Ever wanted to go abroad and get away from the dark cold weather of Europe and see a bit more of the world, have an adventure? I did just that a while back and had the time of my life, and would recommend the experience to anyone.
I answered an advertisement in the newspaper for Sales people wanted to work in Europe and further afield selling financial products. I have a sales background, and as I was recently divorced it was perfect for me to get away.
I travelled to London and met a chap who had a financial brokerage in Hungary, after a 2 hour interview I was really excited. A couple of days later he rung me and told me to get to Hungary and he will train me for a week and pay for a hotel.
I arrived on Sunday, early evening, and was greeted at my Hotel and shown to my lovely room. I met the people on the course and we went to discover the area, and a great night was had, Budapest is an amazing city, vibrant, full of communist history with amazing architecture.
Monday morning after a scrummy English breakfast, we were all hard at work learning the basics of finance. Some may say there are too many washing machine salesmen roaming around the world selling finance they know not much about, I can understand where that sentiment stems from, but we were just matching products with the people, not actually managing clients day to day finances, the huge corporations did that. No monies were handled by us the salesmen. Our role was to learn how to manage peoples expectations of what they felt they could retire on, or what they wanted to achieve financially in relation to how much they could save now, and how they could manage their products they bought through the larger financial institutions like Friends Provident, Royal London 360, Generali, HSBC, Royal Skandia, Zurich, and hundreds of specialist funds etc.
After a great week with the boss treating us to street cafés most nights, and being summer made it special with great wine. I found in my experience good leaders of people took good care of staff and the bosses I came across who owned brokerages were always treating staff to nights out as there were so many amazing things to do in exotic cities around the world.
Straight after training we were then on our own financially, there is no salary as such, and you had to have somewhere to live. I found a gorgeous flat in the centre of Budapest at half the rent of a comparative London flat, with a centre courtyard and strange channels on the T.V. you don’t get in UK!
The broker had a modest city centre office, where you could use the phones and get help directly, they had two people on telesales between a few reps, and the manager was high up in the chamber, so took us along to events and introduced us to the professional expat community. Not long after that we were out on appointments and selling. You really need about 3-6 months money to be comfortable as this is the time when you would start getting regular clients.
Indemnified commission is a very attractive and lucrative payment to financial sales and it can range from a couple of hundred pounds to many thousands of pounds, depending upon the type of product and the premium paid by the client, and the best bit is its TAX FREE!!!
Soon after, I was itching to get to Thailand and I was selling products there, I joined the chambers of commerce and met many wonderful people and travelled to Phuket, Chiang Mai, and had so much fun in Bangkok but that’s another story!
A word of warning though, there are good brokers and there are bad brokers all over the world, the bad ones will lure you to their country, train you for a few days, promise you an appointment maker that somehow disappears the day you get there, and then give you a phone just after you have arrived and make you call every member of the chamber of commerce who has already been called ten times already, after a month you have had enough and leave, cursing the entire industry I am not naming names, but their name rhymes with ‘The beers!’
If you are lucky enough to find a good brokerage, you are very lucky, if you find a manager with a banking background with good experience who will feel responsible for you, help you settle in, nurture you, help you make contacts quickly so you are getting paid, and then manage you efficiently, and even take you out occasionally, so you can enjoy a better lifestyle in an exotic country and manage to have enough money to enjoy your adventure, all the better for you!
If you have a sales background and or a financial background I can personally vouch for EMM (expatmoneymatters) based in Bangkok, who is currently recruiting.
To speak to Alan Lane contact him direct on firstname.lastname@example.org