When selling a structured settlement or annuity, the most important decision you can make is choosing the right structured settlement annuity buyer with whom to work. To help you find the best one, we’re going right to the source and interviewing Jennifer G., a customer service rep who used to work for a company that didn’t look out for its customers’ best interests. After reading this interview, you’ll not only learn what to look for in a reputable structured settlement annuity buyer, but also how you can avoid dealing with an unscrupulous one.
Hi Jennifer, thank you for speaking with us today. Can you tell us how you first got into the structured settlement buying industry?
My pleasure. I sought out employment in the industry right after college because I wanted my work to have a meaningful impact on people’s lives. I got a job right away with one of the largest structured settlement annuity buyers in the country – you’ve no doubt seen their commercials – and was so excited to start helping people achieve financial freedom and to live their lives the way they wanted. Unfortunately, my employer didn’t share the same vision.
Can you elaborate on how your vision differed from your employer’s?
Absolutely. When I started out, I completed a training program that really had nothing to do with understanding the structured settlement annuity buyer industry and everything to do with how to sell. Years ago, my uncle had sold his structured settlement and squandered the money, leaving him destitute in his later years, so I knew from experience there were right reasons and wrong reasons to sell a structured settlement or annuity. The training focused on none of this – instead, we learned how to use high-pressure selling techniques to generate as many sales as possible, regardless of the impact on the customer. This was not the reason I got into the industry. I wanted to help people avoid the same pitfalls as my uncle, and not pressure them into making the same mistakes.
I did, and was punished for it. The company I worked for rewarded quantity, not quality, and I suffered financially as a result of helping customers make the best decision for them. The customer service reps who drove the most volume, which means transacting the most sales, were rewarded with bonuses and trips. What no one seemed to be paying attention to was that a high percentage of these ‘sales’ were to customers who later regretted the decision and actually ended up worse off in the long run. In my case, I evaluated each potential customer’s situation individually and only recommended they sell if I felt it was indeed in their best interest. As such, my sales numbers were consistently lower than my peers’ and I was constantly chastised by my superiors and lived in daily fear of losing my job.
Did this environment force you to change your behavior and compromise your moral beliefs?
Of course it did. I wanted to help people, but I also wanted to eat. So eventually I started pressuring everyone to sell, regardless of his or her situation. At first I was able to rationalize my behavior, as I was only acting on survival instincts; that is until I started to see the ramifications of my actions. One story that I will never forget haunts me to this day. A woman had called me looking to sell her annuity; she wanted to go on a European vacation with her boyfriend. This was of course a terrible reason to sell an annuity, but I helped her anyway. Several years later, that same woman contacted me. She and the boyfriend had eventually broken up and her situation had drastically changed – she was now a single mother of two and had recently lost her job. If she still had her annuity payments, she could have sustained herself and her family until she found a new job, but with no savings and no other income, she was now forced to sell her home. I tried for a long time to deflect the blame and not feel personally responsible for what had happened to her, but it didn’t work. Eventually, the guilt became too much and I quit my job.
Do you have any advice for people looking to find the right structured settlement annuity buyer?
I do. Don’t buy into the hype that the larger structured settlement annuity buyers are trying to sell. Memorable commercials and glitzy advertising will not get you the results you are looking for. The best structured settlement annuity buyer to work with is the one that actually focuses on your needs and works with you – not sells to you – to try and devise the best possible plan for your particular circumstances. Now, when people ask me for advice when selling their structured settlement or annuity, I direct them to SellYourStructuredSettlement.com, a company that is dedicated to acting in its customers’ best interests and the one with which I wish I had started my career.
If you’re ready to sell your structured settlement or annuity, or are just looking for information to see if selling is the right choice for you, call SellYourStructuredSettlement.com at (800) 543-6513 or request a quote today!
You may also like our article: Secrets to Finding the Best Annuity Buyer – What the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know.