One Thing...

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jtorgerson's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-04

Okay, you ruthless vets out there, here is a newbie to the industry asking your input.
 
Hindsight is perfect. I'm eager to learn from your successes and missteps along the way, especially while getting established.
 
Looking back at your first year in the business, what is the one thing you wish someone had told you to do or the one thing that you now realize you would have changed? Also, what is one thing that worked really well for you as a totally new rep?

deekay's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-15

The one thing I would've changed?  I would've seen more people and made more calls.
 
The one thing I did well?  I saw a of people and made a lot of phone calls.
 
If you're looking for a magical formula, stop.  There is none.  Make thirty contacts every day to qualified prospects and you will be a success.

snaggletooth's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-13

Deekay is spot on.  All that matters at the end of the day is how many qualified people you talk to.
Here's what doesn't matter:
-Reading a ton of economic news
-Meeting with too many wholesalers
-Overly researching funds or stocks
-Surfing the internet
-Talking at the "water cooler"
 
 
Yes, you need to know your stuff, but you need to get in front of people first.  Spend a little time at the beginning of your day or after work catching up on that stuff. 
 
Here's what does matter:
-Number of contacts per day
-Making a daily/weekly schedule, time blocking, and sticking to it
-Be accountable to someone else
-Create a drip system for your prospects
-Set appointments in your office, but be willing to go to someone if it means you get in front of them
 
 
When you are just starting out, you have nothing but time on your hands.  Spend 90% of that time talking to or seeing people.

Broker24's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

It's funny, the above are so true. After a few years in the business, I realize that everything Jones was telling me was the truth. The 25 a day thing - it works. Just seeing lots of people - it works. Calling lots of people - it works. Everything else is just noise. I tried to think up every creative way to get in front of people, and most of it did not work. What worked? Door-knocking, referrals, networking and targeted seminars (i.e. small dinners) . There aren't enough qualified households not on the DNC list in my area to cold-call (my county has about 250K people). So I just have to go and knock on doors (much of it is businesses and "influential" people now) and see people.

One last thing. The EARLIER you prospect heavily, the better. After a few years, you are too busy with actually "doing" business, that you don't have time to "build" your business. Get as many qualified prospects into your pipeline as early as possible in your career.

jtorgerson's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-04

No, no magic formula. Just as I've progressed in other fields, there were always land mines that I stepped on that I now would see for what they were. If I may extend the analogy, it's enlightening to hear from others who have already walked the path, where to step and where not to.

snaggletooth's picture
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jtorgerson wrote:No, no magic formula. Just as I've progressed in other fields, there were always land mines that I stepped on that I now would see for what they were. If I may extend the analogy, it's enlightening to hear from others who have already walked the path, where to step and where not to.
 
Part of learning is making mistakes.  Someone can tell you what is correct all day long, but sometimes you just have to make the mistake to learn for yourself.
 
You will make mistakes in this business.  Some things will pan out, others won't.  You'll live and learn.
 
Just don't Eff up too much.

runner999's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-06

snaggletooth wrote:
Part of learning is making mistakes.  Someone can tell you what is correct all day long, but sometimes you just have to make the mistake to learn for yourself.
 
You will make mistakes in this business.  Some things will pan out, others won't.  You'll live and learn.
 
Just don't Eff up too much.

Snaggletooth, I think your words of "wisdom" are spot on in most situations. It is very true that the only way you really grow in life is through your mistakes and learning from them. Think about it. You don't make changes when things are going well. It takes those mistakes to learn and get better.

However, for some reason the wirehouse world has seemingly decided to set up a business model where you have to hit gold almost immediately or you or gone. I think that is the fear of us "newbies." I haven't started yet but I have been offered a position with SB in their next open training class.

I believe in my ability to make it long term and I love the idea of having to make mistakes and grow. That is how all businesses succeed. But I am just afraid that the wirehouse mentality is not going to give me the time to be able to make some mistakes and figure it out for myself.

Maybe I am wrong and I guess only time will tell. But I have talked to some people who say that the wirehouses are very very quick to pull the plug even within the first 90 days of production.

Others have told me that it is not that cut throat and that they will give you the time IF (and it is a big if) you are working hard and following your BOM's direction.

saul4paul's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-27

I too was once a mistake maker, not anymore.
 
Mistakes are excuses! A wise man once asked.."Which is greater Grasshopper, The eye of reason, or the eye of experience?" To which the little bald fellow replied, "The eye of experience surely that is the one Master? "No little Weedhopper! The correct answer is the eye of Reason!" "One does not have to make love to a thorn bush to know what the outcome would be."
 
Master Tachuchi, atop the Great Wall,China.  1275 AD

Akkula's picture
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Joined: 2008-02-17

deekay wrote:
If you're looking for a magical formula, stop.  There is none.  Make thirty contacts every day to qualified prospects and you will be a success.
 
Wow, you are like a wise contradictory chinese sage.  First you tell us there is no forumula and then you give us a magic formula.  Man, I am a confused newb!

Akkula's picture
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Joined: 2008-02-17

runner999 wrote: Maybe I am wrong and I guess only time will tell. But I have talked to some people who say that the wirehouses are very very quick to pull the plug even within the first 90 days of production.
 
90 days is too quick.  I have heard that it usually takes 3 quarters of missing your goals to get canned.  The wires aren't stupid, they know that it takes some time to get going and they don't want to waste all the money they put into training you unless you are clearly not prospecting.  Furthermore, the BOM looks kind of bad if he spends a crap load of money training someone and then fires them quickly.  His seniors start to wonder if he is smoking crack to have hired you in the first place. 

snaggletooth's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-13

runner999 wrote: Snaggletooth, I think your words of "wisdom" are spot on in most situations. It is very true that the only way you really grow in life is through your mistakes and learning from them. Think about it. You don't make changes when things are going well. It takes those mistakes to learn and get better. However, for some reason the wirehouse world has seemingly decided to set up a business model where you have to hit gold almost immediately or you or gone. I think that is the fear of us "newbies." I haven't started yet but I have been offered a position with SB in their next open training class. I believe in my ability to make it long term and I love the idea of having to make mistakes and grow. That is how all businesses succeed. But I am just afraid that the wirehouse mentality is not going to give me the time to be able to make some mistakes and figure it out for myself. Maybe I am wrong and I guess only time will tell. But I have talked to some people who say that the wirehouses are very very quick to pull the plug even within the first 90 days of production. Others have told me that it is not that cut throat and that they will give you the time IF (and it is a big if) you are working hard and following your BOM's direction.
 
I know what it's like to be in a wirehouse.  It's where I started.  You will make mistakes.  That is part of learning.  To error is to be human.
 
As long as you make enough contacts each and every day, you can make mistakes along the way and still be successful.  If you learn from your mistakes, you won't make them again.  Your manager has the ability to give you some leniency if you are working hard and not screwing off.  Keep records of your daily activities to help you stay on track and report to your mentor or sales manager or office manager with this report once a week or two. 
 
The time will fly by, but you have to fight to get in front of people.  Use your firms resources to help you meet them.  Some wirehouses host monthly luncheons or provide events you can invite people to.  Do it.  Call people, go to people, meet people in your office, strike up conversations with random people.  Here's an example of this:
 
Yesterday, I stopped in my favorite terriyaki restaurant for take out and parked next to the only other car in the lot, a nice Mercedes.
 
I order my food, and see the guy wearing a nice suit, so I say, "That's a nice car you've got there".  He says, "Thanks".  I say, "Wanna trade straight up?"  He laughs and says he's thinking about trading it in for somthing smaller.  I say, "So what do you do?"  He says, "I am a director of a major cruise line (this guy is obviously very well-off)".  Then there's some small talk about cruises and I ask how long he's lived here.  He says, "About a year, moved from Miami".  I say, "Oh great!  Let me ask you, do you have a wealth manager you trust here locally?"  He says, "Actually no, I've been with my guy in Miami for 10 years.  Is that what you do?"  I say, "Yes, so how have you been holding up with this market?"  He says, "Well not that well, just like everybody else I guess".  Here's my in.  I say, "Well I'm sure you're doing some great things, but we've been providing our clients with great ideas to increase their income and reduce their taxes as well as help limit downside risk.  It might be well worth your time to hear some of our ideas".  Then he asks for my card, so we exchange cards and I say "I'll be in touch, it was nice meeting you, have a great night, enjoy your food".
 
So today, I mail him a thank you card saying I enjoyed the conversation and I look forward to talking with him again in the future.
 
Now I have a new prospect.  Another important note is that you never know who you'll run into, so it's good wear your suit and look the part, especially if you're new.  I don't have to wear suits, but I choose to because I like to look good. 
 
Always be prospecting.  

bondo's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-15

I thought I had some pretty serious focus before I started in the business.  I was wrong.  Learn to focus on the task at hand and nothing else.  For example, if you have blocked time to call, have a great call that leads to an appointment, get right back on the phone.  Do NOT spend the next hour wandering around telling everyone about that call.  Celebrate the success when the money is in the account. 
It is hard to focus when you get a small success.  However, if you cannot focus you are on your way out the door.  I just lost another coworker who could not focus.

megamonet's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-01

The best sales tip from a non sales person:
 
Always 'be closing' sounds much more optimistic than 'always prospecting'.
A prospect is just that: a prospect.
Visualize the sale.  Sales people have given sales a bad name: no one likes pushy, desparate sales people: it's a fine line.  The best position to be in is to have the 'prospect' come to you.
You have to have the characteristics to have people 'drawn' to you - you can be trusted, you are knowledgeable, you are likeable and people want to be around you - leave others with wanting more - you can HELP them, you have something they WANT.  People know when they're being prospected: this is when it's obvious you want something from them...
 
It's a talent and a skill and the best sales people have this.  Look at that guy who is on all the infocommercials--are these all of his products, probably not but he sure knows how to make these products desirable doesn't he.
 
Always leave them wanting more ...from you.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
 
 

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Those who can't do.....

megamonet's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-01

iceco1d wrote:megamonet wrote:
 
The best sales tip from a non sales person:
 
 
And next up: "The Best Quarterback Camp From a Guy That Never Played a Down in His Life!"
 
An equally valuable lesson!
 
I've had jobs where I have sold but not strictly on commission.  I can relate although I can relate better to being on the customer side.  Actually the guy on the infocommercials is irritating now that I think of it: he seems some product called KaBoom Cleaner - he is a typical sales person but does exhibit alot of enthusiasm for the products he's "pushing".
 
A sale:
 
A good salesman
An interested customer
A good product or service
A customer who is sold and doesn't regret purchasing the product or service or doing business with the salesman (who will gladly come back for repeat business...perhaps a customer for life.)
Equally good guarantee; customer service
Perhaps good followup from the company or salesman to see if the customer is happy.
 Equals A PERFECT SALE.
A preferred sales job is where the products sell themselves or where the salesperson is so good, he has people contacting him not vice versa.
 
Just wanted to make sure you boys had the right mindset here.
 
No one likes a pushy sales person not even you.
 
Always keep your client's best interests in mind and if you call that person you met back, don't expect anything - if you're too pushy, it's a turnoff.
 
And if the client changes his mind or isn't interested today, your actions will determine if they are interested tomorrow.
 
Being in sales is a tough job and it takes very skilled people to be successful and to make a living in this line of work.  It's not for everyone. 
 
You need to always consider the viewpoint of the customer and the customer will always think "what's in it for me" (ie. does this joker just want to make a quick buck off me.)
 
Some people are 'born' to be in their chosen profession.  Just hope you've picked the profession that you are well suited for.  There are few natural born salespeople...but there are some and they have a TALENT...a talent of having many happy customers!
 
nuf said.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

..... teach.

megamonet's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-01

And one more thing...
Put that coffee down!
Coffee is for closers only!
ABC: Always be closing.
AIDA
Attention, Interest, Decision Action. 
 
--bet you might be able to guess what movie I watched lastnight...although The Prime Gig (Vince Vaugh) is my favorite sales movie.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29
troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

I think even she knows the advice sucks, so why would she follow it?

megamonet's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-01

 
oh that?...learned that from a Seinfeld episode.
George works out how and when to make a good exit; ...
Seinfeld Episode Guide-Season 9

ok, I'll make my good exit for now. buebuh
 
 

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