Primerica is an MLM company that claims to help regular families in America get the financial help they need for the best possible price.
They also say they provide a life-changing opportunity for distributors through the MLM business model. It’s not a scam and I did find some good points, but there are drawbacks.
Full Review of Primerica
The company was founded by Arthur Williams Jr in 1977 with the goal of providing affordable financial services solutions for everyday people throughout America. They distribute these financial products through the mlm business model which basically means they don’t pay for mass advertising, rather they recruit distributors into the business opportunity who promote the products for them.
I must admit, that is a solid amount of time to have been successfully running an mlm company, so they must be doing something right.
The products consist of various insurances, debt solutions, investment products and pre-paid legal protection services. I won’t speculate on the cost-effectiveness of the products or how good they are since the company does not give out pricing information on their website, and given the nature of such products it is better to determine their value on an individual basis.
It is worth noting that there are a fair amount of complaints floating around. That doesn’t mean it’s a scam but I recommend checking out the BBB complaints to educate yourself on what other customers have to say. Even good companies get complaints and there’s no shortage of positive reviews either. I recommend keeping an open mind and carefully weighing up both those who complain and those who like the company. There are normally two very passionate extremes in this space I have come to learn.
This is marketed as a way for anyone to gain financial freedom and learn to ‘dream’ again by buying life changing products and sharing those products with others. Simply get a few people who will get a few people and you’re on the road to building a residual income. That is more hype than reality but it is possible to make a solid income with this company. Just don’t expect “getting a few” is all it will take or that chasing family and friends is the answer to your financial freedom. It’s not.
The interesting thing I found with this company is that the reps are approaching people about a ‘job interview’ and when the person arrives they are hit with a full blown presentation and asked to shell out money for a background check.
The sales presentations are always very convincing with these kinds of things and are led by people with years of experience in direct sales and recruiting. Good recruiting skills are a great thing don’t get me wrong, but these presentations often only paint only one side of the story and in this case it’s a little misleading.
In other words, they are inviting people to a business opportunity presentation… not a job interview. They should be more upfront about what people are getting themselves into. I can’t say I’m a fan of this sneaky behavior, not at all.
The other thing to consider is that given the nature of the products there is training, examinations, and licensing to even become a certified rep to sell certain products. I’m not saying this is a bad thing (and it seems the company helps people achieve this in different ways) but this is certainly worth taking into consideration.
The Compensation Plan
This is the first MLM company I have come across that I could not locate the compensation plan ANYWHERE online. I did manage to dig up some worthwhile information but I have to say I don’t like when companies try and hide their compensation plans from people. It does beg the question, what are they trying to hide? Nevertheless here’s what I did find…
Ways You Can Earn
Product Commissions: You can earn 25% commissions on direct customer purchases and this percentage goes up the higher you get within the company.
Building Your Downline: This is where people make the most of their money in MLM because they are about recruiting. You’ll earn a certain amount of commission based on your downline’s performance each month.
Bonuses: There are various bonuses and incentives in place like most MLMs.
The cost of getting started is $99 which isn’t very expensive all things considered, it covers your basic application fee and a background check.
Maintaining Your Business
The company requires its distributors to maintain a minimum quota of some kind to stay in business. This could be in the form of buying products yourself or selling those products to others to achieve a certain level of points. Since I can’t find the comp plan I cannot speculate on how much this will be but I can almost guarantee you there’ll be some kind of continued monthly purchasing requirement to maintain a position in the company you can earn with.
I managed to find someone saying that there is a 100PV monthly requirement to stay in business at the base level of the company. While I won’t claim that as fact, this is the most standard number I’ve seen across all MLMs I’ve reviewed.
What is PV?
It is the amount of points associated with certain products. For example, a product costing $136 per month might equal 100PV or in another company, 100PV would equate to $54 per month. It really depends on the company and without accessing a price list it is hard to say.
The reason I am pointing this out is to forewarn you that there is almost certainly a monthly amount of spending required to maintain your business. Don’t think it’s just $99 and off you go… There is also a $28 per month fee to have access to ‘Primerica Online’ which is an essential tool in the running of your business. This is used for day to day business activities and most people serious about this business would sign up for this.
The bottom line is that you’ll likely end up spending hundreds of dollars in your first year alone to be in business with this company. Here’s some of the things you should take into consideration when planing your first year cost estimate:
- Joining fee of $99
- Monthly online business subscription of $28 per month or $336 per year
- Minimum product purchasing (if required) which could be anything from $50-$100’s per month
- Seminars, conventions and other training, not to mention travel and accommodation
- Any other miscellaneous business costs associated with running your business
At the end of the day it is important to carefully consider the costs involved in being in business no matter what company you are thinking of joining and this should give you some ideas as to what is involved.
What I Liked
- They offer reasonable looking products rather than the same ‘health and wellness’ products many mlm companies push
- The cost to get started is low
- Being a public company, they list average earnings which is always good to know
- The company seems to help people get certified and offers legitimate training in financial products
What I Didn’t Like
- They hide a lot of useful information like the compensation plan and basic product pricing, they are one of the most secretive mlm companies I have ever come across
- There are a fair amount of complaints from people about the products and opportunity, although not extreme
- The associates have a reputation for recruiting people by telling them about a ‘job interview’ which is misleading
- They push warm market techniques which I’m not a fan of
The Bottom Line
This company doesn’t appear to be a scam and there are some potentially worthwhile products. However, there are some things I didn’t like as I just mentioned which are worth taking into consideration.
If you are relying on your warm market (family and friends) you need to be ready to recruit every person you know and they know at every chance. I am not kidding when I say this is what it takes to achieve anywhere near the kind of success they are telling you about.
That’s fine but here’s the issue…
The guru’s at the top are selling people on the ‘dream’ and getting them pumped about this amazing opportunity for the average person when in reality the ‘average person’ fails to make any real money at all in this company.
Primerica itself reveals in their disclosure that the average income is little over 6k per year which isn’t even close to minimum wage let alone a dream income.
The warm market strategy is essentially leaning on family and friends (trusted relationships) with the sole purpose of selling them into your business or getting them to buy products. I do not like this approach to business and I never will. Not only is that an unappealing way to build a business but it doesn’t work for the longterm. In order to succeed you need daily leads coming into your business or you won’t make any money. Plain and simple.
Here’s the typical picture in the mlm industry:
- You sign up all excited about some great opportunity
- You realise that hardly anyone is interested and you are running around trying to build a business with no idea how
- You leave 6-12 months later after spending hundreds of dollars on products and almost no income to show for it
- In some cases you’ll lose some friends in the process after having sucked them into something that lost them money
I’m not saying that it will be like this with Primerica or that it will be impossible to make money. To the contrary, you can succeed if you work hard enough and I am not trying to talk anyone out of joining.
But you should know the kinds of methods they teach and think about other strategies you could use to grow your business if creating a full time income is your primary goal. At the very least, you have a good idea of what to expect moving forward. Whatever you decide, I hope this review has been helpful!
12 thoughts on “The Primerica Business Opportunity Might NOT Be What You Think…”
It all started when I was prospected at a mall in Bethesda in 2011.
I was 19 years old and going to Community college. When I was presented the opportunity I knew I found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was quickly taught by my up line how to recruit. I’m not going to lie I got pretty good at it too. I averaged 50 prospects a day from the street and around 30 cold call interviews set up per day. I set the eleged record of 83 prospects (names and cell phone numbers given to me from people on the street) in 6 straight hours.
I conducted around 4 interviews per day and averaged around 1 person joining my team a day. After year 1 managed to make around $1000 thousand dollars. I looked behind me after that 1 year and my entire team quit. Year 2 was a little better. I managed to become one of the top recruiters in my category in the country. I still hadn’t made much money after the next 3-4 years. And then year 5 came around and I actually thought I was going to finally make it after 2 years of not only just making no money but achually losing money. I built a strong team of 15 full time agents who could do the business on thier own. It was basically running on auto pilot with one small catch.
As soon as I managed to recruit a team that could conduct business on thier own the unthinkable happened. My best agents were being promoted above me. I would of been making overrides also known as passive income on thier sales however since they were now at a higher contract than me I was unable to see any of the overrides I was dreaming about since I started the business.
It seemed odd that my Brokers were hardly ever at the office and when they were I was given the silent treatment by them even though I was basically running thier entire office while they were not there. It was almost like after I recruited such a great team for them, they didn’t need me anymore. On top of that there were a lot of bad things happening at our office which I’m not going to discuss because well it’s just not a good idea to discuss it.
Anyways after around 6 years of working there full time what I learned was 1. It was a huge mistake working here 2. I should of listened to my father and stayed in college 3. They take your best team of agents away from you when you become a Broker here which didn’t seem very fair. 4. There is nothing wrong with going to college and getting a good paying job. And most importantly #5. Be careful who you trust.
Thanks for sharing Matt. Hope you don’t mind but I added some paragraphs into your comment to make it easier for people to read. Cheers
I mean I did 10 polices in the last two weeks and 4 investments I got my license 3 weeks ago! How hard do you work ? But again I’m not an average person.
Thank you for your article. I believe you were too kind. This company is a typical MLM Company, which deny, but they are. They are members of the DSA and recruiting is REQUIRED to be promoted. They collect over 50 Million a year from recruits on their POL Internet System. The Term Life policies they sell are over 50% more expensive than those found online..Check Policy Genious or SelectQuote and compare. They are 125,000 agents, compare that to Metlife’s 10k agents in Life Insurance and they sell more. Primerica is really saturated. According to their financial reports, the average reps sell 0.21 policy a month! From their financial reports too, the average RVP and his team sells 16 policies a month! I don’t think this company will last too long!
Thanks for your sharing insights Michael, appreciate it 🙂 Cheers
The responses I read, made your claim seem kind of skeptical, but you need to be honest with yourself, so you can be honest with others. There is no other company that can make the claims of producing more financially independent families for over 30 years. It is a real company with real opportunities if you really want to change your life.
When I saw that this was being marketed as a job, and it’s really an mlm company, which is NOTHING like a job, it made me skeptical. Yes. But I clearly explained what I did and didn’t like about this company in my review.
I am honest with myself, and I do write honest reviews based on my opinion. I am really not sure what your point is here?
The $99. is refunded once the new rep studies for and passes their life insurance exam and gets a life insurance license. This is a State license and cannot be taken away by Primerica. They can take it with them and work for any company that sells life insurance. For a few hundred dollars a year they get all the support, training and resources they need to be in the financial services industry and build a business. A modicum of effort will cover the tiny cost of that support. Many people don’t make it because a lot of people just aren’t sell motivated. Why sign up in the first place if you don’t have the confidence to be in business for yourself and you don’t want to be in financial services and marketing?
The main reason Primerica may be “secretive” is that it is in the financial services industry; one of the most regulated industries in the world. Offices are audited annually and information security is top priority.
We have been with Primerica for 25 years and have been a single income-source family for 18 years thanks to Primerica. We have clients that have been with us for that long and are very happy with our products and services. It sounds ridiculous to me to hear anyone comparing Primerica to some other ordinary product selling MLM company.
I meant “self-motivated” not sell motivated. Many people seem to not know how to go to work everyday if they don’t have a boss telling them what to do.
Good to know, thanks for sharing.
That’s fair enough, but I’ve reviewed a lot of mlm companies in a range of verticals, and almost all of them disclose their comp plan openly. I thought it was reasonable to mention this, so I did.
Awesome, glad to hear you are doing well in your business 🙂
Regardless of the product or service sold, this is a multi level marketing business opportunity. I haven’t directly compared this with any other mlm company, however, there are logically similarities in the business model.
I appreciated your article.
I am a licensed rep with Primerica.
A few things to add.
There are no quotas. There are however set requirments to promote.
The job interview idea is misleading and sadly is still practiced by some. Our office never calls it a job, but an opportunity.
In my experience, Primerica has always been upfront about the work it takes. Those that are weak, drop out when adversity strikes.
Another thing to co sider is Primericas history. When it began reaching middle income families in 1977 with Buy term, invest the difference, that was highly contraversial. Part time agents was also contraversial. Plus Primerica included women in an industry that was dominated by men.
You should read the A L Eilliams story for yourself to understand why we see oursekves as crusaders for the middle income families, who financial giants ignore.
80% of life insurance policies are whole life, Cash Value, and Universal Life policies, with little coverage and high premiums. These types of insurance are only good for the agents.
The financial education and comprehensive financial plans we build for familes are free. The products, once people learn how money works, sell themselves…but yes, many of my friends are afraid of what they dont know.
Awesome comment, thanks for sharing Joe and all the best with your business moving forward. Cheers