Rough day...

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Hacksaw's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-27

So I'm having a rough day. 2 months into production and here are my numbers:
100+ calls a day to business owners
$200,000 in assets so far with another $300,000 scheduled to come in this month (already presented and followed up, they are moving over unless something comes out of no where).
Most is going to be fee based or is already in an annuity (broker change).
I am doing a $50,000 annuity though I never thought I would do one (makes sense for the client)
Chasing Two big fish - one is ex-business owner who just licensed a couple patents for 5 years and should get projected royalties of $100k/month rolling in late this year and another who built and sold two businesses and is looking to consolidate his 3 accounts to one with a local advisor (just moved to the area).

My issue right now is motivation. The past 2+ weeks have yielded zip on my pitch (I specialize in working with small business owners on their investments and retirement planning. Owners have many different items to take care of, and the help of someone who can understand their life can make all the difference in the world. Tell me ___ who are you currently working with on your investments and retirement planning?). The answers I am getting end up in 3 places:
1- Obama has screwed me and my business and is taking all my money. I don't have any investments or anything for retirement and won't until he and his liberal friends are gone.
2- I am really just concerned with keeping my business afloat right now and am not thinking or looking at anything else. Call me the first of next year if the economy has gotten better and then maybe we can talk.
3- I'm perfectly happy with my current advisor. It's the market that's screwing me up.

So I'm now thinking of switching tactics and calling and pitching muni bonds (have some locals yielding 5%) or the Opp high yield muni fund.
I don't know how to pitch it or what to say. Any help/words of wisdom would be appreciated.

squash2's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-09

Constructive feedback:Pretty "ho hum" pitch, probably what everyother newbie at a wire is using..Nothing generates enough interest in that first paragraph..Why not take a different approach based on what the last two guys said.. They are saying they have issues.. 1st guy: Just wants to keep his business afloat(so while he is concentrating on that, who is concentrating(not watching) his investments? 2nd guy: I like my advisor, but my investments suck..you should talk about what you do that is different...Equity linked CD, etc... something his other advisor isn't talking about.."I help small business owners concentrate on what is important to them, their business.. While I concentrate on their investments. Alot of advisors are just taking a wait and see approach to their clients, while I am telling my clients about a way to earn 7% on their money while their principal is protected."

navet's picture
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Joined: 2010-02-25

But the first group on the do not call list. If they are stupid enough to let politics and prejudice control their investments, they'll never amount to spit.

N.D.'s picture
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Joined: 2009-07-14

Hacksaw wrote:1- Obama has screwed me and my business and is taking all my money. I don't have any investments or anything for retirement and won't until he and his liberal friends are gone.navet wrote:Put the first group on the do not call list. If they are stupid enough to let politics and prejudice control their investments, they'll never amount to spit.I understand the political concern the first group has and I understand political risk to an investor. I do not think the blame for this group can lie solely on Obama though and I sure as hell do not think it makes these individuals "stupid". Also, Navet, help me understand the prejudice part of Hacksaw's comment before I decide to comment on your other assumption.

squash2's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-09

N.D. wrote:Hacksaw wrote:1- Obama has screwed me and my business and is taking all my money. I don't have any investments or anything for retirement and won't until he and his liberal friends are gone.navet wrote:Put the first group on the do not call list. If they are stupid enough to let politics and prejudice control their investments, they'll never amount to spit.I understand the political concern the first group has and I understand political risk to an investor. I do not think the blame for this group can lie solely on Obama though and I sure as hell do not think it makes these individuals "stupid". Also, Navet, help me understand the prejudice part of Hacksaw's comment before I decide to comment on your other assumption.You are stupid.. investing has nothing to do with republican/democrat or left/right...

navet's picture
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Joined: 2010-02-25

I'm finding that the Obama haters tend to have a racist tint to their venom. just my experience. To blame this economic quagmire on "liberals" is more than a little disingenious. To allow such prejudice(not just racial, but some) to cause a person to stay on the sidelines is stupid and I don't believe it is worth pursuing that person as a client. Even if you can convine them that a particular investment is sound, they are very likely to bail the next time glen beck extolls the virtue of gold. I believe that our current political climate is looking for scapegoats and is potentially very dangerous. Our economic problems are not caused by liberals(both sides are corrupt), gays, national healthcare advocates or moslems.

N.D.'s picture
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Joined: 2009-07-14

Squash - as usual I have no idea who your comment is directed toward or what purpose it has. I said I understand the first group's concern and the effect political risk can have on the market. As far as Republican/Democrat goes, political risk is a concern in both the healthcare and financial industries and will be affected in different ways depending on the laws passed and the party credited for their structure. So investing does have a left/right undertone. If the right is in the majority, offshore drilling will be profitable. If the left is in the majority, then wind farms will benefit (so long as they are kept the hell off of Cape Cod's waters).Navet - I think your ridiculous comments have more racial undertones then the majority of the people complaining about Obama. These "complainers" are usually the same people that are always complaining about something or someone. For whatever reason, you seem to think anyone that disagrees with your ideology, which I will not label, is a skinhead looking for trouble and hating the non-Aryans. You should relax a little bit and enjoy your final days in the biz..

Sportsfreakbob's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-24

SquashYou are acting stupid by calling him stupid. You don't even know him. How do you know he's stupid. Just because he has a different viewpoint than you? Note that i am not saying you are stupid, just that you did a stupid thing.P.S. Investing has everything to do with Rep/Dem, Left/Right, to the extent that the agendas of those groups are passed as legislaiton, thereby promoting or stunting growth, inflation, budget defecits, etc.Actually, come to think of it, maybe you ARE stupid. (that was a joke, don't get your balls all tied up)

iceco1d's picture
iceco1d (not verified)

Hacksaw wrote:The answers I am getting end up in 3 places:
1- Obama has screwed me and my business and is taking all my money. I don't have any investments or anything for retirement and won't until he and his liberal friends are gone.
You:  Mr Prospect, if you don't mind me asking...when you say "Obama is screwing your business and taking all of your money, do you mean that he's taxing you to death?"Prospect:  Hell yes that's what I mean!  What else COULD it mean?You:  I feel the exact same pressures in my business.  Mr. Prospect, if I told you I could show you a way to save a few thousand dollars in taxes this year, coupled with a state-backed investment currently yielding 6.5%, would I be able to get you to meet me for a cup of coffee?"Prospect:  For 6.5% and tax savings I'd let you sleep with my wife!You:  Excellent.  How does Thursday at 10 AM sound?2- I am really just concerned with keeping my business afloat right now and am not thinking or looking at anything else. Call me the first of next year if the economy has gotten better and then maybe we can talk.
You:  Mr. Prospect, if you don't mind me asking, what exactly do you mean by "keeping your business afloat right now?"Prospect Option 1:  I had to take a second mortgage on the house to keep my suppliers from dropping me.  No one is buying what I'm selling.  Business is awful!  You Option 1 (client has no money and you can't help him):  Well Mr. Prospect, I'm very sorry to hear that.  If there is any way I can help, please don't hesitate to call, stop in my office, or email me.  I'll put my card in the mail for you tomorrow.  Drop it off personally for him later in the week if possible, and continue to drip a few months later (he told you to).Prospect Option 2:  Well my business is doing OK, but I'm really just not feeling too good about the stock market right now.You:  I understand Mr. Prospect, and many of my clients feel the same way.  Tell me, if I could show you a way to invest in the stock market, but guarantee that you wouldn't lose a nickel, would you be willing to meet with me for a cup of coffee?  (follow with a pitch on a GMAB, which rolls into a nice conversation about a GMIB).Prospect:  How on Earth can you be sure I won't lose money?You:  I'd be happy to show you in person Mr. Prospect.  How does Wednesday at 9 AM sound?Prospect:  See you then!OR, if the prospect responds (to your stock market pitch), "No, I still wouldn't invest in the stock market right now, I just don't trust it."You:  I suppose I understand.  So is it a safe assumption that you're keeping your money in CDs and Money Market accounts right now?Prospect:  You got it buddy!You:  One last thing Mr. Prospct...Would you be interested in a GUARNTEED interest rate of 4.0%?  (referencing VALIC's ProFlex Fixed Annuity).Them:  4.0%?  Who is offering 4.0%?You:  I'd be more than happy to show you in person Mr. Prospect.  And you might even be able to get 4.0% AND save some taxes.  How does Friday at 1 PM sound?  (this was referencing putting the fixed annuity inside of a SIMPLE IRA).3- I'm perfectly happy with my current advisor. It's the market that's screwing me up.

So I'm now thinking of switching tactics and calling and pitching muni bonds (have some locals yielding 5%) or the Opp high yield muni fund.
I don't know how to pitch it or what to say. Any help/words of wisdom would be appreciated.You:  I completely understand Mr. Prospect, most of my clients already had a financial advisor before they met me.It's certainly not my intention to drive a wedge between you and your current advisor, but would you mind if I asked you just 1 more question?Prospect:  SureYou:  If you could take your current advisors absolute WORST idea, and replace it with my BEST idea, would it be worth meeting me next week for 20 minutes ovee a cup of coffee?Prospect:  Sure, why not?OrProspect:  Depends.  What's your "best idea?"You:  Well Mr. Prospect, I really can't do it justice over the phone.  But I specialize in making sure my clients preserve AND grow their wealth regardless of whether the stock market goes up, down, or sideways.  Does Friday at 1 PM work for you?   (This could be a lead for a VA with a GMAB for the equity portion of a clients account, coupled with Short Duration bond funds, GO Munis, and/or fixed annuities for the fixed income).Prospect:  Sure does!  Sign me up, bitch!Hope that helps.

Hacksaw's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-27

Thanks squash and ice for actually talking about the topic.
It seems my main problem is thinking/having good reponces to objections. I know what it is like to be a struggling business owner (what I did before doing this) and know that they don't want to look or have anyone else look at their investments. They are going to stay with their current advisor at least until they have the time to talk to someone else. They don't "have the time to even think about it". I simpathize with them. I think I need to change my prospecting list to people who work for others.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

Ice, good stuff! I love the replace his worst idea with my best idea. I'm going to use that!Hacksaw, go after bigger fish, not smaller. Have any  variables changed over the last two weeks? Contact rates etc? Seems like you got the prospecting machine off the ground. At two months in the pipeline isn't full yet. So, no rash decisions. I know why you are so negative, that rock is a bitch to push uphill! But, don't give up. And no major changes. Change one thing at a time. Incorporate some of ice's thinking here. it's really good stuff and comes from a successful young gun. If you're not an insurance guy, no problem, modify the presso to fit your service or product. if your contact rate is off, it's the summer duldrums. Not an excuse, a valid yearly experience. Work through it. make two hundred dials or three hundred. I'm not kidding.Lastly, the objections you are getting range from normal to piss poor excuses and blow offs. More so, the reason to look at how Ice turns a negative into a positive.  Good luck! Check in here and let us know how it goes. 

navet's picture
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Joined: 2010-02-25

N.D. wrote:Squash - as usual I have no idea who your comment is directed toward or what purpose it has. I said I understand the first group's concern and the effect political risk can have on the market. As far as Republican/Democrat goes, political risk is a concern in both the healthcare and financial industries and will be affected in different ways depending on the laws passed and the party credited for their structure. So investing does have a left/right undertone. If the right is in the majority, offshore drilling will be profitable. If the left is in the majority, then wind farms will benefit (so long as they are kept the hell off of Cape Cod's waters).Navet - I think your ridiculous comments have more racial undertones then the majority of the people complaining about Obama. These "complainers" are usually the same people that are always complaining about something or someone. For whatever reason, you seem to think anyone that disagrees with your ideology, which I will not label, is a skinhead looking for trouble and hating the non-Aryans. You should relax a little bit and enjoy your final days in the biz.. ND. You're welcome to kiss my ass any time you give me a half hour to draw a crowd. Face it, there's not much to do in your part of the country. Go out and kill something. That'll make you feel better.

iceco1d's picture
iceco1d (not verified)

BondGuy wrote:Ice, good stuff! I love the replace his worst idea with my best idea. I'm going to use that!LOL, I thought I stole that line from you in the first place?  Praise from you makes me blush, even though I know nobody is looking!  Thanks for all of the advice and guidance over the years man! 

N.D.'s picture
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Joined: 2009-07-14

Navet - I would rather watch you slowly die on this forum.Ice - I changed my mind. It is good to have you back. Great post!

Pocket Full of Crackers's picture
Joined: 2010-06-18

iceco1d wrote:Hacksaw wrote:The answers I am getting end up in 3 places:
1- Obama has screwed me and my business and is taking all my money. I don't have any investments or anything for retirement and won't until he and his liberal friends are gone.
You:  Mr Prospect, if you don't mind me asking...when you say "Obama is screwing your business and taking all of your money, do you mean that he's taxing you to death?"Prospect:  Hell yes that's what I mean!  What else COULD it mean?You:  I feel the exact same pressures in my business.  Mr. Prospect, if I told you I could show you a way to save a few thousand dollars in taxes this year, coupled with a state-backed investment currently yielding 6.5%, would I be able to get you to meet me for a cup of coffee?"Prospect:  For 6.5% and tax savings I'd let you sleep with my wife!You:  Excellent.  How does Thursday at 10 AM sound?2- I am really just concerned with keeping my business afloat right now and am not thinking or looking at anything else. Call me the first of next year if the economy has gotten better and then maybe we can talk.
You:  Mr. Prospect, if you don't mind me asking, what exactly do you mean by "keeping your business afloat right now?"Prospect Option 1:  I had to take a second mortgage on the house to keep my suppliers from dropping me.  No one is buying what I'm selling.  Business is awful!  You Option 1 (client has no money and you can't help him):  Well Mr. Prospect, I'm very sorry to hear that.  If there is any way I can help, please don't hesitate to call, stop in my office, or email me.  I'll put my card in the mail for you tomorrow.  Drop it off personally for him later in the week if possible, and continue to drip a few months later (he told you to).Prospect Option 2:  Well my business is doing OK, but I'm really just not feeling too good about the stock market right now.You:  I understand Mr. Prospect, and many of my clients feel the same way.  Tell me, if I could show you a way to invest in the stock market, but guarantee that you wouldn't lose a nickel, would you be willing to meet with me for a cup of coffee?  (follow with a pitch on a GMAB, which rolls into a nice conversation about a GMIB).Prospect:  How on Earth can you be sure I won't lose money?You:  I'd be happy to show you in person Mr. Prospect.  How does Wednesday at 9 AM sound?Prospect:  See you then!OR, if the prospect responds (to your stock market pitch), "No, I still wouldn't invest in the stock market right now, I just don't trust it."You:  I suppose I understand.  So is it a safe assumption that you're keeping your money in CDs and Money Market accounts right now?Prospect:  You got it buddy!You:  One last thing Mr. Prospct...Would you be interested in a GUARNTEED interest rate of 4.0%?  (referencing VALIC's ProFlex Fixed Annuity).Them:  4.0%?  Who is offering 4.0%?You:  I'd be more than happy to show you in person Mr. Prospect.  And you might even be able to get 4.0% AND save some taxes.  How does Friday at 1 PM sound?  (this was referencing putting the fixed annuity inside of a SIMPLE IRA).3- I'm perfectly happy with my current advisor. It's the market that's screwing me up.

So I'm now thinking of switching tactics and calling and pitching muni bonds (have some locals yielding 5%) or the Opp high yield muni fund.
I don't know how to pitch it or what to say. Any help/words of wisdom would be appreciated.You:  I completely understand Mr. Prospect, most of my clients already had a financial advisor before they met me.It's certainly not my intention to drive a wedge between you and your current advisor, but would you mind if I asked you just 1 more question?Prospect:  SureYou:  If you could take your current advisors absolute WORST idea, and replace it with my BEST idea, would it be worth meeting me next week for 20 minutes ovee a cup of coffee?Prospect:  Sure, why not?OrProspect:  Depends.  What's your "best idea?"You:  Well Mr. Prospect, I really can't do it justice over the phone.  But I specialize in making sure my clients preserve AND grow their wealth regardless of whether the stock market goes up, down, or sideways.  Does Friday at 1 PM work for you?   (This could be a lead for a VA with a GMAB for the equity portion of a clients account, coupled with Short Duration bond funds, GO Munis, and/or fixed annuities for the fixed income).Prospect:  Sure does!  Sign me up, bitch!Hope that helps.Great post/response, thank you.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

iceco1d wrote:BondGuy wrote:Ice, good stuff! I love the replace his worst idea with my best idea. I'm going to use that!LOL, I thought I stole that line from you in the first place?  Praise from you makes me blush, even though I know nobody is looking!  Thanks for all of the advice and guidance over the years man!  Ice, I give you full ownership of that line. That's the kind of content I like to see here. Really good stuff!!!!!By the way, we don't steal, we borrow and we clone.  

clemente's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-01

No offense, Hack, but you spent time writing your post right in the middle of peak business-owner calling time.  Stop typing and keep calling!! I've got nothing but respect for you....keep after it!Good luck, man.

Hacksaw's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-27

Bondguy-contact rate was the same. It might have been a lack of positive responce, fed to me not sounding as good on the phone which then feeds upon itself.
This week finished out with low contact rates - "sorry he's on vacation and won't be in until next week". But the people I did talk to went a lot better. I used both squash's "I let my clients focus on what's important to them, their business, while I focus on their investments". Got decent responce. I also used ice's "replace their worst with my best" which seemed to get a few higher net worth client's interest.

Clemente- no offense taken, but, just as a FYI, my post was typed on my iPhone (like all my posts are) while I was eating lunch. I typically do lunch 11:45-12:30 EDT as I have found most business owners do the same.

Hope everyone enjoys their 4th and I'll try to keep updates coming as need be. Maybe I'll start a thread in rookies.

Nova02's picture
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Joined: 2010-06-28

ice, not to pick on your responses above, but more of a question (if they work for you, that's great!).  I loved your response to objection #1, but for the other objections, you seem to go to a product pitch as a way of countering the objection.  I've steered away from doing that (not very successfully, I might add) because it felt a little too "sleezy."  Have you used a more "process oriented" counter (i.e., "I understand your concern, Mr. Prospect, and I've found a lot of the clients I work with who own their own business feel the same way.  What they've found in working with me over the past year is that I've been able to help them focus on steering their business in the right direction and/or help them focus on staying on course for their long-term goals... (whatever, doesn't have to be that last part, but something similar)"

iceco1d's picture
iceco1d (not verified)

Nova,No offense taken (and don't take any from what I'm about to say, either).Your rebuttal, to me, is what every other rookie (or vet) cold caller is telling them.  Keeping their business on track?  You aren't qualified to do that.  Stay the course?  Long term investing?  They've been doing that for 10 years, and getting nothing in return.By rebutting with something ATTENTION GRABBING that they probably don't know even exists, is what you're doing.  And REMEMBER, you are NOT trying to sell the annuity, or bond, or etc.  You are trying to get an APPOINTMENT. Suppose you get an appointment, on the premise that you can save them taxes with a Single K or SIMPLE IRA, and that you can guarantee them they won't lose money in the stock market.OK, you show them the details of a qualified plan.  Then you tell them there are many ways you can eliminate, or minimimze your losses, and still have the upside of the stock market.  Then you show them how a GMAB works.  Then you show them how put options work.  Then you show them covered calls.  And then a GMIB.  And of course, no portfolio should be all in stocks, and no portfolio should be in all 1 product.  So you have a chance to show them BABs.  You have the chance to show them fixed and/or indexed annuities.  You aren't trying to sell him/her any of these products in particular on the first date, you're using the features of them to get the appointment, and then giving the prospect options that he can use once you meet.  You let the conversation go wherever it goes from there, and come up with ideas or which produt is best as you talk.  

Nova02's picture
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Joined: 2010-06-28

iceco1d wrote:Nova,No offense taken (and don't take any from what I'm about to say, either).Your rebuttal, to me, is what every other rookie (or vet) cold caller is telling them.  Keeping their business on track?  You aren't qualified to do that.  Stay the course?  Long term investing?  They've been doing that for 10 years, and getting nothing in return.By rebutting with something ATTENTION GRABBING that they probably don't know even exists, is what you're doing.  And REMEMBER, you are NOT trying to sell the annuity, or bond, or etc.  You are trying to get an APPOINTMENT. Suppose you get an appointment, on the premise that you can save them taxes with a Single K or SIMPLE IRA, and that you can guarantee them they won't lose money in the stock market.OK, you show them the details of a qualified plan.  Then you tell them there are many ways you can eliminate, or minimimze your losses, and still have the upside of the stock market.  Then you show them how a GMAB works.  Then you show them how put options work.  Then you show them covered calls.  And then a GMIB.  And of course, no portfolio should be all in stocks, and no portfolio should be in all 1 product.  So you have a chance to show them BABs.  You have the chance to show them fixed and/or indexed annuities.  You aren't trying to sell him/her any of these products in particular on the first date, you're using the features of them to get the appointment, and then giving the prospect options that he can use once you meet.  You let the conversation go wherever it goes from there, and come up with ideas or which produt is best as you talk.  ice, that makes total sense.  In full disclosure, I've been working as an FA for about three years, have my CFP, CRPC, and a good base of clients with diverse backgrounds.   I don't come from money really, so I have to try EVERYTHING as far as prospecting is concerned.  I feel I'm qualified given my background and credentials to speak to business owners on many of the issues that concern them and try to provide them with a more well rounded plan of attack aside from the usual, "let me show you a good stock idea," etc.  However, I agree 100% with you that showing them a product or idea is a great way to get an appointment.  Thanks for the thoughts!

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