Validating Agent Perspective

by Willie Colston

My name is Willie Colston and I am an agent in the Lyndon office of Jefferson Co. I wanted to write about my journey a little bit to encourage any validating agents or agents just coming off validation. I am finishing up my last month of validation and I’m excited about what my future holds with the company. Although I have had to work hard and long hours to get the job done, I have been very blessed to go through the process without too many bumps.

One thing I did when I first started was to apply math to what I wanted to accomplish. I knew what our commission rates were and what I wanted to make. I assumed retention of 80-90%. I broke down what I needed to do on a monthly basis to maintain and grow my income. I then figured out how many people I would have to talk to write the business. This is why I tried not to get caught up in the app counts and just meeting the requirements. I think this is the basis of all sales. Now I would agree the ratio of people I write vs. the people I quote has changed drastically in today’s market, at least for us in Jefferson Co.

My math tells me I now have to speak to more people. Expanding the lines of business you write is another option to supplement income. As we know, health, workers comp, agency business, etc. are not part of the validation plan, so many of us did not focus in these areas for that reason. I have found that health and workers comp help supplement my income these days. Also, I have been very blessed to write over 20k in life premium all 4 years. That’s adding up and giving me a nice little supplement on the 5th of every month.

Like many of you, I’m not making the income that I hoped for by this time. I remember something my Dad always said: “If it was that easy, everyone would do it.” I also remember what one of my previous employers told me: “The harder you work the luckier you get.”

I’m still thankful every day that I came to Farm Bureau. I’m thankful for the lifestyle that it has provided for my family and the places I have gone. Most of all, I’m thankful for the future and what’s in store for all of us. I hope you all have a blessed 2013!!!

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