Rookies, where are you getting your (cold call) leads from?

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PushForward's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-07

Short version:What are you using to generate or compile your list of prospects to cold call? What's worked for you and what hasn't?Are you compiling your own list at a cost of only your time or are you paying for pre-scrubbed (scrubbed against DNC) list or better yet list customers that have expressed interest in getting information on whaterver you're selling/offering.If you're paying for list (or your firm is) please let me know which you are using and where they are from and if possible a price range that you're paying.Really what I'm asking for is a more efficent way to reach people. If it takes me 300 dials just to get that one account, I'm okay with that (For the time being anyways), but I'm having trouble getting numbers to make those 300 dials.Long version: At this point I'm done with my 7/66 licensing and I will be starting 'production' in a month. I still have the insurance licensing to go but by everyone else's account this is a breeze.Currently I'm spending my time building lists of potential prospects to call. For the purpose of this post assume that I am brand new with no contacts and that I'm building my business from scratch (I have some contacts but no where near the amount that I could rely solely on those).Referrals will eventually take over as the primary source but thats at least 1-2 years out, best case.I'm trying to build cold calling list. My basic plan is to lead with a product because while being their advisor and charging a percentage of assets is the #1 goal, I currently lack the experience to really justify this to clients. "How long have you been building and managing portfolios? Actually this is my first month, wish my luck!" - Its probably easier to simply ask "Do you have any money, anywhere currently making less then 5%?" or "Would you be interested in tax free income?". ect ect - Offer them something tangable that isn't dependent on my knowledge or judgement at this point. A double-A rated muni bond paying 5% is still going to pay 5% tax free regardless of how long I've been in the business.Currently I'm using a couple of free options. However cost isn't as much of a concern as simply finding what works is.1) Reference USA -- Great source of information, however the #1 problem is that the numbers are not scrubbed against the DNC list. Case in point, I watched a friend go through at least 20 numbers, one by one and he got "this number is on the DNC, please enter another number" on every single try. Eventually you'll find some that are not on the DNC but cold calling is not going to work if I spend 5-10 minutes getting told no by a machine, just for a chance to get told no by a human being.I'm thinking calling businesses instead of residential would be the obvious choice here since the DNC does not apply to business phone numbers. However I'm not sure how, or what to pitch to business prospects. My previous experience was 100% to the residential individual.2) FreeERISA - Another FA gave me the great idea of working to get changed to the broker of record. I.e. looking for a business with a retirement plan already in place and selling myself and service. What? You haven't heard from your advisor in a few years? Oh you didn't even know you had an advisor? How do you contact your advisor? Is it a local number or a 1800 number? You know you're paying for it? Without changing A THING about your plan, you can make me your advisor and I'll service the heck out of your plan and also provide free one on one investment advise for your employees - after all you're already paying for it, why not get something out of it?Seems like a solid idea, however since I don't have the experience to build a whole new retirement plan or get the prospect to switch over to something new, I'm searching for 5500s with schedule A's (schedule A is the insurance addendum). If they're using a vendor that my firm uses as well, then they're eligable.The problem is, I'm currently using www.freeERISA.com and there isn't really any filtering in the search (even for the paid version of the site) - ie there isn't a filter to "show me filings only with a schedule A". The website also takes a ton of clicks just to find out if there is a schedule A or not. First I have to set the basic search parameters, then click the company, then click the year, and then click the drop down for "schedule A" - if its not listed.. next. Over reviewing a lot of plans this takes A LOT of time. Today I spent the majority of my day just looking for companies, any companies with a schedule A (granted this was my first day using the site and looking at 5500s). Out of about 60-70 companies, I found TWO with schedule As.It seems the majority of 401ks are just run by the company without an outside company for advise.There has to be a better way or I'm not doing it right, but I can't afford to spend the entire day just to come up with 2-3 cold call prospects from this source.3) County assessor. Most county assessors suck and make it difficult to find specificly information, luckfully my local county is a bit better. I can search by name, address, address range or street name. This can be useful for find high value homes, all though I'm prospecting is what is essentially my home town so I already know where most of the "wealthy" areas are. At least this can give me a name of who lives there so if I decide to do door knocking (which I'm not crazy about, but I'm willing to give it a shot. If it works for those EDJ guys there has to be at least something to it).Don't know it until you've tried it is my phylosophy here.So in a nut shell, I'm currently spending a lot more time just find people to cold call rather then I would be actually calling. I want to fix this. Idealy I should probably spend 5-8 hours prospecting and 2-3 hours replensishing my list on a daily basis. I'm willing to put in my own money for list if they provide something above and beyond what I can get for free or simply make the process much more efficent. Right now it feels like finding a needle in a hay stack, just to find the needle in a smaller haystack.Any advise is greatly, greatly appreciated!-PF

PushForward's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-07

Lots of views, but no replies :(I know its a long post but just read the short version and share your thoughts! :)Thanks

Stockguy2011's picture
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Joined: 2011-03-28

SalesGenie works and lets you customize.  If you can get a State Medical Association directory (400 pages) that can work wonders for a Muni post card (addresses and names have to be handwritten or typed).I am still looking for corporate directories of a few local private and public companies, but too no avail.

Renter's picture
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Joined: 2007-09-12

This may not be exactly what you're looking for, but hopefully will help. Where I am we have a couple of small local papers & they have a full page of local small businesses. Many times it'll have the owner's name listed as well. you could get  a few small biz owners that way. Also consider special "flyers" or magazines that cities sometimes have, ie: basketball programs, school yearbooks, etc.Obviously, this won't get you thousands of leads, but hopefully it'll get you a few.

PushForward's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-07

Thanks guys, those are good suggestions.I don't think there's a single "catch all" prospecting method but rather a lot of prospecting in different areas each yielding small results. As a whole these can add up to be significant. -PF

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

Local library  Biz ref section = goldmine!!!!!

damion99's picture
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Joined: 2007-11-19

welcome back bondguy

squash2's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-09

BondGuy wrote:Local library  Biz ref section = goldmine!!!!!What do you mean by this? My library doesn't seem to have a "Biz ref section"

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

Does your library have a reference section? This is where the encyclopedias and other reference text are found. If so, they may also stock corporate business journals and directories like Dunn and Bradstreet, the Chamber of Commerce directory etc.The local library is a Goldmine of directories and sources. From the Dorland's medical Directory to the Directory of Associations, lot's ways to get names. The libraries in my neck of the suburban woods range from small to mid sized. They all have a reference section. I also have big city libraries within walking distance of my office, but that's overkill. On another note how about college alumni lists? Many schools incorporate muni financing these days. Any college finanacing on your firm's negotiated calander? If so get the alum list, search for grad dates putting the alum in his/her fifties, do a targeted mailing, and start dialing. People love to support their old schools. Better than a straight muni would be BABS. Whooo!!! All that IRA dough just lookin' for a place to go!!!!!!

squash2's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-09

My libraries must suck, because we don't have any of that stuff.. only thing my library has is a D&B regional directory..

Stockguy2011's picture
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Joined: 2011-03-28

squash2 wrote:My libraries must suck, because we don't have any of that stuff.. only thing my library has is a D&B regional directory..BG, have you ever used Reference USA - an online library database?  Squash, find out if your library has a website where you can find it.  That is what I was using, but like I said, too many misspellings, out of date owners names etc. to do a mail/call/mail. BG, BABS in an IRA? 

Hacksaw's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-27

Stockguy2011 wrote:squash2 wrote:My libraries must suck, because we don't have any of that stuff.. only thing my library has is a D&B regional directory..BG, have you ever used Reference USA - an online library database?  Squash, find out if your library has a website where you can find it.  That is what I was using, but like I said, too many misspellings, out of date owners names etc. to do a mail/call/mail. BG, BABS in an IRA? 
Reference USA is a decent start, but association member lists are better. Just google your state and/or town, and then the word "association". Go to their website and search for a members directory. Find buddies who work for large companies and ask them if they have a printed corporate directory. College alumni lists are good, but scrubbing the numbers against DNC can be a pain.
BABS - Build America Bonds. These were/are taxable municipal bonds that were done in 2010. Payed a tax equivalent yield of a muni. People loved them for the lower default risk of being a muni, and they made/make sense to IRAs because tax-free is pointless. There are no new issues but if you can find them on the secondary they are of huge interest to people. Finding them can be difficult though.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

I use net to bring leads to me. I don't use online database. old school, directories or leads purchased from directory publishers.BABs are made for IRAs. The muni market represents a misunderstood asset class that is still under valued. Much bang for buck. That is unless you believe that states wwill default. In that case stay away.

Stockguy2011's picture
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Joined: 2011-03-28

BG, I left this note for you on another board, but would like to hear your thoughts..."I've done Muni's with success, but am concerned about rising rates (end of QE2 among many things) and have a hard time selling a 4.5% 2030 bond trading at 105, knowing that in a year or two, I MAY (yes I know its an unknown) get the chance to buy that same bond at 90 with a YTM of over 6%.  Specifically to Bondguy, does that concern you (especially for clients who have been used to their bonds rising for the last 20 years)?Also, a question for BondGuy, you sell 100k of a  2030 bond at 2 points = fantastic day. But those assets are Nonproducing for the next 20 years.... assuming you hold to maturity. Thoughts?"I don't want clients to see this first thing I buy for them down 10-15% in a year, with their conservative monies.

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