers. This provides ‘a personalized strategy for financial security'. For representatives, the free service could be a useful way to promote specific services to customers.
Insurance is also an interesting field to choose to promote.
On the one hand, there is plenty of demand. Many people do need insurance and Primerica has various types to choose from. This includes some less common styles like insurance for long-term care and an identity theft production service.
On the other hand, buying insurance from a representative can be a bit weird (especially if they're a friend or family member). Some people would feel safer going through a trained agent at a store so that they know they're being given all the correct information by someone who knows the industry. Others may not, but it's important to be prepared for some resistance.
Primerica itself is a controversial company. Some people consider it to be reliable, to the extent that Primerica has been listed in Forbes as being particularly trustworthy. Primerica is also publicly traded on the stock exchange, so it isn't likely to disappear overnight.
Even so, reviews are mixed. Some people say that the business model is a scam, one that doesn't offer the income potential that it claims to. Other customers have had issues with the insurance side of the process, saying that the policies get expensive as people age and don't always pay out.
Such issues with insurance aren't unusual, but they raise an important question. Of all the products and services that you could promote, do you want to be focusing on one that is so heavily tied up with the financial welfare of your customers?
Primerica is similar to other MLMs in that you're making money from sales and from building a team. The biggest difference is that you're promoting services rather than products. Doing so means less pressure to buy physical products for yourself, but the style could make sales more difficult.
In this post, I'm taking a close look at both methods of earning, including any complexities along the way. I also consider the overall potential for earning money with Primerica.
Primerica primarily focuses on insurance. This includes life insurance, investment insurance, auto & home insurance and long-term care insurance. This is promoted in a way that you might expect:
How good the insurance is will strongly depend on the individual and their circumstances. Some people may find Primerica better than other services, while others may not.
There are certainly complaints about the insurance out there, but this is true for any insurance company. The number of positive reviews and the fact that the company is going strong suggests that Primerica is at least competitive.
They also offer a program to protect against identity theft and a pre-paid legal service. While these two programs don't involve insurance, they follow the same general idea of protecting your future. For example, the identity protection program is described like this:
Selling The Services
Insurance is a very individual-specific field, making it difficult to compare Primerica to other insurance companies. Still, such a comparison isn't really needed, especially as many customers do appear content with the services (especially non-elderly members).
The main thing to consider with Primerica is the sales process. You don't just need to convince people that they need insurance, you also need to get them to purchase that insurance from Primerica. Doing so may involve them switching from another company or signing up for insurance for the first time.
Regardless of your potential customer's situation, you'll need to be convincing. You'll also want to know the insurance industry well so that you can argue your case.
Being a successful representative would also involve being able to answer customer questions and resolve problems. This is likely to involve more in-person contact than you'll find with many other types of MLM. You may also find yourself in emotionally charged situations, especially if customers try to claim on their insurance and don't get what they expect.
Primerica does provide various concepts that can be used to help promote the services, including why insurance is critical for young people (especially young parents) and how waiting comes with a cost. None of these ideas are unusual, but they could make sales a little bit easier. Still, you can expect to spend a decent amount of time with each potential customer and you won't always make a sale.
As for your commission, Primerica representatives start off by earning 25% from contacts. This can increase to 35% if they meet certain criteria, including making 12 transactions in a single month and being fully licensed. Because Primerica provides little pricing information for their services, it isn't clear what this looks like financially.
At the risk of angering any current Primerica representatives here, it's hard to ignore the fact that there are lots of complaints online about being recruiting under false pretenses and accusing this company as being a pyramid scheme. Whether or not you believe it's a pyramid scheme, just realize that some people you try to recruit will think this. You'll need a very good explanation as to why there are so many complaints online!
Plus, to me, it seems like there are a lot of sketchy “pro-Primerica” comments around the web. For example, distributors often reply to any negative review with the idea that the reviewer simply didn't try hard enough.
I'm always frustrated by this type of comment. If you invest enough time, money and effort, most companies and models provide at least a little income potential – but that doesn't make the company a good idea. An income model can still be unappealing and unrealistic, even if some people do make money from it.
That's the key point with Primerica and many other MLMs. Sure, you can earn money, but you're jumping through hoops to do so. You never even end up in full control of your own business.
Time And Cost Requirements
Because you're working with insurance, Primerica requires more education and knowledge than most other network marketing companies. This requires passing various licenses and certifications.
If you're looking for a way to earn long-term, then such requirements mightn't be a bad thing. If nothing else, you get the chance to learn the industry, which should increase your chance to make sales. Still, the time investment is considerable and won't work well for everyone.
There will also be some financial costs. The first is your initial joining fee. This is $99, which isn't too bad for the industry. There is also an optional $25 fee each month. This provides access to various training models and the like. Because you can't trial the site first, you need to pay the first $25 fee before you know whether the site is worth using.
You're likely to find other costs along the way too. How about travel expenses related to finding clients? What about your own time spent learning the products and about competitors products? Yes, that's the cost of doing business, but being a rep for this company is not as simple as paying $99 and then going to the bank!
Building a team is the other way to earn with Primerica. The basic idea is the same as always. You need to recruit other people into the company, as part of your team. Each team member (including yourself) is then responsible for recruiting others and making sales.
The idea becomes a bit more complex with Primerica, as representatives need to go through training. The amount of training (and licensing) also increases as members go further in the company. These aspects may make recruiting more difficult. You'll need to find potential team members that have enough time to invest in the company.
Primerica operates through a unilevel rank-based team model. This means that the team below you falls roughly in a pyramid structure. All the people that you recruit are on your first level, the people that they recruit are on the second level and so on. Income is then based on their performance and on your rank.
As for the ranks, these are levels that you progress up within Primerica. Higher ranks provide more income potential and the requirements increase as well. With Primerica, rank requirements aren't just based on your team and sales. They also depend on training. For example, here are the requirements for two early ranks.
Even at these early levels, the training and sales requirements are considerable. Primerica provides some examples of income, which suggests that the money making potential is high. Just be aware that there are no details about the average that people actually earn from customers. Because of this, it isn't clear whether Primerica's income estimates here are realistic.
Based on the compensation percentages provided, it does seem that Primerica has higher income potential than most other MLMs – if you can make sales. On the flip side, the amount of work per client is higher as well. You may also find it pretty difficult to even get into the second rank.
Making money with Primerica isn't an impossible dream. Every MLM has some success stories and the services from Primerica are legitimate.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is that the most successful Primerica members will be the ones that build a decent team, while also keeping up with sales. If you just market the services to your friends, family and colleagues, you will quickly run out of prospects. To be truly successful, you need to expand your reach beyond the people you already know.
This means seeking out new markets and leads, while also improving your salesmanship skills as you go. After all, insurance salespeople often aren't all that popular. You'll need to be able to promote the services without being too pushy or annoying.
While doing so is possible, it's best to be aware of the challenges before you get started. Don't expect Primerica to be a walk in the park simply because you like the services or the overall idea.
It's also worth mentioning that you'll probably need to do some learning outside of Primerica. MLMs aren't well-known for having amazing training. Most fall short of giving you the information that you need. For example, they rarely provide much information about taking advantage of the online environment – even though this is a key place to find more customers.
So, while I wouldn't recommend Primerica personally, if you're going to give the company a try make sure that you take learning into your own hands.
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