Cold walking - what's your pitch (today)?

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Jul 1, 2011 9:40 pm

I went cold walking in a middle-class residential neighborhood today. First time and I'm with a wirehouse (and not EDJ).

I'll be honest, I was nervous. The hardest part was forcing myself to get out of the car and walk to that first house. By house #4 I made my first contact and a prospect.

By the time I was done I had talked to 25 people and gotten 3 prospects on a perfect summer day.

My "pitch" is that I'm a FA with XYZ firm, I wanted to intoduce myself and see if I can help you. I work with people who are retiring within 10 years or already retired.

If they have a FA already, I tell them that I'm not there to steal them away but rather that I can compliment what they're already doing.

If they express at least some interest I give them a 1 page summary of what I do along with my business card and ask for permission to follow up in the future.

If I'm told some version of no but its not immediately followed by a closing of the door I then ask them if they know of anyone I should talk to.

I've read some older post (circa 2005-2007) about cold walking but what I
would really like to know is what are you guys saying today?

Thanks,

-PF

Jul 16, 2011 11:32 am

get a job at the bank, then go to wire house, then go RIA, then sell business...may the wind be at your back!..

I used to knock doors for LTC sales in the 80's, so i know the numbers work out, keep it up.

Jul 16, 2011 2:15 pm

Looks like what you are doing is working-- so keep doing it. I have been in the business a very long time but haven't cold walked so take what I say with a grain of salt.

My approach would be more product based. a muni bond or a index CD or a preferred stock. I would ask what their thoughts are about the cost of living going sky high. IE coffee is up 41% price of gas is up, a pound of cheese is up 20%. Do they think taxes may be higher in the future? Maybe they should sit down and talk more about increasing their income and which products may fit their risk profile.

Look forward to seeing your results.

Jul 17, 2011 5:05 am

Zingding, the U.S. Government can tag Annuities and any other assets where other entities can not.  So, you might wanna take that part out.  Oh, and go enroll in a CFP program or other such professional designation program so you learn what you're talking about and not providing misinformation.  

Jul 20, 2011 9:48 pm

When you are an actual cfp, then you can talk, but for now you are "2BE", it makes me laugh reading your rebuke, you will probably fail the cfp exam. Retirement accounts are protected in bankruptcy up to a certain amount, the amount varies depending on the type of retirement account. Signed, a real cfp.

Jul 25, 2011 3:07 pm

Zwing: I found your post informative. - I've only cold walked businesses. I used the approach of having a handout of some kind. It really didn't matter what it was. - It was the fact that I was there, introducing myself, that they knew I was there looking for business of some kind. Either they would not accept my handout (already have someone, or have no $$$) or they would. Ok to send me more info on some other subject, or newsletter, via email or mail.

It was just a way to get out for a day and try something new. Like anything, just have to be persistent, as it all works... eventually.

Jul 28, 2011 9:49 am

Here's my thoughts in a nutshell (for residential):

1. Don't wear a suit. Wear nice pants and a polo shirt or dress shirt (sleeves cuffed). Why? The suit scares the shit out of people. Trust me. I tested it both ways. The response I got when I went with the polo shirt was WAY better than in the suit/tie. Plus people think you're either a politician or a religious nut.

2. Remember, you're NOT selling at the doorstep. This is like an advertisement for your business. You try to sell at the door, and you are going to turn most people off. Sure you'll get an occassional bite, but by and large, you should just be a walking advertisement for your business. They key is to get their e-mail and/or phone number (plus address) so you can drip on them.  This is NOT a place to try and close business. Be very casual.

3. Send a thank you note and business card to them. Snail Mail. Why? They will keep the card.

4. Unless you're in a retirement community, the best times to walk are 4-7pm and Saturdays. Don't waste your time on residences during the morning/early afternoon. Nobody is home.

5. Be casual. Just tell them you are getting to know people in the area. Don't ask them stupid financial questions. It's not your business yet. And don't talk about their lovely gardens or other obviously fake small talk.

"Hey, I'm CJFA from ML. I'm just introducing myself to residents in the area, and telling them a little about me and my practice. If you don't mind, I'll leave you with this, and I'll also add you to my mailing list for interesting articles, newlstters, seminar invites, etc.. What's the best e-mail to use?"

Obviously, that's not one big line. There will hopefully be some dialogue in there. But you get the picture. RESIST the temptation to get all salesy on them.

Aug 1, 2011 12:12 am

[quote=LoveInvesting]When you are an actual cfp, then you can talk, but for now you are "2BE", it makes me laugh reading your rebuke, you will probably fail the cfp exam. Retirement accounts are protected in bankruptcy up to a certain amount, the amount varies depending on the type of retirement account. Signed, a real cfp.[/quote]

Hey U <3 Investing,

I am a CFP now, so f*** off!  I've been on this board a helluva lot longer than you, and I created that username many years ago.  Re-read my post.  I simply said the US Gov't can tag annuities and any other assets that are normally sheltered from creditors.  Where was the innacuracy?  I never mentioned limits or distinction between the protection afforded to 401ks, IRAs, or annuities.  

Aug 1, 2011 10:28 am

Does anyone ever try to give away a bribe or something for the appointment? Like a $25 gas card if we meet for 30 minutes or something? Then if you get some interest in the gas card, and they are agreeable to having an appointment, you could then qualify them a little - like: so do you have a pension or x y or z other criteria that you want your ideal prospect to have and if they have it, schedule the appointment and tell them they get the gas card at the appt. If they don't meet the criteria, then tell them too bad, the gas card is only available for those that meet the criteria and then move on. It doesn't have to be a gas card, but something of value that would make people interested in continuing the discussion eg CVS gift card or Walmart gift card.

Aug 1, 2011 3:19 pm

[quote=media61]

Does anyone ever try to give away a bribe or something for the appointment? Like a $25 gas card if we meet for 30 minutes or something? Then if you get some interest in the gas card, and they are agreeable to having an appointment, you could then qualify them a little - like: so do you have a pension or x y or z other criteria that you want your ideal prospect to have and if they have it, schedule the appointment and tell them they get the gas card at the appt. If they don't meet the criteria, then tell them too bad, the gas card is only available for those that meet the criteria and then move on. It doesn't have to be a gas card, but something of value that would make people interested in continuing the discussion eg CVS gift card or Walmart gift card.

[/quote]

Please please tell us you are joking. That is beyond unethical.

Aug 1, 2011 3:31 pm

I've seen it done.  Not sure it's unethical.  I personally wouldn't do it but to each their own. 

Aug 1, 2011 10:05 pm

That is the cheeziest sh!it i've ever heard of.   Are you sure you want people who are more enticed by 1/3 tank of gas or a walmart gift card?   What "qualified" client is gonna flip out over a walmart card?  your funny-  "give away a bribe or something for the appointment"?  wow.