EDJ - Is this True?

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doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

Met an EDJ Rep last night at a social function. I asked him some questions about EDJ and he was eager to answer them. He's been a broker less than a year.
 
Bill (the EDJ Broker & fictional name) said that although EDJ brokers aren't assigned "specific" marketing areas, they are assigned "general" marketing areas. However, if you know a prospect outside your area, you're free to contact them.
 
Huh? Is that true? So, if Widget Industries (located outside Bill's marketing area, in another EDJ broker's area), announces a major layoff, Bill can't call on that business for potential 401k rollover business? Or if Bill has thoroughly marketed his area with little to show for it, he's prohibited from marketing another EDJ broker's area? Sounds like assigned territories to me! Being a broker is hard enough, but having geographic limits on your marketing is an additional burden! 
 
Also, no cold calling? He said that EDJ prohibits cold calling.
 
What? That pretty much leaves face-to-face and direct mail as the only two ways to generate business. Cold calling bonds in a different time zone paid for groceries and rent, during my rookie years. I won't dispute that face-to-face is the best way to meet a prospect, but cold calling a different time zone adds more marketing hours to my day. Give me the wide-open, no-holds barred atmosphere of a wirehouse to start my career, any day!
 
Hey, let me know if this guy was just yanking my string. If he's telling the truth, I could have some fun with this: "Oh yeah, Bill, this is Dobe. just wanted to let ya know that I saw Fred (the other EDJ broker) was doorknocking 2 blocks over from your office. Just thought I'd let ya know. See ya..."

bondo's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-15

The first part sounds familiar to me.  Good friend of mine works at EJ and he told me something along those lines.  I guess it follows their approach of prospecting and building your business where you live.  It is kind of like calling dibs on your neighborhood and no one can come in.  He told me on one occasion (sp?) he had to receive permission from the local EJ guy before he could talk to a referral in a town that was not his own territory.  I think he was brand new then, so the rules may have been stricter.  This was also over a decade ago.

newnew's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

of course we can cold call!! many jonesers buy lists and call, but the doorknocking really does work. NO ONE AT HQ CARES HOW YOU GET 'EM--just sell
 
the rules on "territory" are dependant on the region, but it's "gentlemens rules" here. not hard and fast rules, we just work it to what seems fair to all

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

True story from the midwest...two fairly new EDJ brokers in the same town were calling on clients of a third Jones broker in the same town trying to move the accounts.  The victim Jones broker was complaining bitterly to a mutual friend about this practice and I had several of this guy's clients move over just so that the three of them would stop calling.  All I could come up with was that (1) EDJ supplied the newer brokers with the victim's client list and (2) EDJ was attempting to drive him from the business.
 
Admittedly this poor guy isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but surely there is a more honorable way to fire him than what I witnessed.  There didn't seem to be anything genteel about that tactic.

Roadhard's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

I was at Jones for 15 years--yes you can cold call!  Unless you don't like to eat!  As for the territory--I have seen Jones fire brokers for going into someone elses area--but I have also seen them call on your area with the permission of the Regional Leader!  You are not suppost to red line either!

Broker24's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

There are a lot of Jones "myths" out there, like you "can't cold call". That is pure fiction. I would estimate that 40% or more of new FA's have cold called. When we get together we all discuss lists, techniques, successes, etc. As for the driving the guy out by supplying lists or whatever, that sounds like bigger fiction.

Now, the deal with "territory" is a stickier one. I don't think anything is written in stone, but I think Jones does try to maintain some sense of "territory", though it is not truly defined. My office is in an area with very few offices, so I have no need to go outside that area. BUT, I do have one guy right near me, and we get along well, so we sort of have an understanding about how we operate. We don't doorknock each others territory (though I no longer doorknock), and we don't go face-to-face on business owners. But all of our clients, referrals, employees of major employers, etc. live in the GENERAL area, so we never, ever prohibit each other from taking clients that live in certain places. We also cold call in the entire general area as well. I think it comes down to the individual FA's in the area. Bottom line, the Jones model only works well when you are perceived as the "local guy", at least when you are starting out. Common courteousy usually prevails. We also have informal agreements on the Chambers we attend, the organizations we belong to, and we even check with each other on certain businesses we prospect (jost so we don't look stupid both prospecting the same people). It works for us, but I know that it is difficult in other areas.

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

24...believe it or not...it happened.  I have several clients who came over because they were being called by all three Jones brokers...what the hell do you think was happening?!!!

Roadhard's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

I agree with Broker24, at Jones it  really depends on the how the regional leadership supports the territory--but when I was at Jones I could see the other Edward Jones Office across the street from my office--we were less than a block away from each other on the same street--so we had no territory between the two of us--but you would find other Edward Jones FA's calling on both of our clients--then I found the other FA across the street calling on my clients knowing they were mine--I complained to the regional leader and he said we needed to work it out between the two of us.  We never did and I went Indy--everybody is game!

Broker24's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

Indyone wrote:24...believe it or not...it happened.  I have several clients who came over because they were being called by all three Jones brokers...what the hell do you think was happening?!!!
 
I wasn't saying that you can't prospect the same people.  But I interpreted that previous post as saying that Jones(St. Louis) was actually feeding client lists of other Jones brokers.  I may have misunderstood the post. 
 
You have to understand, I am in an area with not that many offices, so I don't know how it goes down in heavily saturated Jones markets.  From my perspective, "territory" is not a big issue, because I have plenty to keep me busy in my own town, so i don't run into the issue much (other than the one guy right near me, which we work out ourselves).

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

No, you didn't misunderstand...I believe that at the very least, the local senior Jones rep was supplying the two newbies with this poor guy's client list and I very much suspect that this was at least blessed by St. Louis, if not initiated by them.  Someone was sure supplying them with information since in the span of a few weeks, I had no fewer than four of his clients make this complaint to me when I'd never heard the charge before.  Apparently he heard the complaint several times also as he told the same to a mutual friend.
 
Look, the guy is +10 years with Jones and by his own admission, struggles with the $18K/month nut.  I'm not at all surprised that Jones would want to get rid of him...I just think the methodology is beneath an ethical firm.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

Territory in a well saturated area isn't an issue.  It can't be an issue.  We naturally overlap each other.  I have a Jones guy 200 yards away from me.  There are 9 within about a mile of me.  Our region doesn't put much stock in the gentleman's agreement.  I can doorknock when I want, where I want.  And nobody is going to stop me.  They might not like it, but they aren't going to stop me. 
I can't imagine Jones handing out names of one FAs clients to another FA.  I can imagine that in a smaller town everyone knows everyone's business and who that business is with.  So, my guess would be that the vet might have been supplying some names that he'd figured out over the years, but a list didn't come from the home office. 
 
There is a very strict policy about calling on other FAs clients.  I don't know if they'll fire you over it, but I know they don't like it. 
 
I thought you guys might find this interesting.  On the same page as the policy about not calling other Jones clients, there is a blurb on how to avoid disputes among FAs.  It says if you are an established FA and there is a new FA that comes into the area, you should stop prospecting in that immediate area.  They also say that some migration of clients from your office to the new FA's office is normal.  You should expect that people are going to move their accounts to an office that is more convenient to them. 
 

doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

Spaceman Spiff wrote:
  
I thought you guys might find this interesting.  On the same page as the policy about not calling other Jones clients, there is a blurb on how to avoid disputes among FAs.  It says if you are an established FA and there is a new FA that comes into the area, you should stop prospecting in that immediate areaThey also say that some migration of clients from your office to the new FA's office is normal.  You should expect that people are going to move their accounts to an office that is more convenient to them. 
 
 
Wow, I couldn't handle that. Also, I can't imagine someone taking their lifesavings to another office, just because it's more convenient. If it were true, I'd move next door to Warren Buffett!

Roadhard's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

Though I'm not at Jones anymore, it is true--some will move to the new office due to convenient, maybe she is better looking than you, maybe a friend or relative...in my case the other Jones FA in this small town grew up here, went to school here, married here, and their family is well known here--not to menition their is kin to quite a few people here
in town.  So she did transfer a lot of my accounts!

Broker24's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

Indyone wrote:No, you didn't misunderstand...I believe that at the very least, the local senior Jones rep was supplying the two newbies with this poor guy's client list and I very much suspect that this was at least blessed by St. Louis, if not initiated by them.  Someone was sure supplying them with information since in the span of a few weeks, I had no fewer than four of his clients make this complaint to me when I'd never heard the charge before.  Apparently he heard the complaint several times also as he told the same to a mutual friend.
 
Look, the guy is +10 years with Jones and by his own admission, struggles with the $18K/month nut.  I'm not at all surprised that Jones would want to get rid of him...I just think the methodology is beneath an ethical firm.
 
Well, you're much closer to the situation than me.  I can't imagine that happening, but I guess there are unethical individuals everywhere.  I am sure it's not the "norm" if it actually went down that way.  Sounds pretty crappy.

Broker24's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

Roadhard wrote:Though I'm not at Jones anymore, it is true--some will move to the new office due to convenient, maybe she is better looking than you, maybe a friend or relative...in my case the other Jones FA in this small town grew up here, went to school here, married here, and their family is well known here--not to menition their is kin to quite a few people here
in town.  So she did transfer a lot of my accounts!
 
I have picked up some decent accounts from other FIRMS, and the client has told me that it was just more convenient for them to be with me at my office (of course I had to win them first).  Shocked me, but not everyone places the same value on their advisor.  So I make sure to service the heck out of them so they don't ever want to leave for the office that opens 2 miles closer to them.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

I would venture to say that if a client moves offices because of location, the relationship wasn't there to begin with.  I have clients that have moved across the country and have asked if they can still work with me.  I tell them sure.  It just gives me one more place to visit and write off. 

Roadhard's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

Clients can surprise anyone--I have one that has moved to 5 different states and I'm still his FA--I get one that move across town and he wants someone closer! 

doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

Roadhard wrote:Clients can surprise anyone--I have one that has moved to 5 different states and I'm still his FA--I get one that move across town and he wants someone closer! 
 
Yeah, some people are strange. Can you imagine changing Doctors just because they're closer? My allergist moved across state and I still see him.

Roadhard's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

Then there is the one that moves across town and you can't wait to get rid of them--so you recommend them to another office or firm--then two weeks after they take them you get a message or phone call for sending them the crap---I love it.  That was the one thing I did like about Jones--I could just use Greyhound to get rid of my bad clients.

theironhorse's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-03

i have been through the Jones training within the last 2 years and there are some "unwritten rules" which were relayed to me.  i am in a heavily saturated area, midwest.  you were suppose to leave  a new ir's 2 mile radius alone for a period of time.  he or she was more or less "given" that area for a period of time.  we couold sell anywhere we wanted, no matter if in a different state or not.  also, i had people move to my branch frequently because I was closer to them than the guy across town.

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