Cold Calling Into

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Matt Wright's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-11

Hey all,
I'm new and the firm gave us a cold calling script but i hate the opening and i know that the opening line is the most important.  Any ideas or advice? 
 
Lets try to keep it consructive.

Dust Bunny's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-07

What is the opening and why do you hate it?

Matt Wright's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-11

Pretty simple, I'm ____ with______ , calling to see if you invest and would you be open to new ideas.
 
I guess hate would be the wrong word, just looking for variety. . .

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

Never ask a closed ended question unless you are ready for them to hang up the phone.  "...would you be open to new ideas?"  Nope.  Click.  Make them say something besides yes or no.  For instance, how do you feel about the service you've been getting from your current advisor?  How would you feel about meeting with me to discuss some new ideas?  At least that way they have to either be rude and hang up the phone or answer your question with a real sentance.

Matt Wright's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-11

Thanks spiff i like that . . .

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

Always remember that a good prospect is located, not created.  This is especially true when you are cold calling.  Essentially, it is a numbers game;  a cliche yet accurate.  You WANT people to reject you quickly.  That way you are on to the next call and further on your way of finding the interested, qualified person who will end up in your pipeline and (hopefully) on your list of clients.
Keep it simple yet compelling.  You have approx. twenty seconds to gain interest.  I suggest something along the lines of this: "Mr. Prospect this is Joe Broker over at ABC Securities in whatevertown. We have been recommending to clients an investment that has had an outstanding track record, averaging better than 12% a year over the past thirty years.  In fact, last year it provided better than a 19% return, and I wanted to see if this might be something you'd like to take a closer look at." Then shut up and hear what they have to say.  Remember to qualify for "muh-ney", otherwise it's not a lead. 

now_indy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-28

Check out (or buy it used for $5) this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Calling-Techniques-That-Really/dp /1580628567/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-7843423-8813713?ie=UTF8&s=b ooks&qid=1179794086&sr=8-1
It will give you a really good start. 

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

Have to disagree on the book reco; I read it many years ago and found that it just doesn't apply to our business.  Much better for biz to biz selling.
In fact, there are almost no books I would recommend when it comes to cold calling/prospecting.  Perhaps Bill Good for principles; and Leroy Gross's book for daily fundamentals.
Always remember: when it comes to prospecting, actions' trump ideas/theory.  Period.  ANYONE could succeed if they made the required # of calls every day and followed up.  Regardless of training, scripts, etc.  In the end it's always a #'s game.  Those that have the "talent" along with the actions/discipline will simply have a better close ratio, bigger pipeline, and (likely) land the bigger fish.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

"Hi, Joe. This is a sales call. Would you like to hang up?" Then shut up. Make them laugh right out of the gate.

DMAN's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-13

I have been following the Bill Good tax free bond script calling business owners. I have been getting good results. The Judge makes some good points. I really liked that last thread you started Judge about the rookie asking what you would do if you were starting in the business. I have taken that 30 minimum contacts a day to heart. Matt, I have learned a ton from this forum about cold calling. Do a search of archived posts about cold calling and study them and you will probably be the best cold caller in your office. Guys here like Bondguy and The Judge could probably write books on the subject.
Regarding the link that Now Indy put up about that book. It has some good information but like the Judge says it is geared more toward biz to biz sales. The author's approach is to call to get an appointment. The problem in this business is you don't want appointments with people who only have $1,000 IRAs. There needs to be some qualification which the author doesn't really address. Bill Good's book is much better.
May I speak with M/M ________, please?  (Response)  Very good.  M/M ________, this is ___________, with (Firm).  a) Does the name (Firm) ring a bell?  or b)  You know who we are, don’t you?  or c)  Can you hear me OK on this phone?
<?:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" />

Phrase Identifying Firm              Don’t Know You:  We’re the _____________________________________.  Does that ring a bell?
             Verify Decision Maker:  M/M ______, do you take care of the _______ decisions for your family?
The Offer M/M _____, I have some important information for you on  what's called a tax-free municipal bond fund.  Have you ever heard of one of these before? 
Yes or No  OK.  Then (as I am sure you know), it is a portfolio of top quality tax free bonds that have been selected for both income and safety.
INTEREST:  Could I send you some information on it?
NOT INTERESTED AT ALL:  Thankyouverymuch.
FALLBACK: Let me ask you this.  What kind of investments have you been making lately?  (RESPONSE)  If I came up with an idea in (investment type mentioned),  you wouldn’t mind if I called you back and mentioned it, would you?
Commitment:  If I send this information out today, you should receive it by (DAY).  Will you have time to look it over by (DAY)?  (RESPONSE) 
Need:  To benefit from tax free income, you need to be at least in the 28% tax bracket.  Would you say this applies to you?  (RESPONSE)
Money:  If you do like the idea, would an investment of ($_____) be a problem to you at this particular time?  (RESPONSE) 
Decision:  When making this kind of decision, are you the decision maker or do you consult a significant other?
             Other:  Who else would be involved in the decision?
Time:  What’s the time frame you feel comfortable with for making a financial decision of this magnitude?
QUALIFIES (RESIDENTIAL)  (Are these funds available now?) Just one other question and I'll let you go.  In case I can’t get in touch with you during the (DAY/EVENING), how can I reach you during the (EVENING/DAY)?  I have your address down as _____.  Is that correct?  Great!  Haveagoodday and thankyouverymuch.
 
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farotech's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-05

That's a good one, thanks DMAN.

Vin Diesel's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-18

DMAN wrote:
I have been following the Bill Good tax free bond script calling business owners. I have been getting good results. The Judge makes some good points. I really liked that last thread you started Judge about the rookie asking what you would do if you were starting in the business. I have taken that 30 minimum contacts a day to heart. Matt, I have learned a ton from this forum about cold calling. Do a search of archived posts about cold calling and study them and you will probably be the best cold caller in your office. Guys here like Bondguy and The Judge could probably write books on the subject.
Regarding the link that Now Indy put up about that book. It has some good information but like the Judge says it is geared more toward biz to biz sales. The author's approach is to call to get an appointment. The problem in this business is you don't want appointments with people who only have $1,000 IRAs. There needs to be some qualification which the author doesn't really address. Bill Good's book is much better.
May I speak with M/M ________, please?  (Response)  Very good.  M/M ________, this is ___________, with (Firm).  a) Does the name (Firm) ring a bell?  or b)  You know who we are, don’t you?  or c)  Can you hear me OK on this phone?
<?:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" />

Phrase Identifying Firm             Don’t Know You:  We’re the _____________________________________.  Does that ring a bell?
             Verify Decision Maker:  M/M ______, do you take care of the _______ decisions for your family?
The Offer M/M _____, I have some important information for you on  what's called a tax-free municipal bond fund.  Have you ever heard of one of these before? 
Yes or No  OK.  Then (as I am sure you know), it is a portfolio of top quality tax free bonds that have been selected for both income and safety.
INTEREST:  Could I send you some information on it?
NOT INTERESTED AT ALL:  Thankyouverymuch.
FALLBACK: Let me ask you this.  What kind of investments have you been making lately?  (RESPONSE)  If I came up with an idea in (investment type mentioned),  you wouldn’t mind if I called you back and mentioned it, would you?
Commitment:  If I send this information out today, you should receive it by (DAY).  Will you have time to look it over by (DAY)?  (RESPONSE) 
Need:  To benefit from tax free income, you need to be at least in the 28% tax bracket.  Would you say this applies to you?  (RESPONSE)
Money:  If you do like the idea, would an investment of ($_____) be a problem to you at this particular time?  (RESPONSE) 
Decision:  When making this kind of decision, are you the decision maker or do you consult a significant other?
             Other:  Who else would be involved in the decision?
Time:  What’s the time frame you feel comfortable with for making a financial decision of this magnitude?
QUALIFIES (RESIDENTIAL)  (Are these funds available now?) Just one other question and I'll let you go.  In case I can’t get in touch with you during the (DAY/EVENING), how can I reach you during the (EVENING/DAY)?  I have your address down as _____.  Is that correct?  Great!  Haveagoodday and thankyouverymuch.
 
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very good script. i think cold calling with a specific product works best. i have used new issue preferreds and opened lots of new accounts.
good luck!

opie's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-15

DMAN wrote:I have been following the Bill Good tax free bond script calling business owners. I have been getting good results. Are your results based on first calls, or on getting clients?  Not being argumentative here.  Also, what is your second call script?  To get appts or to sell funds?

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

The Judge wrote:
Have to disagree on the book reco; I read it many years ago and found that it just doesn't apply to our business.  Much better for biz to biz selling.
In fact, there are almost no books I would recommend when it comes to cold calling/prospecting.  Perhaps Bill Good for principles; and Leroy Gross's book for daily fundamentals.
Always remember: when it comes to prospecting, actions' trump ideas/theory.  Period.  ANYONE could succeed if they made the required # of calls every day and followed up.  Regardless of training, scripts, etc.  In the end it's always a #'s game.  Those that have the "talent" along with the actions/discipline will simply have a better close ratio, bigger pipeline, and (likely) land the bigger fish.

I have utmost respect for the Judge, and his opinions, he is probably one of the most, if not the most, insightful poster I've seen on these boards. With that said, to his point on the book, I've read the book, and found it very worthwhile. Why dick around with a script that leads you to "send out some information" and then follow up with another difficult phone call three days later, in which you have a 50% chance of getting them on the phone, when you can go for the appointment right away on the first call (which si what the book proposes). I have had good success witht he books approach when I was actively prospecting. It is worth noting, that when I prospected, by phone, the call was to business owners and CFO;s to offer a 401k review, so I guess thats biz to biz, even tho it often ended up being a conversation about their personal investments (non 401k).
JMHO

DMAN's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-13

Opie, you bring up a good point. I started cold calling last week. When I say "good results" I mean I am finding interested people who have money to invest which is the whole purpose of the first call. I don't know the ratio yet of dials:prospects:clients but I am keeping track. I do know the ratio of dials to prospects. It usually takes me between 70-90 dials to talk to 30 business owners/managers. The list I am using has either the owners name or managers name so sometimes I end up talking with a manager. Of those 30 contacts, usually I get 5 who are qualified and interested. After I start getting clients then I can share the ratio of qualified prospects to clients.
Unfortunately on the second call there is no script for the second call on Bill Good's website like on the first call so you will have to get the book to see the second script. Basically the idea is to introduce yourself againg and tell them you sent the information they requested  just don't ask them if they got it. You then go on and tell them what you do and then end by saying
"To be able to help you I need to know more about you financially. There are two ways we can do that. We can set up a time to meet or I can ask you some questions now. How would you like to proceed?" If they say they have some time now you ask the questionaire that Bill Good had in his Research article last month and then close on whatever you want to.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Vin Diesel wrote:very good script. i think cold calling with a specific product works best. i have used new issue preferreds and opened lots of new accounts.
good luck!What happens to those people when interest rates go up?Better hurry up and sell them something else, quick!

opie's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-15

I like the basics of the script, but I would rather call on the bonds themselves than a fund, at least right now. 

bXpress's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-09

Hate to play the compliance card, but you have to say your name and firm and location prior to any opening on a cold call.
Then you can luanch into your desired method.

GunnAllen's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-12

All i can say is..
Stephan Schiffman
Ask Questions Get Sales
Close the deal and create long term relationships..

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

GunnAllen wrote:Close the deal Pretty ironic comment coming from a guy with that for your screen name....given your firm's fine history...

SimplySimple's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-25

Make sure you keep it short and simple.  The worst experience is the world is getting a person to be very interested after a long speech and then you realize you forgot to qualify him earlier and he turns out to have no money.
you will spend a minute after the call yelling at yourself. 
I once heard that you need to be comfortable when making a call otherwise the person on the other end can here your tension or discomfort.  Honestly practice is best.

drewski803's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-08

Someone said a few topics ago that you could call and basically say, "F*** you Mrs. Jones" and get 1/10 interested prospects.  I take that side of the issue.  I think paralysis by analysis puts alot of cold-callers out of the business.  I think you make a decent script, never adjust it and just hit it.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

drewski803 wrote:
Someone said a few topics ago that you could call and basically say, "F*** you Mrs. Jones" and get 1/10 interested prospects.  I take that side of the issue.  I think paralysis by analysis puts alot of cold-callers out of the business.  I think you make a decent script, never adjust it and just hit it.

Perfect.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Drew, great post.  The good thing about this business is batting averages don't count.  Suck at the phone?  No problem.  Just call more people.  You get to step up to the plate as many times as you'd like.

SimplySimple's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-25

Agreed but a better batting average will usually keep you better motivated.  Just set on a pad of paper how many contacts and calls you wanna make and don't fall short of it.
Also work on centers of influence to break up the monantany (someone tell me how that word is spelled).  I've been told I should join the rotary club and such.

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