I can think of no better way to kick off our 'Featured Agent' segment than with the First Lady of ABG. Not only is she a legend in her own right, but she just celebrated her 13th anniversary with Family Heritage. A decade before ABG came into existence and before most of us had even heard of Family Heritage, she was banging down doors and protecting families like her hair was on fire; so without further ado, I give you a woman who needs no introduction in the FHL community: the fabulous Kia Alkema.
Kia's dual focus in life is raising her two children while concurrently filling the role of The Woman Behind The Curtain here at ABG. When she's not handling the tantrums of a 2.5 year-old or rocking a 6 month-old to sleep, she's handling most of the financial and operational demands that must be met for ABG to run smoothly on a daily basis. However, she's also not one to toot her own horn, so many newer FH agents probably don't realize that before she was Kia Alkema, Co-Founder & Work-At-Home Supermom, she was Kia Chandler, Superstar Saleswoman Extraordinaire.
Kia graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Communications and a minor in Business. She got her first taste of sales when she decided to do a direct sales internship for a company called Southwestern; she worked 80+ hours a week for her entire summer break and went door-to-door selling educational books to families. She loved it so much that she sold books for a total of 6 summers, and during the school year and the off-seasons after college, she worked as a server at Lone Star Steakhouse.
Family Heritage was Kia’s first "real" job. She decided to give Family Heritage a try because she already knew from selling books that she could work hard and push herself to succeed, and she wanted a career where her income was directly proportional to her effort. In her words, “I felt like I always worked harder than the other servers at the steakhouse, but my tips didn’t always reflect that – FHL offered better pay based on my performance. Also, I was living and working in Iowa at the time and I wanted a new career, but I was planning on moving to another state in 6-12 months, and most careers didn’t offer an option to move and still keep my job.”
Kia got off to a slow start in her career, selling only 9 policies in her first 4 weeks out in the field. However, something clicked for her at the start of her 5th week. She went to work on Monday morning to give her first-ever group presentation at a welding shop, and at the end of the day, she had protected 12 families. That's how quickly this roller coaster career called "sales" moves.... from selling 9 policies in 30 days to selling 12 policies in 10 hours. That day was a game-changer for Kia, although even after that, there were several other times during her first couple months that she seriously contemplated quitting. Kia trust the advice of one of her sales mentors, however, and five months into her career, she decided that she was all in and was going to “stick and stay and make it pay.” And clearly, she has!
Kia finished her first calendar year as the #3 Sales Professional in all of FHL.
She still ranks in the Top 25 Highest-Earning First-Year FHL Sales Professionals of all time!
She has earned a six-figure income every single year of her 13 years here.
She earned $25,000 in bonus money in her first year, which she used to buy her first house -- not for herself, but for her parents and 8 younger siblings. She also surprised her entire family by taking them all on a week-long Christmas cruise!
Five months into her career in 2004, she broke a company sales record at the time with 38 families protected in a single week.
Kia has written 96 Lifetime Eagles and has sold $1.4 million in Lifetime NAP.
During the best week of her career, she wrote $40,000 GAP.
Kia is currently ranked as the #5 Team Leader in all of Family Heritage!
Kia is a pillar of our agency, and Altitude Business Group would not be what it is today without her. Her advice to anyone who is new in a sales career - whether here or at XYZ, Inc. - is this: "Form good habits from the start, whether they are professional habits like prospecting leads or personal habits like working out; your habits will make or break your success. Never rest on your laurels or become complacent with your achievements, but rather work constantly on sharpening your skills and studying your craft. Commit yourself to being a student and to staying humble, and you'll go far in life."
Author - Missy Hovenkamp
Missy hails from the thriving metropolis of Paw Paw, MI. When she's not working, she can be found wrangling her three year-old twins or her 130-lb. Newfoundland, silently screaming into a pillow in a closet, or sipping a Tanqueray & tonic. With two limes, please. Somewhere amidst all of the previously aforementioned shenanigans, she also occasionally finds time for her other favorite pastimes: reading, running, working out, genealogy, weeding her 30'x40' vegetable garden, thrift store diving, crocheting, and rooting for Manchester United.