Westwood's Cold Call Journal

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Westwood's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-05

newregrep, you only calling on residential or businesses, or both...also what types of muni's are you calling on, i.e. preminum, discount, term, rate, etc.  just curious.

on my own's picture
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Joined: 2009-11-03

newregrep wrote:welcome back ricky we missed ya.The wirehouse is all about fee-based now.  I did exactly 300 calls today with muni bonds qualifying at 100k.  I had 24 contacts and 6 interested prospects.  I'm having trouble pitching managed money though over the phone, I think fee-based is something that comes with relationship.  I also pitch ELN over the phone with FDIC coverage, about to close a small account tomorrow for 50k,Managed money is a relationship sale and the only way to sell it is face to face. If you can get a face to face you can sell them anything and get their serious money. 

newregrep's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-22

I call businesses mainly.  Today I only called dentists and doctors near my home area and pitched a par bond I found in the inventory.  It was a AA water rev bond from NYC 5% tax-free return.How many contacts are you guy shooting for on a daily basis? and on my own, I agree with you...I need to start shooting for appointments because without managed money I'm fired.   

StoneColdMutha's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-04

newregrep wrote:welcome back ricky we missed ya.The wirehouse is all about fee-based now.  I did exactly 300 calls today with muni bonds qualifying at 100k.  I had 24 contacts and 6 interested prospects.  I'm having trouble pitching managed money though over the phone, I think fee-based is something that comes with relationship.I also pitch ELN over the phone with FDIC coverage, about to close a small account tomorrow for 50k, You can pitch managed money (I have done it successfully), but I have found that when you pitch a bond, you will get exactly that, bond buyers.  Nothing wrong with that at all, but if you are in a wirehouse, I know what your hurdles are and they come fast and hard so you need to go after the "big money" early on so congrats on qualifying for at least $100k.  $25k here and $50k there will get you fired quickly in my experience.  I did pitch an internal covered call portfolio and got really good mileage out of that because it is a great story.  However, I have never had success pitching bonds...I must just suck at it!  Everyone of my clients (prospects too) gets a financial plan and I get so involved with them during my sales process, that it is hard for them NOT to move the managed money at the end of my process.  So, I try and stuff as many people as possible into the top of the funnel so that I can wait for them to fall out of the bottom.  However, when I was calling and would take any kind of account, I got exactly that...$25k here, another $38k there, and so forth.  My biggest client is a "nice" 7 figure couple that I cold called and the funny thing is that it actually takes me LESS time to deal with them than the small peanuts guys.  The small peanuts guys call you for all kinda silly stuff and want you to come pick up $5000 checks (when they could easily EFT the cash).  With gas at darn near $4 a gallon, it just doesn't make sense and isn't how I want to continue building my practice.    There are plenty of ways to get the job done in this business, but leading with the small product trades has just never worked for me.  Either way, your activity level is high and in my opinion, a high activity  level trumps everything else. 

chrisj's picture
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Joined: 2011-03-18

Have you considered a short personalized web video to attract new clients? 

Westwood's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-05

newregrep wrote:I call businesses mainly.  Today I only called dentists and doctors near my home area and pitched a par bond I found in the inventory.  It was a AA water rev bond from NYC 5% tax-free return.How many contacts are you guy shooting for on a daily basis? and on my own, I agree with you...I need to start shooting for appointments because without managed money I'm fired.   I also primarily call on business, just a way better contact ratio.  I have tried calling on all dr's, dentists, general, etc.  The problem I find though is that I can never get a hold of them, they are always with patients per the gatekeepers, and they never have voicemail. I think out of all the calls I've made to dr's, I got one on the phone and he was a chiropractor and he wasn't interested.  So I kind of stopped calling on them, any tips on getting through to dr's???I have good contact ratios with lawyers though, they seem to always be available.I have been trying to reach at least 50 contacts a day, but realisticaly I average about 25-35 contacts a day.What term are the bonds you've been pitching?  I usually try not to pitch anything longer than 10 years. 

BigFirepower's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-09

Stone, ok, my advice is that your junior is calling the wrong people. Fact is, we are NOT in the business of helping people accumulate wealth. There is NO money in that. We are in the business of managing wealth, retaining it, generating income from it, and helping clients with the administration of their assets, helping them keep it all organized and matching their goals and risk tolerance. Have your Jr. call wealth people, or retired people...Crazy? Yes, the Majors and wires are completely lost in the woods, and the numbers of defections to indy support that. Managed money is 2x as profitable for a firm, than a non managed account, that is why they preach that to nauseum. Insurance, the same thing..I believe that if you serve the client, you succeed. But, you have to find a firm that agrees, or create one yourself...I don't envy the newbies of today. Dang, was tuff enuf when I started in 92, and bounced around for years. I find today's environment to be far more difficult. Still, if you take the simple base models of what I've written, Bond Guy, and several others, with extremely hard work and some luck, you can make it. I've always believed that if your firm is bad, or your manager is bad, you are DOOMED. Doesn't matter how much production you do either, they'll kill you. When confronted with a no win situation, show yourself the door, it's cheaper.  If I was a newbie today, and I felt like I had the right stuff, I'd find a killer indy rep that is a good guy, and convince him to hire me under a mutually beneficial contract. If someone is interested in that concept, PM me, and I can give a few tips on how to find a guy like that. Right now, the big are getting bigger and better, and at some point the big are going to want to expand, buy out books, and do all sorts of other things that might mean hiring a young, sharp hard working licensed newbie.    

newregrep's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-22

I'm pitching a fairly long term bond...I never close on em though.  It's only there as a bait for me.  I use that bond to get their attention, then shoot for a suitability meeting, and usually close with something else.On the plus side, the guys who actually buy bonds are income buyers, so some of them do not mind that it's long-term.  I put together a list on google...and called them and got 2 prospects out of it.  I'm meeting one today, and the other I'm dripping on.  I think it boils down to how you are talking to the "gatekeepers".  I usually say, "Hi is Jim in?" "This is newRR please put me through"It's all about being casual imo.

Westwood's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-05

When you guys reach the gatekeepers and you say, "hi, is jim in"? and they say who is this and/or what is this regarding?  What do you guys say.I usually say this is "jim", or "jim from abc brokerage".  Some times it works and other times it doesn't , and when they ask what the call is reagrading, I have been saying it's personal and that kind of works.  

BigFirepower's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-09

Westwood. Usually, the business owner is the hardest working guy in the office. So, you can reach him when the others are not there. It might be earlier than 8 or 9 am, or he might like to work late, or he comes in on Saturdays to shuffle paper on his desk, get away from the wife. If you live/work in a neighborhood that you can walk/drive, why not create a master prospecting list, and observe the habits?  There is a balance between smart prospecting, and smile and dial physical prospecting. If you don't blend the two together, it's hard to find statistically meaningful results.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

Calling with product, for example tax free bonds, doesn't have to be mutually exclusive to managing wealth. Build the book with TF bond clients and then penetrate those accounts. Who is more likely to hear you out on managing their money, someone who knows you and trusts you or a complete stranger? Once i open an acct on a TF bond the client's other advisors have a huge problem. I now have a seat at the table. I begin the wonder of me campaign to give them service far above anything they are likely to be getting from their existing advisors. After some time we approach clients to talk about the other three corners of the investment table. If we are unsuccessful, we've still got a bond buyer client. If successful, we take it as far as we can. Still, if you just want to do product sales and nothing more, there is nothing wrong with that plan. Plug in the need to raise about 1 million in new assets per month, with a 3 to 6 month lead time to get up to speed. Work all the numbers backwards to figure out how many dials, hours of calling, acct sizes etc. Put it all together and call it a business plan. Show it to your BOM and let him tell you it won't work. Prove him wrong because he is wrong.I'm not a big MF fan but there are some good tax free MF out there. One could build a book with some of these funds and get instant traction in production. For those who need/want instant gratification do A shares. For those thinking they want more of an annuity do C shares. There are funds with very good management  yielding north of 6% tax free. That's a tough act to beat. Raise 9 million in year one, that's $90,000 in C share production or$360,000 in A share. Year two ramp it up to 12 million new money and the numbers start to get exciting, about $210,000 c share and $500,000 A share.  I know , sounds crazy, might work!!!

sixx81's picture
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Joined: 2011-03-10

Goodness I hope I get hired so I can put all of this amazing insight to work.  Westwood, keep it up, man!  Your work is inspiring to someone on the outside.I went through the interview process, was told in private that they would be making an offer.  Did the background check stuff yesterday....hope to find out soon!

BigFirepower's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-09

Bond Guy's first paragraph above, is like gold. That's how it's done.

sixx81's picture
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Joined: 2011-03-10

Westwood, how are things going?  Always like to hear updated info on what's working/not working TODAY.BTW, I got a very fair offer and I start mid-April :)

Stockguy2011's picture
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Joined: 2011-03-28

BigFirepower wrote:Bond Guy's first paragraph above, is like gold. That's how it's done.Agreed!  That is the connection, many of the "anti cold callers" miss.  The muni trade is not the end goal, but merely the first step in the journey to manage the entire pie for very wealthy people.

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