Here's my story for those that are looking into the opportunity. To put it simply, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity either way. So if given the chance, DO IT!!!!! Whether you decide if Jones if right for your or not doesn't make a difference. You will learn many invaluable lessons.
I applied at Jones after seeing the company in Fortune's 100 Best Companies to work for. In 2008, it placed 4th. I put in my online application, and did the questionnaire. About 2 weeks later, I got a call. I first went and talked to a local FA. I liked what I heard and what Jones had to offer. I wanted the opportunity, so I did what I was asked to do. They asked me to get 15 surveys done. I got 35 done all with phone numbers. I moved on through the process and was offered the position. The whole process took about 2 months. The unique thing about Edward Jones interview process is that they don't really look for what you can do for them and what you bring to the table, they look to see if YOU can be one of them if given the chance. Like joining a frat.
STUDY FOR SUCCESS
Probably the most boring aspect of your career at Edward Jones. 2 months of studying at home. Great training program. It's a program designed to allow everyone to pass the 7. When I say everyone, I mean everyone. Even though you'll want to speed through it, the process will force you to slow down and go at everyone's pace. It CAN get frustrating and underwhelming. I passed 7 with good score. Real easy test if you're a good test taker. Just when you thought the study material can't get any worse, comes the "do not, do not, do not" for the 66 program. I'm sure the newer guys will know exactly what I'm talking about. 66 study program is even better than 7 program. A lot of stuff overlap from 7 and easy test if you passed 7.
EDWARD JONES HAS ONE OF THE BEST PURE SALES TRAINING PROGRAM I'VE EVER SEEN. When you start a new job, even a sales job, a lot of training is on the products. With EDJ, for 60 hours this week(maybe 70-80), you will do nothing but learn how to talk to people and build rapport with them. My only regret with leaving Jones is that I did not get to experience their Eval/Grad training and PDP training. I can only imagine those will be fantastic. I absolutely believe that if you follow their training, you can become an excellent salesperson no matter the background.
When salespeople talk about getting leads they usually talk about buying a list. But the problem is that the lists you buy is something that anyone can buy. The best list is the one that you make yourself. Edward Jones' prospecting method is what sets Edward Jones apart from everyone else. You essentially make your own list of hot/warm leads. Not only that, they teach you how to develop those leads that you've generated, and they teach you how to close them on a sale. EDJ training offers comprehensive sales training, from the beginning to the end. So believe in the system and do what they tell you to do. IT WORKS. ESPECIALLY THE JEDI MIND TRICK.
***TIP to Make your life easier. Forget door knocking in the morning. I've always known that I don't do well with older clients. I just have hard time getting them to listen to what I have to say. But I've always had fantastic success with working folks in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Pick your niche and go with it. If you want to acquire older clients, go in the morning. But be forewarned that you will go through 30-50 houses with 5 phone numbers. You'll run into a lot of just lonely seniors that wants to chat, but won't give you their number. Business contacts are difficult because they are not talking to you for the sole reason that they're interested in getting more info on what you're offering. I've felt that they're talking to you because they see you as a potential client. It will probably take more time to develop business contacts than residential. The PRIME TIME for door knocking is between 5pm - 8pm or so, depending on when the sun sets. If you have other obligations such as family, then you just gotta accept your fate and be prepared to knock on absurd amount of empty houses, and walk the distance like you're preparing for marathon. But if you're void of any obligations at those hours, then I would start at 2-3pm and work into sunset. Save the morning hours for doing branch training, thank you notes, and data entry. No matter how you slice it, you're going to working 60+ hours a week.
A final interview to make sure that you've been doing the work and learning the sh*t that you needed to learn up until now. If you've been doing everything like you were supposed to, you'll pass.
Ironically, the straw that broke the camel's back came while I was preparing for the RL Exam. Up until that point, you really don't have time to think about anything. You just do what you're told and by the time you're done, you're doing something else. As I was preparing for the RL exam, I had a chance to just sit and reflect on all the things that I have done up to that point. I was proud of what I did. It felt great. I was done with all the groundwork and laying down the foundation. Time was here to take everything that I've learned and done up until this point and run with it. Then I started thinking about the prospects that lie ahead. But the picture that was drawn up was not the future I wanted. A small office of me and my assistant, for the rest of my life - It just wasn't me nor was it something that I wanted. When I went into the RL exam, I tried to look for things that would convince me that I was wrong, but everything that I saw just reaffirmed my fears and what my future with Jones would be like.
END OF THE LINE
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do over the weekend after my RL exam. The answer was pretty clear to me. This would be the end of line for me at EDJ. Went and talk to my field trainer and called the visiting vet to let 'em know that this is the end of the road for me at Edward Jones.
Edward Jones provided the best *pure sales training* that I've ever received and I will take the many valuable things from my brief stint at EDJ with me going forward in my career. Great company to work for. If you're the right person for the job, then there's no better place. I'm saying that with no judgement or prejudice.
There's a reason why EDJ ranks so high up on all the workplace surveys. Only people that really want what EDJ has to offer stays. Notice that I'm not saying only people that wants to be successful, have the freedom, and make a good living, are right for the job. You can get those things anywhere you go, if you're good at what you're doing. But what Edward Jones does so well is FINDING and OFFERING that opportunity to those people that are good fit with its system and culture.
If you're like me and can't picture yourself working alone in a small office setting for the rest of your life, it's the worst possible job. Even though I thought I hated it, only after going through the process with Edward Jones did I realize that I actually like working in the box. I like the corporate world.
I tip my hat to all the existing Jones FAs. You guys few and far in between amongst many that try. But those that are not right for the Jones system, I don't see any reason to be discouraged. Being a Jones FA is like buying a music album and falling in love with that one obscure track that only the people that bought the album would even know about. I've heard the song, did the dance, but decided that it's just not for me.
For those of you getting started, don't take my word for it. Just put on your headphones and hear it out yourselves. It might be the best song you've ever heard and the dance that will have changed your life.