Work for Western-Southern Life?
July 18, 2007 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Is Western-Southern Life a good company to start out selling life insurance with?

I know they have good financial ratings from Best's and stuff, but what I am really interested in knowing is if they offer quality products?

Anyone who has worked for them or bought from them: Do they treat their customers / employees well? Is their compensation package competitive? Do they have quality products for a broad range of customers?

Also, I am a young guy, if I decide to move to a more prestigious name like Northwestern Mutual, Mass Mutual or New York Life would working for Western-Southern hold me back?

Conversely, is Western-Southern a good company to settle down for a long term career with?
posted by DetonatedManiac to Work & Money (2 answers total)
looking at your profile it looks like you are fresh out of school. most sales jobs are only as good as you are a salesperson. if you've never sold before, the question should be 'is their training program any good?'

i was a stockbroker with a well known wall street firm years ago, and i could sell - sort of came naturally to me. the company was very good to me financially and otherwise. some other rookie brokers that came into the firm at the same time couldn't sell, couldn't find prospective clients, and were encouraged within a few months to leave.

compensation (in terms of base salary) was miserable - unless you could sell - because they want you to be hungry as encouragement. i would think long and hard about going into any job that's full commission sales with no (even small) salary if you've never done this before. but you are young, so you don't need a lot to live on - and the rewards are definitely there. but a lot of guys i knew had monetary aspirations that they couldn't realize because they just didn't have what it took to get in front of people every day. best of luck to you.
posted by uaudio at 12:39 PM on July 18, 2007

As someone who has worked in insurance and finance for a short while, I can tell you that I have interviewed for plenty of these jobs, and been "scammed" by at least one.

My basic advice is to call them immediately and ask the following question: "Is the compensation commission only; salary first, then commission; or salary plus bonuses?"

If it's commission only, run like hell.

This is a sales-based sector, and they aren't going to stop interviewing you based on this question. Most of the time, insurance salesmen smile once you ask, and then eagerly talk about the compensation because they all know that's the most important thing to everyone.

Also, don't be afraid to ask up front about medical insurance -- everyone these days knows it's a big issue. Don't wait until you get three interviews in before they tell you that there is none, or it's some horrible package.

As someone who "settled" on more than one job, I can tell you it's hell on wheels. Commission-only jobs are basically a scam, with the intention of hiring as many people as they can and throwing them out in the world to see if they can do it. It doesn't cost them anything, so what do they care? Generally, commission-only sales jobs also require YOU to invest money, by way of driving yourself around to appointments and all that. It's just not worth it. The cost and time you're going to put in is not going to amount to the dollar amounts they're telling you. (Did the head manager tell you he started the first year making $80k? $90? $150? And now he's the boss?)

As uaudio said, if you're not someone with serious sales skills, your first job isn't going to be the place to learn them in a trial by fire.

Keep looking, and someone else with real compensation or benefit package will hire you.

(Oh... and if they tell you that it's salary + bonus, then all of my advice falls apart. I have no idea who W-S is, besides the fact that I've worked in insurance for over a year and a half, for two insurance companies, and never heard of them.)
posted by PandemicSoul at 10:16 PM on July 18, 2007

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