The 500 day war (for rookies)

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The Judge's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-06

This is some advice that I would give to someone starting out for their first 500 days as a producing advisor.  A new broker with no substantial contacts/connections; someone who is willing to put in the sweat equity to survive and eventual prosper.  After all, survival is the key as any successful veteran broker will tell you.  Some of these may appear somewhat controversal; it is simply my experience/view and what I would do.  In no particular order:
- Speak to 25,000 people via telephone; business owners and corporate directories only.  It will amount to 2500 leads and 250 new accounts (households). Average account should be 100k; that's 25 million @ 1% paying you 250k gross on an annual basis.
- Make an effort to open all accounts over the phone; discourage appointments (we'll revisit this theory later on) unless it is high 6 figures or a million dollar prospect.  Takes too much time.  With the travel, meeting time, etc; we are solely focusing on the numbers here. Eventually you'll meet with them AFTER they become clients.
- Purchase a laptop for your contact management; have this in front of you at all times and place the firm workstation BEHIND you.  Too distracting and you will rarely need it anyway in the first two years.
- Have all of the compliance approved marketing material as well as new account/ACAT documents available via email to send to prospects.  Make every effort to utilize this at all times to speed up the process.
- On a monthly basis, send a blast email as well as a paper-based copy of some idea/market related info to all of your prospects.  This is to be done on Saturday unless you can afford to hire someone to do it for you.
- If there is no "sale" on the first follow up call, make every effort to (politely) try and disqualify them.  This is done to prevent clogging up the pipeline with nice people who are (in reality) not interest or not qualified.  Or both. 
- Don't consider spending any of your time on seminars, networking, wholesalers.  Too much time/effort with unpredictable results.  These activities can be initiated after you've survived and have built a base to build on.
- Make 3 cold calls for every follow up call during the day.  It insures you are always talking to new people and not getting comfortable/lazy speaking only with existing prospects who will likely treat you in a kinder manner.
- Don't solicit or accept friend or family accounts. In addition, politely let them know that you are not to be called at work before 6 pm unless there is an emergency.  No time for idle chit/chat and friendly calls often turn into long conversations.  Keep up contact evenings/weekends.
- Plan the next day (in particular you call list) before you leave.  30 minutes after arriving to work you should be on the phone.
- Do not take active traders for clients, especially fee-based traders.  Takes too much time and interferes with prospecting.
- Ask every prospect if it would be ok to call them on Saturdays; great day to call/reach people in a relaxed state; this is the only time I would call home #'s and only after they've given you permission.
- Use regular mail and email to keep your name in front of prospects on a regular basis.  However, ALL outgoing phone calls should be dedicated to asking for orders.
- During the week, gather all research/articles/etc and put it in a pile; this is to be read on Sunday when you have time, and not interfering with prospecting efforts.
- Keep diligent notes on conversations with prospects; quickly peruse them before following up and mention previous things they've said.  Sets you apart and will impress any prospect.
- Promote referrals immediately after the first sale is made.  Something along the lines of sending them an additional brochure for someone they may know.  Do not ask for specific names, simply let them know you would appreciate any introductions.
- Be the first to arrive and generally the last to leave.  Do not socialize with fellow brokers as they want you to fail.  Bust your tail and impress them via your work ethic and results.  You are the only one who decides your paycheck.
- Find a city that you would like to visit often, preferably on the opposite coast (different time zone).  Spend 1-2 hours calling this area every day.  If you are on the East Coast and calling SF, this can be done in the evening (your time) while it's still afternoon out there.  Conversely, West Coast people can be calling east at 6 am. 
- Keep a daily scorecard and be diligent tracking activity/results.  Set ambitious (yet reasonable) goals and exceed them.  Time management is crucial; waste one hour a day and you have just wasted 25 working days a year. Yeah, it's that much.
- Assume everyone has caller ID and always leave messages for existing prospects; no messages on cold calls. Leave one message a week for a prospect.  And when you get a new prospect, ask them what time and what # they prefer to be contacted.
- Work for today but keep tomorrow in mind.  Try and build a business that is primarily fee-based/recurring revenue.  It's a great feeling to come into year 3 with 250k already "done" and to see dividends for years to come as a result of the 500 day war.
So there's a start and I'll try and add more as I think of them.  In addition, I'll post some ideas on what a broker in their 3rd year should start considering doing to grow the business.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

The Judge wrote:
This is some advice that I would give to someone starting out for their first 500 days as a producing advisor.  A new broker with no substantial contacts/connections; someone who is willing to put in the sweat equity to survive and eventual prosper.  After all, survival is the key as any successful veteran broker will tell you.  Some of these may appear somewhat controversal; it is simply my experience/view and what I would do.  In no particular order:
- Speak to 25,000 people via telephone; business owners and corporate directories only.  It will amount to 2500 leads and 250 new accounts (households). Average account should be 100k; that's 25 million @ 1% paying you 250k gross on an annual basis.
- Make an effort to open all accounts over the phone; discourage appointments (we'll revisit this theory later on) unless it is high 6 figures or a million dollar prospect.  Takes too much time.  With the travel, meeting time, etc; we are solely focusing on the numbers here. Eventually you'll meet with them AFTER they become clients.
- Purchase a laptop for your contact management; have this in front of you at all times and place the firm workstation BEHIND you.  Too distracting and you will rarely need it anyway in the first two years.
- Have all of the compliance approved marketing material as well as new account/ACAT documents available via email to send to prospects.  Make every effort to utilize this at all times to speed up the process.
- On a monthly basis, send a blast email as well as a paper-based copy of some idea/market related info to all of your prospects.  This is to be done on Saturday unless you can afford to hire someone to do it for you.
- If there is no "sale" on the first follow up call, make every effort to (politely) try and disqualify them.  This is done to prevent clogging up the pipeline with nice people who are (in reality) not interest or not qualified.  Or both. 
- Don't consider spending any of your time on seminars, networking, wholesalers.  Too much time/effort with unpredictable results.  These activities can be initiated after you've survived and have built a base to build on.
- Make 3 cold calls for every follow up call during the day.  It insures you are always talking to new people and not getting comfortable/lazy speaking only with existing prospects who will likely treat you in a kinder manner.
- Don't solicit or accept friend or family accounts. In addition, politely let them know that you are not to be called at work before 6 pm unless there is an emergency.  No time for idle chit/chat and friendly calls often turn into long conversations.  Keep up contact evenings/weekends.
- Plan the next day (in particular you call list) before you leave.  30 minutes after arriving to work you should be on the phone.
- Do not take active traders for clients, especially fee-based traders.  Takes too much time and interferes with prospecting.
- Ask every prospect if it would be ok to call them on Saturdays; great day to call/reach people in a relaxed state; this is the only time I would call home #'s and only after they've given you permission.
- Use regular mail and email to keep your name in front of prospects on a regular basis.  However, ALL outgoing phone calls should be dedicated to asking for orders.
- During the week, gather all research/articles/etc and put it in a pile; this is to be read on Sunday when you have time, and not interfering with prospecting efforts.
- Keep diligent notes on conversations with prospects; quickly peruse them before following up and mention previous things they've said.  Sets you apart and will impress any prospect.
- Promote referrals immediately after the first sale is made.  Something along the lines of sending them an additional brochure for someone they may know.  Do not ask for specific names, simply let them know you would appreciate any introductions.
- Be the first to arrive and generally the last to leave.  Do not socialize with fellow brokers as they want you to fail.  Bust your tail and impress them via your work ethic and results.  You are the only one who decides your paycheck.
- Find a city that you would like to visit often, preferably on the opposite coast (different time zone).  Spend 1-2 hours calling this area every day.  If you are on the East Coast and calling SF, this can be done in the evening (your time) while it's still afternoon out there.  Conversely, West Coast people can be calling east at 6 am. 
- Keep a daily scorecard and be diligent tracking activity/results.  Set ambitious (yet reasonable) goals and exceed them.  Time management is crucial; waste one hour a day and you have just wasted 25 working days a year. Yeah, it's that much.
- Assume everyone has caller ID and always leave messages for existing prospects; no messages on cold calls. Leave one message a week for a prospect.  And when you get a new prospect, ask them what time and what # they prefer to be contacted.
- Work for today but keep tomorrow in mind.  Try and build a business that is primarily fee-based/recurring revenue.  It's a great feeling to come into year 3 with 250k already "done" and to see dividends for years to come as a result of the 500 day war.
So there's a start and I'll try and add more as I think of them.  In addition, I'll post some ideas on what a broker in their 3rd year should start considering doing to grow the business.

This post should be required reading for every rookie as well as vets looking to get off the plateau.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

That's a great post from The Judge.  I agree with most of it, but the point that I would make is that it is really most appropiate for someone whose business model is that of  a wirehouse asset gatherer.
For other business models, this is not the best way to approach things.  For instance, it's not the way to work if you are going to make your money on financial planning fees or if insurance is a big part of your practice.  For those of you who are building business where face to face contacts are important, I would give two rules to follow:
1)From 8:00-4:00 do absolutely nothing but see people and fight to see them.  
2)Get referrals at every appointment.  This means get them before the person is a client.

drewski803's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-08

Ignore the guy beside you who brags about his moster piece of institutional business 'in the pipeline.'

opie's picture
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The Judge wrote:- Find a city that you would like to visit often, preferably on the opposite coast (different time zone).  Spend 1-2 hours calling this area every day.  If you are on the East Coast and calling SF, this can be done in the evening (your time) while it's still afternoon out there.  Conversely, West Coast people can be calling east at 6 am.
Thanks as always judge.  Just not sure I understand this one above... should this one be held back until local market numbers are exhausted?

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

His point is that you can find numbers to prospect at almost ANY hour of the day...
I know a guy at MS who did this in his early years. Had some family in Boston and he used to cold call from So Cal.... He would call starting around 6am West Coast time for a couple hours. He was amazing on the phone and opened up dozens of good accounts over the years. Used to travel back 1-2X per year and meet with these people face to face... Now, he probably has 30-40% of his book back in MA...

drewski803's picture
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Never opened an account on the phone.  If I had a choice (which I probably do) I would rather open 100% over the phone.  Can anyone with experience in this area explain how it is done?  Does it take multiple follow-up calls, etc?  Are visuals used at all (my current pitch is based on MPT which I use some charts to illustrate efficient frontier, etc).

blarmston's picture
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I have two clients back east that I have never met before- both referrals from my best client there.
Basically, I made the initial call, had a good convo. Sent firm material, followed up to simply set the 2nd conf call for a week out. Had the second call where I detailed my services and value prop. Client agreed to send statements and other info back with a financial profile I mailed to them.
Got the info back, ran an analysis and called to set third conversation. Emailed analysis an hour before. Explained everything in detail, and closed them over the phone. They had new account forms and ACAT's in their hands the next day. I have since been back to visit them face to face twice now, and the relationship is now like any other that I may have here locally.
Hope that helps...

troll's picture
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Good stuff, Judge.

BullBroker's picture
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The Judge wrote:
- Make an effort to open all accounts over the phone; discourage appointments (we'll revisit this theory later on) unless it is high 6 figures or a million dollar prospect.  Takes too much time.  With the travel, meeting time, etc; we are solely focusing on the numbers here. Eventually you'll meet with them AFTER they become clients.

I thought your post was absolutely right on Judge, except for this one exert which I don't see how it can happen.  How do you get all the paper work signed?  Branch Mgmt. sign off?  Check for proper identification?  Insure the person you are talking too really is who they say they are? over the phone????  I am sure there are some you can "close" over the phone, but compliance would make it very difficult to close everyone over the phone. 

blarmston's picture
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The account and ACAT paperwork wouldnt be a problem. If they were opening a Trust acct, you simply have them stroll into the nearest branch (if they live a distance away) and have the local notary handle the trust cert. That, and any real firm has an exhaustive back office that conducts "Due Dili" on all new accounts being opened...

BondGuy's picture
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Drewski- keep it simple.
Here is the way we do it:
Call/mail/call.
Call- with a product. As Judge and others have said, know it cold. A product with a closing date works best as it forces action. For example ING just came with a PFD stock. Munis work well, as do Strategy UITs. Strong closers can use open ended mutual funds that they are excited about.
Mail- info about the product
call- you have a choice here. You can close on the product orrrrrr back off a step and go for the interview.
There are no wrong answers beyond not making the calls. There are dozens of variations on this technique. All work.
 

BondGuy's picture
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BullBroker wrote:The Judge wrote:
- Make an effort to open all accounts over the phone; discourage appointments (we'll revisit this theory later on) unless it is high 6 figures or a million dollar prospect.  Takes too much time.  With the travel, meeting time, etc; we are solely focusing on the numbers here. Eventually you'll meet with them AFTER they become clients.

I thought your post was absolutely right on Judge, except for this one exert which I don't see how it can happen.  How do you get all the paper work signed?  Branch Mgmt. sign off?  Check for proper identification?  Insure the person you are talking too really is who they say they are? over the phone????  I am sure there are some you can "close" over the phone, but compliance would make it very difficult to close everyone over the phone. 

 
We open most of our accounts over the phone. I admit to keeping it simple, but opening accounts over the phone has never been a problem. The paperwork gets completed, the money comes in, and off we go to the next one. Compliance has no probelm with this. It's a matter of being set up to do business this way. As long as you know up front what the compliance process is for processing accounts opened by phone it's a simple matter of following that process. As a salesperson, I don't have to worry about the details. My service assistant has to know all the forms, processes etc to make it happen. And happen it does.

BullBroker's picture
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In the Series 66 we learned that the NASD requires us to verify identification of clients.  For very least purposes of determining they are not terrorist.  I am new at this so maybe I havn't been taught how to check a photo ID over the phone, but please tell me how, that would really speed-up my business. 
Please note, I am not trying to discredit the Judges post at all ( on the contrary, he is THE most helpful and knowledgeable of ALL the posters on this site).  I am just trying to see how you guys "close" the paper work over the phone. 

BondGuy's picture
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BullBroker wrote:
In the Series 66 we learned that the NASD requires us to verify identification of clients.  For very least purposes of determining they are not terrorist.  I am new at this so maybe I havn't been taught how to check a photo ID over the phone, but please tell me how, that would really speed-up my business. 
Please note, I am not trying to discredit the Judges post at all ( on the contrary, he is THE most helpful and knowledgeable of ALL the posters on this site).  I am just trying to see how you guys "close" the paper work over the phone. 

 You are making this a lot harder than it has to be. I doubt your training qualifies you as a document expert. In fact, there is someone else at your firm who has that job. Let them do it and you stick to sales.
Bull, I not advising you to go against your firm's compliance rules or the NASD rules when I say this, but you are getting way too caught up in the red tape. Find out what your firm's rules are for opening accounts over the phone. If they tell you they don't have a process for getting that done it's time to move to a new firm because they are BSing you. Use your firm's process. better yet, let your service assistant get it done.
Also, find a way to take yourself out of the paperwork process and increase your selling time.

Closer's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-26

That's gold Judge, I want more.

malcom's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-22

thanks for the vision and enthusiasm judge and Bondguy, much appreciated

vagabond's picture
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The Judge wrote:
- Make an effort to open all accounts over the phone; discourage appointments (we'll revisit this theory later on) unless it is high 6 figures or a million dollar prospect.  Takes too much time.  With the travel, meeting time, etc; we are solely focusing on the numbers here. Eventually you'll meet with them AFTER they become clients.
What type of accounts are you looking for at this point?  If these accounts are coming from cold calls my experience is that you would have to be talking about a bond, stock, or other single investment.  
- Find a city that you would like to visit often, preferably on the opposite coast (different time zone).  Spend 1-2 hours calling this area every day.  If you are on the East Coast and calling SF, this can be done in the evening (your time) while it's still afternoon out there.  Conversely, West Coast people can be calling east at 6 am. 
What type of value do you propose that would convince these people (unless they are referals) to invest with you as opposed to someone local? 

Great post, but as you can see from my questions I am curious what you do to set yourself apart that would cause people to invest with you in a relatively non-personal manner.  The trend in the industry seems to be focused on touchy-feely dreams and aspirations garbage.   

Dine_Out's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-23

 
Thanks Judge for putting that together

bXpress's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-09

Great info Judge.  Read it several times.  Printing it now.  

LEAP's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-15

Thanks Judge -
I wish we had someone in my office that thought the way you do and could see the value of mentoring rookies.

regulator's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-20

Wow, I'm impressed. I'm just getting started in the biz. This is better information in a more concise presentation than what I've recieved the last three months...

regulator's picture
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Judge,
That was a lot of information but I did have one question. I guess anyone can answer it.
How do you like to qualify someone for "MUH-NEY"?
Also, do you find it challenging to overcome peoples inclination to not want to buy from a stranger over the phone? Or are these transactions expected after a second or third call where similar offers were made?
TIA

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

regulator wrote:
Judge,
That was a lot of information but I did have one question. I guess anyone can answer it.
How do you like to qualify someone for "MUH-NEY"?
Also, do you find it challenging to overcome peoples inclination to not want to buy from a stranger over the phone? Or are these transactions expected after a second or third call where similar offers were made?
TIA

Ask them how much money they have. In fact, don't even ask us any more questions until you have actually MADE some cold calls.

opie's picture
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The Judge wrote:- Speak to 25,000 people via telephone; business owners and corporate directories only.  It will amount to 2500 leads and 250 new accounts (households). Average account should be 100k; that's 25 million @ 1% paying you 250k gross on an annual basis.
It may be helpful for some to note that, to reach 25,000 business owners, one usually needs to dial at least 5x that many.  That means at least 125,000 dials over two years - which boils down to 1,200 a week and about 240 a day (on five-day schedule).

FreeLunch's picture
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opie wrote:
It may be helpful for some to note that, to reach 25,000 business owners, one usually needs to dial at least 5x that many.  That means at least 125,000 dials over two years - which boils down to 1,200 a week and about 240 a day (on five-day schedule).
Damn that's a lot of calls.

drewski803's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-08

Just wanted to bring this to the top again.  What a great inspirational post.  Thanks again Judge.

malcom's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-22

wordup judge

Closer's picture
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Getting into the business young is tough. I feel like if a person used The Judge's marketing plan, where no real face to face contact occurs, a young person could succeed much more easily. The real impediment to success for a young person is that you LOOK young. A HNW 55 yo isn't going to give a young looking person 5MM. Trust is to gain if you look older, I believe. Even if you are saying the right things.So, If a young person started a ravenous cold-calling campaign, similar to what The Judge discussed, they could have equal success as a 50yo with the same knowledge. That is, as long as they don't sound like a 12 yo. What do all of the vets out there think?

bluestars80's picture
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Closer wrote:Getting into the business young is tough. I feel like if a person used The Judge's marketing plan, where no real face to face contact occurs, a young person could succeed much more easily. The real impediment to success for a young person is that you LOOK young. A HNW 55 yo isn't going to give a young looking person 5MM. Trust is to gain if you look older, I believe. Even if you are saying the right things.So, If a young person started a ravenous cold-calling campaign, similar to what The Judge discussed, they could have equal success as a 50yo with the same knowledge. That is, as long as they don't sound like a 12 yo. What do all of the vets out there think?
Agree, the quickest way to get accounts is cold-calling,but I keep wodnering how judge says to open accounts without signatures from clients.  My compliance dept would shut me down if I did that........

Closer's picture
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Can't you send out account forms with highlighted or marked places where to sign? Like "express" account opening.

pretzelhead's picture
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yep.  I do, and I put those little SIGN HERE---> stickies on there too.

drewski803's picture
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I just feel like these would take a minimum of 4 weeks to get mailed back, is that not the case?

shadow191's picture
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Can't you get them to fax it back?  Then put a temporary approval on the account until you get the originals.  I did that a few times for out of state clients.
 
drewski803 wrote:I just feel like these would take a minimum of 4 weeks to get mailed back, is that not the case?

drewski803's picture
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Really?  Wow, I would have never even thought that was a possibility... I'm too new to really understand the ops side.  I'll have to investigate that.  I've gone between trying to get in front ASAP and over qualifying on the telephone.  I've found that I really do come accross alot better over the phone, but I only close the deal if I get in front of them.  Never solo closed a deal over 440m though...

bluestars80's picture
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I just reread Judge's comments.  I think he was saying to open them up verbally, and get the signed documents to them ASAP, and call them to make sure they are returned ASAP.
I don't know how you can ACAT without an account open, and that takes signatures, probably a pipeline thing..........
Good info,I wish someone would have clued me in on things when I started.........

dividends's picture
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Excellent - Excellent post!  This could really be used by the LOS 7-10 crowd that needs to take it to the next level with small modifications.

young_gun's picture
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Hi Judge,
 
Can you explain to me about why you shouldn't call for appointments? You've never updated your thoughts on this.  I absolutely agree with trying to open accounts over the phone is most desirable from an efficiency standpoint especially since it eliminates the agony of wasting time, gas, and the possible no shows on the commute to the appointment. 
 
However, with my experience (limited to only 1yr.) I've noticed that meeting face to face is more effective to get the WHOLE nugget.  Or at least, the prospect is more receptive about divuldging all their financial info.  Whereas, most of the time when a prospect buys a product from me they often do not fully disclose details otheir other accounts.  They might tell you a little about it, but you learn a lot more in person and specific details instead of general outline.
 
When I used to call on product and successfully sold it to a person on the phone the person would not regard me as a financial advisor.  In the end of the day I would be the guy who sold him some bonds or a fund.  Meeting in person can eliminate the vacuum salesman impression assuming you act and look more professional. 
 
Lastly, after selling an investment to the person on the phone, you would assume that this would give you passage to other oppurtunities like getting an appointment right?  Wrong!  Typically the best case scenario is that the person will continue or at least consider buying more product from you... at least from my experience.   This is still a profitable business model and works for a lot of advisors.  Most of these clients actually prefer to do this type of business over the phone and not meet at all either.  That is why when I have tried infiltrating a call with the main agenda for a face to face they usually decline the idea.  Ideally, I would love just to do business over the phone, but deep down I know that the relationship I want to have.  I want to start early on my career by doing managed money instead of chopping wood all day by pitching product the old school way.  I believe that managed money is best presented in person rather on the phone.  In the end I would rather start the year off with almost garaunteed production than looking at how many cars I need to sell to feed the kids w/ my next paycheck.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

young_gun wrote:Hi Judge,
 
Can you explain to me about why you shouldn't call for appointments? You've never updated your thoughts on this.  I absolutely agree with trying to open accounts over the phone is most desirable from an efficiency standpoint especially since it eliminates the agony of wasting time, gas, and the possible no shows on the commute to the appointment. 
 
However, with my experience (limited to only 1yr.) I've noticed that meeting face to face is more effective to get the WHOLE nugget.  Or at least, the prospect is more receptive about divuldging all their financial info.  Whereas, most of the time when a prospect buys a product from me they often do not fully disclose details otheir other accounts.  They might tell you a little about it, but you learn a lot more in person and specific details instead of general outline.
 
When I used to call on product and successfully sold it to a person on the phone the person would not regard me as a financial advisor.  In the end of the day I would be the guy who sold him some bonds or a fund.  Meeting in person can eliminate the vacuum salesman impression assuming you act and look more professional. 
 
Lastly, after selling an investment to the person on the phone, you would assume that this would give you passage to other oppurtunities like getting an appointment right?  Wrong!  Typically the best case scenario is that the person will continue or at least consider buying more product from you... at least from my experience.   This is still a profitable business model and works for a lot of advisors.  Most of these clients actually prefer to do this type of business over the phone and not meet at all either.  That is why when I have tried infiltrating a call with the main agenda for a face to face they usually decline the idea.  Ideally, I would love just to do business over the phone, but deep down I know that the relationship I want to have.  I want to start early on my career by doing managed money instead of chopping wood all day by pitching product the old school way.  I believe that managed money is best presented in person rather on the phone.  In the end I would rather start the year off with almost garaunteed production than looking at how many cars I need to sell to feed the kids w/ my next paycheck.
 
I'll let judge come in with his own answers here on some of the points you raise. However, There are a few things here I'll ring in on.
 
 Failure to move the account beyond a product sale -  This is your failure, not a failure of the phone sales process. One can only guess where you went wrong. That said, there are clients/customers who will never move beyond the product sale. Still, carefully building a bond of trust and competency will usually give you a seat at the table. That can be done over the phone. That you didn't do as well over the phone is a good thing for you.  It tells you to try another path. Another path in which you may be ultimately very successful.
 
Face to face vs over the phone - This is a personal preference. Neither side is right or wrong. Relationships can be built using either method. Think about this for a moment; Face to face, how often are you going to meet with your clients? Does anyone think that meeting with someone for an hour once a year builds a relationship? And once you've gathered hundreds of clients, how many meetings will there be? Of  course there is a lot more to building relationships than meeting face to face. As for which way to go, play to your strong suit. if you look like you're 21 go phone. If you absolutely drip charisma, go for face time. The rest of us, flip a coin.
 
Relationship building is a multi-channel process.
 
Chopping wood the old school way- There is a saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The old school way is to match the product to the client. That is find out what the client needs and then supply it. Managed money is a product. I know your handlers are telling you it's a process, it's not.  It's a product and as such, it may not be the best match for a client. So while chopping wood the old school way may cut into your beach time while the money rolls in, doing it the old school way, letting the client decide how to pay for your services, will take your career a lot further.
 
Phone prospecting can be confusing to those who are new. On the surface it looks like product pushing. yet it's not. it is a means to start a conversation. Sometimes that conversation leads to a phone sale, and sometimes it leads to an appointment. Your job is to further the sales process regardless of the route it takes. Or, to exercise enough sales ability to steer the process to the route you wish it to take. it's that simple
 
And by the way, comparing transactional business to selling cars, in very bad taste and misinformed. Is how far the PR campaign from training depts is going these days?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

BondGuy wrote:
 
I'll let judge come in with his own answers here on some of the points you raise. However, There are a few things here I'll ring in on.
 
 Failure to move the account beyond a product sale -  This is your failure, not a failure of the phone sales process. One can only guess where you went wrong. That said, there are clients/customers who will never move beyond the product sale. Still, carefully building a bond of trust and competency will usually give you a seat at the table. That can be done over the phone. That you didn't do as well over the phone is a good thing for you.  It tells you to try another path. Another path in which you may be ultimately very successful.
 
Face to face vs over the phone - This is a personal preference. Neither side is right or wrong. Relationships can be built using either method. Think about this for a moment; Face to face, how often are you going to meet with your clients? Does anyone think that meeting with someone for an hour once a year builds a relationship? And once you've gathered hundreds of clients, how many meetings will there be? Of  course there is a lot more to building relationships than meeting face to face. As for which way to go, play to your strong suit. if you look like you're 21 go phone. If you absolutely drip charisma, go for face time. The rest of us, flip a coin.
 
Relationship building is a multi-channel process.
 
Chopping wood the old school way- There is a saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The old school way is to match the product to the client. That is find out what the client needs and then supply it. Managed money is a product. I know your handlers are telling you it's a process, it's not.  It's a product and as such, it may not be the best match for a client. So while chopping wood the old school way may cut into your beach time while the money rolls in, doing it the old school way, letting the client decide how to pay for your services, will take your career a lot further.
 
Phone prospecting can be confusing to those who are new. On the surface it looks like product pushing. yet it's not. it is a means to start a conversation. Sometimes that conversation leads to a phone sale, and sometimes it leads to an appointment. Your job is to further the sales process regardless of the route it takes. Or, to exercise enough sales ability to steer the process to the route you wish it to take. it's that simple
 

And by the way, comparing transactional business to selling cars, in very bad taste and misinformed. Is how far the PR campaign from training depts is going these days? Hey BondGUY....clean out your inbox...

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

joedabrkr wrote: BondGuy wrote:
 
I'll let judge come in with his own answers here on some of the points you raise. However, There are a few things here I'll ring in on.
 
 Failure to move the account beyond a product sale -  This is your failure, not a failure of the phone sales process. One can only guess where you went wrong. That said, there are clients/customers who will never move beyond the product sale. Still, carefully building a bond of trust and competency will usually give you a seat at the table. That can be done over the phone. That you didn't do as well over the phone is a good thing for you.  It tells you to try another path. Another path in which you may be ultimately very successful.
 
Face to face vs over the phone - This is a personal preference. Neither side is right or wrong. Relationships can be built using either method. Think about this for a moment; Face to face, how often are you going to meet with your clients? Does anyone think that meeting with someone for an hour once a year builds a relationship? And once you've gathered hundreds of clients, how many meetings will there be? Of  course there is a lot more to building relationships than meeting face to face. As for which way to go, play to your strong suit. if you look like you're 21 go phone. If you absolutely drip charisma, go for face time. The rest of us, flip a coin.
 
Relationship building is a multi-channel process.
 
Chopping wood the old school way- There is a saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The old school way is to match the product to the client. That is find out what the client needs and then supply it. Managed money is a product. I know your handlers are telling you it's a process, it's not.  It's a product and as such, it may not be the best match for a client. So while chopping wood the old school way may cut into your beach time while the money rolls in, doing it the old school way, letting the client decide how to pay for your services, will take your career a lot further.
 
Phone prospecting can be confusing to those who are new. On the surface it looks like product pushing. yet it's not. it is a means to start a conversation. Sometimes that conversation leads to a phone sale, and sometimes it leads to an appointment. Your job is to further the sales process regardless of the route it takes. Or, to exercise enough sales ability to steer the process to the route you wish it to take. it's that simple
 
And by the way, comparing transactional business to selling cars, in very bad taste and misinformed. Is how far the PR campaign from training depts is going these days? Hey BondGUY....clean out your inbox...
 
Done

New2EJ&Biz's picture
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Joined: 2008-02-27

The Judge wrote:- Make an effort to open all accounts over the phone; discourage appointments (we'll revisit this theory later on) unless it is high 6 figures or a million dollar prospect.  Takes too much time.  With the travel, meeting time, etc; we are solely focusing on the numbers here. Eventually you'll meet with them AFTER they become clients.

DISCLAIMER:  I have yet to spend my first day selling.
 
Your posts reads like an excellent instruction manual. However, I must comment on the above phone-selling point:
This strategy will likely see you starving in rural North Louisiana. I'm in an area where the majority of folks will hang up on voice mail, and come see you 'cos that's "how they do bidness 'round here." It sure would be nice to sell lots over the phone, but I'm expecting the face-to-face here.
 
Comments?

doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

Yeah, then go face-to-face.

Broker24's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

New2EJ&Biz wrote: The Judge wrote:- Make an effort to open all accounts over the phone; discourage appointments (we'll revisit this theory later on) unless it is high 6 figures or a million dollar prospect.  Takes too much time.  With the travel, meeting time, etc; we are solely focusing on the numbers here. Eventually you'll meet with them AFTER they become clients.

DISCLAIMER:  I have yet to spend my first day selling.
 
Your posts reads like an excellent instruction manual. However, I must comment on the above phone-selling point:
This strategy will likely see you starving in rural North Louisiana. I'm in an area where the majority of folks will hang up on voice mail, and come see you 'cos that's "how they do bidness 'round here." It sure would be nice to sell lots over the phone, but I'm expecting the face-to-face here.
 
Comments?

Hopefully you get the underlying message in Judge's original post. You need a lot of activity, and ignore everything else. Yes, you will need to do things a little different depending on who you are targeting.

RULiquid's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-16

Thought I would bump this up for any newbies

preluder's picture
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Joined: 2005-07-11

I've recently launched a campaign to cold call SBO's.  I built a list at my library using the infousa database.  I was into my 3rd day calling when one guys tells me he's on the DNC list.  I apologized and backed off politely and he was ok about it.
 
It got me thinking and I then took some of the #'s that i have been calling as well as some of the #'s of people that accepted my offer.  I crossed checked them against a DNC search engine that my firm provides and to my suprise a good amount of them are registered.
 
So I'm confused I was under the idea that businesses don't apply.  I went to the DNC registration page and I don't see anything that warns someone if you are business you can't register.
 
So for those of you that call businesses do you scrub your lists for DNC? 

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Any # can be registered for the DNC list, however only residential #'s have the legal protections provided by DNC laws.  Call businesses all day long, there is nothing they can do about it.

Hollywood's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

The Judge wrote:- Assume everyone has caller ID and always leave messages for existing prospects; no messages on cold calls. Leave one message a week for a prospect.  And when you get a new prospect, ask them what time and what # they prefer to be contacted.To clarify, once you make an initial contact with a prospect, are messages always left on follow up calls?  I just want to be sure that The Judge meant 'existing prospects' and not 'existing clients'.  I have often left no messages for both prospects and clients because I have found that it is hard to get call backs...

Broker24's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

I would leave messages for clients.  Everyone has caller ID, and it is sometimes creepy to call and hang up.  If you do hang up, just make a note on their account, so the next time you call, you are aware that you did it, as the client might know that you called (in other words, you don't want to be caught in an un-intentional lie with a client).
 
Unless I have something specific that I need the client to do, or discuss, I just leave a message that I am calling to touch base.  They remember that, and even if they don't call back often, they note that you are being diligent and calling.

Beagle's picture
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Joined: 2005-03-21

This is ONE business model and it works best for introverts.  If you look at it you are sitting in an office alone for 10+ hours per day, never meeting with anyone personally and all conversations are limited to 3-5 minutes in length.  Not exactly building in-depth relationships but instead acquiring 600+ limited relationships.  Reality - this business could be run from your guest bedroom and nobody would know the difference.  It is a great system if it is what you want.  Be very careful though as this business will lead to burnout very quickly if you aren't careful. 

DodgerDraftpick's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-24

well said beagle a good post but you need to work on "getting out there" and developing relationships with COI in my opinion

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