Colding Call Question for the Old Timers

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Oct 15, 2009 2:38 pm

Question for the old timers who still call:

I have a very comfortable business (RIA) that I built over the years from mostly cold calling. It was like get my teeth drilled, but I did it and was successful with it.

About 5 years ago I stopped calling. I was sick of it. I vowed never to do it again. BUT my damn ego got in the way and I wanted to keep growing my business - even though I was comfortable.

Instead of calling, I spent a ton of money (most of it wasted) on seminar, cold calling companies, mailings, etc...you get the point.

Fast forward to now: So this past summer, ego and the opportunity in the markets get in the way again, and I hire a new person part time so I can market again. I have been pounding the phones like I did when I was a rookie, with pretty good success. After 4 months I am burned out on calling again.

In the past I had fear as a driving factor, now I have my ego and some workaholic issues keeping me at it. But I don't have the motivation to grow.

For any fellow old folks, what have you found to help re-light that spark? Or am I the only idiot here not on the golf course?

Oct 15, 2009 5:02 pm

I have a mentor with $400,000,000 in assets at a Big Wire who cold calls 3 nights a week.

He simply looks for $million relationships.
He has a system and works it.

I have a goal of getting to $250,000,000 but I can't wait around for all of the referrals so I,
Have 2 cold callers call 4 nights a week to see if "people would like some more info on"...
I make sure these callers get the prospects cell phones , cause I like to work during the day.
I then try to setup a web based meeting.

If they have more than $250,000 ex house and 401k, I try for an in person meeting.

This business is harrrrd!
But I love (gulp) cold calling, and I like the fresh kill!
'cause I know I'm the best in the city at it.

----------

The top broker at Morgan Stanley once had 4 connectors getting business owners on the phone for him every morning, and I may go that route soon.


If Bill Gates was a poor broker,
I think Bill Gates would have 30 callers at night offering brochures, who all get followed up by licenced callers to " see why they wanted a brochure" and qualified for size.

He would then call anyone with $1mm +

My 2c

Oct 15, 2009 7:00 pm
dashover:

I have a mentor with $400,000,000 in assets at a Big Wire who cold calls 3 nights a week.He simply looks for $million relationships.He has a system and works it.I have a goal of getting to $250,000,000 but I can't wait around for all of the referrals so I,Have 2 cold callers call 4 nights a week to see if "people would like some more info on"...I make sure these callers get the prospects cell phones , cause I like to work during the day.I then try to setup a web based meeting.If they have more than $250,000 ex house and 401k, I try for an in person meeting.This business is harrrrd!But I love (gulp) cold calling, and I like the fresh kill!'cause I know I'm the best in the city at it.----------The top broker at Morgan Stanley once had 4 connectors getting business owners on the phone for him every morning, and I may go that route soon.If Bill Gates was a poor broker,I think Bill Gates would have 30 callers at night offering brochures, who all get followed up by licenced callers to " see why they wanted a brochure" and qualified for size.He would then call anyone with $1mm + My 2c





What is the cost to do something like that(hire callers, who do you have them call).



What is your guys system?

Oct 15, 2009 7:08 pm

I think the key is consistency.. Instead of doing 300-400 at once, I break it up.. 100 in morning 100 in afternoon and then 100 in evening.. It makes it seem easier and less overwelming

Oct 15, 2009 7:26 pm

Thanks guys -



maybe I just need to hire some good cold callers, or buy a Porsche as this may be the start of my mid life crisis

Oct 15, 2009 8:08 pm

chief: The question is not what is the cost ; it's what is the lifetime value of a client...

I have a certain client I've had for 20 years who's paid $6,000 a year in fees for 20 years..
What should I pay for more like him?

My budget is $1,200 a month for callers and I just pay cash $10 /hr with a raise if they perform.

2 callers at  12 hours per week with some bonus money left over.

2 good clients a year will pay for it all ...
All profits should be reinvested for 5 years until I have 30 callers working nights and weekends.
I'm getting ready to start on my 529 plan with brochures at every montessori...
------------

All leads need to be texted to me and called within 1 day or preferably 1-2 hours ; just to better qualify.
I have the callers text me name and number and I will call from the road if necessary!

-----------

I've come to think you need to call back within 1 hour ; otherwise the lead gets cold. simply to qualify and to see if you can setup an online meeting.


Oct 15, 2009 8:15 pm

D-



have you found a good system to find good callers. I burn through mine pretty quickly and have had subpar results

Oct 15, 2009 8:21 pm

I post on CL $10-$25 hr cash for callers at my office; not from their home; I can't imagine calling from home.
Incredible distractions.

I got like 75 resumes lol

Picking the right person is luck o draw

I find rats work for cheese ; so you have to find some legal way to bonus ; flat hourly gets poor results.


Oct 15, 2009 11:20 pm

I entertained the idea of hiring a cold caller, but ultimately nixed it.  Reason being that as much as cold calling sucks and as convenient as it would be to have someone call on my behalf, I know that I -- and only I -- am the best face (or voice) of my company.  I'd hate for a cold caller to eff up the opportunity to convert a huge prospect because he/she didn't ask the right questions or wasn't able to effectively communicate my process or value prop. 

When I think about some of my A clients I scored from cold calls, there's no way a cold caller could have landed meetings with them.  It took every trick in my cold calling arsenal (and an insane amount of persistence) to score meetings with them and eventually convert them to clients.  If a cold caller had initially reached out to them, they would have failed to get anywhere, crossed the names off the list and moved on and these people never would have become my clients.

I guess I'm more comfortable with the notion of being in complete control of how my message is being delivered to my prospects. I'm a big believer in the old cliche, if you want something done right gotta do it yourself.

Oct 16, 2009 10:16 am

That is my hesitation also..

Oct 16, 2009 11:00 am
dashover:

chief: The question is not what is the cost ; it's what is the lifetime value of a client...

I have a certain client I've had for 20 years who's paid $6,000 a year in fees for 20 years..
What should I pay for more like him?

My budget is $1,200 a month for callers and I just pay cash $10 /hr with a raise if they perform.

2 callers at  12 hours per week with some bonus money left over.

2 good clients a year will pay for it all ...
All profits should be reinvested for 5 years until I have 30 callers working nights and weekends.
I'm getting ready to start on my 529 plan with brochures at every montessori...
------------

All leads need to be texted to me and called within 1 day or preferably 1-2 hours ; just to better qualify.
I have the callers text me name and number and I will call from the road if necessary!

-----------

I've come to think you need to call back within 1 hour ; otherwise the lead gets cold. simply to qualify and to see if you can setup an online meeting.


 
Good post!!!
 
I too have used callers to fill seminar seats. And for years i had two cold callers and two connectors working with me. The connectors would feed calls to me or the cold callers. Or The cold callers would work on getting leads while i was on the phone doing presentations and closing. I basically took the Lehman system and put it on steriods. And with good results. I paid $11/hour plus a bonus.
 
 
 
I maintain motivation to cold call because i know this could all go away. I need to replace clients who have passed away, have life changing situations, or are no longer competent to manage their own affairs. One of my largest clients is going through a divorce. He is shut down until it's over. That's 30k a year out of my pocket.  This morning  i can spend time on this board because as i write this I'm waiting to go to a client's funeral. It's blown out the day, but it's important that I go. From a business POV, this guy did between 15 and 20k gross a year with me. My time is paid for. Still, the point is, things change, I need to replace that lost revenue. How do i do that? The only way i know how. I pick up the phone and ask someone to buy something.
Oct 16, 2009 11:16 am

Relying on cold callers is a bad idea.
Complementing your existing cold calling efforts is a great idea.
Remember some of us are just starting out ; and others are trying to get to the next level.


How about;
My callers average 3 leads? per day x 4 days = 12 leads x 2 = 24 per week.
At best 2 or 3 are any good.

so yeah it's tough and expensive, but it mostly always pays off if you follow through.

Draw the line and perhaps use Bill Goods line from Research mag this month. "We are accepting new clients who have a liquid net worth in the range of $250,000. If you like us and our strategies would that be a problem at this particular time?"

It's better to have 10 leads with net worths > $1,000,000 than 300 with nets < $300,000.


Oct 16, 2009 3:56 pm

i'm curious as to what other's opinions are on this, but i feel that good cold callers turn into good advisors.  They are fearless, have the mentality of not putting the phone down, can hammer out 400-500 dials a day while still being good on the phones.  I feel like as long as they have common objections and don't sound so rehearsed like a telemarketer, they'd be alright?  I feel like if you give a hired cold caller an opportunity to get good at it, the leads only get more legitimate as time goes on?

 
I don't mind cold calling at all.  After i've exhausted all my resources with a prospect on the phone, its just one step closer to a yes, because there are more than plenty of yes's still out there...
Oct 16, 2009 6:51 pm

A bad cold call is better than no cold call!
The best cold call to the wrong person is worth nothing.
A very poor cold call to a receptive person may spark a solid conversation.
The message is much less important than the activity!

One of my telemarketers is outstanding on the phone but I can "smell" a good prospect in 30 seconds.
A good "nose" takes years to develop.

Oct 16, 2009 8:55 pm
CALI123:

D-

have you found a good system to find good callers. I burn through mine pretty quickly and have had subpar results

 
Quit making excuses, stop adding layers of expensive systems that insulate you.  Keep making the calls.
 
Chief's right. Consistency is key.
 
PM me if you want ideas, scripts, process.
 
Kicking and Taking (feeling like kicking and screaming right this moment)
Oct 17, 2009 4:30 am

What CALI123  said.

Good scripts, online sources, recommendations?

Oct 17, 2009 8:52 am
chief123:

I think the key is consistency.. Instead of doing 300-400 at once, I break it up.. 100 in morning 100 in afternoon and then 100 in evening.. It makes it seem easier and less overwelming

 
You must be on fire! A 3 to 4 hundred dial day was a solid 10 hour day for me if you include the writing of notes, sending a card or whatever and scheduling the followup, all things you have to do while you're calling or it turns in to a mess and waisted time.
 
If you also have a book to service those kind of days are in the past. At least for me.
 
Rock on!
Oct 17, 2009 9:28 am
Gaddock:
chief123:

I think the key is consistency.. Instead of doing 300-400 at once, I break it up.. 100 in morning 100 in afternoon and then 100 in evening.. It makes it seem easier and less overwelming

 
You must be on fire! A 3 to 4 hundred dial day was a solid 10 hour day for me if you include the writing of notes, sending a card or whatever and scheduling the followup, all things you have to do while you're calling or it turns in to a mess and waisted time.
 
If you also have a book to service those kind of days are in the past. At least for me.
 
Rock on!
 
Gad, that's where leverage comes into play. Hiring connectors or callers is one form of leverage. Connectors put you on with a live one every time. I diagree with Dash about the use of cold callers. Good cold callers can be very effective. Not only at delivering qualified leads, but for setting appointments and filling seminar/workshop seats. While they are dialing to fill the pipeline, you are working down the pipeline from them on second, third, closing calls etc. That's not to say that you to shouldn't be cold calling. You should be.
 
A good service assistant will also leverage your time. The more non sales tasks that you can get the assistant to handle, the more time you'll have to make calls. Just having an assistant pick up your phone on incoming calls will buy you many hours of uninterupted sales time. A well organized effort will have the process streamlined and turnkey. You or callers developes leads. Notes are entered into CMS. Assistant reads note and acts on it sending appropriate info to prospect. All you do is sign the letters. Once it's set up it's a well oiled machine that just pumps out info. The assistant's job is to maximize your selling time. The asistant does this by doing all the service work. You are kept in the loop from beginning to end on all clients requests for service. You jump in at will where you feel the need or where you see a sales opportunity.
Oct 20, 2009 1:56 am

You are not regulated in how many cold callers you have. You hire interns to cold call for you. In the summer flood your office with as many as you can hold ...they work for college credit and lunch....After that you take the top twenty and sponsor them. i love to cold call because it give me a rush and I will only call those who have slammed me several times in the past just to piss them off....Ill keep calling until you tell me put you on the dont not call list...but hell if you never say it ...I KEEP CALLING ...its practice.

Oct 21, 2009 10:50 am
BondGuy:
Gaddock:
chief123:

I think the key is consistency.. Instead of doing 300-400 at once, I break it up.. 100 in morning 100 in afternoon and then 100 in evening.. It makes it seem easier and less overwelming



You must be on fire! A 3 to 4 hundred dial day was a solid 10 hour day for me if you include the writing of notes, sending a card or whatever and scheduling the followup, all things you have to do while you're calling or it turns in to a mess and waisted time.



If you also have a book to service those kind of days are in the past. At least for me.



Rock on!


Gad, that's where leverage comes into play. Hiring connectors or callers is one form of leverage. Connectors put you on with a live one every time. I diagree with Dash about the use of cold callers. Good cold callers can be very effective. Not only at delivering qualified leads, but for setting appointments and filling seminar/workshop seats. While they are dialing to fill the pipeline, you are working down the pipeline from them on second, third, closing calls etc. That's not to say that you to shouldn't be cold calling. You should be.



A good service assistant will also leverage your time. The more non sales tasks that you can get the assistant to handle, the more time you'll have to make calls. Just having an assistant pick up your phone on incoming calls will buy you many hours of uninterupted sales time. A well organized effort will have the process streamlined and turnkey. You or callers developes leads. Notes are entered into CMS. Assistant reads note and acts on it sending appropriate info to prospect. All you do is sign the letters. Once it's set up it's a well oiled machine that just pumps out info. The assistant's job is to maximize your selling time. The asistant does this by doing all the service work. You are kept in the loop from beginning to end on all clients requests for service. You jump in at will where you feel the need or where you see a sales opportunity.





What are you sending out to prospects? What works(firm market reports, individual ideas)?