Many agents ask what a field marketing organization (FMO) can do for them outside of offering a contract to sell. We like to think of an FMO as an independent agent’s personal supply closet and support team.
While every organization operates by their own philosophy, the top FMOs are ones that have adopted a newer, more forward-thinking philosophy than most. These select FMOs believe in the importance of developing stronger partnerships with their agents with an understanding that the success of both sides is directly correlated.
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What Should an FMO Do?
Traditional FMOs recruit agents to contract with a new carrier, and the relationship ends there. In contrast, leading FMO insurance companies realize that partnership is about much more than contracts.
FMOs that view their relationships with agents as true partnerships are driven to provide tools and services to assist them with all aspects of their businesses, including contracts, marketing dollars, commissions, education, technology and back-office support.
Many FMOs spend the majority of their resources on recruiting new agents, but few focus on helping their existing agents grow their businesses and rewarding their partnership.
FMOs that believe in partnering with their agents are more likely to devote the majority of their resources to supporting existing agents and less to recruiting new ones. Why? Because FMOs aren’t making money if agents aren’t! When choosing an FMO, agents should look for one that invests 75 percent of its resources into providing their agents with sales tools and services and 25 percent into recruiting new agents.
FAQs About FMOs
To give you a better understanding of what FMOs do for their agents, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions agents have about working with FMOs.
Q: How would an FMO describe the relationship between itself and its agents?
A: It’s a partnership. An FMO’s existence is dependent upon its agents, so it should provide more than a contract to an agent in order for it to be a true partnership. An FMO doesn’t succeed unless the agent is succeeding, so the agent really is top priority.
Q: If I use an FMO, will my commissions be reduced?
A: No, FMOs use a hierarchy system that allows them to offer the same commission level to general agents that they would receive directly from the carrier. The commissions you’d get with an FMO are the same you’re getting without one. But with an FMO, you’re also getting a full support staff and various other perks.
Q: Did I hear perks?
A: Yes! FMOs offer additional value that you may not receive from a carrier. For instance, Ritter Insurance Marketing offers online contracting, Medicareful.com, the Agent Survival Guide, one-to-one support, supplies, and co-op marketing dollars.
Q: Do I have to assign my commissions to an FMO if I go through them?
A: In most cases, you would sign a direct contract with the carrier and get paid through them. There are some situations in which an FMO would want you to assign your commissions to them (for example, if they provided you with an office, leads, or appointments).
Q: What happens to my commissions if I choose to leave my current FMO and go through another FMO or direct through a carrier?
A: Since most contracts are between you and the carrier, you would continue to receive renewal commissions from the business you issued through the previous FMO. If you were contracted with a carrier that pays your commissions through the FMO, the contract between you and the FMO would end and you would be paid your renewal commissions.
Q: How does an FMO make money?
A: FMOs receive compensation above the general agent level to perform a variety of functions, including recruiting, training, commission payments, application submission, etc.
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Are you ready to have a company of experts working to help your business? Imagine the impact and success you would see in your community and sales. Regardless of whether you’re just establishing yourself or are an experienced agent, there are serious benefits to consider in joining an FMO.
Ritter Insurance Marketing provides all the things you should seek from an FMO; true partnership and relationship invested in your success. Register with RitterIM.com to start something great today.