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I have been working at Aflac full-time (Less than a year)
There are a lot of reviews of Aflac that seem polarized and often hyperbolic, very possibly confusing more than aiding any prospective employees. Here's my experience as a current sales associate. First of all, a sales career at Aflac can be quite lucrative. A decent DSC (District Sales Coordinator: the lowest level of management and the first level of promotion) can easily make 100,000/yr (though this can be half or double+), an RSC can double or quadruple that depending on their success in leading their region, and a State Coordinator will probably be making around 1,000,000/yr depending on the quota/achievement bonuses they receive. That being said, as an associate (entry-level) you will make absolutely no money unless you are selling Aflac policies to new accounts (i.e. businesses) that you open or existing accounts after a few months to a year. The payment is spread out so that you receive around 20-40% commission (depending on the policy and a other few variables) and ~60% of that is payed to you usually within a week. The other ~40% is spread out over the next 11 months. After that you receive ~5-10% every year as renewals. In other words, you will not make money quickly and it takes most agents 1-3 months to open their first account. Once you become a District Coordinator, you start to receive ~8% of whatever your associates sell (that number does not cut into the associate's commission) and can take 30-50% of whatever they sell if they need you to run the appointments for them (which will be the case for ~1-3 months or longer). The hours are about as flexible as you could ask for, so this can be a big "pro" if it is very important to you AND ONLY IF you can ensure that you will handle the responsibility well, as few truly can. The downside is that you only really have M-F 9-5 to contact businesses and achieve your prospecting goals for the day. Any time you take out of that is essentially money from your paycheck. There are responsibilities you will have as your Book of Business grows that you will not want to take away from that call time, leaving quite a chunk of work to be done outside of normal business hours. Of course, you could shape your hours within 9-5 in whatever way you prefer, but your productivity and earnings will almost invariably be the price. This will taper off around your 2nd-5th year, but don't expect it to be any sooner. The product is something than can help people, though contrary to what I had been taught in sales school it is not going to help absolutely every small business you meet. If you remember this when trying to pitch to people, you will have a much easier (and emotionally healthy) time identifying and pitching to potential accounts. Fortunately, your job as an associate is basically locked in and you'll probably never have to worry about being fired unless you're doing something grossly illegal or unethical that will reflect poorly on your managers or Aflac as a company. Also, contrary to what I'd seen in another review, it is entirely possible to switch districts with good cause. Switching regions may be tougher, but there are usually quite a few districts in each region to choose from (~30 in MA split between ~5 regions).
First thing's first, your RSC has a quota of recruits he/she must meet in every quarter. This means that they are hiring almost anyone that can quack over a phone and will expect 50-90% of them to quit within the first year (if not month). Unfortunately, to Aflac's upper management, 10 new accounts remain 10 new accounts, regardless of their acquisition by one seasoned agent or 10 new and hardly trained agents. To me, their marketing strategy even seems to encourage the 10 unsuspecting newcomers to quit their salaried positions and "run your own business" or "be your own boss," knowing all the same that the new agent's chance of success probably only consists of a single digit. If you cannot see yourself excelling at any one of the following points, Aflac may not be the place for you. Remember, if you do not successfully open accounts and/or sell policies, you will make no money and would be better off spending time with friends or family or simply reading a nice long book, sipping your favorite cocktail. - Cold Calling/Walk-ins -- You will be expected to make 50-100 (entirely cold) calls/day or 20-40 walk-ins/day. - Handling Rejection -- You must be able to not only handle, but flourish in a day consisting of 50-100 rejections. - Highly Saturated Areas -- If you call on a business that has not been called by Aflac at least 100 times, you must pray to whatever gods you hold and sacrifice a strong young ox in their names that evening. The turnover at Aflac paired with zero communication between districts, and often within the same district, leads to around at least 5 Aflac agents calling/walking into the exact same areas as you at the exact same time. As well as 5 at a time before that and before that and so on. People become so turned off/angry/disgusted whenever I say "Aflac" over the phone that you wonder how anyone ever expects you to sell these policies. That's exactly the question. How? My DSC just tells me to keep calling and using the same one or two tricks he still clings to, though when those prove unhelpful there's not much else he has to say. - Insufficient Training -- Do not expect to have your hand held at any point in this career. I made over 500 calls in my first full week on the job. If you cannot jump into the deep end and figure out how to swim on your own, you will drown. Sales school teaches you about the products and minor selling overviews, but training is mainly your DSC's job and they can be extremely hit-or-miss in their competence to train others what they had to learn on their own. By the way, you are a 1099 employee and will not be offered any payed benefits whatsoever. BEWARE OF THIS RECRUITING HOOK: Your recruiter may tell you that your DSC will have a massive Book of Business with an overwhelming amount of accounts to handle. They will go on about how wonderful this is for you, allowing you to service and effectively sell policies to their existing accounts without having to go through the headache of opening a new account via cold calls/walk-ins. You should know that, more often than not, this is absolutely true. 100%. However, remember the high turnover rate? They're not going to hand over their precious accounts to just anybody. You will most likely have to be consistently making appointments with business owners, setting up new accounts, and selling policies effectively to employees before your DSC will even dream of letting you service one of his/her accounts. You may ask yourself, if I'm expected to open accounts and sell policies without any experience or training in doing so, how will I ever gain the necessary skills without any practice or guidance beforehand? ... *cricket lazily chirping in the distance* ...
Advice to Management
My advice to YOU: All in all, if you can keep your chin up, develop a thick skin, and use outside resources to train yourself you might actually stand to gain quite a bit. On the other hand, if you are not 100% certain that you will invariably excel in these areas, I strongly recommend either ensuring a savings of 3-6 months' living expenses in case it takes you some time to develop these skills through trial and error, or simply moving on and looking for another company or position. Best of luck.