Cold Calling/Prospecting

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Nov 7, 2008 12:12 pm

I need new money like a bear needs food out of hibernation.


I would like to start a new thread to help motivate or inspire myself to get on the phone.  It's been a while since I pounded the phones, and so I feel a little out of it now.


I'm sure some of you are calling and pitching a 5% muni.  Others might be calling to see if the prospect is getting the service they need from their advisor. 
 
I've found that when I have someone in the office, it is very easy to educate them as to why their portfolio has suffered.  They may have thought they were diversified, but after explaining to them correlation of their assets, they want whatever it is I am talking about.
 
I guess I would like to know what some of you are saying that is getting their attention on the phone, which I know is not easy during any market.
 
I think there is a huge opportunity with people that might only have around $100k and don't have any advisor or are not on their advisor's radar.  I've brought in or talked to a bunch of these people in the last couple of months. 
 
One other point:  I've had a couple discussions with folks that most retirement models are based on averaging 7 or 8% per year.  Obviously, the last 10 years have not shown that to happen, what if the next 10 don't as well?  What is their back-up plan?  Basically, if I can get them to question what they are doing and whether or not it will work, they might be more open to listen to my strategies.
 
Let's make this a good thread so we can all make some more money.
Nov 7, 2008 12:48 pm

I have been doing a lot of seminars lately, and for the most part, people just want answers....what do I do now?  how can I avoid a calamity?  what should I do with my 401K?

 
Unless you stumble upon a muni buyer, I don't know that product pitch is the way to go for cold calling.  I would play the "what has your advisor been telling you to do?" or "what is your employer telling you to do with your 401K?"  Unless they have buckets of money , they are probably not getting much in the way of proactive service from an advisor.  This is especially true if they are at most banks (note that I said MOST, not ALL).  So it is much easier to play that card than pitching a bond.  But that's my opinion.  Others may do very well pitching muni's to strangers today (one caveat would be if you are in an area with a lot of wealthy retirees, or some other area that would have a large population of muni buyers).
Nov 7, 2008 1:09 pm

Good info BTwoFour. 

 
It could be good to cold call someone and say, "I'm calling because people are looking for answers and they aren't getting them.  Tell me, Joe, what has your advisor been telling you to do at this time?"
 
Or something to that effect.
 
 
Nov 7, 2008 1:30 pm

[quote=snaggletooth]Good info BTwoFour. 

 
It could be good to cold call someone and say, "I'm calling because people are looking for answers and they aren't getting them.  Tell me, Joe, what has your advisor been telling you to do at this time?"
 
Or something to that effect.
 
 ---


That's good. I set an appt two minutes ago with: 'I'm finding that people are looking for answers regarding their retirement plans, their 401ks, the market -- are you getting the answers you need?''

 
Nov 7, 2008 2:54 pm

I think that pitch would work as long as they would consider leaving their current firm. I find for some people where they invest is like where they go to church, they aren't leaving for any reason..



I call on a product, private reit, because only independent firms have access to it. So that limits the number of people who are hearing that pitch..Also a complicated product, so leads to appointment

Nov 7, 2008 3:09 pm

Just did a low-key dinner meeting last night with 6 BellSouth/AT&T guys and their spouses who are looking at buyout/401k rollover decisions.  I've really started to groove on this type of meeting, as opposed to the formal, big deal, official seminar with a wholesaler and powerpoint show.  I send out letters/call my clients who are spheres of influence at places like the local utilities, small manufacturing cos., school board folks, local Fed. gov't TSP participants, etc., and invite a half dozen of them directly.  If they come and bring a friend, great.  If they come by themselves, still great, because the time and $300 I'd spend on a meeting like that will more firmly bond them to me, and they also tell their co-workers, "Hey, guess where I went for dinner last night, and guess what I learned..."

 
The presentation is almost always "Take It, Leave It, Move It, Roll It,"  and they are always hungry for the details and distribution options.  Even more so, lately.
 
I never liked cold calling, and this is working for me right now.  Couple of times each quarter seems to be enough.
Nov 7, 2008 3:09 pm

I am starting a new campaign tomorrow. I figured no one is calling on saturday, especially after this week...

Nov 7, 2008 7:00 pm

Hollo Joe Blow this is Gaddock with AGE here in Some town. I was calling to see if you would be receptive to discussing ideas that may insure your savings from further loss?

Nov 7, 2008 8:30 pm

I'd like to hear about those products myself. My own account could use them.

Nov 7, 2008 11:21 pm

Couple things here:



The ideas presented here are all good. There is no wrong way to prospect. Well, other than not doing it. 2wheel is doing a version of something we do. Excellent way to go and something everyone on this board can do. You could use it as an alternative prospecting channel if nothing else.


Regarding calling on munis- also a great way to go. The purpose here is to earn a spot at the client's table. The quickest way to do that is through a product sale. What better way than high quality fixed income? It doesn't have to be a muni, even though they are my favorite. Preferreds, CDs, MBS, all will work well.  The added beni with munis and especially preferreds is the very stock market like built in cap gains moving forward. Great time to buy these issues right now. And the clients get paid to wait. win win. But there's a bigger win. And that win is you sitting at their table and gaining their trust. That gives you a shot at everything. A shot you may not have gotten had you called and offered a portfolio review. And if you never get the shot at it all at least you've got a nice revenue generating client buying fixed income from you. How bad is that? Let me give you an idea. You call them up and say, joe, i know you were looking for some XYZ bonds I just got some in. The bad news is i only have 300 of them. The good news is they are priced right at par. That'll be $304652 and i can put them away for you right now. The clients says go for it, they get a great bond anf you book 6K gross. It takes less than five minutes. Then off you go to the next one.  maybe the next one only grosses you $600, and the one after that $1000. You get the point, it's production today! Puts money on the table today instead of the 3 to 6 month lead time going thru the investment process. And with each of these clients the potential to go through that process as well as develope them as referal sources is no different than with any other form of business.


Lastly, Stok hasn't chimed in yet, but do a search. he has an excellent cold calling process that delivers consistant # of appointments every week.
Nov 8, 2008 12:57 pm

What do you do with this call?

Intro: 'We're all set.
Tax free presentation: 'Yeah, but we're all set.
Any questions on the market (or 401k, or retirement planning): We're all set.  We've got somebody'
Try another line of questioning: Click.
 
Call did not want to engage in anything but it seems to me that person has some money and has an advisor so passes the first qualification test. Do you send them something and call them again ... or delete the number and move onto the next person?
 
Nov 8, 2008 2:18 pm

Although I don't groove on cold calling, as I've pointed out here before, we've all done it and may have to do it some more.  Early on (first 6-12 mos. in the biz) when I was calling every Tues. and Thurs. night, my last ditch effort at that type of conversation was one of two approaches, unless they were being jerks about it.  I wouldn't send them anything, but try one of these two final approaches before deleting and moving on.


#1 Them: "We've got somebody, we're all set...."
Me: "I'm so glad to hear that, and would expect that of someone living in (neighborhood where you're calling).  In fact, many of my most successful clients were already working with an investment professional when I met them, and already understood how (specific muni, insured preferred, highly rated utility issue) could be a great addition to a strong portfolio...."
 
With that, you're going for broke with some sexy yielding issue that you've got in your back pocket, and hoping to intrigue them with the yield.  It becomes a product call, and you're committed to that, sink or swim.  They ask for more info, especially if it's a local issue with a name they recognize, and then the conversation really starts.  Unfortunately, this type of client, if you end up working with them, will always be a yield whore, and they'll probably leave you for someone prettier with a nicer butt and a full, pouty yield.
 
#2 Them: "We've got somebody, we're all set..."
(Feel, Felt, Found)
Me: "I know exactly how you feel.  In fact, many of my most successful clients felt the same way when I first was introduced to them.  But what they found when we visited for just a moment, was that my approach to investment planning was a distinctly different approach to minimizing risk, maximizing income, and keeping the tax man away...."
 
If they didn't respond to either of those, I nuked 'em from my file and moved on.  Not the only way, but a couple of things that worked for me back when Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky.
Nov 8, 2008 2:56 pm

tks, wheelbeamer.

Nov 8, 2008 3:57 pm
Squash:

I am starting a new campaign tomorrow. I figured no one is calling on saturday, especially after this week...

 
So, Squash, how goes the Saturday effort?  Anything you can share with the rest of the class?
Nov 8, 2008 9:30 pm

Had some call reluctance for the first ummm hour (you know stuff that HAD to be done) then i said F&!$ it, and made 80 calls, got two appointments for next week, and 6 call backs, and will mail out 5 items.... So it works once I stopped being scared(which is a big issue for most people I think).. I called from 9-11am, but got most of the contacts after 10, so next weekend I might start calling at 10 and go til 12 or 1pm..

Nov 8, 2008 10:59 pm

Very cool.  Congrats! 

Nov 9, 2008 10:18 am
Squash:

Had some call reluctance for the first ummm hour (you know stuff that HAD to be done) then i said F&!$ it, and made 80 calls, got two appointments for next week, and 6 call backs, and will mail out 5 items.... So it works once I stopped being scared(which is a big issue for most people I think).. I called from 9-11am, but got most of the contacts after 10, so next weekend I might start calling at 10 and go til 12 or 1pm..



Thanks for the info & congrats on the results AND the activity!  Just to be clear, did you call on business owners?  And how do you define "call" (dials?...or actually talking to decision maker?)

Nov 9, 2008 5:51 pm

How are you guys getting around the DNC list?  Do you have a scrubbing mechanism?  Or are you just calling businesses?

Nov 9, 2008 10:18 pm

I was calling residential... I am talking about 80 dials...