Cold Calling Journey

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Dec 5, 2011 8:06 pm

I am just getting started a major wirehouse and am going at it strictly by cold calling following a variation of the 500 day war.  I am pitching product using municipal bonds at this point, even when we dont have any in inventory just to introduce a concept and see if people are interested in talking.  I am using a modification of a bill good script which goes like this:

"May I speak with mr./mrs. prospect name?  Mr./Mrs. prospect name this is ____ with ____.  Can you hear me ok on this phone?" (strangely enough I have a little stutter when I start saying can and it really seems to diffuse the situation)

They all usually say yes I Can.

"Mr./Mrs _____ I am calling today with important information about state tax free municipal bonds.  Have you heard of these before?"

They then answer with a yes/no and in any situation I briefly explain what it is and then say Can I send you some information.  If someone says no, and it is not a hard no I ask them what they do invest in.  If they say yes I confirm some basic information and then ask their first name and ask permission to call them by that.  I then ask if a potential investment of 50,000 would be a problem for them.  Depending on how they answer, either no, or maybe not at this time I will ask follow up questions like "What amount would you be willing to, or What other investment accounts do you havE(trying to uncover assets like cds, iras, annuties etc, but never get any concrete numbers)  I then agree to send them some information.  If at this point they are still interested and havent flat out said I do not have money I will send them info.  I also mention to people who say they have an ira/mfs that after the first of the year may be a good time to look at their portfolio and make sure it is inline with their risk/objectives.

At this point I am averaging between 150-200 dials a day, and am reaching approximantely 30-45 people a day, and of those people am keeping 7-10 names on my index cards(i keep important notes like any other investments, hobbies, major purchases and whether they mention another advisor)

Here is where I am struggling to figure out about where to go next.  When I start cycling through and calling them back, should I have a concrete bond, or simply ask if they have had a chance to read the info I sent and start uncovering need.   Any advice on that would be awesome.  

Mondays stats:

160 dials

9 prospects(names I wrote down for mailing)

0 appts set(although a few seeds were planted)

thanks for all the help, I feel like this forum has helped me see that cold calling can and will work and that starting with a product is much easier than pitching a portfolio review

Dec 5, 2011 8:32 pm

how do you have no munis in inventory at a wirehouse?  

You guys do realize that they don't have to be in state, right?  While buying out of state may subject the buyer to STATE tax, they are still fed tax free.  That means you are talking 5-8% instead of 35%.  Check your state laws.  Some states (like indiana) don't tax ANY munis - you can buy out of state.  I believe there are 3-4 other states like this.

I have never witnessed a wirehouse having 0 bonds.  That would be absurd.  

Dec 5, 2011 8:51 pm

[quote=FADavo]

how do you have no munis in inventory at a wirehouse?  

You guys do realize that they don't have to be in state, right?  While buying out of state may subject the buyer to STATE tax, they are still fed tax free.  That means you are talking 5-8% instead of 35%.  Check your state laws.  Some states (like indiana) don't tax ANY munis - you can buy out of state.  I believe there are 3-4 other states like this.

I have never witnessed a wirehouse having 0 bonds.  That would be absurd.  

[/quote]

we have tons of munis just havent considered on calling on ones that are out of state...

Dec 5, 2011 9:02 pm

edit: double post

Dec 5, 2011 9:42 pm

What kind of list are you calling on to get that dial/contact ratio? Business or residential?

Dec 5, 2011 10:40 pm

[quote=BigRedFan]Here is where I am struggling to figure out about where to go next.  When I start cycling through and calling them back, should I have a concrete bond, or simply ask if they have had a chance to read the info I sent and start uncovering need.   Any advice on that would be awesome.[/quote]

Well that depends.

If you're calling due to being curious as to whether or not they had a chance to read the info you sent, then ask them if they had a chance to read the info you sent.

If you're calling because you want to sell a bond and make commission and acquire a new client, then followup and pitch a bond. In doing so, don't ask if they received the info, tell them you spoke earlier and you sent that info and you have a couple things to go over.. (have you bought muni bonds before? etc)

Dec 6, 2011 9:25 pm

[quote=Mr. Net New]

What kind of list are you calling on to get that dial/contact ratio? Business or residential?

[/quote]

some business/some residential I would say a 50/50 split right now

Another 150 dials with 9 prospects added 

Dec 7, 2011 11:38 am

Started making some cold calls today on preffered stock and not really sure of a good script. I have something along the lines of "hello, this is blank with blank and we have a limited amount of blank preffered shares that are yielding 7% while cds are just yielding 1.15% would you be interested?

Can anyone offer any recommendations

Dec 7, 2011 7:46 pm

Worked the whole day on the scipt posted my stats for the day are

206  calls

50 contacts

4 prospects(one guy seemed very interesting and we set a phone appointment for 9:30 tomorrow morning)

When calling on these preffered and they say they are interested I ask them for an order of 25,000.  I had a few people say ok, but when people balk I ask "Mr./Mrs. whoever what kind of investment would you be comfortable with at this time"

I asked a few brokers in my office about this and they said since I am just getting going there is nothing wrong with opening an account with a 5-10,000 dollar ticket if they mention other accounts you could go after once you show that you wont lead them astray.

Am open to any more advice that some of you cold calling allstars can provide(bondguy, longshot, alltheway)

Dec 7, 2011 8:19 pm

Big Red,

Great job, good for you working the phones to drum up business. Still a bit early to gauge results. If your firm allows you to open at those levels, great......stick to making those contacts for the next 2 weeks to get over th teethin period....build confidence and get into a steady prospecting rythme of doing it consistently.

On the first call, if you don't get an order, mention you WILL be getting back to them with something of value......and try and get a feel for what they do, bonds, munis, shares......ask where could you add value, and so on.

Then, make sure they have done this before (buying bonds, stocks.... on the phone)maybe they only buy from the local bank...so ask......" You have done this before, buying bonds, stocks,etc..like this...RIGHT? if yes, great, go back later and present a good solution.

If No, be honest and say you would like to be a trusted and sensible provider of tailored solutions, if I came back to you with something that would do XXXXX like you said, would you be willing to give myself and my firm the opportunity to work with you in this regard? The answer will help keep the pipeline clean of unqualified's and enable you to zero in on the types of products to focuss on.......

Still, build prospecting momentum, and the numbers will catch up to your activities......Good luck...keep us posted.

All The Way

Dec 7, 2011 8:26 pm

Interesting thoughts all the way. I have only been on the phone for about a week and have mailed 30 people information at this point. I guess with anything new it is tough to see the direction that this activity will take, as far as how callbacks go etc.

Still getting used to asking questions and i never ask how much is in their Ira, or how much in cds they have. It is something I am still getting comfortable with.

Dec 8, 2011 8:57 pm

Brutal Day today, was in sort of a funk all day

204 calls

43 contacts

2 prospects

My prospect count has gone down since I first started cold calling, i think it is due to the fact that I am qualifying for interest on the project(still looking for that on the phone close).  We got a decent muni bond in inventory today that I started calling on this afternoon, and didnt have any prospects off of that.  My pitch for that was very brief and was just "Hi this is ____ from ____.  I just had a new university of ___ muni bond that came across my desk that is paying 3% TFree.  Would you be interested?"  Shutup and listen a couple people said no, and I just said thanks and hung up, started thinking that maybe I should have asked what kind of investments do you do.  Still feel like I need to refine my pitch to really get people to stop and think about it for a moment.  Still looking for some help on a good script

Dec 9, 2011 12:42 am

[quote=BigRedFan]

Brutal Day today, was in sort of a funk all day

204 calls

43 contacts

2 prospects

My prospect count has gone down since I first started cold calling, i think it is due to the fact that I am qualifying for interest on the project(still looking for that on the phone close).  We got a decent muni bond in inventory today that I started calling on this afternoon, and didnt have any prospects off of that.  My pitch for that was very brief and was just "Hi this is ____ from ____.  I just had a new university of ___ muni bond that came across my desk that is paying 3% TFree.  Would you be interested?"  Shutup and listen a couple people said no, and I just said thanks and hung up, started thinking that maybe I should have asked what kind of investments do you do.  Still feel like I need to refine my pitch to really get people to stop and think about it for a moment.  Still looking for some help on a good script

[/quote]

Everything's good except the 3%, I'd hang up too. Are you serious? Find something better.

Dec 9, 2011 8:11 am

That's the ytc as it is callable in 5 yrs. Coupon on the bond is 5% should I use that

Dec 9, 2011 8:19 pm

Pretty interesting day today

174 calls

47 contacts

2 prospects added

1 appointment set(called someone back who I sent info to on monday about this bond)  they are coming in tomorrow morning.  hoping to sell 25-50 bonds and move the rest of their bonds over

chop chop chopping wood

Dec 12, 2011 7:29 pm

Saturday was an interesting day, numbers below

75 calls
7 contacts
1 prospect

Had the meeting and for my first meeting ever it really helped me gain some confidence in what I was doing. The guy said he wasn't interested in moving forward at that time but there is always a chance so who knows

Today's activities

211 calls
50 contacts
2 prospects

Called back 5 existing prospects and was able to eliminate one, will am to call 5 a day back since I mailed out so much info.

Pitch revision is happening albeit it slowly. Itching for that first account or person to open an account? Had a woman tell me she was gonna sleep on a bond idea tonight. Pretty positive that's a constructive way of telling me no.

It will come, I will get it. Just keep dialing 200 dials a day 50 contacts no excuses get it done. Someone will buy.

Dec 12, 2011 9:07 pm

Also, one other question. How Long should I wait between initial contact when I mail something and then the follow up contact

Dec 12, 2011 9:50 pm

Hey...BigRed...well done on your 1st meeting....stick to everything you mentioned in your last post...and you'll be just fine. hats off.....good job.

All The Way

Dec 13, 2011 8:43 pm

[quote=All The Way]

Hey...BigRed...well done on your 1st meeting....stick to everything you mentioned in your last post...and you'll be just fine. hats off.....good job.

All The Way

[/quote]

Thanks All the Way.  just keep pluging away. 

Todays Stats:

236 calls

54 contacts

5 prospects

4 call backs

I found a solid five prospects today which I felt really good about.  A guy told me he needed to do something with 10k before the end of the month and he had lots of accounts elsewhere.  I am going to try and close him this next week and then work on bringing over the rest of his accounts.  Another guy that I did not count to my prospects list told me he would just end up sharing my idea with his current advisor, not sure how I felt about that or how to respond.

On my call backs I have been split between pushing a product or just building a little bit more rapport.  Yesterday I focused on a specific idea, and today with prospects who could be much bigger I focused on asking if they got my info, and just talking for a few minutes finding details to connect to them with(i.e. big trips for christmas, major purchases upcoming).  Of course one of those guys told me before that he was upset with his current broker and I figure taking an interest in him is a good place to start, and another guy just bought about 300k of land last week and we are targeting mid jan for something

Dec 14, 2011 1:51 am

[quote=BigRedFan]

[quote=All The Way]

Hey...BigRed...well done on your 1st meeting....stick to everything you mentioned in your last post...and you'll be just fine. hats off.....good job.

All The Way

[/quote]

On my call backs I have been split between pushing a product or just building a little bit more rapport.[/quote]

That's easy, close.  Build rapport after they're a satisfied buyer.