Newly Hired at SB!

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FA Prospect's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-05

Thanks to all for previous posts and for giving advice on this forum. I signed an offer sheet with SB this morning!
Can't wait to get started. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting the career started on the right track? I plan on reading some books and trying to increase my network.

opie's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-15

Congrats!  Perhaps it's time to change your handle.
You could get a head start studying for the seven.  Better yet, you could take the last vacation you'll have for a few years now... that's what I'm contemplating myself.

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

Congratulations!  The only advice I can think of is work hard and study hard...there will be plenty of time to play hard later...

xfjoker's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-30

FA Prospect,
PM me...I'll be glad to give you some SB advice offline.  I have been in production with them less than a year.
By the way, I think you will really like the company.  Congratulations.

vbrainy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-26

Start keeping track (on the computer if possible) of all the prospects you know.  In your spare time, find their addresses and phone numbers.  When you hit production, you don't want to waste any time on this kind of stuff.  You want to have your list ready to go. 
Good luck and keep us posted.

JCadieux's picture
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Joined: 2005-01-23

FA Prospect wrote:Thanks to all for previous posts and for giving advice on this forum. I signed an offer sheet with SB this morning!
Can't wait to get started. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting the career started on the right track? I plan on reading some books and trying to increase my network. Congratulations!Does your business plan involve networking?  If so, get out there and network!It's easier to make the rounds and become known when you don't have production pressures.  It also takes a while before people trust you and consider you a "member" and not another visiting salesman.Get out there and network, but DO NOT sell yourself.  Just get to know people for now.  You'll have a big head start in both trust and credibility by the time you enter production.Good Hunting!

tjc45's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-06

FA trainee, congratulations.
Opie hit it on the head. get some rest, you're going to need it.
SB, an excellent firm.

dude's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-15

Congratulations, you can't go wrong working for SB.  F*ck the vacation unless it's a weekend type thing to clear your head and make some plans. 
My advice is to get to work; every day you spend from now until production should be directed at increasing your probablity of sucess. 

azmalu's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-29

FA Prospect my suggestion to you: read through STC once slowly....Similar to what calendar says maybe a little faster. Ask ops mgr. for videos. Watch those then start taking practice test regularly. At the begining I read through the material too quick just to get it done instead of spending time to comprehending it completely. The STC sample tests are pretty accurate I would suggest going through the topic tests once each section is done. You'll find threads on here asking if they should try other study materials. No need the book is boring but video IMO puts it in better perspective. Hopefully someone tells you to skip all the elearning modules etc until 7 is over. Im just going through those now glad I didnt take those on before.  

san fran broker's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-25

JCadieux wrote: Get out there and network, but DO NOT sell yourself.  Just get to know people for now.  You'll have a big head start in both trust and credibility by the time you enter production.Good Hunting!
Excellent advice.

doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

Congratulations!
Right now is the most important part of your career. Yes, the most important part. Because what you do between now and the time you hit production will determine whether you make it or you don't. And I don't mean just passing the 7, either.
First of all, you should have a business plan for your training period. That plan should consist of 100% networking during business hours, with study in the early AM and late PM. Plan to make 25-50 face-to-face contacts every business day. After 2 months of training (my assumption), you'll have over 1,000 contacts minimum to get started on when you're licensed.
When prospecting, don't offer the fact that you're in training or not licensed, unless asked. Simply introduce yourself and your firm, tell them that you're not there to sell them anything; but rather, you're just interested in them or their business and would like to learn as much as possible about them or something to that effect. Practice saying something you're comfortable with.
You will increase your chances of success, if you can do a little homework on the prospects beforehand. For example, if you're calling on dry cleaners and fast food franchise owners on Wednesday, do a little googling the night before and become familiar with some of the current issues they're facing. For example, ask the dry cleaner his opinion on the proposed government ban on "starch". (Just a hypothetical folks!)
I can almost guarantee you, that if you put forth this amount of effort now (before the clock starts ticking upon licensing), you will be way ahead of the game and will rank at or near the top of your training class.

FA Prospect's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-05

My BP does include networking and visiting local businesses. Thanks for all the advice and encouragement.

azmalu's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-29

doberman that sounds like a good idea...Did you personally have success doing that when you started? Did your company suggest it and did they allot time to do so during the day. For some reason that sounds like a frowned on approach considering you are representing the company but have no formal training according to their policy's and procedures.

opie's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-15

Too much peer pressure. 
I just decided to join SB, too.  I look forward to comparing experiences with you, FA Prospect.

doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

azmalu:doberman that sounds like a good idea...Did you personally have success doing that when you started? Did your company suggest it and did they allot time to do so during the day. For some reason that sounds like a frowned on approach considering you are representing the company but have no formal training according to their policy's and procedures. 
------------------------------------------------------
On the contrary, the advice I gave was just the opposite of what I did, and I needlessly struggled at the start. Looking back to 1992, I wasted all day studying for the 7, when I should have been networking.
At that time, no one suggested I should do anything other than study. Dean Witter's training program consisted of: here's the book, here's the computer, good luck.
I am convinced that studying in the early morning, networking during the day, and then back to studying at night would have given me a less stressful start to this new career. 
Granted, you can't "do" anything related to securities, until you're licensed; but it shouldn't stop you from meetin' and greetin'. Remember, your sole purpose now is to introduce yourself, say who you're with, and strike up a conversation with the prospect, listening for problems that you might be able to solve, once licensed. Take notes of each conversation with a prospect.
However, if a prospect presses you for advice on a particular investment issue, simply react one of two ways:
1) Respond that you don't make any recommendations until you've had a chance to sit down and go over the prospect's entire portfolio. State that it usually takes 2 or 3 appointments before making a proposal. (If possible, space out the appointments so that you'll be licensed by the time the proposal is prepared.)
2) If the prospect needs help now (or you'll lose them), ask your manager what trustworthy broker you can partner with to bring over the account. (You won't be able to share the commissions/fees until you're licensed, but make sure there's an agreement that you get the account once you're licensed.) Then work with that broker to bring over the prospect.

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

Get real people.  You don't pass your Series 7 and likely you will lose your job.  That's priority #1; study very hard.  Network at night/weekends if need be.
That said, forget networking in the beginning.  I have seen hundreds of new hires wash out going that route.  Unless you are unbelievable connected, your primary mission is to contact 100 people a day (via the phone) and ask for orders.  As you get more experienced & savvy it would be wise to branch out and attempt additional prospecting methods (i.e networking, associates, referrals, etc).
The fellow posters' mean well; I'm just relaying my experience.

FA Prospect's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-05

Thanks to everyone for all the advice. Networking and making business contacts is a major part of my business plan and I would like to get started ASAP, but I see a few problems. First, I am currently working at my "old" job 50-55 hours per week and really do not have much extra time. Second, I am not an employee of SB until I start training in October. It would surely be nice to give a business card and be able to say that I am employed by SB. Third, I would really like to be able to sell securities myself. I cannot even imagine telling a client that, "sure Mr. Jones I would LOVE to invest that $100,000 for you, but I will have to get my senior associate to help me with that". Sounds like a good way to get referral business for the senior associate. Why not skip the middle man?

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

Why not skip the middle man? Because you are delusional.  No one in their right mind is going to give a rookie 100k to invest.  If anything at all.  Refer them to a "senior partner" of which you will have an arrangement and go from there. 
And we wonder why 80% fail, and many of the 20% that survive are those who inherit books, are connected, etc.

FA Prospect's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-05

I guess that referring customers to a "senior partner" is the only way to go in this business. Will this help me reach my minimum production goal of $5 mil before getting "axed" at 18 months though? I have yet to really get to know the senior partners at the firm.  After meeting them I do not see any fangs or anything, but I highly doubt that my success will be a top priority for them. They seemed mostly absorbed in telling me how successful and well connected they are - not very much in the "nuts and bolts" of the business...but hopefully that will come. Maybe my only "real" shot is grabbing tightly onto some coat tails hoping that one of the senior members will become my mentor and share some crumbs!

NASD Newbie's picture
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Joined: 2005-08-01

FA, are you not the guy who is coming out of the military--I think you are.  If so, that would make you more on the "mature" side of the equation compared to other rookies.
My point is this.  The idea of teams is another relative new one--and there are lots of reasons why such teams end up failing.
High on the list is when any of the team members begin to distrust other team members.  It mostly happens when the workload is not perceived to be equally shared--be sure to avoid giving that impression.
Another would be to distrust the basic honesty of the partners.  Saying things like "why can't we cut out the middle man" suggests that you may already be resenting a sharing arrangement.
Never--as in NEVER--allow anybody to hear you say anything the could possibly suggest that you're anything other than the happiest camper on earth.
Finally, when you report in October you need to be completely aware that you're the new guy and it is your job to make everybody like you, not their job to make you like them.
It's not unlike combat--they've seen lots of guys come and go and won't go out of their way to make a friend out of you for fear that you wont' be around for long.

FA Prospect's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-05

Thanks Prospect and Judge. My point in the thread is not me cutting out the middle man, but my clients giving the veteran FAs referral business and not me. I have no problems working in a team and quite honestly I excelled in team based approach while in the military. I also do not mind "sharing" business - especially if it is mutually beneficial relationship. My strengths have always included a hard work ethic and an ability to work well with others. I have been tested in stressful enough situations to know that I will not lose my composure at the office.
I guess I am being unfair towards my senior partners, but somewhrere on the site I saw that toughest competition is your fellow FAs at the firm. Is there a compelling reason for my seniors to teach me the nuts and bolts of how they attract clients? The ones I met seemed like good enough people and all, but from brief meetings I gathered that they still have increased production goals to meet.  
This website opened my eyes to the ways that new FAs are manipulated by seasoned veterans. Actually, I would not mind sharing a share of my proceeds and earning less money in this career, but I know that I signed a contract stipulating minimum account goals. The only thing the BM told me about teams was that the possibility existed and that some of the FAs did form teams. I am sure that the BM will give me some idea of how to conduct business at the firm.

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

FA Prospect- Congrats on the SB decision.  They are top-notch and you obviously have much going for you.
My comment was directed towards the period you are not licensed and run into a prime prospect.  You bring in a senior advisor to help bring in the account.  And perhaps you bring in a senior FA when you run into a very savvy investor or a complicated situation (i.e. estate planning) even when you are licensed.  No shame in bringing in the big guns for the appropriate situations.  Good luck.

san fran broker's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-25

I would recommend that on your first few accounts, you seek the assistance of a more senior advisor. Pick someone who projects the image that you most want to project. Let them do most of the talking. Clearly define, before the meeting, who will be doing exactly what. Find out what the advisor's favorite investments are and make sure that the proposal will be in line with what you feel is the best solution to the client. Explain the details of your arrangement to the client. Establish a term for the agreement (I dunno.... three years?), after which, the client is YOURS.
The purpose of partnering with a senior producer is to see what they do right and, equally important, what they do wrong. This will help you develop your own voice for the sales part of this job. Generally speaking, rookies will become quite cynical very fast if they expect the senior producer to be some kind of sales or investment genius. He / she has simply been doing this longer than you and has more contacts. That's it. Eventually, you will not need to use this guy anymore, so I would make sure that the client knows that this guy was brought in because of their "experience in situations like yours." After the relationship has been established, you should then focus on developing the relationship with the client. Rinse and repeat.
Don't exclusively work with one senior producer - date. You may find a perfect match and you may determine that the guy is a jerk. Ultimately, you may find that they are a snake - or VERY lazy (common problem among MANY $1 million producers when dealing with sub $5 million accounts), so set it up so that you can fire them. Remember 50% of the job is getting the prospect to meet with you - you have done most of the work.
The split should be 51% you, 49% them - this makes a subtle, but powerful statement of whose client this really is. If the potential partner won't go for it - then pick someone else. Plenty of others will accept this agreement.
Learn how they open accounts, how long they take to establish the relationship and how they deal with problems with the client. Understand their administrative process and learn from it. We used to say that this is a "sales job" - its now equally an admistrative job. They won't prepare you for that in training.

FA Prospect's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-05

Thanks for the excellent posts, Judge and SF Broker. What you are
saying makes sense to me. I have no reservations about getting help
from the big boys and gals. Hopefully the BM and the production manager
can be counted on to be helpful as well. Earning large commisions would
be great, but really my goals are to be competitive within my hiring
class and make my production goals. If I am successful in this business
I know that the monetary rewards will follow. I really cannot wait to
get started!

doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

If, by chance, your manager doesn't want you meetin' and greetin' prior to licensing, there's still another way to get exposure: Become a "Goodwill Ambassador" (GA) for the state/local Chamber of Commerce (CC).
In my area, a (GA) is someone who visits current Chamber members to see if there is a way the (CC) can help them. It's a way of solidifying the relationship between the member and the Chamber, as opposed to the member paying their membership fee and never hearing from the Chamber, again. Typically, your existing Chamber member will be an established business; thus, it stands better chance of meeting your minimum standards for becoming a client.
On the other hand, you could sell Chamber memberships. But your prospects would tend to be very small, very new businesses with few or no investable assets to speak of. (However, if your area has a number of software companies, you might make an exception and sell (CC) memberships to them. There aren't many types of start-ups that can start from zero to success, in such a short amount of time, like software firms. Unfortunately, my area doesn't have any software firms.) 
Just some thoughts...
 

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