Cold Calling, what's working?

42 replies [Last post]
OS's picture
OS
Offline
Joined: 2008-11-03

I know this has been talked about before but I wanted to get an updated topic on this going. What's working best for you all right now on your cold calls?

Ron 14's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-07-10

Doing it

BondGuy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-21

Exactly! Pick up the phone and do it!
 
I call on tax free bonds and it works quite well. Any fixed income will work.
 
Buttttt! One doesn't have call on fixed income. Just call on something you like and believe in.

tqspygame's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-01-24

Any recent successes? (not, I have been dripping on this guy for 2yrs type) And consider an appt a success...

BondGuy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-21

tqspygame wrote:Any recent successes? (not, I have been dripping on this guy for 2yrs type) And consider an appt a success...
 
new account this week- 300k. Is that recent enough? Also got a million dollar referral, but that's not a cold call.
 
 I need to make more calls
 
 
One of my buddies in the office- yesterday- 3 accounts, 50k, 175k, and 100k. All muni bonds.
 
The money is out there.
 
reading BG's March article in Research he speaks of an advisor who has built a million dollar practice in the era of DNC via cold calling. No details offered.
 
 
 
 
 
 

tqspygame's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-01-24

The new account for 300k... How many contacts did it take to get that? Or was it just the cold call this week on a muni?
 
Same with your buddy?

army13A's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-03-21

Like everyone else said, you just have TO DO IT.  Doesn't matter if you suck or are an expert, just pick up the freaking phone.  What's the worse that can happen? They hang up on you? Who gives a crap? Screw them and move on.  I made 3 appointments today so far . . . Getting back on the phones. 

BondGuy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-21

tqspygame wrote:The new account for 300k... How many contacts did it take to get that? Or was it just the cold call this week on a muni?
 
Same with your buddy?
 
Three calls over a ten day period.
 
Intial call
 
sent  info on my firm and generic muni bond info
 
1 week later 2nd call- qualified - risk - parameters
 
3 days later found bond that fit, called, pitched ,closed.
 
New account
 
New client wants more bonds if i can find.
 
I WILL find!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
I don't know how many calls my buddy made to open these accounts. But knowing him, not many.
 
I use call/mail/call as my prospecting technique. But there are other ways. Others here use a one call appointment approach that gets good results.
 
 

tqspygame's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-01-24

Bondguy:
 
Who or what kind of list were you calling? Residential, Corporate Directory, Business Owner or Other?
 
 
I have a corporate directory I just picked up, but would it be noneffective to call them on a muni bond instead of retirement.

Mike Damone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2004-12-01

Bondguy, I thought you qualify on the first call?

BondGuy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-21

I do qualify on the first call. There is no second call unless the prospect meets minimum interest and cash to invest requirements. I requalify on the second call, getting more in depth with the prospect as far as wants needs experience etc.
 
Biz owners and execs.
 
The key when calling on bonds is to call people who have money. Somebody with 10k to invest isn't going to cut it. I'll do a 10k first trade, but if they are a low net worth prospect i don't spend a lot of time calling them back.
 
Earlier this month i opened a guy who did a 25k first trade. 2nd trade one week later was 60k, and a few days after that a 150k trade. These are the types of accounts we're looking for.
 
If a corporate directory is a listing of a particular firm's employees then a retirement call would be the way to go. My partner (my wife) calls these asking for retirement dates. She is looking for people within 5 years of retirement. Ideally, with a year. Make enough of these calls and the pipeline fills in nicely.
 
 

stokwiz's picture
Offline
Joined: 2004-12-04

Great posts BondGuy!
 
What I've found is there is a formula for calls, and for over 20 years it hasn't really changed.
 
If you make 100 dials to business owners primarily in the morning, you will achieve 15 - 20 contacts, set 2 appointments along with another 2-3 that will request something in the mail.
 
This call block should take no longer than 2 hours, and is the foundation for growth in your business. I'm talking about first calls to new prospects. Callbacks are a separate time block.
 
 Call with a product that will have mass appeal in this low interest rate, high tax and volatile market climate. If a prospect says not interested, I note that in my database (ACT!) and call again in 45-60 days with another solution.Just try to spark up a conversation. It's easy, but our minds generate alot of noise and make this simple process much harder than it has to be.
 
It's imperative you begin calling no later than 8:30, where your contact ratio will be high. Always a great feeling to be done by 10- 10:30 and seeing what you've accomplished.
 
Stick to the formula every day, and you will succeed.
 
Stok

Moraen's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-01-22

Partnering with my wife was the smartest thing I've ever done. With no marketing background, she's turned the firm into a marketing machine that generates leads over and over.

BondGuy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-21

stokwiz wrote:Great posts BondGuy!
 
What I've found is there is a formula for calls, and for over 20 years it hasn't really changed.
 
If you make 100 dials to business owners primarily in the morning, you will achieve 15 - 20 contacts, set 2 appointments along with another 2-3 that will request something in the mail.
 
This call block should take no longer than 2 hours, and is the foundation for growth in your business. I'm talking about first calls to new prospects. Callbacks are a separate time block.
 
 Call with a product that will have mass appeal in this low interest rate, high tax and volatile market climate. If a prospect says not interested, I note that in my database (ACT!) and call again in 45-60 days with another solution.Just try to spark up a conversation. It's easy, but our minds generate alot of noise and make this simple process much harder than it has to be.
 
It's imperative you begin calling no later than 8:30, where your contact ratio will be high. Always a great feeling to be done by 10- 10:30 and seeing what you've accomplished.
 
Stick to the formula every day, and you will succeed.
 
Stok
 
And there you have it folks- cold call prospecting campaigns 101. Do exactly as Stok says every day, as a top priority, and you can not fail! Copy Stok's post and paste it to your bathroom mirror.
 
 And for you newer guys-up that to 50 contacts per day.
 
My wife is licensed and runs her practice,for the most part, seperately from mine. She's the retirement plans/insurance/annuity expert. There is some overlap. For example; She just brought an account in from ML. The account needed to be rebalanced for income. That's my side of the biz. OTOH, when my clients need insurance solutions I bring her in as my expert.  
 
Great stuff stok!
 
 

norway401's picture
Offline
Joined: 2007-10-16

Good Post....Bond Guy. To the point and shows that a system that is adhered to works. No short cut, just plain old fashioned work. Funny how that works.

tqspygame's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-01-24

BondGuy wrote:I do qualify on the first call. There is no second call unless the prospect meets minimum interest and cash to invest requirements. I requalify on the second call, getting more in depth with the prospect as far as wants needs experience etc.
 
Biz owners and execs.
 
The key when calling on bonds is to call people who have money. Somebody with 10k to invest isn't going to cut it. I'll do a 10k first trade, but if they are a low net worth prospect i don't spend a lot of time calling them back.
 
Earlier this month i opened a guy who did a 25k first trade. 2nd trade one week later was 60k, and a few days after that a 150k trade. These are the types of accounts we're looking for.
 
If a corporate directory is a listing of a particular firm's employees then a retirement call would be the way to go. My partner (my wife) calls these asking for retirement dates. She is looking for people within 5 years of retirement. Ideally, with a year. Make enough of these calls and the pipeline fills in nicely.
 
 
 
What type of script does she does use for doing this.. I have a list coming today for a global foods company's local office(about 1100 direct dials) not sure how to lead in...

BondGuy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-21

My wife's script?
 
For calling employees fishing for 401k rollovers it depends on what's happening. If she's got a seminar or workshop planned she'll call with invites to that event. Just a straight forward invite. When's she's calling looking for retirement dates here's roughly what she says:
 
mr.______, this is Joyce Smithers at Velda bluehair investments. I specialize in retirement planning and 401k rollovers and was calling to offer you our planning services. Tell me, when are you planning to retire?
 
It is that simple. Play with it make it yours. If you already deal with employees at the firm, mention that. Embelish or not. Just make the calls.
 
Ice, yes we work in the same office and have had seperate offices and shared large offices. The rule is that the place has to be big enough that, if need be, we can come in and not see each other. Luckily, rarely needed.
 
My peers, when talking to me, would ask "How are you going to feel when she out produces you?" My answer "I'm going to enjoy my time on the beach!"
 
She produces about 1/3 of my production, and in addition to this biz she runs our outside business interests.  So, for now she's not a threat. But, if she ever focuses strictly on this-I'm done!
 
She started at a wire-not the one I was working at. She went through training and then used my cold call system to launch herself. However, she did it a twist. She called to get appointments for retirement biz. "Huh, you want to meet people? Why slow down the process?" was my response. But it worked. She was not only top quintile in her training class but out of something like 12,000 advisors was ranked in the top 100 in number of new households in her second and third year of training. Of course, i told her she could be number one if she'd just listen to me and "Call, pitch, and close."  But, naturally, being a woman and all, she had to do it her own way.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Squash1's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-11-19

BondGuy wrote:My wife's script?
 
For calling employees fishing for 401k rollovers it depends on what's happening. If she's got a seminar or workshop planned she'll call with invites to that event. Just a straight forward invite. When's she's calling looking for retirement dates here's roughly what she says:
 
mr.______, this is Joyce Smithers at Velda bluehair investments. I specialize in retirement planning and 401k rollovers and was calling to offer you our planning services. Tell me, when are you planning to retire?
 
It is that simple. Play with it make it yours. If you already deal with employees at the firm, mention that. Embelish or not. Just make the calls.
 
Ice, yes we work in the same office and have had seperate offices and shared large offices. The rule is that the place has to be big enough that, if need be, we can come in and not see each other. Luckily, rarely needed.
 
My peers, when talking to me, would ask "How are you going to feel when she out produces you?" My answer "I'm going to enjoy my time on the beach!"
 
She produces about 1/3 of my production, and in addition to this biz she runs our outside business interests.  So, for now she's not a threat. But, if she ever focuses strictly on this-I'm done!
 
She started at a wire-not the one I was working at. She went through training and then used my cold call system to launch herself. However, she did it a twist. She called to get appointments for retirement biz. "Huh, you want to meet people? Why slow down the process?" was my response. But it worked. She was not only top quintile in her training class but out of something like 12,000 advisors was ranked in the top 100 in number of new households in her second and third year of training. Of course, i told her she could be number one if she'd just listen to me and "Call, pitch, and close."  But, naturally, being a woman and all, she had to do it her own way.
 

 
What is you're system? Call, mail, call? 

BondGuy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-21

Squash1 wrote:BondGuy wrote:My wife's script?
 
For calling employees fishing for 401k rollovers it depends on what's happening. If she's got a seminar or workshop planned she'll call with invites to that event. Just a straight forward invite. When's she's calling looking for retirement dates here's roughly what she says:
 
mr.______, this is Joyce Smithers at Velda bluehair investments. I specialize in retirement planning and 401k rollovers and was calling to offer you our planning services. Tell me, when are you planning to retire?
 
It is that simple. Play with it make it yours. If you already deal with employees at the firm, mention that. Embelish or not. Just make the calls.
 
Ice, yes we work in the same office and have had seperate offices and shared large offices. The rule is that the place has to be big enough that, if need be, we can come in and not see each other. Luckily, rarely needed.
 
My peers, when talking to me, would ask "How are you going to feel when she out produces you?" My answer "I'm going to enjoy my time on the beach!"
 
She produces about 1/3 of my production, and in addition to this biz she runs our outside business interests.  So, for now she's not a threat. But, if she ever focuses strictly on this-I'm done!
 
She started at a wire-not the one I was working at. She went through training and then used my cold call system to launch herself. However, she did it a twist. She called to get appointments for retirement biz. "Huh, you want to meet people? Why slow down the process?" was my response. But it worked. She was not only top quintile in her training class but out of something like 12,000 advisors was ranked in the top 100 in number of new households in her second and third year of training. Of course, i told her she could be number one if she'd just listen to me and "Call, pitch, and close."  But, naturally, being a woman and all, she had to do it her own way.
 

 
What is you're system? Call, mail, call? 
 
My system is call/mail/call. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! It's worked forever.
 
There are dozens of versions of cold calls that work. I use call/mail/call. Stok uses call/appointment/close. What these have in common is that we are dialing the phone.

tqspygame's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-01-24

Bondguy, since you mentioned new guys should be getting 50 contacts/day(are we counting anyone who answers the phone) how many dials are you making a day? 500?

BondGuy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-21

A contact is when the target answers and you get at least your name out before they do "click dialtone." That's the minimum req for a contact.
 

Because of my schedule i call inconsistantly. I can afford to do that. i call because i want to, not because i have to. That said, when i call I block out hour long blocks of time. These blocks are interuption free. Calling businesses, my contact rate is usually in the 8 to 10 per hour range. If i block out three or four hours during a day, that will usually add up to about 150 to 200 dials.
 
If your schedule isn't full you should be prospecting as much as possible. 50 contacts a day is easily doable for those working the hours.

chief123's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-10-28

BondGuy wrote:My wife's script?
 
For calling employees fishing for 401k rollovers it depends on what's happening. If she's got a seminar or workshop planned she'll call with invites to that event. Just a straight forward invite. When's she's calling looking for retirement dates here's roughly what she says:
 
mr.______, this is Joyce Smithers at Velda bluehair investments. I specialize in retirement planning and 401k rollovers and was calling to offer you our planning services. Tell me, when are you planning to retire?
 
It is that simple. Play with it make it yours. If you already deal with employees at the firm, mention that. Embelish or not. Just make the calls.
 
 
Anyone using something else that is working with corp directories?

jackofalltrades's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-05-20

I dial all day, I have been in the business for 10yrs and I can tell you that dialing is the quickest most effective way to meet new people and move your business in the direction you want it to go... I am not saying that seminars and other methods don't work but in many instances I have started the day off not knowing someone and by the end of the day they are a client... doesn't work for everyone, but the hardest thing I have had to deal with in my career is dialing when things are good like I do when they're bad... The hardest thing about being successful is staying successful...

Roxie's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-10-19

Good Morning All,
Thought I would bump this thread along as it has some great stuff and wanted to share my one hour of call efforts and get your thoughts.
 
Called from sales genie, two lists, new businesses and businesses over 5 years.  22 names on the first and 23 on the second and similiar results to both.
Dials- 45
Contacts- 9
Appts - 0 (called to set a time to stop in)
Prospects found - 2, one said I can email something and one said I can mail something.
Disconnected  or wrong number - 6
 

I was trying to replicate this: 
"If you make 100 dials to business owners primarily in the morning, you will achieve 15 - 20 contacts, set 2 appointments along with another 2-3 that will request something in the mail."
 
My simple script:  Hello xxxx, this is xxxx, a local financial planner, and I am calling to congratulate on starting / being in business and to see if I might be able to stop by and introduce myself to you next week.
 
It wasn't quite that fluid, but you get the idea. 
 
 
Misc points, I am looking to go indy and start from scratch and wanted to test the waters and that means I called a city similiar to my area but an hour away.  Did not give any company name, just said, local financial planner and no one asked the name anyway.
 
I wanted to do this to first test the numbers of dials, contacts, appts etc., second to see how it felt to cold call and third to see how bad the economy is and what if anything that would mean.
 
All comments welcome!!

Roxie's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-10-19

I'll take the laugh, thanks!
 
Not sure I would continue to call them, but it was more strategic than it might seem.  I thought that some of them might have a 401k to rollover....  Also, I wanted to see how many started a business because they wanted to versus lost a job and 3 started for the latter.  Besides, its all academic practice right now and what better way to cut my teeth before moving on to the have money side.

chief123's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-10-28

Agree with BioFreeze here. Most new business owners are pouring their money into their current venture(possibly using their old 401k to do so)... I wouldn't call new business owners for the same reason I wouldn't call 25 year olds... No money..

TheAnimal's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-10-16

I have been cold calling now for 2.5 years.  My book is $24 million.  Built all through cold calls and recently some referrals.  My largest account is $1.2 million and my smallest is ~$100k.
 
I just hit the phones everyday.

Ron 14's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-07-10

TheAnimal wrote:I have been cold calling now for 2.5 years.  My book is $24 million.  Built all through cold calls and recently some referrals.  My largest account is $1.2 million and my smallest is ~$100k.
 
I just hit the phones everyday.
 
That is awesome. What number of dials are you making each day ? What do you pitch, product or plans ? You are obviously doing something right that many of us can learn from.

shrek's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-12-14

I'm certainly not in Bond Guy/Gaddock's leauge, but one example: I've been calling on one of the local real estate offices for the last few months. I call and TELL them i'm stopping by to introduce myself this afternoon. Show up and drop the names of the other realtors I have as clients and ask if I can give them a call with investing ideas from time to time. exchange cards. call/mail/call for product twice. call for appointment, thats how i closed most of them. not huge but its a start.
I've got 12 realtors at the company, they have like 150 realtors at 5 diff offices.

1.3mm, 2/3rds in AS plus 3 term policies

Ron 14's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-07-10

That is good stuff. I respect your persistence. That is just not something I could do. I just could never get it out of my mind that I was bothering them or that they were saying, "here comes that investment sales guy again."

TheAnimal's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-10-16

I live in the Bay Area of CA.  I cold call lawyers and big name tech companies and ask the people that pick up their phone if I can meet them.  I see at least 6 meetings a week.  I pitch all of them on financial planning and wealth management. 

chief123's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-10-28

When you say lawyers, are you calling big name firms or just locals?

Moraen's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-01-22

I would shoot myself before I work with realtors.

yield spread's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-11-23

Moraen wrote:I would shoot myself before I work with realtors.

I own a mortgage company is this is a significat reason I am getting back into planning.

WarRoom's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-10-25

Here is what I use when setting up appointments with working individuals:
 
Mr. Reynolds, this is WarDaddy at Blah Investments, I specalize in retirement planning and 401k rollovers.  I have a complementary way to help you access whether your saving enough based upon what your goals are.  Would that, and it's complementary, would a complementary assessment be helpful to you?
If yes- GREAT, I'm glad to hear that, do you have your calendar handy?
 
If no,
 
Begin to qualify. 

TheAnimal's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-10-16

I talk to the people at the major lawfirms.  I scrubbed them through the cal bar website to make sure they have been on the job for awile.  There is nothing more annoying that a snotty 1st year attorney that you know is broke as a joke.  Most attorneys I meet with make $250k+, have $200k+ in savings accounts and don't have the time to figure out what to do with it.  The ones that I have signed up so far have continued to contribute at least $100k a year to their accounts.  For you sales guys that is $1mill net new a year for every 10 clients without having to do much extra work.

chief123's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-10-28

REVIVAL...

Please or Register to post comments.

Industry Newsletters
Careers Category Sponsor Links

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×