gethardgetraw's 2009-2010 Cold Calling Journal

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gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

After lurking these forums for about a year now and PM'ing many of the successful posters for scripts, methods, and words of wisdom, I've decided to make my successes and failures public, and will use this journal to log my daily events. I hope to be kept accountable in determining my own success as rookie financial advisor.

I will not give too many details on commissions, number of opened accounts, percent above expectations (lol), my sources for phone numbers (ROOGLE), AUM, or anything that will allow my real identity to easily be detected, and I'd appreciate a bit of anonymity despit the fact I'm posting on a public online forum. That being said, I'll give everyone a bit of background info. I'm a financial advisor for Edward Jones in the midwest. I'm a younger FA, and I've been selling for less than a year. I am currently above expectations.
 
I will primarily be cold calling residencies with municipal bonds. I plan on posting every day's results, including # of phone numbers dialed, number of prospects created,  number of clients created, and perhaps a rough estimate of commission received when someone bites.
 
This journal is by no means a means to flaunt my successes. I'll be the first to admit I have plenty to learn and many others make much more than me doing exactly the same thing. Let's hope this journal will help me fine-tune my skills as well as diminish my weaknesses.
 
In Brooklyn we go hard. They don't know preferred stock from livestock. If you can't cold call, you're a pussy. If you mess with him, you mess with me and my whole f***in' crew. I can go out there tonight with the materials you've got and make myself $15,000. Tonight! In two hours! Can you?
 
Ok let's do this.

SometimesNowhere's picture
Joined: 2008-12-22

Did your parents take it hard when you came out of the closet?

SB0807's picture
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SometimesNowhere wrote:Did your parents take it hard when you came out of the closet?
 
A response like this is unnecessary. Please ignore comments like this.  Some of us actually enjoy hearing about one's trials and tribulations.

Squash1's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-19

I am interested especially since you said what part of the country you are in. I wonder if it differs by area. Also because we know your firm I wonder if that plays a roll.
 
I think you should post the following:
# of dials
# of contacts(not prospects, just someone answering the phone)
# of prospects
# of clients
# of sales
Also # of hours it took to accomplish this

aeromaks's picture
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I am waiting anxiously to hear about this.

Still@jones's picture
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you scrubbing those numbers against the DNC before you cold call residences...or are you canadian, eh?

RationalExuberance's picture
Joined: 2009-11-30

Where do you get your list?

chief123's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-28

I will post mine tomorrow..

chief123's picture
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update?

Wet_Blanket's picture
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Yes please.

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

Did not work as hard as I should have today. Early morning commission (excuse), walk-in client (excuse), and late lunch with a friend (excuse) led to some weak numbers:
37 calls
0 prospects created
0 sales
 
I think clients created and sales is redundant, so I'll include sales only. Also, I don't think I'll be able to accurately log how many hours it took to call. 
 
When a prospect eventually leads to a sale, I will include it in that current day's sales even though the original cold call was from a previous date. Furthermore, even though I earned commission from existing clients today, I will not include them in my cold calling journal.
 
I really didn't want to post today's results seeing how pathetic they were, but I'll stay true to my promise and post the good, the bad, and the ugly.
 
SometimesNowhere - brb taking my GF out for sushi
Still@Jones - yes absolutely scrubbing against DNC
RationalExuberance -
 
I'll hit it hard tomorrow I swear

Sportsfreakbob's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-24

You better hit it hard tomorrow!
You got all our hopes up - we thought we were going to get inspiration from you. 37 calls? Cmon. I did more than that today and I'm in the biz 10 years. No doubt most guys here did more than you.
Inspire us tomorrow.
(All this said constructively so dont tae it the wrong way)
Tomorrow you need to get in the office early, and instead of having sushi with your girlfriend, get it in your head that the phone is not a phone - its Christina Aguilera, and your job it to bang it all day long.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

Good post gethardgetraw.  You didn't make any excuses, and lived up to your word.  You will definitely want to include CONTACTS, along with DIALS, and CLIENTS in your accountability list.  The rest (AUM, PRODUCTION, etc.) is up to you.

chief123's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-28

167 dials
49 contacts
10 qualified and willing to hear back
15 I will continue to call to further qualify
24 back in the hopper to call again in about 2 months
 

chief123's picture
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oh an 1 appt. kind of a cheap one.. Prospect sounded interested, so reverted back to EDJ format and said I would be in the area Friday visiting a client and would like to stop by to show him an idea i have been using with a lot of my clients

Ron 14's picture
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chief123 wrote:167 dials
49 contacts
10 qualified and willing to hear back
15 I will continue to call to further qualify
24 back in the hopper to call again in about 2 months
 
 
What defines contact ? A decent convo or Hi Mr. Smith this is....dial tone?

chief123's picture
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No a contact is someone who actually talks back... "no thanks" I don't consider that a contact, but I will call them back in 30 days

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

Hit it a little harder today.
 
114 Calls
21 contacts
6 prospects created
0 sales
 
One lady asked about the YTM and quant. available and said she'll call back in the morning. Calling her back after 10am and crossing my fingers.

gethardgetraw's picture
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I've adopted a new schedule:
 
7:30 AM - Arrive. Read emails, msgs, check inventories, headlines. Coffee, music
8:00 AM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
8:50 AM - Coffee, EAT, music, check market.
9:00 AM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
9:50 AM - Coffee, music
10:00 AM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
10:50 AM - Coffee, music
11:00 AM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
11:50 AM - Coffee, EAT, music, check market
12:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
12:50 PM - Coffee, music
1:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
1:50 PM - Coffee, music
2:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
2:50 PM - Coffee, EAT, music
3:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
3:50 PM - Coffee, music, check market
4:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
4:50 PM - Coffee, music
5:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
5:50 PM - EAT, music
6:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
6:50 PM - Music
7:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
7:50 PM - Check tomorrow's schedule 
8:00 PM - Leave

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

I'm thinking about wrapping the handle of my phone with a few $1 bills 

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

ok g2g have a regional holiday party an hour away gonna drink so much kool-aid

Baldy McGrindy's picture
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Drive safe.  That EDJ kool-aid can make you do silly things. 

Sportsfreakbob's picture
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Thats a better day. Nice
Great schedule.

aeromaks's picture
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I am just wondering, why are you focusing on cold calling your entire day?  I am sure you will snap soon.  Why not work the people you already know?  or try to get additional business from your existing clients, provide value, get recommendations and introductions.

anonymous's picture
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Terrible schedule.  I'm not trying to be negative.  It's just that a schedule that you won't be able to follow will quickly lead to failure.  You need success.  For instance, if your schedule was changed to the following, I bet that you'd have more success:
 
8:00-10:00 A.M.: Cold call
10:00 A.M. -5:00 P.M: Do whatever I want

Still@jones's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-22

I agree...just finished the Chris Gardner book (basis for Pursuit of Happyness). He went from homeless black man to making over $1MM/year within 5 years by making 200 calls a day. His secret was not about burning himself out making as many calls as possible...just making 200 quality cold calls every single day before he went home. Without exception. PS: I recommend the book over the movie.

Squash1's picture
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aeromaks wrote:I am just wondering, why are you focusing on cold calling your entire day?  I am sure you will snap soon.  Why not work the people you already know?  or try to get additional business from your existing clients, provide value, get recommendations and introductions.
 
If he is just starting he doesn't have that option

Squash1's picture
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anonymous wrote:Terrible schedule.  I'm not trying to be negative.  It's just that a schedule that you won't be able to follow will quickly lead to failure.  You need success.  For instance, if your schedule was changed to the following, I bet that you'd have more success:
 
8:00-10:00 A.M.: Cold call
10:00 A.M. -5:00 P.M: Do whatever I want
 
Takes more time than that to be productive if you are starting out... 2 hours isn't enough...

3rdyrp2's picture
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anonymous wrote:Terrible schedule.  I'm not trying to be negative.  It's just that a schedule that you won't be able to follow will quickly lead to failure.  You need success.  For instance, if your schedule was changed to the following, I bet that you'd have more success:
 
8:00-10:00 A.M.: Cold call
10:00 A.M. -5:00 P.M: Do whatever I want
 
I think he was being facetious with his schedule.  The schedule has him drinking 10 cups of coffee per day.  I got a chuckle out of the 7:50PM task of "Check tomorrow's schedule".  Why does he need to check out the schedule?  All he's doing is dialing, drinking coffee, dialing, drinking coffee, dialing, drinking coffee.  Doesn't seem like something you need to prepare and review the night before.

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Still@jones wrote:
I agree...just finished the Chris Gardner book (basis for Pursuit of Happyness). He went from homeless black man to making over $1MM/year within 5 years by making 200 calls a day. His secret was not about burning himself out making as many calls as possible...just making 200 quality cold calls every single day before he went home. Without exception. PS: I recommend the book over the movie.
In 20 years newbies will be reading the book about a young struggling advisor who was kicked out of Edward Jones, switched to the insurance side, and became the Ben Feldman of our generation.The book will be titled "Not@jonesNow@TopoftableMDRT"

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Squash1 wrote:anonymous wrote:Terrible schedule.  I'm not trying to be negative.  It's just that a schedule that you won't be able to follow will quickly lead to failure.  You need success.  For instance, if your schedule was changed to the following, I bet that you'd have more success:
 
8:00-10:00 A.M.: Cold call
10:00 A.M. -5:00 P.M: Do whatever I want
 
Takes more time than that to be productive if you are starting out... 2 hours isn't enough...

Actually, if he makes two hours worth of calls every single day, he most likely will ultimately end up a huge success.
 
Anyway, I'm not trying to tell him to call for two hours and then go out drinking.   The point is that daily goals shouldn't be some pipe dream.  They should be about doing something that is achievable. 
 
 

gethardgetraw's picture
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Haha yeah I suppose checking tomorrow's schedule is pretty ridiculous, but every now and then I have a call session or a regional breakfast the next day that I absolutely would not have remembered.
I definitely do need to time block calling existing clients and prospects into my schedule, which would actually give me a well-needed break from straight cold calling. Right now I'm at 12 blocks of cold calling, or 10 hours per day. I could change 3 of those cold calling blocks to calling existing clients and prospects. Those who cold called to build their book... thoughts? Not enough contacting previous clients or too much time given?
 
I am able to do so much calling b/c right now I'm simply gathering assets and selling bonds and I only have a handful (<5) of "active" clients who proactively call me to trade.
 
Right now I'm still on a huge emotional rollercoaster. Some days I hate waking up and walking into my office, however some days I crave the challenge and I figure if I'm going to fail, I'm going down swinging.
 
Already, this journal has been a huge help for me. It's amazing how much a simply internet forum can light a fire under your ass. I honestly look at my call log every day and think... oh god I'm going to have to post this in a few hours.

gethardgetraw's picture
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Also, I downloaded The Pursuit of Happyness a few days ago and watched it halfway through and turned it off b/c it's spectacular and want to read the book before I watch the movie. Its been recommended to me by 2 regional vets as well as mentioned on this forum many times, think I'll spend the whole $0.01 on a used copy from amazon.

gethardgetraw's picture
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What you sow is what you reap
Ok back to work I'll holla @ you guys later

Spartacus's picture
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First off let me say I am new to the business and new to the forum.  I am a recent hire at a wirefirm and am still studying for Series 7 etc. so I have not begun my cold calling yet.  I applaud Gethard for holding yourself accountable on this forum, but did anyone else notice a problem with his time management?  According to the new schedule (which maybe Gethard has not implemented yet) he is calling for a total of 10 hours yet only made 114 calls.  This averages out to a little over 5 minutes per call which seems really long to me.  Am I right or can someone show me where my math is wrong?

chief123's picture
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gethardgetraw wrote:
Also, I downloaded The Pursuit of Happyness a few days ago and watched it halfway through and turned it off b/c it's spectacular and want to read the book before I watch the movie. Its been recommended to me by 2 regional vets as well as mentioned on this forum many times, think I'll spend the whole $0.01 on a used copy from amazon.
 
Wouldn't buy it, just rent a lot of the book is crap...

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Spartacus wrote:First off let me say I am new to the business and new to the forum.  I am a recent hire at a wirefirm and am still studying for Series 7 etc. so I have not begun my cold calling yet.  I applaud Gethard for holding yourself accountable on this forum, but did anyone else notice a problem with his time management?  According to the new schedule (which maybe Gethard has not implemented yet) he is calling for a total of 10 hours yet only made 114 calls.  This averages out to a little over 5 minutes per call which seems really long to me.  Am I right or can someone show me where my math is wrong?
 
Unfortunately yesterday I had to leave early to attend a holiday party... however I do realize that I have a pretty archaic method of finding numbers to call. Ok so here's what I'm doing: I pull up maps.google and find the wealthy neighborhoods in my surrounding area. I then reverse address lookup on whitepages using the street name and city/state. I generally get about 100 names and numbers of people who live on that street. I then scrub the phone number against the DNC and if it's a GO, I immediately call. The problem with this is that it's very time consuming. It generally takes about 1-2 minutes to simply find a number of which I can call.
This method is working however perhaps buying a list would be a more efficient use of my time.
Am I being retarded? (I know the answer to this... I should buy a list. Ugh gotta shell out a few hundo though)

Spartacus's picture
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As many people have pointed out on here before, there are free ways to get lists as well.  The one I think works the best is to check with your local library and see if they have access to Reference USA (My library did not, but my parent's library had online access so I just used my mom's card number to access it).  On there you can search people and businesses (which give you the manager's and people of power's names).  If you want to solely call residences, you can put a income qualifier on the search and find those most likely to qualify (those making $100,000+/yr).   You can only print out 25 names per search, but if you want to just pull it up and work off there, it would be much more efficient.  Or better yet, take some time at night or early in the morning to create your list of 200+ for the day.That's what my plan is at least.

gethardgetraw's picture
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Yeah, I've found a few sources of free lists. Salesgenie gives you 100 free when you sign up for their trial.
 
However, the value that I'd be paying for is the fact that the numbers pre-scrubbed against the DNC. Scrubbing the numbers is the most time consuming part for me. I'll have a list of 100 numbers, and after 10-15 minutes of scrubbing, I have 10 numbers that are callable which is a huge time drainer.
 
 

chief123's picture
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Sparty is right with Reference USA, thing that sucks is the 25/search, so it gets annoying, but you can do 200 each night before you leave so you are set up for tomorrow..
 
Or just buy the cheapest list you can find that is scrubbed from a reputable company, there are reco's all over the site... CIS is popular with wires. But i would buy slowly and see how the llist goes then re-up for more if you find it is good info or if you even use it(i got 5 lists from advisors who bought them and never used them for $25/piece..)

gethardgetraw's picture
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Have a $200 list of 3,333 names on my Christmas list and until then I'll spend more time gathering numbers while I'm at home. Wish there were more than 24 hours in the day.

Edit - Called the library 3 minutes from my office and they do have access to Reference USA, as well as remote access to library card holders

gethardgetraw's picture
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brb out getting a library card

Spartacus's picture
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Just remember that the DNC only applies to residences, so you can call businesses all day long.

Wet_Blanket's picture
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gethardgetraw wrote:brb out getting a library card
 
Pick up a MILF while you are there.

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

ReferenceUSA... wow this is awesome thanks guys.

anonymous's picture
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gethardgetraw wrote:

I've adopted a new schedule:
 
7:30 AM - Arrive. Read emails, msgs, check inventories, headlines. Coffee, music
8:00 AM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
8:50 AM - Coffee, EAT, music, check market.
9:00 AM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
9:50 AM - Coffee, music
10:00 AM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
10:50 AM - Coffee, music
11:00 AM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
11:50 AM - Coffee, EAT, music, check market
12:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
12:50 PM - Coffee, music
1:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
1:50 PM - Coffee, music
2:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
2:50 PM - Coffee, EAT, music
3:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
3:50 PM - Coffee, music, check market
4:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
4:50 PM - Coffee, music
5:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
5:50 PM - EAT, music
6:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
6:50 PM - Music
7:00 PM - Pick up phone, start dialing cold calls
7:50 PM - Check tomorrow's schedule 
8:00 PM - Leave

My guess is that with this schedule, you made less than 150 dials today and probably less than 100.  I hope that I'm wrong.  How many did you make?
 
Do you sell on the phone or are you calling to try to qualify prospect or are you trying to set appointments? 
 
For what it's worth, I do the latter and it takes me 40 dials to set two introductory appointments if they are cold. 

gethardgetraw's picture
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Lady didn't call back about the bond nor return my call. Was expected, however. Discovered ReferenceUSA - is a huge discovery. I'm calling trying to sell over the phone rather than set appointments, although I'm starting to have second thoughts. It seems like I change my script every day. Going to work tomorrow, need to make some money.122 Calls
28 contacts
4 prospects created
0 sales
 

gethardgetraw's picture
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My current script:
"Hi Mr/Mrs _____? Hey this is _____ from Edward Jones here in _______. The reason I was calling today is that we just had a ______ bond come available and they're actually paying __% tax-free. I wasn't sure if you were familiar with tax-free bonds or if you had any spare money available, but I was seeing if you might be interested. *this is when they say omfg yes ty for calling*
 
Ok, and really quickly, with CD rates are low as they are right now, I was seeing if you owned any outstanding CDs that I could help you get a higher interest rate on when they mature. *this is when they unload all their financial info with detailed maturity dates and amounts due*"
 
If they talk to me, I immediately send them a hand written thank you card as well as a rate-postcard in the mail.Thoughts, suggestions? Definitely on the down-swing of the emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes one-man offices suck.

fa09's picture
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How is this more efficient than doorknocking? 4 prospects created? Was the 25 doorknocking not working for you? I've thought about cold calling myself, but not sure with the results...
 
 

anonymous's picture
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gethardgetraw wrote:
Lady didn't call back about the bond nor return my call. Was expected, however. Discovered ReferenceUSA - is a huge discovery. I'm calling trying to sell over the phone rather than set appointments, although I'm starting to have second thoughts. It seems like I change my script every day. Going to work tomorrow, need to make some money.122 Calls
28 contacts
4 prospects created
0 sales
 

122 calls is 2 1/2 hours of work.  What else did you do today?

3rdyrp2's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-13

Went and got a library card.

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