Prospecting, Mktg, Selling for new FAs

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wlooney's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-03

I have read a lot of great advice in this section about prospecting, but was wondering if anyone could provide any advice, strategies, marketing plans, business plans, reading material, etc. for a NEW FA with Morgan Stanley? The keyword ofcourse being new.
Also, what works the best? Direct mail marketing, buying leads, holding seminars at our facilities in the office, holding dinner seminars, lunch or breakfast seminars, cold calling, door knocking (no EDJ replies on this one please  ), joining the chamber, joining more specific groups, going to specific places, etc.
I'm just trying to get a feel for what groups will most willingly accept a new, 26 year old FA. While I carrying myself with the utmost professionalism and maturity, and I understand the industry as much as any 26 year old can from working with an independent FA (in another roll) for nearly 8 years, I would love to know what groups I would be wise to get involved with in order to position myself for success.
If you would like any more specific information to provide more specific advice, please ask me.
Thanks.

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

I could go for hours on this one.  I started at roughly the same age; no connections just a desk and a phone.  Worked like a maniac just trying to survive.  Roughly 85% of my training class is out of the business, most in the first three years. Not trying to be negative but want you to know what you're facing.
My advice for anyone new (and w/out connections) is to start at a bank. Certainly not glamorous, not the "best" platform, and you are somewhat at the mercy of management as far as which branches you get and what can be taken away. Still, you receive a constant stream of referrals and are able to work smart. It's nice to make a "cold" call to someone who already has a relationship with your company AND has 200k sitting in their checking account that you can see. I've seen numerous brokers at my firm that would never, ever make it at a wirehouse.  Yet they are producing around 300k in their second/third year. Probably half of that is through fee-based products, the other half through funds/annuities/transactions/etc.

Starka's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

Where ever you start, the key is MAKE CONTACTS!
There's one place on the planet that there is almost zero probability of any prospects showing up is in your office.  So why do we sit there all day shuffling paper?
Get out into the community, whether it be by phone if you're a cold call animal or physically, but make contact with as many people in your target niche as you can.  I've never found it to be more complicated than that.
Good luck!

wlooney's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-03

Thanks to both of you. Judge, I thought about a bank opportunity, but it was with Waddell and Reed (I have another post on one of these boards about WR due to the fact that I'm not to fond of them). I am actually starting with Morgan Stanley on the 26th, so I won't get the chance to start in a bank. Any other ideas?

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

wlooney,
After 6 months if things are working check out a bank before you give up on the business.

wlooney's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-03

Not sure I follow bankrep1? If thing are or aren't working out in 6 months? If they are I will probably be pretty happy where I'm at, unless I can't handle the hours. Did you mean if things aren't working out? Thanks and sorry ahead of time as I am sure I just wasn't thinking hard enough.

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

WLooney- Best of luck at MS. Certainly a good place to start (name, platform).
BTW the hours will be the least of your concerns. Soon you will be wishing there were more hours in the day. It's the daily grind of trying to find $ out there, mostly from complete strangers.

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

I meant to say aren't

frumhere's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

I started at 26 at MS 5 years ago.  New to town, no family money, no savings.  I cold called until it hurt.  Did a bunch of seminars.  During that time, I have seen more people fired/left then I can remember.  The key to this business is do everything humanly possible to keep your seat (ethically of course).  If you can fight off actually going on interviews for your resume that you will post on Monster (been there, but never interviewed), you can make it.  Just don't give yourself an alternative.  JDEdwards, "What do you HAVE to do?"

opie's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-15

The Judge wrote:My advice for anyone new (and w/out connections) is to start at a bank. Certainly not glamorous, not the "best" platform, and you are somewhat at the mercy of management as far as which branches you get and what can be taken away. Still, you receive a constant stream of referrals and are able to work smart. It's nice to make a "cold" call to someone who already has a relationship with your company AND has 200k sitting in their checking account that you can see. I've seen numerous brokers at my firm that would never, ever make it at a wirehouse.  Yet they are producing around 300k in their second/third year. Probably half of that is through fee-based products, the other half through funds/annuities/transactions/etc. Hey Judge - I'm ignorant on this, but does starting with a bank virtually eliminate any hope of taking that book indy at some point?

tjc45's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-06

wlooney wrote:
Also, what works the best? Direct mail marketing, buying leads, holding seminars at our facilities in the office, holding dinner seminars, lunch or breakfast seminars, cold calling, door knocking (no EDJ replies on this one please  ), joining the chamber, joining more specific groups, going to specific places, etc.

What works? All of the above. Starka hit the nail on the head, this biz is about making contacts. For you, it's about finding a combination of marketing activities that you are comfortable with and that yield results. And be aware, you won't be comfortable with anything the day you start. Stay away from anyone in the office who is negative and don't buy into any of the old wives tales such as mail and fail and that cold calling doesn't work. 
If I were starting today I would employ a three channel approach.
Channel 1. Cold call business owners and pitch them a product. Tax free bonds work well. The point here is to, A) sell them a bond ,B) make them a prospect for a future sale, C) start a dialog with agreement for future call back. Many times this will lead to mailing the prospect info about something of interest to them. After sending the info you call them back to discuss it or request an appointment to meet. This is Call/mail/call
Any product will work here. Believe in it and know it cold.
Channel 2. Direct mail. Mail 5000 pieces a month. The mailer will be a simple investment proffer with a menu opt out if they're not interested in what you're offering. The mailing should only go to those who are not on the DNC list so you can call them for follow up. A variation of this program is to mail 25 mailers a day and then call them in one week.  Usually this leads to mailing the prospect info on something they have more of an interest in. This is Mail/call/mail and it's purpose is to start a dialog.
Channel 3. Seminars/workshops. OK, here's the bad news. Running seminars is expensive. All up, a once monthly dinner seminar program could run you $3000 a month. Here's the good news, seminars work. So your job is to supply the money or find the money to do them. Or find a way to do them on the cheap. Do breakfast instead of dinner. Get wholesalers to kick in. Do small lunches, six attendees, twice a month, invite business owners within 5 miles of the restaurant. Do workshops at the local library. Some large department stores offer classes and are looking for experts to run the programs. Same for evening courses at the local high school.
Seminars integrate the other two channels. You've got to mail and/or cold call for attendees.
This is the greatest business on the planet. Where else can you make the kind of money we make without risking your net worth?
It's not easy, but it's not hard. All you have to do is clone success, not be afraid of failure, and work your butt off. Good luck!
 
 
 

wlooney's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-03

Thanks alot tjc45. Lucky for me, MS will pay/reimburse me for seminars (dinner or other). I like your comment about cloning success...exactly why I am asking so many questions. Thanks again.

om_nupe's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-16

I'm 24 and just started in the industry in december. I've cold called, door knocked and networked. I've have yet to host a seminar. What I've found to be more effective than anything else is to use focused prospecting and develop a niche. For example, in the newspaper is a listing of the houses that have been sold in your area. I appeared on the door step, introduced myself and developed the business relationship from there. Also, you're on 24/7. When you're doing everyday tasks, figure out a way to introduce yourself and what it is you do to the people you interact with. Once again I'm still a newbie and have a lot to learn about the business, but that has been working for me.

JimmytheRocker's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-27

I'm 27.  I get about 4 to 1 on my money buying life leads.

wlooney's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-03

Any other thoughts, ideas or ofcourse proven methods?

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

opie wrote:
The Judge wrote:My advice for anyone new (and w/out connections) is to start at a bank. Certainly not glamorous, not the "best" platform, and you are somewhat at the mercy of management as far as which branches you get and what can be taken away. Still, you receive a constant stream of referrals and are able to work smart. It's nice to make a "cold" call to someone who already has a relationship with your company AND has 200k sitting in their checking account that you can see. I've seen numerous brokers at my firm that would never, ever make it at a wirehouse.  Yet they are producing around 300k in their second/third year. Probably half of that is through fee-based products, the other half through funds/annuities/transactions/etc. Hey Judge - I'm ignorant on this, but does starting with a bank virtually eliminate any hope of taking that book indy at some point?

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

The Judge wrote:opie wrote:
The Judge wrote:My advice for anyone new (and w/out connections) is to start at a bank. Certainly not glamorous, not the "best" platform, and you are somewhat at the mercy of management as far as which branches you get and what can be taken away. Still, you receive a constant stream of referrals and are able to work smart. It's nice to make a "cold" call to someone who already has a relationship with your company AND has 200k sitting in their checking account that you can see. I've seen numerous brokers at my firm that would never, ever make it at a wirehouse.  Yet they are producing around 300k in their second/third year. Probably half of that is through fee-based products, the other half through funds/annuities/transactions/etc. Hey Judge - I'm ignorant on this, but does starting with a bank virtually eliminate any hope of taking that book indy at some point?It depends.  If you only rely on bank customers for investment clients, you will have a VERY difficult time getting them to transfer another firm.  If you build your own clientele (such as at a wirehouse) and rely on bank customers to sustain you in the interim, you'll have much more of a "portable" business.

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