Bank Brokers - How Many Appts?

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Mar 25, 2007 11:54 am

Curious how many appts. bank brokers do a week.  I do 15 - don't know if that is average.


Also would like to know if you do 1 or 2 appts per prospect.  I currently do 2, but a wholesaler told me to shorten that to 1 because I need more volume.  But how can you assess someone, analyze what they have, and recommend all in one visit?  Seems like the client gets short-changed.


I do financial planning with all my clients.  I'm finding most bank reps don't do any.  What's the general consensus?  Do or not?


Do you set a minumum $$ amount for clients, and do you call and pre-qualify the bank referrals or just see them first?


Are your products the typical bank brokerage mutual fund and annuities, or do you use ETFs, separately managed accounts, fee-based accounts, individual bonds, etc.?


Who does your bank use as a B/D?  Good?  Bad?  Indifferent?


What other means do you use to prospect - quickly finding can't survive on bank referrals alone.  I'm used to major prospecting efforts (networking, forming professional alliances, etc.), which the bank finds foreign (they don't want me referring to any CPA or atty).


I've got a book I can start to bring over, but I'm concerned the platform is not as robust as what they were used to.


There was someone on this board that had 10 branches.  I'd like to know how in the world you handle that.  How many current clients are you talking about, how do you monitor all the existing assets, how do many people do you meet with, do you have a minimum, and do they make you go to branches just to "sit" and be visible when there are not appts. set at that branch? 


Do you limit yourself to just a few products that you put people into - someone else here was just putting people into their bank's asset allocation models.  Sounded like when someone came in, they filled out a questionnaire, then were directed to one of the models.  That's not nearly as "full-service" as I am used to at a wirehouse, but perhaps that's all there is time for at the bank level.


Do you have an asst. - PT or full-time?  Registered, unregistered?  What does the asst. do for you?


Just trying to get some parameters so I know what other people are doing, and how our bank program compares.



Mar 25, 2007 12:15 pm
newrookie:

Also would like to know if you do 1 or 2 appts per prospect.  I currently do 2, but a wholesaler told me to shorten that to 1 because I need more volume.  But how can you assess someone, analyze what they have, and recommend all in one visit?  Seems like the client gets short-changed.



The highlighted question could very well be directed to you, by the client's attorney, should you end up in arbitration. The point being, do whatever is right for the client, always. Ignore the wholesaler, your boss, whomever is pressuring you to close with one appointment, if you cannot accurately determine the best investments for the client


However, you'll find that, with experience, you'll be able to close more appointments with one shot. This is especially true, if you specialize in certain types of investments, i.e., VA's, Managed Money, etc. 

Mar 25, 2007 2:06 pm
doberman:

However, you'll find that, with experience,
you'll be able to close more appointments with one shot. This is
especially true, if you specialize in certain types of investments,
i.e., VA's, Managed Money, etc. 





Mr Client, Your financial history is irrelavent to what we are going to
do today. This VA is perfect for you no matter what your financial past
or future.

Mar 25, 2007 7:37 pm
newrookie:

Curious how many appts. bank brokers do a week.  I do 15 - don't know if that is average.

I average about 5-8 per week new money appointments.


Also would like to know if you do 1 or 2 appts per prospect.  I currently do 2, but a wholesaler told me to shorten that to 1 because I need more volume.  But how can you assess someone, analyze what they have, and recommend all in one visit?  Seems like the client gets short-changed.

I almost always do at least two.  I just closed a 1.4 million dollar relationship last week, and we did 4 appointments before any signatures (1st introduction to what I do, 2nd bring all statements/spreadsheet, 3rd analysis of where they are vs where they should be, 4th signing everything over).  Not saying this is how it should be, I usually "close", aka get signatures on the second appt, but it can be longer.


I do financial planning with all my clients.  I'm finding most bank reps don't do any.  What's the general consensus?  Do or not?

I will do as much as the client wants, or as little as they want so long as I have a clear picture of their situation, risk tolerance, time horizon, etc etc.  Not everyone wants a 30 page financial plan...but some do, so its case by case.


Do you set a minumum $$ amount for clients, and do you call and pre-qualify the bank referrals or just see them first?

I've put it this way with the tellers/branch managers/lenders/etc.  "We can and will help everybody.  If somebody comes in a wants to invest $200/mo for their kid, we will do it.  However, we really want to focus on opportunities of at least $50,000 and up."  That pretty much is all you need to say.  You don't sound like a pretentious a**, and they get the point.


Are your products the typical bank brokerage mutual fund and annuities, or do you use ETFs, separately managed accounts, fee-based accounts, individual bonds, etc.?

I end up doing a lot of individual bonds because it's the right thing for the client, but they pay so low it is basically like working for free.  I usually only do these for $100,000 and up and use new issue agencies.  I do use SMA's, I like Eagle Asset Management (owned by RayJay), AllianceBernstein, Rushmore, and a few others.  I use American Funds (Income Foundation stategy is HARD to beat with a beta of around .3) some, and a lot of Accessor Allocation Funds.  I use a couple VA's, like John Hancock and Allianz High 5 L share.


Who does your bank use as a B/D?  Good?  Bad?  Indifferent?

We use UVEST, who was recently purchased by LPL.  I think they (UVEST) are getting worse as they grow (poor training for new hires?), and I am unsure what out program will do when our contract comes up in 2008.  From what  I hear, if we want to use LPL's platform, we will have to do ACATs just as if we changed BD's altogether, so we might as well shop around...


What other means do you use to prospect - quickly finding can't survive on bank referrals alone.  I'm used to major prospecting efforts (networking, forming professional alliances, etc.), which the bank finds foreign (they don't want me referring to any CPA or atty).

I have zero need for outside prospecting, however I do get some assets from outside the bank just due to "being in the business" in an area I have lived most of my life.  If you are waiting on the tellers to start "getting it," you need to not hold your breath.  The reality is if they are sharp enough to do what you would like them to do, they will have a better paying job soon enough.  Focus your efforts on CSR's, branch managers, regional execs, and comm lenders.  The higher up the food chain you find yourself working with, the better off you will be.


I've got a book I can start to bring over, but I'm concerned the platform is not as robust as what they were used to.

I worked at ML, which is as robust a platform as I would think anyone would need.  I can do anything I could there with the exception of some obscure structured notes (short the Australian dollar and go long the yen, etc) that none of my clients were interested in anyway.  I have all the meat and potatos, and more of the other stuff that I care to know about.


There was someone on this board that had 10 branches.  I'd like to know how in the world you handle that.  How many current clients are you talking about, how do you monitor all the existing assets, how do many people do you meet with, do you have a minimum, and do they make you go to branches just to "sit" and be visible when there are not appts. set at that branch?

That is me.  It's now 11 (newly built), with another on the way.  My program manager is working on getting me some help to cover 1/2 of that, which I desperately need.  It sounds great, but you must BE THERE, wherever there is, consistently in order to maximize the referrals in any given location.  I have been forced to focus on my most profitable branches, and be on an appointment basis (with some exception) in the others.


Do you limit yourself to just a few products that you put people into - someone else here was just putting people into their bank's asset allocation models.  Sounded like when someone came in, they filled out a questionnaire, then were directed to one of the models.  That's not nearly as "full-service" as I am used to at a wirehouse, but perhaps that's all there is time for at the bank level.

This is an interesting question.  I say that because some of the most successful wirehouse reps I have ever met had a "system" and most of their assets were in 1 of several models (aka MFA at Merrill) depending on risk tolerance.  I have not done this in the past, but from a compliance/business building/logistical standpoint, I think I SHOULD do more.  I guess the point is I have way MORE than I want/need.  I am becoming more and more a fan of allocation models, be it through MF's, SMA's, or VA's.


Do you have an asst. - PT or full-time?  Registered, unregistered?  What does the asst. do for you?

I have a part-time assistant that I share.  She is in another part of the state, so she basically does whatever I need, follows up on paperwork/trades, lets me know when things come due, and whatever else random thing I need.  Obviously I do my own paperwork and filing. She is unregistered, but very sharp.


Just trying to get some parameters so I know what other people are doing, and how our bank program compares.


Hope this helps.


Mar 25, 2007 7:57 pm

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I also use a couple non-pub traded REITS for larger relationships.  Wells and Behringer Harvard.  Both good fixed income alternatives, but limit to about 10-15% of a portfolio.

Mar 25, 2007 9:01 pm

I'm going to submit that it's more important to get in front of DOLLARS than PROSPECTS.  If you can get in front of a million dollars a week, I'd lay odds that you'll be very successful.  Whether that's one million dollar prospect or ten 100K prospects, if you close half of what you see, you'll bring 25 mil per year and I can't imagine not being considered successful at that level.  Set your AUM and production goals and then see what you need to see to ensure that you reach your goals.  If nothing else, this reinforces where you should focus your prospecting efforts


As far as your other questions, I have a part-time assistant at $33 mil.  I figure on adding a jr. broker at 50 Million.


I close the deal on either the first or second meeting generally, depending on the complexity of the situation.  A few have taken more than that.


I do some rudimentary financial planning when the situation warrants.  Generally, this consists of projecting retirement account balances & estimated retirement income from the same, basic estate planning for seven-figure+ clients, tax planning issues to discuss with their accountants, life and LTC insurance needs and full portfolio analysis.  I scrapped my full-featured financial planning software in favor of a few spreadsheets...even my largest clients thought it was overkill.


I have a soft minimum of $250,000.  Anyone coming in under that number is told upfront that they will probably be assigned to an advisor under my supervision at some point in the future.  I do some prequalification if possible...no sense wasting my time and theirs.


My former bank program uses PrimeVest.  I thought they were pretty good until I was exposed to RJ & LPL, both of which are lightyears ahead of PV.


Of the products you mentioned, I've used and am using all of them with the exception of SMAs...these are available to me, but I'm a slow adopter.  At some point in the future when I'm more comfortable with them, I'll most likely plug them in where they fit.


I find it strange that your bank discourages cross-referrals with CPAs and attorneys.  I'd think they would encourage whatever worked as long as you were within the boundaries of compliance.  Perhaps they fear backlash from professionals excluded from your referral network?


I've got mixed feelings about moving your book.  On one hand, time is money...the longer you wait to move your book, the less you'll actually move.  On the other hand, if you decide you've made a bad move and move again soon, you may get some backlash from road-weary clients, and you may get some serious interference from the bank depending on what kind of contract you've signed.  If you're not confident that you'll be staying where you are for awhile, I'd be hesitant to move your book, only to have to quickly move it again.

Mar 26, 2007 6:44 am

Lots of good thoughts - thanks.


For the people now in a bank - how do you handle -


1) Walk-ins - Sometimes OK, but if I am in the middle of a proposal, or 15 minutes away from an appt., it's not convenient.  Most times I just tell them I don't want to short-change them, and thanks for stopping in, but we need to set a formal appt., because I want them to bring this and that.


2) Someone just looking for investment help who has no $$ (wants you to look at their 401(k), do a retirement plan, etc. - these are bank clients who must think I get a salary so I am there for "any" financial question they as bank clients have?  I've gotten ALOT of this.  They think I'm a "free service" the bank offers...



Mar 26, 2007 11:35 am

I think you're handling #1 just fine...that's where an assistant can be a lifesaver..."he's getting ready for an appointment...why don't we put you on his calendar and youcan bring your investment statements in for him to review?"


As far as #2, I tell these types up front that I charge a minimum of $XXX for investment/financial consultation on assets not under our management.  I don't charge current customers, but type 2s don't need to know that.  That should take care of anyone looking for a handout.  Just make sure that the bank has a mechanism in place in case anyone ever takes you up on outside asset consulting.  If they don't, simply tell them that you are not allowed to give out investment advice for accounts not under your control.

Mar 26, 2007 11:40 am
newrookie:

Lots of good thoughts - thanks.


For the people now in a bank - how do you handle -


1) Walk-ins - Sometimes OK, but if I am in the middle of a proposal, or 15 minutes away from an appt., it's not convenient.  Most times I just tell them I don't want to short-change them, and thanks for stopping in, but we need to set a formal appt., because I want them to bring this and that.


You treat walk-ins no different than the commercial lenders treat them.  If you're in a meeting, or about to be, and you realize their question will take longer than a couple minutes, then you respectfully ask if you can meet them later that day (maybe it is their day off), or set up an appointment for another day.  They will understand.


2) Someone just looking for investment help who has no $$ (wants you to look at their 401(k), do a retirement plan, etc. - these are bank clients who must think I get a salary so I am there for "any" financial question they as bank clients have?  I've gotten ALOT of this.  They think I'm a "free service" the bank offers...


First of all, it is A BAD IDEA to assume anyone doesn't have money.  I just got finished meeting with a guy who looks like he lives off social security, but in actuality has a 2.6 LIQUID net woth, not including his home and 3.4 acres. 


What question could possibly take that long? 


"You want me to look at your 401K?  Sure.  Drop the statements by and I'll call you back in a couple days with my thoughts after I run it through my software."  It takes what, 10 minutes, to type it in Morningstar and spit out something nice...


I've never has anyone come in asking for a full blown retirement plan without the understanding they are moving assets.  Maybe that's what they call the "assumptive close?"  I ASSUME the money is coming to me, we just have to figure out where we want to put it.

Mar 26, 2007 5:34 pm

Thanks again.


No I never assume people don't have money, that's why I have been meeting with everyone to do a full profile.


The problem is, alot of the time, they want to get a "picture" of their situation.  They have no investable assets at all.  Want to "understand" how their pension plan at work operates, want to know if they should pay off their mortgage, continue to lease their car, and could you run some retirement numbers to "make sure we are on track" with what we have at work and our pensions.  We're talking the meeting (1 Hr), a couple hours of analysis on what they have at work, phone calls to the retirement board, etc., running a retirement planner, and then meeting again with them for another hr.  That 3-5 hours generates nothing in income to me or the bank.


I think the solution is as you said, to let people know we can do that, but we charge for it unless you are a client.


The 401(k) thing I get, but maybe I am just doing too much.  I look not only at their assets in their 401(k) for quality, problems, overlap, etc.  but also run an asset allocation, because that's as important as the holdings.  We can dump stuff into MS but can't use the output per compliance, so there's nothing I can give to someone.  And our software doesn't allow us to do an asset allocation plan on anyone who is not a client. 


Bank FC, do you qualify people on the phone, or do you just meet with them first?




Mar 26, 2007 7:08 pm

I agree, it sounds like you are doing too much with assets that are probably not able to be transferred to you (like in a 401K at a current employer).

I do qualify people on the phone, and it only takes about 10 seconds.  "Yes Mr. Jones, I can definitely help you get that 401K rolled over.  About how much is it last time you checked?"  That's it.  No big deal at all.  If they don't want to answer that, then you shouldn't even meet.

That way, I know if it's $30,000 or $300,000, and I can prepare ahead of time accordingly.

Mar 27, 2007 2:18 am
newrookie:

Curious how many appts. bank brokers do a week.  I do 15 - don't know if that is average.


Probably 10-15 scheduled, but with walkins this number grows pretty fast, sometimes too fast. 


Also would like to know if you do 1 or 2 appts per prospect.  I currently do 2, but a wholesaler told me to shorten that to 1 because I need more volume.  But how can you assess someone, analyze what they have, and recommend all in one visit?  Seems like the client gets short-changed.


It depends.  Some people are 2 or more appointments, but many are just 1 appointment.  Maybe it's just me, but it seems like you are making this job too complicated.  Many of the referrals I get don't need major analysis, they have virtually all of their liquid net worth in bank products and little if anything in non-bank products.  After I have done my asset gathering/education presentation, which takes from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on questions and whether there are in fact assets to discover, I have a pretty good idea of their risk tolerance and goals, and what they have currently.  I'll recommend one of the mutual funds or VA's I use, but you could insert pretty much anything that you are comfortable with here.  The secret is don't reinvent the wheel.  I almost didn't survive long enough in this business to figure that out.


I do financial planning with all my clients.  I'm finding most bank reps don't do any.  What's the general consensus?  Do or not?


It depends, but most of my clients don't want/need full blown planning.  I do some if it will be helpful for them.


Do you set a minumum $$ amount for clients, and do you call and pre-qualify the bank referrals or just see them first?


I try to give small amounts to my licensed assistant, but pretty much anyone who the bank refers to us we talk to.  If they have money, they get the full treatment.  If not, unless I really like them or are bored that day, they get a pretty abreviated version of my presentation, and we either fill out paperwork to open the account now or they get shuttled out of the office.


Are your products the typical bank brokerage mutual fund and annuities, or do you use ETFs, separately managed accounts, fee-based accounts, individual bonds, etc.?


Some fee based, but primarily VA's and mutual funds, A and C shares.  Smattering of UIT's, bonds, stocks.


Who does your bank use as a B/D?  Good?  Bad?  Indifferent?


It's small enough that if I name it I will probably out myself. 


What other means do you use to prospect - quickly finding can't survive on bank referrals alone.  I'm used to major prospecting efforts (networking, forming professional alliances, etc.), which the bank finds foreign (they don't want me referring to any CPA or atty).


To be honest, I barely have time to service my existing book and the referrals from the bank.  I do some networking.  They are supportive of pretty much whatever I do, although when I mentioned doing occasional semi-cold calling they looked at me like I was from a different planet.  No one cared what I did, but the thought of phoning a non client or referal was foreign to them.


Your most productive networking will be within the bank.  One of the tellers did not care for me when I started.  She is also the one that all of the older clients with money go to, and the one the other tellers look to for an example because she has been there for 30 years.  I kissed her butt for a couple of months, and now she is my biggest referal source.  She personally sent me over $1.5mm of closed business last year, and for the first few months of the year she barely spoke to me and sent me nobody.


I've got a book I can start to bring over, but I'm concerned the platform is not as robust as what they were used to.


There was someone on this board that had 10 branches.  I'd like to know how in the world you handle that.  How many current clients are you talking about, how do you monitor all the existing assets, how do many people do you meet with, do you have a minimum, and do they make you go to branches just to "sit" and be visible when there are not appts. set at that branch? 


I don't have that many, but some in my program do.  The general rule is if the branch doesn't schedule 3 appts, the rep doesn't go.  Obviously if there is a good prospect, the rep has discretion to travel for fewer appts, or even for no appointments if he feels like he needs to get in some face time with the branch.


Do you limit yourself to just a few products that you put people into - someone else here was just putting people into their bank's asset allocation models.  Sounded like when someone came in, they filled out a questionnaire, then were directed to one of the models.  That's not nearly as "full-service" as I am used to at a wirehouse, but perhaps that's all there is time for at the bank level.


See above.  I don't think this is a wire/bank question.  I think it is an efficiency question.  If you spend hours analyzing every possible option for every client, you aren't doing them any favors because your replacement will just sell them out and buy American funds.  You have to streamline the process or you won't survive.


Do you have an asst. - PT or full-time?  Registered, unregistered?  What does the asst. do for you?


Full time licensed.  Basically I am copying the EDJ model where I started, if it doesn't require a license it should be taking up her time and not mine.  Since she is licensed, I am also feeding her a few new clients who I don't think will turn into anything worthwhile, but we still need to meet with the $2,000 IRA's to keep bank management happy.


Just trying to get some parameters so I know what other people are doing, and how our bank program compares.