Are a lot of people cold calling right now?

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Feb 27, 2009 3:52 pm

What kind of reaction are you getting?  I have been doing some, and not getting a very good response.  Some people are mad, some don’t even want to talk about anything, and some are actually interested in getting some advice. 

What are other people experiencing with cold prospecting?
Feb 27, 2009 4:37 pm

Some people hang up on me.  Some people set appointments.  Some tell me to call in the future.   Basically, I haven’t noticed any noticable change.

Feb 28, 2009 10:30 am

I don’t think it matters.  If the market sucks, people say they are reluctant to talk.  If the market is good, their broker is a genius.  I haven’t noticed much change over the past 12 months.

Feb 28, 2009 10:36 am

You just have to find some pain… Everyone needs their portfolio reevaluated in this market…

  I try to throw out a solution that they probably don't have(alternative investments, not offered by competitors in my area)..   I think if you can create that wedge, using fear/hope, change in investment strategy...   Ask them what their portfolio has gained in the last 8-10 years(probably not much).. People will talk( I am finding a lot of ML,SB and wachovia accts)..
Mar 1, 2009 11:46 am

What are you generally leading with right now? We are in such a weird environment, it feels like the message should be something to catch their attention. I just have trouble coming up with a message that I feel comfortable delivering right now (on cold calls). It’s one thing when you are sitting in front of someone and have time to develop your message and position. But I find it hard to craft a good message that can be delivered in 10 seconds.

Mar 1, 2009 1:14 pm

I don’t know if this information is helpful or not…

  Here's my calendar for this past Friday:   9:45     Prospect 1: Associate in Firm "A" 10:00   Prospect 2: Associate in Firm "B" 10:15   Prospect 3: Associate in Firm "B" 10:30   Prospect 4: Associate in Firm "B" 10:45  Prospect 5: Associate in Firm "A" 11:00  Prospect 6: Associate in Firm "B" 11:45   Prospect 7: Associate in Firm "B"   Firm A and B were a 5 minute walk from each other.  These are all attorneys in decent sized law firms.   Basic phone language used: Prospect 1 and Prospect 5:  "I tried to meet with you last week when I was in your office meeting with Tom Smith (a partner in the firm).  Unfortunately, I ran out of time.  Do you have some availability on Friday either at 9:45 or 1:00 for a few minutes?"   Prospect 2, 3, 4, and 7: "I have some meetings in your office on Friday.  Do you have 5-10 minutes of time at 10:00?"   Prospect 6: I don't remember.  This was a follow up meeting and I think that this was also originally a cold call.   Results: Prospect 1: Stood me up.  The receptionist said that he was out of the office because his wife just had a baby.   Propect 2:    I was unable to schedule a follow up meeting with him.  He's expecting a substantial raise in the beginning of April and wants to get together then.  There is definitely rollover money along with needs for life and disability insurance.  If he wanted to wait until June or July, I would have pushed harder for a follow up appointment.   Prospect 3: There's definitely no investment business now, but will make a life insurance and disability insurance sale.  Follow up meeting is this upcoming week.   Prospect 4: Very little investment business now, but will make 2 life insurance sales and one disability insurance sale.  Need to follow up this week to schedule.  Appointment wasn't made on the spot because we need his wife involved.   Prospect 5: I was running late and when I called her, she was already on a confernce call, so I have to reschedule.   Prospect 6: Filled out applications for some supplemental disability insurance and some life insurance.   The commission on the DI will be about $500.  For the life insurance, it will be between $700 and $3000.   Prospect 7: She said that she didn't have time to meet with me.   All 7 of these prospects make in the neighborhood of $150,000 and will make more in the future.  They are all good insurance prospects now, and poor current investment prospects.  These are the type of people that wirehouse reps don't want, yet are extremely profitable.   Of the 7, 2-5 of them will become clients.   As a pretty reasonable guess, I will make $5,000-$10,000 on them this year.  I will make just as much on renewals from this business.  More importantly, I will be adding 2-5 quality clients.  This means that they'll be lots of easy money to be made on future investments along with easy money to be made on future insurance sales and very easy money to be made on future term conversions.    For my practice, the amount of money that I make on a new client is irrelevant.  Bringing in quality new clients brings in tons of future revenue.  I've always kicked the butts of wirehouse reps.  It's not because I'm any better.  It's just because by the time that most of my clients make a decent prospect for a wirehouse rep, I've had them locked up for several years.    These people met with me without having much of a clue as to what I do.  The attitude is "What the heck.  The guy is going to be in my firm.  I can spare a few minutes."   My methods only work because I don't need a prospect to have much in the way of investable assets.  
Mar 1, 2009 3:34 pm

And how in the world do you sell so much insurance?

Mar 1, 2009 4:53 pm

"1.  You always say you ask these prospects if they have “5 or 10 minutes to meet with you for a quick introduction.”  So the question is, what the hell do you say to them in 5 minutes, when all they know ahead of time is that you are “stopping by for a quick introduction?”

  Me: "Thanks for taking the time to meet with me.  I work with _____ (lots of other attorneys in your firm) (mostly partners in law firms) (mostly business owners like yourself) (etc.)   "My objective for today is to let you know exactly what I do and how I work.  I want to find out one of three things.  Either it makes sense to have a serious financial conversation with you now or it doesn't make sense to have one with you now, but it may at some point in the future or let's find out that we should never talk again."   The last part is said with a smile and always brings a laugh.  I have no idea why because it's not really funny.  However, something about it immediately lightens the mood.   "The way that I work is pretty simple.  I ask lots of questions.  Let me rephrase that.  I ask lots of personal questions.  I want to find out your goals and objectives and what you are trying to accomplish.  We then look to see if what you are currently doing will get you to where you want to be.  If not, we need to figure out what you should be doing to get you to where you want to be.  For instance, we need to see what should you be doing inside of work and what you should be doing outside of work.  Let me ask you a question, "What is your biggest financial concern?"   I then shut up for as long as possible.   If my schedule and their schedule allows, I often take a fact finder on the spot.    2.  You also generally say you are meeting with 'Person X @ 123 Main Street' already, so you'll call other people in the same building and say "Hi Person Y, I'm going to be in your building on Friday meeting with Person X, do you have 5 minutes to meet with me, blah, blah, blah."    Question is...how do you get the first appointment with "Person X" in order to say that you'll already be in the building, or in the area, or next door?   I'm not necessarily asking Question 2 for myself - I have plenty of existing contacts I could use as an excusve to be "In person X's building" - but what if a person was completely new/new, including new to their area?  No contacts whatsoever.  Would your system still work?  Would it need modified?    I don't think that it would have to be modified.  Despite the fact that my calendar is empty on Friday, I'm going to be in his building on Friday because if he agrees to meet with me on Friday, I'm going to call a bunch of other people in his building to meet with me on Friday.
Mar 1, 2009 5:01 pm
Borker Boy:

And how in the world do you sell so much insurance?

  My fact finders always start by asking someone about their biggest financial concern.  As they are rambling, it's not uncommon for someone to say, "I don't think that I have enough insurance."    More often, though, insurance isn't mentioned.  Instead, they talk about retirement, and buying a new house, and sending kids to college, and having more savings,  and paying debt. etc.  I repeat back to them everything that they tell me.  I then ask if they die or become disabled if they still have these goals for their family.  The answer is always "yes".   Term life insurance is too cheap not to do and disability income insurance is too critical not to do.    
Mar 1, 2009 7:05 pm

[quote=Borker Boy]And how in the world do you sell so much insurance?[/quote]


do you guys even approach clients with the mindset that “yes, i actually do (or can) sell insurance?”  maybe it is just how you cut your teeth in the financial services world, but it surprises me that many fa’s find insurance “hard” to sell, but not investments.  just like anything else, you’ll get comfortable with it after awhile.

and i read this board fairly often, and would recommend any ir/fa or whatever you call yourself, that adding a simple insurance conversation to your client meeting(s) will flatten out many bumps in the road of building a fee based practice.  it is almost impossible to NOT add an extra $1000-$2000/month in insurance sales if you simply ask.

Mar 1, 2009 8:15 pm
Two pronged answer. I. On the cold calls. it's about the same level of responsiveness or non responsiveness as normal. ONe has to do enough calls to know they have a meaningful sample of past calls to know if the present environment is different. A colleague recently asked me, so I checked stats for this time Feb 2007 and Feb 2008. The numbers were about the same as now in terms of actualy conversations, people who expressed interest or pound sand, etc. On insurance.   II. I always ask about insurances, including property,  vehicle, and in business environments, I ask about w-comp, D&O, Key man, health, disability, etc so that I have the big picture.  The key is to have a strategic alliance with people who can add value by being a vendor you can refer people to.
Mar 2, 2009 11:26 am

[quote=anonymous]I don’t know if this information is helpful or not…

  Here's my calendar for this past Friday:   9:45     Prospect 1: Associate in Firm "A" 10:00   Prospect 2: Associate in Firm "B" 10:15   Prospect 3: Associate in Firm "B" 10:30   Prospect 4: Associate in Firm "B" 10:45  Prospect 5: Associate in Firm "A" 11:00  Prospect 6: Associate in Firm "B" 11:45   Prospect 7: Associate in Firm "B"   Firm A and B were a 5 minute walk from each other.  These are all attorneys in decent sized law firms.   Basic phone language used: Prospect 1 and Prospect 5:  "I tried to meet with you last week when I was in your office meeting with Tom Smith (a partner in the firm).  Unfortunately, I ran out of time.  Do you have some availability on Friday either at 9:45 or 1:00 for a few minutes?"   Prospect 2, 3, 4, and 7: "I have some meetings in your office on Friday.  Do you have 5-10 minutes of time at 10:00?"   Prospect 6: I don't remember.  This was a follow up meeting and I think that this was also originally a cold call.   Results: Prospect 1: Stood me up.  The receptionist said that he was out of the office because his wife just had a baby.   Propect 2:    I was unable to schedule a follow up meeting with him.  He's expecting a substantial raise in the beginning of April and wants to get together then.  There is definitely rollover money along with needs for life and disability insurance.  If he wanted to wait until June or July, I would have pushed harder for a follow up appointment.   Prospect 3: There's definitely no investment business now, but will make a life insurance and disability insurance sale.  Follow up meeting is this upcoming week.   Prospect 4: Very little investment business now, but will make 2 life insurance sales and one disability insurance sale.  Need to follow up this week to schedule.  Appointment wasn't made on the spot because we need his wife involved.   Prospect 5: I was running late and when I called her, she was already on a confernce call, so I have to reschedule.   Prospect 6: Filled out applications for some supplemental disability insurance and some life insurance.   The commission on the DI will be about $500.  For the life insurance, it will be between $700 and $3000.   Prospect 7: She said that she didn't have time to meet with me.   All 7 of these prospects make in the neighborhood of $150,000 and will make more in the future.  They are all good insurance prospects now, and poor current investment prospects.  These are the type of people that wirehouse reps don't want, yet are extremely profitable.   Of the 7, 2-5 of them will become clients.   As a pretty reasonable guess, I will make $5,000-$10,000 on them this year.  I will make just as much on renewals from this business.  More importantly, I will be adding 2-5 quality clients.  This means that they'll be lots of easy money to be made on future investments along with easy money to be made on future insurance sales and very easy money to be made on future term conversions.    For my practice, the amount of money that I make on a new client is irrelevant.  Bringing in quality new clients brings in tons of future revenue.  I've always kicked the butts of wirehouse reps.  It's not because I'm any better.  It's just because by the time that most of my clients make a decent prospect for a wirehouse rep, I've had them locked up for several years.    These people met with me without having much of a clue as to what I do.  The attitude is "What the heck.  The guy is going to be in my firm.  I can spare a few minutes."   My methods only work because I don't need a prospect to have much in the way of investable assets.  [/quote]   Actually very helpful.  Thanks.  Sometimes I get caught up in the "big pitch" and overthink things.