Help? Head first, into a wall... over and and over again

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PushForward's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-07

I have been cold calling for 3 weeks now, including 2 Saturdays. I'm averaging at least 120 dials a day and I'm working to get that up (it's been steadly rising).So far I'm not getting the results I want. Not even a small account opening or a face to face meeting that's actually showed up.I'm trying:Leading in with a product "I'm calling you because I have an excellent mutual fund available to you. Would you be interested?"A variation "I have a phenominal portfolio that's tripled the S&P (500) over the last 10 years while taking on half the risk. Would you be interested?".I've also tried the "take on a new advisor" route.Hi, I just wanted to call and introduce myself. I'm in the process of identifying people who are looking to work with a new advisor".I'm getting some interest but nothing very strong. The first 3 appointments I've set have canceled/rescheduled. They're small (potential) accounts but heck I really just want the experience more then anything else.I know there's no magic bullet but am I doing something wrong here?I'm calling small business owners/CEOs and branch managers at small to med size companies.The three most common responses are:Not interested, already have a guy or no money. On my drive home this evening, I was thinking about a moto I used to have in my previous sales gig. "Mentality of a killer. Confidence sells."Maybe thats it - I don't sound confident enough over the phone. I don't know about you guys but I used to watch Boiler Room when I first got into sales. The movie was entertaining but I loved the shit they pulled. With confidence, even if you're wrong, you're right.I'd really love some imput from the guys who are getting somewhere with their dials.-PF

willywonka's picture
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Joined: 2011-06-07

Push, I will give you my opinion on what I see as where your presentation is not as strong as it could be.  While your ultimate goal is to get a new account, it is very hard to do on the first call these days even if you are a great salesman. So even though you are calling on product and your goal is to get a new account. The real goal of the cold calling exercise is to get a QUALIFIED PROSPECT. The reason you lead with a product is it creates a sense of urgency for both you and the potential client. So my first constructive criticism of your script is you need to pick a product with urgency. a muni, a preferred or a high yielding conservative common stock are all good choices. The mutual fund just doesn't have the urgency you need at the beginning to get someone to make a decision. Before you get to the closing you have to qualify for money. See Newguy44's script on how to do this in a gentle way. Say something like this, " Mr. Jones if you like my idea do you have 100k that you could invest right now?. Let him answer. Usually will be "no" Then followup with "If you like my idea what would you feel comfortable investing?, shut up! let the prospect answer. When he answers you will be alot closer to seeing if this guy or gal is real. Your work is not done yet. Make sure you qualify if they don't have money now, when? Do not get lulled into accepting  the following answers, 6 months from now, after I pay my taxes, after the holidays, etc. You must have followup questions to these standard grab lines for prospects. Ask when their next CD or bond is maturing. get the specific date. When you finally have a Qualified Prospect, meaning you know they either have money now or will at some point in the future. Call them back in 3- 5 days and try to close them on another product. Give them the highlights of the product. BTW name recognition is key in getting the client to open. So here in NJ PSE&G is one of the big utilities in the state. Everybody in NJ knows PSE&G. I opened many new accounts on PSE&G preferred stock because the clients could easily recognize the name, they like the yield and I convinced them to give me a shot. Never underestimate the value of a little begging. After the client has rebuffed a few closing attempts ask them, "Mr. Jones use this opportunity to own 2000 shares of PSE&G preferred as a starting point in a long relationship with me and my firm., shut up? let the client speak. sometimes this will work. Confidence is Key! The more confident you are with your script and product the more the prospects will feel confident to purchase what you are selling. Back in the day, used to sell on nothing but our confidence because that is all we had. BTW, 120 Dials a day is not going to get you to be a success in this business. At the very minimum you need 400 dials a day. Look at cold calling as a way to practice for when you get in front of a client. Good luck!  ww

newguy44's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-29

I echo the 120 dials not being enough. At 120 dials I was frustrated because very little was happening. I kept changing scripts and couldn't get any flow. When I increased to 200 dials I saw some progress, but not enough to be successful. At 300 dials I began to build a pipeline, and even opened a few accounts. At 400 dials I began to make some real money. My confidence skyrocketed and so did my production. I firmly believe if you are going to cold call you need to dial the phone 400 times a day, 5 days a week. You need to eliminate everything that isn't about production. Keep your script short and sweet. Ask very poignent questions. Shut-Up and listen. Ask for commitment. Shut-up and Listen. As stated, I would never use a mutual fund to lead. I use high quality bonds or preferreds. Willy Wonka made a great point about using familiar names. I call about 30 different states. I am always looking for something "local." When I call people in the Midwest and South I use school bonds. They love supporting their schools! If I am calling San Franscisco I have great success calling on anything "Green."Have a story for everything you sell. Every stock, bond, or preferred has a story. Tell the story. "You are loaning money to the city to build two new elementary schools. One of them is going to be down the street from you. I had $10mm of these as of an hour ago, and we have $500k left. Would you like $100k, or were you thinking $250k? Every muni is issued for a specific purpose. Find out what the bond is being used for. MATCH YOUR STORY TO YOUR LIST. One of the bests lists I ever got was a list of people who donated to Nancy Pelosi. I called them on some GE Preferreds. We talked about GE's commitment to wind.  *If you get a list of political donations don't call on anything under $500. If they can give $500 to a politician, they have money to invest.In a nutshell... Know your list... Call your list with the RIGHT Product or hook. Ask precise questions. LISTEN! 400 Dials a day! If you get a bad call, dial again. 10% of the people you speak to will be jerks. Move on!BTW- Don't PM me about lists. You can google lists of people who gave to political candidates. You then need to narrow the list to $500 or more in donations. Many list their industry. Then you look up their number. It takes time, yes, but that is what I use two hours for on Saturday mornings and Sunday Evenings. I actually hired an assistant who is a college student. I pay them $15 an hour to create lists for me. This kid works about 5 hours a week and does a great job. It is worth the $75 a week.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

Good stuff on this thread. Ok, truth is i don't have time to cold call 400 dials a day. But, as a rookie that was close to the bottom number every day. As a rookie what else do you have to do? If you aren't talking to cleints you should be talking to prospects. if you aren't talking to prospects you should be dialing to get them. it's that simple.So, let's establish that the first number in your business plan should be 400. The next number should be 70. 70 hours a week. If you aren't putting in that much time, as a minimum, time to move on. Seriously! This is get the plane off the runway time. You need 100% power, throttles to the firewall!!! How many dials can you make in 70 hours? As far as leading with a MF, I don't have a problem with that, however, your opening has no punch. Mr jones i'm calling with a fund that yields 7% tax free, that's the same as a CD in your tax bracket yielding 11%. Do you have any CD's yielding 11%? ( yes of course it's apples and oranges but that gets covered later) Could i send you some information on it?terrific (verify name address email) I'll get that info right out to you, one more quick question: if you like the idea our minimum investment is $100,000, I trust that if you like the idea that wouldn't be a problem for you? Send info call in a couple days. Still, i'm with New and Willy, I like Bonds and Preferreds as a new acct opener. But many advisors have done well with MF.  

PushForward's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-07

Thanks for the well thought out advice guys.BG: When you say 7% tax-free is that just as an example? In my state (or at least my firm)  has a very small selection of muni's. Under a dozen when I checked today. The longest maturity ones have coupons around 3-4% with a 110-120 premium at the moment. It seems like it would be a better bet to get a nice equity stock with a dividend? Am I missing something?Also, what do you guys think of:Asking to send out your top 5 picks - say one for growth and one for dividends? Or do you think its better to call on a specific stock/bond?-PF

newregrep's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-22

I'm a firm believer in everything works and nothing works.  With that said, I do call with bonds.  It works, you need to dial alot of numbers.  The posts here are GOLD.  Listen to BG and NewGuy44, they know what they are talking about.  I think calling with a hot stock idea is a tough road to climb.  Call with a bond with a 5.00% or better coupon, explain the benefits of premium paper.  Less fluctuations, higher quality, and providing cushion when interest rates rise.  If you want a decent yield, you are going to have to decently long term.  Explain to prospects, they can get out at market price if they wanted to, but you wouldn't recommend that, since it's a strong paper with a good coupon.With that said, keep your pitch short and direct.  Mr xxx this is push with pushhard in anytown.  I have a bond from anytown school district with a 5% coupon.  How does that compare to the rates you are seeing at your bank?do a search for bondguy's pitch.  and dial 400 numbers daily, you will open accounts.  if someone bites, always ask for the order.  if they can't do it today, find out why, and when.  Then send some information on muni and your firm and follow up, rinse and repeat.

newguy44's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-29

newregrep wrote: Listen to BG and NewGuy44, they know what they are talking about.  I would recommend you read everything bondguy says. I would not listen to a whole lot newguy44 says. Bondguy has been in this business a long time and offers tremendous insight.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

THX guys. New, don't sell yourself short!!!! No pun intended!7% is for a muni fund that is yielding a bit over that amount. it's an attention grabber, meant only as bait. Marketing to the masses dictates that you grab their attention. To a non investor you could say 50 % and it wouldn't matter. However, if an investor, especially a tax free investor hears 7%, they know it's a high number. They will bite. That said, yes, one in ten will end up buying that fund. Only where it fits and everyone understands that 7% comes with some heavy duty strings attached. I agree that trying to hot stock folks is an idea that is beyond its time. The multi stock approach has no punch. Another idea working in my neck of the woods is the Equity Linked CD. "Mr Jones i have a guaranteed investment that could pay you 12% per year. Does that sound like something you could have an interest in?"The suggestion to use a good local school bond is right on! The prospect knows what it is, and asking the yield question puts it in perspective. Fast, simple, easy, thankyouverymuch!!!!!!!

willywonka's picture
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Joined: 2011-06-07

BG, you are right....if you are trying to pitch someone a "hot" stock ....the response isn't good. But if you are looking at the stock of a local utility that the potential client is familiar with, has a long term track record of raising dividends and have had few earnings interruptions, as long as you play up the dividends, these can be excellent account openers. Especially right now with money markets yielding less than half a percent. "M/M jones, would you be interested in an investment that is currently yielding 4.3%,  which is exactly 4% more than your bank account is earning you. Plus you will be a part owner of XYZ utility co. a company that has been in business since the 1930's. Oh by the way the company has raised its dividend every year since 1956 and a $25,000 investment 25 years ago would be worth $185,000 Today. And here's the kicker, had you purchased xyz 25 years ago your first years dividend would have been $165 now your dividends without having added any money would be $6235/yr! Mr Jones would you like to own 25000 shares of xyz today? In the past I have opened accounts on good local utilities. Stock Jockey days are over but people are always interested in higher yield. Local school bonds are excellent account openers. My favorites are new issue preferreds but if you can find some discounted preferreds you can use those too! 

PushForward's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-07

Maybe I need to look at prospecting outside of my home state. We have very little in the way of Muni bonds. I tried a couple of your lines, unfortantely no luck today.I dialed for 3.5 hours today calling business owners and managers (asking for the person by name).110 dials, 15 contacts and 15 no's - all though I did get one guy that said I could at least send him our current muni bond inventory. I asked him if an investment of (a whopping $10k) would be a problem. He said it wouldn't be, he just wasn't in the market right now. "Okay, fax my your list" felt like he was giving me a pitty fuck.I've always been naturally great at sales but this is by far the hardest thing I've ever done. But that makes me want it that much more.By the way - I fully intended to make 300 dials today. However somehow my profile got deleted. I came back from lunch and couldn't log back in. The rest of the day was spent on the phone with our help desk. Tomorrow I'm starting a new plan, see my hunting post.

fastmoneyrocks's picture
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Joined: 2011-06-08

why not use a bond fund with a 5%+ yld.

willywonka's picture
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Joined: 2011-06-07

Push, I will give you some feedback from your last post above. 1) Your attitude controls outcome! You have to have control of the conversation from beginning to end. That does not mean being a jerk but you have to control the direction of the conversation. Do not let your potential prospect control the call.2) "Not in the market right now" is a standard objection prospects grab onto. You have to have a followup for that. Mr. Jones, why are you not taking advantage of the higher yields in 3-5 year muni's right now? You have to find out what they are feeling. 3) Ask for an order often and much larger, Big time advisors do not ask for 10k orders. start at 100k and then go down from there. People roll 100k CD's at the bank all day @ 0.5% for one year, there is no reason they should not consider rolling that into a muni that is paying 2 - 6% tax free. 4) 400 dials is the minimum. "The rest of the day was spent on the phone with the help desk". you should have alot of printed phone #'s so you do not have to worry about not having numbers to call. Task your assistant to establish your profile or your branch Manager. Good luck and keep dialing. WW 

squash2's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-09

I agree that the Equity linked CDs are great prospecting tools...

StoneColdMutha's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-04

PushForward wrote:Maybe I need to look at prospecting outside of my home state. We have very little in the way of Muni bonds. I tried a couple of your lines, unfortantely no luck today.I dialed for 3.5 hours today calling business owners and managers (asking for the person by name).110 dials, 15 contacts and 15 no's - all though I did get one guy that said I could at least send him our current muni bond inventory. I asked him if an investment of (a whopping $10k) would be a problem. He said it wouldn't be, he just wasn't in the market right now. "Okay, fax my your list" felt like he was giving me a pitty fuck.I've always been naturally great at sales but this is by far the hardest thing I've ever done. But that makes me want it that much more.By the way - I fully intended to make 300 dials today. However somehow my profile got deleted. I came back from lunch and couldn't log back in. The rest of the day was spent on the phone with our help desk. Tomorrow I'm starting a new plan, see my hunting post. Let me blunt.  Your behavior explains exactly why people fail.  You have been cold calling for what...a few weeks at best?  Have you even broken the 1000 dial mark (I do that in about 3 days by the way)?  Have you even spoken to 100 decision makers yet?  It doesn't sound like you have.  My point is that you don't have enough of a track record on the phone to know what does and what doesn't work because you simply have not put in enough effort.  Forget logging in during the day.  You don't have any money to manage and you don't need to be looking up anything on your firm PC.  The only thing you need to be doing is dialing (or knocking on doors), making contacts,  presenting your offer, and following up like crazy with everyone that demonstrates any interest.  Get yourself some positive affirmations that you say to yourself each morning.  Read something positive during lunch.  Get yourself pumped up and stop worrying about what isn't working.  Pat yourself on the back for at least starting.  This is important though...for heavan's sake, stop telling us how you "FULLY INTEND" to make 300 dials, and actually go make the stinkin' dials. Shoulda woulda coulda's will put you in the unemployment line!     

willywonka's picture
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Joined: 2011-06-07

BG said it best in one of the threads, when starting out you need to be working 70 hours a week! Most of that time you should be on the phone cold calling, calling to close clients on either an investment or an appointment. The rest of the time you should be doing something that directly leads to sales, i.e. sending followup letters. This business is simple but it isn't easy. Cold calling sucks except when you start to make big money then all the pain you are going through now will be worth it.

newguy44's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-29

I agree with the computer. TURN IT OFF! I could watch reds and greens all day and be enthralled, but that is not making you any money.Close your office door. Close the blinds. Turn off the monitor. Turn off your Ipad and Ipod and iphone, and anything else that doesn't make you money. Take out your list, and dial. Back when I was at a wire we had a kid cold calling while starting at his monitor and eating a donut. Our BM came by and ripped his monitor right off  his desk! The best part was he grabbed the donut and smashed it in his hand. The kid never figured it out and was gone within a month.  

PushForward's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-07

You guys are right.I changed my pitch up (based on the collective suggestions here and in my office). I also focused in on which business owners I'm targetting.In a limited amount of time today:100 dials (the phone rang)18 contacts (I spoke to the person I was after)9 prospects (interested)4 qualified prospects. (interested and qualified)Here's looking forward to tomorrow!

willywonka's picture
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Joined: 2011-06-07

Good Luck Push....keep PUSHing forward! 

Kankle J's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-02

This is a great thread.  Push, what's been going on man?  Tell us something good!

Jim Volt Martin EDJ's picture
Joined: 2011-07-01

Yes please update!!

RickRoss's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-14

I hate to be rude, Push, but I'm also going to be blunt here.  You sound like a whiny little bitch making excuses.  Get on the phone, get off this forum, and keep your head down dialing.  It really is that simple. Also, your openers are complete fucking horse shit.  "I'm calling you because I have an excellent mutual fund available to you, would you be interested?" ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?  When I first started cold calling, I sucked ass.  But, man, I was never that bad.   ...disgraceful!  In my mind, you've already failed.

dailydials's picture
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Joined: 2011-07-09

been lurking this forum for maybe 6+ months now, never signed up until now. looks like rickross just beat me to the punch, but you need to hear it from more than one person anyway.120 dials a day is a fucking JOKE. you might as well just not show up, 120 dials a day is going to get you NOWHERE. you need to be aiming for 500 dials a day, working later at nights, and not making dumb excuses.figure out what you're doing wrong as far as managing your time and fix it. you should be in the office before 8am and START DIALING immediately at 8. i think of 8AM as the gun going off at the start of a race. you need to have a purpose when you're calling these people. understand why you are doing what you are doing. don't ask questions just to ask them, find out what the prospect wants. do you invest for income or growth? do you want a stock or a bond? how much do you have wrapped up in the market? (understand that opening accounts over the phone requires a persons social security number and if they aren't going to tell you how much they have in the market they aren't going to tell you their social security number.) find out what stocks they own. how many shares. at what price. has their broker made them money? if yes, would they give a new broker a shot at outperforming their current broker? find out what might be holding them back so you can overcome it. find out what they want so you can bring it to them. and have fun. it's really not that hard if you just understand WHAT you are doing and WHY. but making up excuses for why you couldn't dial enough is pointless. what are you REALLY doing that you aren't able to at least make 300 dials a day? what other obligations / responsibilities do you have that are holding you back? 

willywonka's picture
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Joined: 2011-06-07

Lets Recap the Minimums you need to be doing to be a success in this business. 1) 400 Dials a day MINIMUM! 2) Working 70 Hours a week in the beginning 1st  year or until hurdles are met. 3) Having a decent script that you can prospect on and then a decent script that you can close on. 4) Ask for bigger orders.  

squash2's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-09

RickRoss wrote:I hate to be rude, Push, but I'm also going to be blunt here.  You sound like a whiny little bitch making excuses.  Get on the phone, get off this forum, and keep your head down dialing.  It really is that simple. Also, your openers are complete fucking horse shit.  "I'm calling you because I have an excellent mutual fund available to you, would you be interested?" ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?  When I first started cold calling, I sucked ass.  But, man, I was never that bad.   ...disgraceful!  In my mind, you've already failed.Don't listen to this guy.. he didn't make it and now he slings annuities for VALIC because chase wouldn't hire him

RickRoss's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-14

squash2 wrote:RickRoss wrote:I hate to be rude, Push, but I'm also going to be blunt here.  You sound like a whiny little bitch making excuses.  Get on the phone, get off this forum, and keep your head down dialing.  It really is that simple. Also, your openers are complete fucking horse shit.  "I'm calling you because I have an excellent mutual fund available to you, would you be interested?" ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?  When I first started cold calling, I sucked ass.  But, man, I was never that bad.   ...disgraceful!  In my mind, you've already failed.Don't listen to this guy.. he didn't make it and now he slings annuities for VALIC because chase wouldn't hire himAnd I still make more than you! 

Stockguy2011's picture
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Joined: 2011-03-28

RickRoss wrote:squash2 wrote:RickRoss wrote:I hate to be rude, Push, but I'm also going to be blunt here.  You sound like a whiny little bitch making excuses.  Get on the phone, get off this forum, and keep your head down dialing.  It really is that simple. Also, your openers are complete fucking horse shit.  "I'm calling you because I have an excellent mutual fund available to you, would you be interested?" ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?  When I first started cold calling, I sucked ass.  But, man, I was never that bad.   ...disgraceful!  In my mind, you've already failed.Don't listen to this guy.. he didn't make it and now he slings annuities for VALIC because chase wouldn't hire himAnd I still make more than you!  Don't care how much you make, slinging annuities at Valic is equivalent to letting someone sleep with your wife if he shoots you 5% of the load...  but hey at least you get the 5% right?

Kankle J's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-02

Ouch...I'm thinking of posting some of my campaigns from cold calling as well as the results...but then I realize that that things like this happen and everyone gets off topic.  Whatever I'll throw myself to the wolves for fun. 

RickRoss's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-14

Stockguy2011 wrote:RickRoss wrote:squash2 wrote:RickRoss wrote:I hate to be rude, Push, but I'm also going to be blunt here.  You sound like a whiny little bitch making excuses.  Get on the phone, get off this forum, and keep your head down dialing.  It really is that simple. Also, your openers are complete fucking horse shit.  "I'm calling you because I have an excellent mutual fund available to you, would you be interested?" ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?  When I first started cold calling, I sucked ass.  But, man, I was never that bad.   ...disgraceful!  In my mind, you've already failed.Don't listen to this guy.. he didn't make it and now he slings annuities for VALIC because chase wouldn't hire himAnd I still make more than you!  Don't care how much you make, slinging annuities at Valic is equivalent to letting someone sleep with your wife if he shoots you 5% of the load...  but hey at least you get the 5% right?You forgot "...with a wide-open mouth."  You need some?  I have plenty.

u94e4's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-17

BondGuy, I started reading the forum yesterday after getting an offer at retail banking, hoping to research in the firm who hired me, and most importantly to pick up some tried and true sales techniques from veteran RRs. By the end of today I found myself having read most of your posts and figured that you are phenomenal in the advice you give to newbies. You changed my skepticism about cold calling and I especially agree on your opinion that the social networking way of prospecting may not be the most effective. Your advice is full of practical wisdom. Although my new job doesn't allow cold calling, my goal of getting into a wirehouse hasn't changed, and I already know what system I'd use when I get there - cold calling with a product that makes sense to most.   

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