Give your best cold calling lines/example

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tsaem's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-17

Alright, well I pretty much started and all I am focusing now is cold calling as my main tool to generate business.  Yes, I can get creative and set up seminars, join financial/business clubs, go through social networks, centers of influence, blah blah blah.  But this is what Im doing now and hope that people can add to my cold calling education.
My managers told me not to pitch services, but rather product if I am going to cold call.  This is the criteria for now and I cannot change it.  All I mostly do is pitch bonds.
So moving foward... I wanted to know if anyone can chip in their two cents of what worked well for them.  Maybe show how you handle certain objections and what you said to overcome them.  Even if you tell the same joke everytime you call that makes them laugh is valuable to me.  Whatever is effective.  But if you detail the conversation that would be great too.  Thanks everyone!
 

tsaem's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-17

For now, I'll give some examples to show you what Im looking for:
Objection:  "I don't have any money!"
Response: 
- "Well...don't you have any CD's to be matured or bonds to be called?"  
- "When will you have the funds?"
- "Your on my list of wealthiest people in the state! Are  you telling me this list is wrong?!" (they usually them to chuckle and loosen up)
Objection: "Im not interested"
Response:
-"what doesn't interest you? Is it this investment or you don't have any funds now?"
-"Do you ever invest in bonds/stocks?"
-"What can I show you that will peek your interest then?"
Objection: "Im 80 years old. Im too old to invest!"
Response:
- "Well your retired right? These are made for retired people.  These are made for seniors like yourself!"
- "No. No.  80 years Young!  Did you know the oldest person in the world is 120?  Your not too old for anything."
Okay, I guess you all get my point.  Im looking for more material to work on.  I know you guys have some good lines.
Objection: "I lost money in the bond/stock market!"
Response:
-"Someone sold you on emotion before to buy.  Im selling you on facts."
-"I burned my mouth once eating, I didn't stop eating...I just started learning to eat more carefully"

Helter Skelter's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-19

tsaem wrote:
For now, I'll give some examples to show you what Im looking for:
Objection:  "I don't have any money!"
How much money is "no money"?
Response: 
- "Well...don't you have any CD's to be matured or bonds to be called?"  
- "When will you have the funds?"
- "Your on my list of wealthiest people in the state! Are  you telling me this list is wrong?!" (they usually them to chuckle and loosen up)
Objection: "Im not interested"
Makes sense...I haven't said anything interesting yet.
Response:
-"what doesn't interest you? Is it this investment or you don't have any funds now?"
-"Do you ever invest in bonds/stocks?"
-"What can I show you that will peek your interest then?"
Objection: "Im 80 years old. Im too old to invest!"
I promise not to tell anyone if you won't.
Response:
- "Well your retired right? These are made for retired people.  These are made for seniors like yourself!"
- "No. No.  80 years Young!  Did you know the oldest person in the world is 120?  Your not too old for anything."
Okay, I guess you all get my point.  Im looking for more material to work on.  I know you guys have some good lines.
Objection: "I lost money in the bond/stock market!"
Let's do some oil and gas deals.
Response:
-"Someone sold you on emotion before to buy.  Im selling you on facts."
-"I burned my mouth once eating, I didn't stop eating...I just started learning to eat more carefully"

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

I did nothing but cold call my first five years.  Yes, it is not the most effective way to prospect and it is grueling.  Still, when all you have to offer is "sweat equity" you do what you have to.  Fortunately, cold calling taught me how to sell and to deal with all types of individuals.  A baptism by fire, if you will.  While there is no "secret formula" consider the following as a tried & true perspective:
- Always remember that a good prospect is located, not created.  ESPECIALLY when you are cold calling.
- It has and always will be a numbers game.  That said, put some serious effort in putting together a call list with qualified individuals.
- Call with a product; you have about twenty seconds to get interest.  Something along the lines of "This is Joe Broker over at XYZ investments in anytown.  Would an investment that has averaged better than 10% a year for the past decade, and has had no down years during that time something you would like to take a look at?"
- Never ask how they are, if they have a minute, etc (on the first call). Always end your call with "Thanks for your time." Callbacks are a different story.
- It's not a lead unless you qualify for $.
- Start calling businesses @ 7:30 am every day
- Keep first calls short; respects their time and allows you to make more calls.
- Never haggle a prospect.  Yes, there is a difference between "no" and "no maybe." Experience will teach you to know the difference.
- 10 contacts= 1 lead; 10 leads = 1 account.  
- When you get a lead, ask if this is a good # to call them at and what time of day they prefer to be reached.
- Go directly for an appointment a week after the first call and after you've mailed out the brief info.  The call goes something like this- "Mr. Prospect this is Joe Broker, calling back from XYZ investments in anytown.  We had spoke a week ago, and I had mailed you some brief information regarding the ABC Fund.  As I had mentioned, the fund has averaged better than 10% a year for the past decade, with no down years.  My clients have been able to exceed market returns, with much less volatility and risk. Wanted to get back in touch to see if there might be a time at your convenience that we could sit down, and see if perhaps this investment would have a place in your portfolio." Then shut up.  Granted, you may not even recommend this particular investment after discovering his needs; still- you are trying to sell the appointment.
- Keep in mind that only 1/10 of your qualified leads will become actual clients.  Put it out there and see who responds favorably.  That is why it is so important to keep adding fresh names to the pipeline and purging the non-responsive.
- Immediately toss out any lead who is a jerk.  You don't want them as clients.  Find nice people with money.
- Leave messages; no more than once a week.  Prospects will respect your diligence/persistence as long as you don't overdo it.
- The more qualified prospects you have, the less important each one is.  The significance of that is huge.  You won't come accross as desperate to any particular prospect if you have 500 like them in the hopper.
- Most important: make the calls and do it on a consistent basis.  Keep records; NEVER let a day go by without making some calls; it's amazing how quickly a day becomes a week, a week turns into a month, and so on.
Go get em'

doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

Good advice, Judge.
The best advice I can give is to watch the movie, "Boiler Room". In that movie, they give some very smooth responses to various objections.
(I think the name of the movie is correct. In it, they featured the B/D firm of J.T. Marlin. Correct me, if I'm wrong.)

rook4123's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-21

Although that movie is very entertaining, I can't fathom that it works
like that. Do people actually go for those lame pitches? What happend
to rapport? 

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

Leave the damn people alone, ever wonder why no one objected to a national do not call list and like everyones # in the country is on it. Find a smarter way to work...

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

Bankrep1- I think the national do-not-call list is a great idea.  That's why I recommend only contacting people at work #'s.
As far as finding a smarter way to work, most of them take too long and are just as difficult.  There's a reason 75%+ of rookies won't survive past two or three years.  As a "bankrep" I imagine you are contacting your firms' bank clients with regard to their investment needs (in addition to being referred by your bankers).  Excellent; still you are simply prospecting via a different channel. Not everyone has those same resources and have to rely on other means. 
Ask ANY successful broker who built their own business (i.e. TJC) and they will all tell you to make cold calling part of your routine.  It builds discipline, develops the thick skin that we all need, and really teaches you how to "sell." In addition, many of those same successful brokers still cold call to keep them sharp, like a boxer who spars regularly between bouts.
 

Helter Skelter's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-19

The Judge wrote:
Bankrep1- I think the national do-not-call list is a great idea.  That's why I recommend only contacting people at work #'s.
As far as finding a smarter way to work, most of them take too long and are just as difficult.  There's a reason 75%+ of rookies won't survive past two or three years.  As a "bankrep" I imagine you are contacting your firms' bank clients with regard to their investment needs (in addition to being referred by your bankers).  Excellent; still you are simply prospecting via a different channel. Not everyone has those same resources and have to rely on other means. 
Ask ANY successful broker who built their own business (i.e. TJC) and they will all tell you to make cold calling part of your routine.  It builds discipline, develops the thick skin that we all need, and really teaches you how to "sell." In addition, many of those same successful brokers still cold call to keep them sharp, like a boxer who spars regularly between bouts.
 

My cold calling days were the most fun and exciting days of my career.

young_gun's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-21

Thanks Helter Skelter for the different alternatives responses to the listed objections. 
Also Judge, I extremely appreciate the detailed post.  That information is valuable to me.  It seems like you know what Im going through.  I know this is a numbers game and I have to find what the number "n" is in the equation 1 over n.  Because after several hundred calls and some qualified leads, I still can't get any of them to bite.
If I had to point something out that I feel is wrong in my system, I'd say my 2nd call back has been unsuccessful.  After the 1st call, I get permission to send over the info or call back, and when I actually call back for the follow up it ends up in shambles. 
Most of the people I have been calling are relatively within a 20-40 mile radius and my calls haven't focused on setting up an appointment.  Usually because most of them are opposed to travel to my branch or are not open for me to come to their house.  My firm is not nationaly recognized, so usually when I call they aren't familiar with us and few are only familiar with our parent company when I mention who we are affiliated with.  Keeping this in mind, many don't feel comfortable to do business at all in person or on the phone.  I guess its just easier for me to try to ask for the sale on the phone because I can't see them in person.
Any other advice on what to do with the 2nd call or the follow up?  Perhaps I don't qualifiy them enough?  Should I even bother with the guy who just says, "okay, you can send me something in the mail" just to be polite. (I always hope that if I don't give up on them, 1 out of 20 will turn out good.)  But am I just wasting their or my time?
In the mailings I usually send info about our company history, a detail letter about the security I pitched them, and if they're a good prospect I will add a hand written note to personalize it along with my business cards.  So far I have found mailings to be ineffective because when I call back some say they haven't even received my mail (some are lying too), some have told me they didn't even read it yet, and those who have read it tell me they still aren't interested.

young_gun's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-21

Its nice to know that others are having the same troubles with these calls.  But what is a realistic number of years I would have to dedicate to cold calling?  Usually I hear 3, but its a little discouraging to hear that I would have to rely on it more than 5 years.

Helter Skelter's picture
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young_gun wrote:
Thanks Helter Skelter for the different alternatives responses to the listed objections. 
Also Judge, I extremely appreciate the detailed post.  That information is valuable to me.  It seems like you know what Im going through.  I know this is a numbers game and I have to find what the number "n" is in the equation 1 over n.  Because after several hundred calls and some qualified leads, I still can't get any of them to bite.
If I had to point something out that I feel is wrong in my system, I'd say my 2nd call back has been unsuccessful.  After the 1st call, I get permission to send over the info or call back, and when I actually call back for the follow up it ends up in shambles. 
Most of the people I have been calling are relatively within a 20-40 mile radius and my calls haven't focused on setting up an appointment.  Usually because most of them are opposed to travel to my branch or are not open for me to come to their house.  My firm is not nationaly recognized, so usually when I call they aren't familiar with us and few are only familiar with our parent company when I mention who we are affiliated with.  Keeping this in mind, many don't feel comfortable to do business at all in person or on the phone.  I guess its just easier for me to try to ask for the sale on the phone because I can't see them in person.
Any other advice on what to do with the 2nd call or the follow up?  Perhaps I don't qualifiy them enough?  Should I even bother with the guy who just says, "okay, you can send me something in the mail" just to be polite. (I always hope that if I don't give up on them, 1 out of 20 will turn out good.)  But am I just wasting their or my time?
In the mailings I usually send info about our company history, a detail letter about the security I pitched them, and if they're a good prospect I will add a hand written note to personalize it along with my business cards.  So far I have found mailings to be ineffective because when I call back some say they haven't even received my mail (some are lying too), some have told me they didn't even read it yet, and those who have read it tell me they still aren't interested.

Tell them that you'd love to send information, but you've never done business with anyone who asked for information. If they're really serious about taking a look, they need to meet with you in person.

BankFC's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-27

Ask yourself this, and really try to put yourself in the situation:  If YOU inherited $500,000 tomorrow, would YOU meet with someone who cold called you from a firm you've never heard of to invest your money?
I wouldn't.  I bet you wouldn't.  That's why so far no one you have called has either.
Cold calling is dead for all but the few who simply refuse to let it fail.  I've been there and done that (ML).

exEJIR's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-12

BankFC wrote:
Ask yourself this, and really try to put yourself in the situation:  If YOU inherited $500,000 tomorrow, would YOU meet with someone who cold called you from a firm you've never heard of to invest your money?
I wouldn't.  I bet you wouldn't.  That's why so far no one you have called has either.
Cold calling is dead for all but the few who simply refuse to let it fail.  I've been there and done that (ML).

So how would you suggest prospecting?  other than having leads handed to you from tellers when a CD comes due?
The majority of my clients have come from cold calls.  Albeit, it is a slow tedious process, it does work. 
The no-call-list has created some problems with who you can contact by phone, but not face-to-face.

Helter Skelter's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-19

BankFC wrote:
Ask yourself this, and really try to put yourself in the situation:  If YOU inherited $500,000 tomorrow, would YOU meet with someone who cold called you from a firm you've never heard of to invest your money?
I wouldn't.  I bet you wouldn't.  That's why so far no one you have called has either.
Cold calling is dead for all but the few who simply refuse to let it fail.  I've been there and done that (ML).

It doesn't cost anything to meet with someone. I'm not afraid that I would accidentally buy something.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

A few rules:
1. Don't listen to anyone who has never cold called. Don't let them tell you it won't work. How would they know?
2. Call with a product. Services are nice, they just aren't as effective when cold calling. Bonds, preferreds, fixed income mutual funds, all work very well.
3. Time management- I know of some people who make a few calls an hour and call it cold calling. Not so! We want maximum exposure. Minimum, 50 dials an hour, 50 contacts per day. Calling businesses will yield about 8 o 10 contacts/hour. A contact is getting the right person on the phone. Even if they hang up on you, it's a contact. The more contacts, the better we'll do. I use to go for 100 a day. That is, 100 cold call contacts a day. As a rookie, what else did I have to do? Ah, that would be nothing!
4. Set aside 3 to 5 hours/day to cold call. Start early/stay late. In the old days 3 qualified leads per hour was the norm. Now it's one or two.
5. Qualify the lead for interest AND money. Mr. Jones, if you like the idea I trust an investment of $50,000 wouldn't be a problem for you at this time? Qualify for at least 25K. If no money now ask when in the future do they have money coming due?
6. Track everything, time, dials, contacts, and leads.
7. www.billgood.com     Bill wrote the book on how to cold call in this industry. His website has enough free content to make you a million dollar producer.
 
 

Helter Skelter's picture
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BondGuy wrote:
A few rules:
1. Don't listen to anyone who has never cold called. Don't let them tell you it won't work. How would they know?
2. Call with a product. Services are nice, they just aren't as effective when cold calling. Bonds, preferreds, fixed income mutual funds, all work very well.
3. Time management- I know of some people who make a few calls an hour and call it cold calling. Not so! We want maximum exposure. Minimum, 50 dials an hour, 50 contacts per day. Calling businesses will yield about 8 o 10 contacts/hour. A contact is getting the right person on the phone. Even if they hang up on you, it's a contact. The more contacts, the better we'll do. I use to go for 100 a day. That is, 100 cold call contacts a day. As a rookie, what else did I have to do? Ah, that would be nothing!
4. Set aside 3 to 5 hours/day to cold call. Start early/stay late. In the old days 3 qualified leads per hour was the norm. Now it's one or two.
5. Qualify the lead for interest AND money. Mr. Jones, if you like the idea I trust an investment of $50,000 wouldn't be a problem for you at this time? Qualify for at least 25K. If no money now ask when in the future do they have money coming due?
6. Track everything, time, dials, contacts, and leads.
7. www.billgood.com     Bill wrote the book on how to cold call in this industry. His website has enough free content to make you a million dollar producer.
 
 

Absolutely perfect.

young_gun's picture
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BankFC wrote:
Ask yourself this, and really try to put yourself in the situation:  If YOU inherited $500,000 tomorrow, would YOU meet with someone who cold called you from a firm you've never heard of to invest your money?
I wouldn't.  I bet you wouldn't.  That's why so far no one you have called has either.
Cold calling is dead for all but the few who simply refuse to let it fail.  I've been there and done that (ML).

Yes, I can honestly undestand what your saying.  Especially because I used to work at a bank.  But I can assure you this, working at a bank vs. at ABC firm is a different beast.
At the bank you have such a huge pipeline.  You have literally half of the bank working for you: the tellers, bankers, home mortgage, and even other managers referring leads to you (since they benefit from the referral one way or another.)  Furthermore, you have the most sophisticated computer prospecting program to weed out what type of high value accounts you want.  You make warm calls since they already have a relationship with the bank.
So yes, its easy to generate business this way.  But from the people I have met at my firm and at other firms they have found ways to build their business through cold calls.  It still works if you have persistence and dedication to make hours and hours of calls (at least thats what they tell me.)  One of the brokers at my firm whose building his business only has about 3 AUM within 11 months, but all of them have come from cold calls.  Meaning yes, he had eventually brought in a $400,000 account that was originally obtained through a cold call.  Im sure this type of story isn't unique to this type of industry. 
I am not saying that I have found the ingredient to success through cold calling, I do know, however, that it is possible.  I am hoping that there are also other people who can share their good "ingredients" that made them successful in this area.

Bobby's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-28

I've cold called in the past and it does work, but it's a very stressful way to build your business.  A couple things I picked up over the years that worked well were:Never mail anything.You can tell them you will send it out, but don't.  Then when you call back, (as if you did send it), you can apologize and insist on meeting with them because you don't trust the mail anymore.  It sounds shady, but it works.  "Hello Mr. Smith, this is Bobby from XYZ Investments.  Did I catch you at a good time?""I was calling to follow up on that ___________ information I sent to you last week.  I wanted to see what you thought about it?""Oh, you didn't get it yet?  Man, I sent it 5 days ago.  I'm really sorry about that.  I've got an appointment down the road from you tomorrow afternoon, how about I stop by around 3pm and show this to you real quick?"You can also set the appointment at your office, (which is preferable)."...I've got 3 appointments tomorrow afternoon here in the office, but if you want to come by around 3pm I can take a couple minutes and show this to you?"You will be shocked at the people who say they got it and are not interested.  (You never sent it).  I used to keep track and was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by the amount of sheer liars I supposedly sent things to.Anyhow, that method is a bit shady, but so is cold calling.  It does work and it saves you or your assistant stamps and time putting together nice mail packages that will most likely be disposed of.  Bill Goods book is a must read because it puts you in the correct frame of mind.  I always used to use "Did I catch you at a good time?" as my opening because sometimes it really is a bad time.  Plus when you get permission to continue, the prospect feels more in control and you are not ramming information down their throats.  Also, if it is a bad time, you can always call back tomorrow, (now you can set a phone appointment in your schedule...)

Boomer's picture
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Joined: 2005-04-01

great info in this thread so far!

Malcolm's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

I got really desperate about nine years ago and cold called.  My objective was to make 40 contacts per day although sometimes I went until 6:30 or 7pm because I would procrastinate doing it.  It was perhaps a bit aggressive however when someone really seemed to want me to mail them something I would say "well I am going to be near your home later this week visiting a client so I will be sure to drop off that info you wanted when i pass by your home."  If I thought it was someone I had a chance to do business with sometime over the next six months I think it was a good thing to do. It definately surprises people and makes them remember you.
I would also mail "a-la Edward Jones," a brief thank you note to everyone who would talk to me.  THen I would immediatly put them in my drip funnel.  I opened accounts.  Not the kind I would want now days but if you're tough, you can make it work.
Nowdays if I had to cold call it would be 100% to business owners.

apprentice's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-06

I agree that 'if' you cold call - you've got to put together a quick, product focused, script.  Almost to the point of, 'are you a bond buyer?' - yes or no. 
I'm anti-cold calling (because I know better).  But I also believe that it's a great exercise for someone new - or a bit rusty.  Nothing helps you overcome objections and nervousness like a few hundred cold calls.  If you perform this activity as a training exercise - get a list of trailerhomes to call.  This way you're less worried about rejection (since you won't get any business from this 'high propensity to buy' group) and you can focus on refining your conversation.

anabuhabkuss's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-02

I'm working tirelessly to figure out what does and doesn't work. I have door knocked religiously for the past 2 weeks and out of nearly 200 some homes have not found one decent lead (after calling them later and inviting them to a free second opinion consultation).
a coworder is telling me to have a wholesaler pay for a list and cold call that and pitch muni bonds. I hate the idea of calling people telling them what to buy before getting to know anything about them but I guess any way I can get my voice heard is useful......isn't it?
Been reading the local paper looking for community gatherings and made a few calls.
This business is tough as ****, but just as fun! I had my first client meeting yesterday with a senior sitting in on it. The client expressed how please she was and it was a natural high.
I just need to find more people like her...

BondGuy's picture
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apprentice wrote:
I agree that 'if' you cold call - you've got to put together a quick, product focused, script.  Almost to the point of, 'are you a bond buyer?' - yes or no. 
I'm anti-cold calling (because I know better).  But I also believe that it's a great exercise for someone new - or a bit rusty.  Nothing helps you overcome objections and nervousness like a few hundred cold calls.  If you perform this activity as a training exercise - get a list of trailerhomes to call.  This way you're less worried about rejection (since you won't get any business from this 'high propensity to buy' group) and you can focus on refining your conversation.

Apprentice, I have to disagree. First, as you may be aware, the largest producers in this business all built their books from cold calling. None of them liked it. They all liked the lifestye it afforded them. Let's take just one of them, Rick Desoto from UBS. Rick is in the 3 million dollar range in production. Since leaving UBS my info is a bit dated, but in 2003 Rick and one registered assistant opened over 80 new accounts in one month on a new issue muni. All of those accts were opened via cold calls. New AUM from that one bond, almost $8,000,000. Some of those people were one shot wonders, others have gone on to become real clients. So please, don't say it doesn't work. That said, cold calling isn't for everyone.
As for calling trailer park leads, two points: Don't judge a book by it's cover. My wealthiest client drove a 5 year old Dodge mini van. His account with me was over $5 million. Second: Don't ever be afraid to talk to wealthy people. They're just people, for crying out loud. Just like you. If you want to practice, call your parents, siblings and friends. In fact, you should practice with them. Then get out a D and B directory and start calling the top management of the S & P 500. When they get on the phone read your script and go for it. You have nothing to fear, nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Personally I've propected and pitched to many top S & P 500 executives. Landed some as clients. Even counted a major sports team owner as a client. He invested millions with me. Lost him in a move that presented a conflict, and yes, that hurt. But I got him and others because I  picked up the phone and dialed his number. I could have not called him, telling myself cold calling doesn't work, he'll never get on the phone, I'll get screened, I'm not good enough, he's already got a broker, etc,etc,etc. But I didn't, I made the call and got a client. One of my charges got James Kinear as a client. At the time, Kinear was the President and CEO, I believe, of Texaco. Maybe he was the chairman, I don't remember exactly. Then there was Gillette.We had so many Gillette executives we lost track. Same with Boeing. However, our bread and butter was the local business owners. Small fry in the big league world of the Fortune 500, but with more wealth than the average Gillette VP. A lot more!
I'm a big believer in it takes a lot of failures to get to a success. You have to fail and not be afraid to fail in order to succeed. With regard to cold calling there is only one way to find out if it works, get out there and do it. Get out there and fail. If you fail enough, my bet is that you'll succeed. And if you do fail at cold calling, at least you know, it's off the list, one step closer to finding what does work for you.

doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

Ana, you've got the wrong idea about pitching specific products. If you call with a muni idea and that doesn't wash with the prospect, you immediately find out what they're interested in and go from there. Ideally, you should have several ideas from different investment categories, laid-out in front of you (when making cold calls), so that they're within easy reach. For example, you should have a muni idea, stock idea, corporate bond idea, etc.
And get creative with your ideas. For example, if you're calling prospects in Houston, TX, look for some Houston or Texas muni's to sell. If P&G is a major employer in the area you're calling, look for some P&G bonds and/or recommend the stock.
If you can't tie-in a bond or stock to a particular calling area, then get topical. Watch the news and see what's on everyone's mind, then tie-in your recommended stock/bond that way. For example, if Pfizer is making the news about some potential wonder drug, pitch either the stock or bond the next day.
Good luck!

doberman's picture
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Good stuff, BondGuy!

Danboy's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-14

I'm reading a book called, "The Complete Idiots Guide to Cold Calling" written by Keith Rosen. Excellent bathroom read and lots of great advice.
Good Luck,
Dan
 
 

BondGuy's picture
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anabuhabkuss wrote:
a coworder is telling me to have a wholesaler pay for a list and cold call that and pitch muni bonds. I hate the idea of calling people telling them what to buy before getting to know anything about them

Get over this. To have a busines you'll need clients. Cold calling on munis is a proven way to get them. Don't worry, people who don't need munis won't buy them. Once a customer has bought a muni and a few other fixed income products from you call them and say "Helping you find the best yields around is only a small part of what we do over here at Whack'em Securities. As part of our wealth management advisory service we offer comprehensive financial, retirement, and estate planning. I'd like to get to together with you and Mrs. You to see if there is any way we can help you improve your financial situation and attain your goals. Are evenings or afternoons better for you?" And there you have it! The world is now round again and in perfect alignment with the Kool Ade you've been fed about the way this business is supose to work. You meet, you penetrate the account or you've got a fixed income buyer. Either way, it's a win,win,win.

anabuhabkuss's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-02

Freakin' sweet. Thanks guys. I just need a change of mentality. I'll put a plan together tomorrow.

waterboy's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-27

Objection: "Im 80 years old. Im too old to invest!"
Your right, never mind...If I may make 1 suggestion..DONT BUY GREEN BANANAS
Sorry..couldnt resist

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-31

Bondguy/tjc...good stuff...and good to see you out of the closet.  Be careful with what buttons you press going forward, OK?!!

tsaem's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-17

Hey everyone.  Great posts!  Im soaking everything in.  Besides trying to alter my direction of cold call responses, I was wondering if anyone can shed some light on their past or present cold calling routine. 
Specifically, I've been introduced to different methods and ideas on this subject.  For example, if your starting out as a new broker its flat out human nature to try to hold onto any prospect who sheds even the slightest interest in your pitch.  This is mainly because you don't have any prospects to begin with and you'll take any you can get.  
Is there a rule of thumb that you follow to decide whether they're worth the effort to even call back, send a letter, or even make an appointment with in the future? 
Here are two basic scenarios I've been introduced:
1.)  I've met one successful broker who told me that even if the person is happily with another broker, rude, flat out says "no,"  or hangs up on him he will still send them info and follow up if he KNOWS that they have money or a good account. He was so persistent he actually got one person who fullfilled the criteria used above to be a client.
2.)  Another successful broker stressed the opposite.  He told me not to waste my time with mailings or callbacks even with people who show modest interest if I KNOW they don't have money, haven't invested in stocks/bonds before, or if they do have some money (good enough for a minimum trade) I shouldn't even bother.  He said to basically keep calling until I get "qualified" prospects who have invested before since its more efficient and saves time.  He too, is also sucessfull. 
So for the last month I have 20-30 cards of prospects that I cold called who were nice and gave me permission to call back, to send info, and some who seemed genuinely interested (only they didn't have money at the moment.)  In all honestly, anyone who sounded like they raised their eyebrows for a slight moment on what I had to offer was automatically put on my prospect card and sent a detailed product letter.  I know that this is not probably the best way to do things, but its either try keep fishing with what you got or keep leaving the tadpoles behind to hook that nice juicy trout or GULP...whale.
So, I am hoping to see what others feel.  After receiving moderate to high interest in your idea, what do you do next? Do you automatically try to qualify them on the spot to see if they have any money first or try to take it relatively slow not to scare them off with those blunt/direct questions and get into that later once they are more comfortable with you?

Boomer's picture
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Joined: 2005-04-01

Question:
How does your cold calling approach change, if at all, when you are at a wirehouse?
I know that the minimums are larger, and that weeds out some potential prospects. I have been reading this thread, which is great, but I am wondering if these answers are aimed at the EDJ's and smaller regional shops or the wirehouses?

F.B.'s picture
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Joined: 2006-10-02

Helter Skelter wrote:
My cold calling days were the most fun and exciting days of my career.

I hope to feel the same way some day.  I am just starting out so I make a game out of it - if it works for anyone, it'll work for me, too.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

doberman wrote:Good stuff, BondGuy!
Same backatcha. Your post shows the rookies the nuts and bolts of how to get this done. Good stuff!

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

Indyone wrote:
Bondguy/tjc...good stuff...and good to see you out of the closet.  Be careful with what buttons you press going forward, OK?!!

Yeah, I've made it a policy to stay off the profile page going forward. Of course that doesn't mean I won't find some other way to delist myself.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

tsaem wrote:
Hey everyone.  Great posts!  Im soaking everything in.  Besides trying to alter my direction of cold call responses, I was wondering if anyone can shed some light on their past or present cold calling routine. 
Specifically, I've been introduced to different methods and ideas on this subject.  For example, if your starting out as a new broker its flat out human nature to try to hold onto any prospect who sheds even the slightest interest in your pitch.  This is mainly because you don't have any prospects to begin with and you'll take any you can get.  
Is there a rule of thumb that you follow to decide whether they're worth the effort to even call back, send a letter, or even make an appointment with in the future? 
Here are two basic scenarios I've been introduced:
1.)  I've met one successful broker who told me that even if the person is happily with another broker, rude, flat out says "no,"  or hangs up on him he will still send them info and follow up if he KNOWS that they have money or a good account. He was so persistent he actually got one person who fullfilled the criteria used above to be a client.
2.)  Another successful broker stressed the opposite.  He told me not to waste my time with mailings or callbacks even with people who show modest interest if I KNOW they don't have money, haven't invested in stocks/bonds before, or if they do have some money (good enough for a minimum trade) I shouldn't even bother.  He said to basically keep calling until I get "qualified" prospects who have invested before since its more efficient and saves time.  He too, is also sucessfull. 
So for the last month I have 20-30 cards of prospects that I cold called who were nice and gave me permission to call back, to send info, and some who seemed genuinely interested (only they didn't have money at the moment.)  In all honestly, anyone who sounded like they raised their eyebrows for a slight moment on what I had to offer was automatically put on my prospect card and sent a detailed product letter.  I know that this is not probably the best way to do things, but its either try keep fishing with what you got or keep leaving the tadpoles behind to hook that nice juicy trout or GULP...whale.
So, I am hoping to see what others feel.  After receiving moderate to high interest in your idea, what do you do next? Do you automatically try to qualify them on the spot to see if they have any money first or try to take it relatively slow not to scare them off with those blunt/direct questions and get into that later once they are more comfortable with you?

First, keep calling until you have more leads than you can call back. Then call some more ,and finally, call some more. In fact, NEVER stop cold calling. He/She who dials most, wins.
Next, who is a prospect? A prospect is a person who is interested in what you're offering AND has money. Qualify all prospects for both. If the prospect is only mildly interested you are most likely wasting your time. Qualify them further for what does get them hot. If a prospect doesn't have any money now ask them if that is a permanent condition. "Do you have any CDs coming due in the next 3 to 6 months or are you just poor?" OK. you can leave out the just poor part if you're not in a smart ass mood. If they have money coming due in the future that's good news! Now you have all that time to build a relationship with them. Most brokers/advisors put the prospect in a tickler file, electronic or paper, and call them back about a week or two before the money is due. BIG MISTAKE! On the first contact send the prospect the info proffered. Call'em back in a week and qualify them for THEIR interest and RISK TOLERANCE. Send them something, anything, that gets close to what they like. One month later call them again just to touch base. Next month send them info on another investment that rings the bell for them. All along send them marketing pieces about you or your company. Call or mail to them at least once a month until the money comes due. Then five, six months down the road when the money is coming due you have established your identity with these folks. You will be first in line to get the assets. If you don't get them reevaluate on a case by case basis.
How do you qualify? By asking questions. Have a list of questions ready. What kind of investing do you like to do? Do you buy stocks/ bonds /mutual funds? Why do you invest? What is a comfortable amount for you to invest whan you see something you like? If we came to you with something you really liked, how long would it take you to raise $100,000 for an opportunty such as that? Could you and three of your best friends raise a thousand dollars? How about if I threw in a case of Bud? You get the idea.
Pitch and miss- These are the fence sitters. leads that are so old they're starting to grow mold. For these we have a special day reserved. It's pitch and miss day. Find a really good bond/preferred stock. Call these leads and PITCH them the bond/stock. and then close them. Get outrageous. Keep closing;
"I told you I don't have any money"
Mr. Jones, with all due respect, you own the largest car dealership in the state of Indiana. I'm not calling you with our second best idea. I'm calling you with our best idea. A prefered stock yielding over 7% which is exactly what you like to invest in. Let's start small, with just a thousand shares. That's only $25000. How would you like the account to read?
"I've already got a broker"
Yes, so you've told me. I'm not asking you to interupt that relationship. Nor is that my goal. But quite frankly, your broker is not offering you this opportunty, 7%, I am. Let's start small, with only 1000 shares, give us an opportunty to show you how good we are and lock in 7%. Would you like to open the account in joint name or just for yourself?
"I really don't need another broker"
Believe me I understand, many of my best clients felt the same way when we first started. Today, for most of these people I'm their only financial advisor. Where our relationship goes from here is up to you. But let's be honest, if you were totally satisfied with your broker you wouldn't have taken my call. But you did, because you wanted to hear what I had to say. And you wouldn't still be on the phone if you weren't interested in what I'm offering. Your broker isn't offering you this, I am. I can give you up to 5000 shares of this deal to get us started together or we can start with just 1000 shares. What level is more comfortable for you?
OK, you get the idea, it's either click, dial tone or keep closing.

FreedomLvr's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-10

BondGuy wrote: 
First, keep calling until you have more leads than you can call back. Then call some more ,and finally, call some more. In fact, NEVER stop cold calling. He/She who dials most, wins.
Next, who is a prospect? A prospect is a person who is interested in what you're offering AND has money. Qualify all prospects for both. If the prospect is only mildly interested you are most likely wasting your time. Qualify them further for what does get them hot. If a prospect doesn't have any money now ask them if that is a permanent condition. "Do you have any CDs coming due in the next 3 to 6 months or are you just poor?" OK. you can leave out the just poor part if you're not in a smart ass mood. If they have money coming due in the future that's good news! Now you have all that time to build a relationship with them. Most brokers/advisors put the prospect in a tickler file, electronic or paper, and call them back about a week or two before the money is due. BIG MISTAKE! On the first contact send the prospect the info proffered. Call'em back in a week and qualify them for THEIR interest and RISK TOLERANCE. Send them something, anything, that gets close to what they like. One month later call them again just to touch base. Next month send them info on another investment that rings the bell for them. All along send them marketing pieces about you or your company. Call or mail to them at least once a month until the money comes due. Then five, six months down the road when the money is coming due you have established your identity with these folks. You will be first in line to get the assets. If you don't get them reevaluate on a case by case basis.
How do you qualify? By asking questions. Have a list of questions ready. What kind of investing do you like to do? Do you buy stocks/ bonds /mutual funds? Why do you invest? What is a comfortable amount for you to invest whan you see something you like? If we came to you with something you really liked, how long would it take you to raise $100,000 for an opportunty such as that? Could you and three of your best friends raise a thousand dollars? How about if I threw in a case of Bud? You get the idea.
Pitch and miss- These are the fence sitters. leads that are so old they're starting to grow mold. For these we have a special day reserved. It's pitch and miss day. Find a really good bond/preferred stock. Call these leads and PITCH them the bond/stock. and then close them. Get outrageous. Keep closing;
"I told you I don't have any money"
Mr. Jones, with all due respect, you own the largest car dealership in the state of Indiana. I'm not calling you with our second best idea. I'm calling you with our best idea. A prefered stock yielding over 7% which is exactly what you like to invest in. Let's start small, with just a thousand shares. That's only $25000. How would you like the account to read?
"I've already got a broker"
Yes, so you've told me. I'm not asking you to interupt that relationship. Nor is that my goal. But quite frankly, your broker is not offering you this opportunty, 7%, I am. Let's start small, with only 1000 shares, give us an opportunty to show you how good we are and lock in 7%. Would you like to open the account in joint name or just for yourself?
"I really don't need another broker"
Believe me I understand, many of my best clients felt the same way when we first started. Today, for most of these people I'm their only financial advisor. Where our relationship goes from here is up to you. But let's be honest, if you were totally satisfied with your broker you wouldn't have taken my call. But you did, because you wanted to hear what I had to say. And you wouldn't still be on the phone if you weren't interested in what I'm offering. Your broker isn't offering you this, I am. I can give you up to 5000 shares of this deal to get us started together or we can start with just 1000 shares. What level is more comfortable for you?
OK, you get the idea, it's either click, dial tone or keep closing.

If you'd like to see an example of this prospecting method (which definitely works) rent "Boiler Room". 

JCadieux's picture
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Joined: 2005-01-23

Boomer wrote:Question:
How does your cold calling approach change, if at all, when you are at a wirehouse?
Some of the wirehouses have actually dropped cold calling from their training classes.I can't link to the article from this site, but you can read about it in the most popular journal on Wall Street.  August 29th.  Practice Management.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

Boomer wrote:
Question:
How does your cold calling approach change, if at all, when you are at a wirehouse?
I know that the minimums are larger, and that weeds out some potential prospects. I have been reading this thread, which is great, but I am wondering if these answers are aimed at the EDJ's and smaller regional shops or the wirehouses?

We're probably going to have to start an new thread entitled "Don't drink the Kool Aid." That is, don't buy into the wirehouse mantra of big game hunting and feeing everyone up. That works for them. It doesn't work for over 70% of their trainees, who fail within the first two years. Wealth management is a worthy goal. To be a wealth manager, first you need some wealth to manage. How do you get that money, those clients?
This thread about cold calling is not aimed at EDJ or regionals. It's aimed at everybody.
There are a few things to be aware of. First, most of the wirehouse trainers and managers and all of the bank managers have never advised anyone about how to invest. They've never done it. Yes there are some who have, a dying breed, but most haven't. These people are clueless on how to do this. This being building a business. Yet, the will spout chapter and verse on how to do it. Actually, they're telling you what the company wants. OK, you have to listen. But, it's your career.
Management talks out of both sides of its mouth.- This isn't a bad attitude, it's a basic truth. Take my example of Rick Desoto. UBS is in full wealth management pursuit mode. The company is building product to meet the needs of the very wealthy. Referrals, networking, and seminars are the preferred marketing channels. Cold calling isn't supported. In fact, it gets the same cold shoulder response from management as it does from the street. "Do you really think rich people will respond to a cold call?" they ask. Yet, they roll out Desoto on  national sales calls to give everyone his enthusiatic approach to cold calling. The answer, by the way, is that rich people are just... well, people. Start small with them on a bond or something they like, give them service like they've never seen, penatrate the account, AND WONDER OF WONDERS, YOU'VE GOT SOME WEALTH TO MANAGE. ALONG WITH REFERRALS.
To answer the question, don't change anything. If you want only large accounts then aim your prospecting at those people and close big. Instead of closing for 25 or 50k, close for 250k. The largest account I opened from a cold call, on that first call, was $500,000. That's right, $500k over the phone on a cold call. $50 and $100K is routine. One the other side of that, if I know there is money there, I'll open on $10K. In fact, I was just reviewing an account I opened for 10K in 1991. Today it's $687,000.  Another client that I talked to last week started with 25K in 1992. Today his accounts total over $2,000,000. Want to be a wealth manager? That's how it's done.
It's out there. All you need to do is go after it.

BankFC's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-27

This pitch would only work in the Northeast or in California.
Southerners do not like to be "pitched."

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

FreedomLvr wrote:BondGuy wrote: 
First, keep calling until you have more leads than you can call back. Then call some more ,and finally, call some more. In fact, NEVER stop cold calling. He/She who dials most, wins.
Next, who is a prospect? A prospect is a person who is interested in what you're offering AND has money. Qualify all prospects for both. If the prospect is only mildly interested you are most likely wasting your time. Qualify them further for what does get them hot. If a prospect doesn't have any money now ask them if that is a permanent condition. "Do you have any CDs coming due in the next 3 to 6 months or are you just poor?" OK. you can leave out the just poor part if you're not in a smart ass mood. If they have money coming due in the future that's good news! Now you have all that time to build a relationship with them. Most brokers/advisors put the prospect in a tickler file, electronic or paper, and call them back about a week or two before the money is due. BIG MISTAKE! On the first contact send the prospect the info proffered. Call'em back in a week and qualify them for THEIR interest and RISK TOLERANCE. Send them something, anything, that gets close to what they like. One month later call them again just to touch base. Next month send them info on another investment that rings the bell for them. All along send them marketing pieces about you or your company. Call or mail to them at least once a month until the money comes due. Then five, six months down the road when the money is coming due you have established your identity with these folks. You will be first in line to get the assets. If you don't get them reevaluate on a case by case basis.
How do you qualify? By asking questions. Have a list of questions ready. What kind of investing do you like to do? Do you buy stocks/ bonds /mutual funds? Why do you invest? What is a comfortable amount for you to invest whan you see something you like? If we came to you with something you really liked, how long would it take you to raise $100,000 for an opportunty such as that? Could you and three of your best friends raise a thousand dollars? How about if I threw in a case of Bud? You get the idea.
Pitch and miss- These are the fence sitters. leads that are so old they're starting to grow mold. For these we have a special day reserved. It's pitch and miss day. Find a really good bond/preferred stock. Call these leads and PITCH them the bond/stock. and then close them. Get outrageous. Keep closing;
"I told you I don't have any money"
Mr. Jones, with all due respect, you own the largest car dealership in the state of Indiana. I'm not calling you with our second best idea. I'm calling you with our best idea. A prefered stock yielding over 7% which is exactly what you like to invest in. Let's start small, with just a thousand shares. That's only $25000. How would you like the account to read?
"I've already got a broker"
Yes, so you've told me. I'm not asking you to interupt that relationship. Nor is that my goal. But quite frankly, your broker is not offering you this opportunty, 7%, I am. Let's start small, with only 1000 shares, give us an opportunty to show you how good we are and lock in 7%. Would you like to open the account in joint name or just for yourself?
"I really don't need another broker"
Believe me I understand, many of my best clients felt the same way when we first started. Today, for most of these people I'm their only financial advisor. Where our relationship goes from here is up to you. But let's be honest, if you were totally satisfied with your broker you wouldn't have taken my call. But you did, because you wanted to hear what I had to say. And you wouldn't still be on the phone if you weren't interested in what I'm offering. Your broker isn't offering you this, I am. I can give you up to 5000 shares of this deal to get us started together or we can start with just 1000 shares. What level is more comfortable for you?
OK, you get the idea, it's either click, dial tone or keep closing.

If you'd like to see an example of this prospecting method (which definitely works) rent "Boiler Room". 

Or you could talk to  Martin Shafiroff, Lehman Brothers largest producer, wealth manager extradinaire.. He invented and perfected this prospecting technique. And I'll go again back to Rick Desoto. He calls and he closes. His is more of a good ol boy approach, but it's the same thing.
Yet, cold calling doesn't get a break. Instead of the thousands of brokers who use cold calling as a primary marketing channel and have done clients good we always get "Boiler Room"  as the best example of what cold calling is.
Let's talk for a moment about one of the more socially acceptable marketing channels, seminars. How do you get attendees to a seminar? You could mail and hope. Not a good plan. At some point you have to cold call them. And yes, calling anyone you've never talked to before is a cold call. Regardless of how many mailings you've sent them. So cold calling is a conundrum. Don't do it, but get attendees to your seminar. Don't do it , but our largest producers did it and some still do.

ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-05

I have not personally heard Marty's pitch but he's a living legend as far as cold callers go.
BondGuy, I think it's very decent of you to give these rookies tips on how to do it right.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

BankFC wrote:
This pitch would only work in the Northeast or in California.
Southerners do not like to be "pitched."

Not true, Desoto is in Charlotte, NC and his client base is throughout the southeast, primarily in the Carolinas.
But, for those who don't think something will work, for them it's true, it won't work.
This thread is about cold calling, does it work? The answer is yes it does. Is it hard? Yes. Is it harder than ever? Yes. Is it the only channel you should use? No. Is it the primary channel for you to use? Maybe.
I was going to ride my motorcycle today. But then I found out it's going to rain later. You see, you can always give yourself a reason not to do something. As it turns out, the rain isn't going to be here until after midnight, so, if I really don't want to ride my motorcycle I'll need a new excuse. Excuses not to prospect a lot easier to come up with and wives tales a lot easier to buy into. Anyone considering cold calling should give it a 100% effort over at least three months, the time needed to fill the pipeline. If after that time you are not getting results it's time to go in a new direction. if after that time you find you would rather man a shovel on a highway road crew, time to find a new direction.
 

JimmytheRocker's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-27

You hear about these living legends who cold call and makes lots of money.  I also always hear about legendary poker players who make it.  Point is...if you're not good at cold calling, there are easier ways for you to gather assets.

tsaem's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-17

BondGuy wrote:tsaem wrote:
Hey everyone.  Great posts!  Im soaking everything in.  Besides trying to alter my direction of cold call responses, I was wondering if anyone can shed some light on their past or present cold calling routine. 
Specifically, I've been introduced to different methods and ideas on this subject.  For example, if your starting out as a new broker its flat out human nature to try to hold onto any prospect who sheds even the slightest interest in your pitch.  This is mainly because you don't have any prospects to begin with and you'll take any you can get.  
Is there a rule of thumb that you follow to decide whether they're worth the effort to even call back, send a letter, or even make an appointment with in the future? 
Here are two basic scenarios I've been introduced:
1.)  I've met one successful broker who told me that even if the person is happily with another broker, rude, flat out says "no,"  or hangs up on him he will still send them info and follow up if he KNOWS that they have money or a good account. He was so persistent he actually got one person who fullfilled the criteria used above to be a client.
2.)  Another successful broker stressed the opposite.  He told me not to waste my time with mailings or callbacks even with people who show modest interest if I KNOW they don't have money, haven't invested in stocks/bonds before, or if they do have some money (good enough for a minimum trade) I shouldn't even bother.  He said to basically keep calling until I get "qualified" prospects who have invested before since its more efficient and saves time.  He too, is also sucessfull. 
So for the last month I have 20-30 cards of prospects that I cold called who were nice and gave me permission to call back, to send info, and some who seemed genuinely interested (only they didn't have money at the moment.)  In all honestly, anyone who sounded like they raised their eyebrows for a slight moment on what I had to offer was automatically put on my prospect card and sent a detailed product letter.  I know that this is not probably the best way to do things, but its either try keep fishing with what you got or keep leaving the tadpoles behind to hook that nice juicy trout or GULP...whale.
So, I am hoping to see what others feel.  After receiving moderate to high interest in your idea, what do you do next? Do you automatically try to qualify them on the spot to see if they have any money first or try to take it relatively slow not to scare them off with those blunt/direct questions and get into that later once they are more comfortable with you?

First, keep calling until you have more leads than you can call back. Then call some more ,and finally, call some more. In fact, NEVER stop cold calling. He/She who dials most, wins.
Next, who is a prospect? A prospect is a person who is interested in what you're offering AND has money. Qualify all prospects for both. If the prospect is only mildly interested you are most likely wasting your time. Qualify them further for what does get them hot. If a prospect doesn't have any money now ask them if that is a permanent condition. "Do you have any CDs coming due in the next 3 to 6 months or are you just poor?" OK. you can leave out the just poor part if you're not in a smart ass mood. If they have money coming due in the future that's good news! Now you have all that time to build a relationship with them. Most brokers/advisors put the prospect in a tickler file, electronic or paper, and call them back about a week or two before the money is due. BIG MISTAKE! On the first contact send the prospect the info proffered. Call'em back in a week and qualify them for THEIR interest and RISK TOLERANCE. Send them something, anything, that gets close to what they like. One month later call them again just to touch base. Next month send them info on another investment that rings the bell for them. All along send them marketing pieces about you or your company. Call or mail to them at least once a month until the money comes due. Then five, six months down the road when the money is coming due you have established your identity with these folks. You will be first in line to get the assets. If you don't get them reevaluate on a case by case basis.
How do you qualify? By asking questions. Have a list of questions ready. What kind of investing do you like to do? Do you buy stocks/ bonds /mutual funds? Why do you invest? What is a comfortable amount for you to invest whan you see something you like? If we came to you with something you really liked, how long would it take you to raise $100,000 for an opportunty such as that? Could you and three of your best friends raise a thousand dollars? How about if I threw in a case of Bud? You get the idea.
Pitch and miss- These are the fence sitters. leads that are so old they're starting to grow mold. For these we have a special day reserved. It's pitch and miss day. Find a really good bond/preferred stock. Call these leads and PITCH them the bond/stock. and then close them. Get outrageous. Keep closing;
"I told you I don't have any money"
Mr. Jones, with all due respect, you own the largest car dealership in the state of Indiana. I'm not calling you with our second best idea. I'm calling you with our best idea. A prefered stock yielding over 7% which is exactly what you like to invest in. Let's start small, with just a thousand shares. That's only $25000. How would you like the account to read?
"I've already got a broker"
Yes, so you've told me. I'm not asking you to interupt that relationship. Nor is that my goal. But quite frankly, your broker is not offering you this opportunty, 7%, I am. Let's start small, with only 1000 shares, give us an opportunty to show you how good we are and lock in 7%. Would you like to open the account in joint name or just for yourself?
"I really don't need another broker"
Believe me I understand, many of my best clients felt the same way when we first started. Today, for most of these people I'm their only financial advisor. Where our relationship goes from here is up to you. But let's be honest, if you were totally satisfied with your broker you wouldn't have taken my call. But you did, because you wanted to hear what I had to say. And you wouldn't still be on the phone if you weren't interested in what I'm offering. Your broker isn't offering you this, I am. I can give you up to 5000 shares of this deal to get us started together or we can start with just 1000 shares. What level is more comfortable for you?
OK, you get the idea, it's either click, dial tone or keep closing.

Bond guy, I got to say you have shared great information too.  I extremely appreciate your time that you've taken to coach myself along with the other rooks.
Im curious about your opinion about a new broker starting out today in 2006.  Are we at that much a disadvantage in comparison to several years ago before the "do not call" lists?  Like I previously mentioned before, during my first month I have been just soaking information from esteemed individuals like yourself and those at my firm.  Many give me the "this is what it takes to succeed" type of speeches or lessons.  All of which, I believe to be valid. 
However, I talked to this one guy today whom I've never had the chance to speak to and pretty much gained a total opposite view from him that contradicts what everyone else I've heard. We had a long conversation and pretty much he was telling me that MOST LIKELY I or any new broker at my firm is dooomed.  He told me that the job of a FA is much different than before. 
He said cold calling then was a more reliable source to gain clients.  But now although it can be done, it will not be as effective to generate enough business to open accounts to survive off of.  He said that if my main focus is cold calling it's not going to get anywhere b/c the lists are horrible in comparison to before DNC.  He theorized that most educated individuals put themselves on the DNC and since they are educated, it could be assumed that they're also wealthy. Education = Good job = Good $$$   Hence, the ones that have been scrubbed are those who are not qualified, too old to invest, or too lazy to take themselves off the list.  Of course, this is just some oversimplified theory.
I am reading this book called The New Financial Advisor and the author insists, "if its not impossible, its inevitable."  Which basically means that getting clients is not impossible, and only inevitable if I am persistent in trying to search for them.  This is encouraging, but do you see any truth to what the pessimistic teacher taught me today?  In my particular case for now my whole focus is geared at cold calling, is this going to drive me out of the industry in a couple of months if this method isn't effective to generate business as before?

JimmytheRocker's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-27

I'm a young guy in my 20s...my business started taking off when I stopped cold calling and started relationship building.

Helter Skelter's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-19

JimmytheRocker wrote:I'm a young guy in my 20s...my business started taking off when I stopped cold calling and started relationship building.
I wonder if there's any therapists who specialize in broker/client relationships.

Jones06's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-13

Jimmy the Rocker, care to elaborate on your last statement? I often hear
people make claims like that (not that I don't believe them), but they don't
often give much in the way of specifics. As such, it doesn't tend to help
the rest of us out much.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

Bond guy, I got to say you have shared great information too.  I extremely appreciate your time that you've taken to coach myself along with the other rooks.
Im curious about your opinion about a new broker starting out today in 2006.  Are we at that much a disadvantage in comparison to several years ago before the "do not call" lists?  Like I previously mentioned before, during my first month I have been just soaking information from esteemed individuals like yourself and those at my firm.  Many give me the "this is what it takes to succeed" type of speeches or lessons.  All of which, I believe to be valid. 
However, I talked to this one guy today whom I've never had the chance to speak to and pretty much gained a total opposite view from him that contradicts what everyone else I've heard. We had a long conversation and pretty much he was telling me that MOST LIKELY I or any new broker at my firm is dooomed.  He told me that the job of a FA is much different than before. 
He said cold calling then was a more reliable source to gain clients.  But now although it can be done, it will not be as effective to generate enough business to open accounts to survive off of.  He said that if my main focus is cold calling it's not going to get anywhere b/c the lists are horrible in comparison to before DNC.  He theorized that most educated individuals put themselves on the DNC and since they are educated, it could be assumed that they're also wealthy. Education = Good job = Good $$$   Hence, the ones that have been scrubbed are those who are not qualified, too old to invest, or too lazy to take themselves off the list.  Of course, this is just some oversimplified theory.
I am reading this book called The New Financial Advisor and the author insists, "if its not impossible, its inevitable."  Which basically means that getting clients is not impossible, and only inevitable if I am persistent in trying to search for them.  This is encouraging, but do you see any truth to what the pessimistic teacher taught me today?  In my particular case for now my whole focus is geared at cold calling, is this going to drive me out of the industry in a couple of months if this method isn't effective to generate business as before?

Here's what I tell rookies:
1. Arrive early/ stay late
2. Figure on a 70 hour work week for the first  5 to 7 years.
3. Develope a business plan around two or three marketing channels.
4. Those channels can include cold calling, cold walking,  networking, direct mail, advertising, seminar/workshops, guest speaker, referrals. Find a combination that you like and can afford. An effective lunch seminar program will cost you about $1000/month. A dinner program 3x that amount. The local library offers a cheap out for a few hundred a month. Don't do direct mail if you're not going with at least 5000 pieces a month. Again, not cheap.
5. This is a contact sport, the more people you talk to, the more business you'll do.
6. Learn how to sell and close. A lost art in our business and probably partly responsible for the high failure rate.
7. Set goals. Not new account or AUM goals. That's for the managers who don't get it. Set contact goals. How many people are you going to contact today, this week, this month? How many times did you ask for the order? By the way, so as not to upset the masses by using a sales term, asking for the order is anything that moves the relationship forward. For example, Mr. Jones, let's get together to go over these numbers, when would it be convenient to do that? That's a close for an appointment.(Purposely, laid back) Set goals only for those things that you can control. You can't control how many people will say yes to you. You can control how many people you ask to say yes to you. You can't control how much money people will invest with you. You can control how many times you ask them to invest. Reward yourself for meeting your goals. Simple rewards, Diner at a nice restaurant, a new shirt, tie, skirt. Keep meeting your daily goals and the big rewards will come later.
8. Be organized- Time is our most important asset. Organize your day so that you are using it efficiently.
9. Track everything- Hours/1st calls/2nd calls/closes/appointments/gross/new money/anything else that will help you.
10. Become a student of the business-Read everything from the Wall Street Journal and Barron's to Think and Grow Rich. Buy Bill Good's book, Prospecting Your way to Sales Success. 
 
Your pessimistic advisor, unfortunately, is more right than wrong. The odds are stacked against any new advisor.
Cold calling is harder these days because of the multitude of screening devices available to everyone. What that, and the DNC does, is cut down on the contact rates. It takes a longer time period to reach the same number of people. However, that is true only if you are calling homes. Calling businesses and work place numbers is still wide open. Personally, with 50 or 60 million people on the DNC, I'd take the hint and stop calling people at home, regardless of weather or not they're on the DNC. The public has spoken. But, I was never big on calling people at home anyway. I did call home numbers everyday for an hour or so. Most of my time was/is spent calling business numbers. Most of my clients are business owners or executives. The contact rate is still the same today as it was 20 years ago, about 8 to 10 contacts per hour.
A word about who to call. If you call people without much money you aren't going to have much success. it's not that we don't like poor people, we just can help them and they can't help us. So don't call poor people. Find lists of people with money and call them. Business owners, for example, have money. They also have problems we can help them overcome. Taxes, cash flow, money management, retirement plans. You get the picture. You can make this as easy or complicated as you want.
You can call with a product or to make an appointment. There are no rules. Call a business owner and ask for a few minutes to show your firm's business money market product. Make it a goal to set five appointments a day. Or, call and pitch the business owner a muni bond. He'/she will say no thanks, but, over the course of a day 5 or 6 owners will express an interest in tax frees or fixed income ideas. Now you have some prospects to work on. And so it goes.
Do you work in a large office building or office complex? How about holding monthly/weekly (whatever works) box lunch workshops in your conference room? Pick a subject, say "How to save taxes with tax free bonds" and invite every business owner in the building/complex.
There is no correlation to education/wealth levels and/or the DNC.
A good combo for a newly minted advisor would be cold calling with tax free bonds, minimum 50 contacts per day, and doing two library or lunch seminars a month. That should keep you busy for 70 hours a week. Still got time, cold call every service club in your area, find out who the program director is, and volunteer yourself as a guest speaker. If nothing else you'll be well fed. However, I'm sure there will be something else, business.
Don't be afraid to fail. Failing teaches us what does not work. That puts us closer to what does work.
 

Jones06's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-13

Any suggestions on where to find lists of business owners/executives?

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