Field Marketing Organizations (FMOs) and Insurance Marketing Organizations (IMOs) have a role in offering insurance products and services to agents as well as to agencies. Though they vary from one firm to another, most Field Marketing Organizations offer annuity investment products and similar services. Some questions, however, often arise in the minds of prospective agents before choosing to join FMOs. The most common of these include:
Q. Do you earn well when working under FMO/IMO?
A. Yes. The earnings will always be more than what you could earn when working directly for the carrier. Besides earning from vested commissions which you will often get in full, there are many other benefits that you get by being under FMO.
Q. Which option is better between captive agents and independent agents?
A. Independent agents determine who to work for, and they also get to choose what products to sell. They will also get to determine their working hours and will ultimately enjoy high commissions. Captive agents, on the other hand, link to a particular agency and have their products determined by the employer. Though the captive agents have much lower commissions compared to the independent agents, they enjoy a lot of support from their agencies. This support is what reduces the commissions.
Q. Do all FMOs have a release policy
A. Yes. All FMOs have a release policy. While some may be good enough to offer you a release policy straight up, others will have limited release which might hinder an agent from retaining their books of business when they stop working for a particular company. It is therefore advisable to understand the release policy of the FMO you wish to join before making a move.
Q. Will the FMO provide you with quoting tools?
A. In almost all cases, yes. Every FMO should be in a position to provide their agents with approved quoting tools to enable them to quote insurance plans and prescription drugs plans. A good FMO should give the agent a quoting tool that has no filters to hide some or all carriers from an agent’s view.
Q. Are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools necessary?
A. Yes, they are. CRM tools can be of great benefit to compete effectively with other agents. The software will aid you in keeping track of all your clients from the time you make your first contact to acting as a reminder of subsequent visits or calls to the client.
Q. How much support should you expect from an FMO?
A. Every agent deserves total support from their FMO. Every Field Marketing Organization realizes that the success of the agents is their success. They, therefore, will often offer you an experienced partner to guide you to success. The FMO will also invest in your team by providing you with annuity and product knowledge and industry trends to further understand today’s marketplace. Since your FMO partner could have been an agent before, you can reap from their in-depth industry knowledge.
When choosing your FMO, it is best that you inquire around to know if your choice of FMO has a good reputation. You can inquire about these details from the agencies that are currently working under that FMO or check reviews online. One basic rule is to determine the turnover rate of the FMO company under which you plan to work. A good FMO firm should commit to fostering a long and healthy working relationship with all of its agents.