Determine if rules and regulations presented by management are State Farm mandated programs or Department of Insurance guidelines.
Having a State Farm relative, unless in a management capacity, does not secure your contract.
Always have a Plan 2.
Have a backup source of income, no matter how lucrative the agreement appears, whether it be a working spouse or affluent relatives who are supportive.
Prior to starting, thoroughly review the 21 Competencies with your recruiter and get a signature and date.
At every review with management personnel, re-review the 21 Competencies and get a signature and date.
Read, understand and keep all exclusions, exceptions and disclaimers as they pertain to your opportunity.
Try and get as much as you can in writing and keep it.
Never pay an employee/contractor under the table.
Join a nationwide trade organization and attend local meetings.
Develop a relationship with captive agents from other companies and compare their experiences with yours.
Think Big Picture — expand your horizons outside of State Farm.
Familiarize yourself with Anti-trust violations; NEVER disclose our rates on anything to another company.
Acquaint yourself with "Operations" vs. "Agency" management criteria.
There is Old State Farm and New State Farm; learn the difference.
Meet once a month meet with an established "trustworthy" agent for ideas and direction; high production does not always equate to trustworthy in the agency world.
Almost everyone in SF management is a nice person.
Management personnel is highly trained but light on life experience.
Upper management attends the same school of etiquette and elocution for consistency and continuity.
Identify current corporate buzz words and adopt them into your vocabulary.
Understand the Operations mind set.
Recognize the Victim mentality that management effectively uses to justify decisions. Do not incorporate this attitude into your agency experience.
Get any commitments or promises from management in writing and keep same.
"I have always told people that it is not what the company tells you that is important, but rather what they choose not to tell you." Quote from SF Agents Forum.
Listen carefully at all AFO meetings; do not ask questions for clarification until after you receive your contract.
If at all possibly, hire and train a relative for office staff.
Loyalty is a major asset in a staff person.
Have your own personal computer at the office.
On SF Outlook, every keystroke is retrievable - nothing is private.
Have your own private email address.
Thoroughly learn ABS and keep up with modifications.
When/if a staff person leaves, make sure you know their function and can step in and take over until a replacement it found.
When you get your contract, re-evaluate your financial situation and make the necessary adjustments.
Join SF Credit Union, it offers a $25k signature loan.
If angry or frustrated, wait 24 before responding in writing.
Keep anything with relevant signatures, particularly if management is involved.
Everyone is expendable and it is not all about you.
Remember - IF IT CAN HAPPEN FLORIDA, IT CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE.