Does cold calling work?

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Jan 8, 2012 6:48 pm

Hey guys, Im still three months till prodcution and despite the gobs of evidence in books and here on this forum that say cold calling is the fastest method to aquire assets to meet your hurdles, I have doubts.

I went to a party and met a couple of doctors and spoke to them about their investment strategy, not selling them anything as I am not allowed to talk about offering products but asking simple questions like a friend, they opened up and even showed interest in getting in touch with me later on when I got my license. Asking me for idea's telling me how much they wanted to invest etc.

I just cant help but imagine going to networking events 5 days a week wouldnt work out better due to the type of connection you can make in person than on a cold call. 

The counter argument has been that its true that people you meet in person creates a stronger bond and a higher trust factor. But meeting an closing enough people with enough money to meet hurdles is the challenge.

So I say to you guys that perhaps it is true that:

1) Meeting people in person at events forms better relationships, and meeting people in seminars creates stronger ties than cold calling.

2) However with hurdles in place, meeting people can become inefficient and time consuming where you arent able to bring money in fast enough to meet hurdles.

I questions cold calling only because I know if I got a call from XYZ financial telling me he has such and such bond out there I would immediately tell him to leave me alone for these reasons alone:

1) The product you are offering, I cannot trust you that your intentions are true that the product you offer me is going to help make you commision but may not be a good fit for me

2) If I wanted to invest money I can do it myself since its so easy these days. If I just wanted to buy a single bond I can do a simple search for all of the bonds on the exchanges and OTC and buy them through a dealer of my choosing.

3) If I felt like I wanted to have my finances managed I would do my research and pick between all the avaliable advisors out there and do a strong due dilligence to see who fits my requirements.

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Those are my own reservations to a person who would call me offerring me a product or service, quite frankly the minute I feel like a person wants to sell me something I mentally shut them down and push them away

I do not want to be sold, I understand that every sales man has a motive and that motive is to make him money regardless of what happens to me, and regardless of the improper fit that the product being offered is.

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So with these challenges alone how can cold calling stand up to these very natural human emotions and experiences

Jan 8, 2012 7:23 pm

The biggest difference between someone pitching you to buy 100k of this muni bond is you don't have 100k to write a check. These people you are trying to connect with do. They are out there, there brokers are 60 years old, they haven't been brought something with a 7% yield for years. They will listen because you have something they want, they will listen because you are calling from xyz firm and our "an expert " on what you are selling

Please tell us in three months how many of those doctors you met the other day are clients.

Jan 8, 2012 7:37 pm

I will say this:  I have only met 3 types of people that have EVER made it with simple "networking".

1) Dad is $1 million producer and is handing you his book

2) you are an ex-cpa or lawyer

3) you join a team

If you do not fall into these categories, you MUST do some form of mass appeal marketing.  Cold Calling, seminars, mailing - something.

Jan 8, 2012 7:41 pm

oh, and cold calling does work.  I got a 7 figure account on the hook on friday that wants to meet and hear ideas coming up.  Got him on a cold call.

Here is the kicker - I called him, he was in a meeting and ASKED that I call him back at 2:00 that day so we could talk.  He had never met me - heard my name and the firm and said "Lets talk at 2:00".

Called him, talked for 30 minutes and we are meeting up next week.  

The other problem with the "networking 5 days a week" thing is WTF are you doing from 9 to 5?  Say you network TEN times a week - breakfast event EVERYDAY and evening event EVERY DAY.  What are you doing for the 8 hours in between?

This is the thing I don't get about the "networking" groups.  You CANNOT network 9 hours a day.  Its not f-ing possible.  Fill in the rest of the time with other marketing forms.  

Jan 8, 2012 11:17 pm

[quote=FADavo]

oh, and cold calling does work.  I got a 7 figure account on the hook on friday that wants to meet and hear ideas coming up.  Got him on a cold call.

Here is the kicker - I called him, he was in a meeting and ASKED that I call him back at 2:00 that day so we could talk.  He had never met me - heard my name and the firm and said "Lets talk at 2:00".

Called him, talked for 30 minutes and we are meeting up next week.  

The other problem with the "networking 5 days a week" thing is WTF are you doing from 9 to 5?  Say you network TEN times a week - breakfast event EVERYDAY and evening event EVERY DAY.  What are you doing for the 8 hours in between?

This is the thing I don't get about the "networking" groups.  You CANNOT network 9 hours a day.  Its not f-ing possible.  Fill in the rest of the time with other marketing forms.  

[/quote]

Thats great man, Imnot saying that cold calling never works but perhaps networking can be incorporated at a larger percentage of total propsecting.

I think that perhaps a person can network the lunches, breakfasts and evening events that are hosted. Hold seminars and in between cold call. 

I failed to point out that my question was not really aimed at saying that cold calling should be totally eliminated, but perhaps dialed down.

That calling on municipal bonds from 8 am to 7 pm might not be the best way to survive anymore due to the distrust of wallstreet and the agitation of people on being called and the DNC.

Again I am not even in production its just something that I am postulating. 

Quite honeslty I am hoping cold calling IS the solution because its hell of alot easier to sit at a desk and call and talk and just call again and rinse and repeat rather than going to a networking event, blah..blah blah

Its just that in this day and age I have never even given a telemarketing call a second of my time so I can imagine people doing the same, thats where my issue with cold calling is.

Jan 9, 2012 8:13 am

[quote=harkkam]

Quite honeslty I am hoping cold calling IS the solution because its hell of alot easier to sit at a desk and call and talk and just call again and rinse and repeat rather than going to a networking event, blah..blah blah

[/quote]

It's good to be young and naive.  Cold Calling works.  Cold calling is not easy in practice, just in theory.  You'll just have to figure out if the juice is worth the squeeze. 

Jan 9, 2012 10:13 am

[quote=Element]

[quote=harkkam]

Quite honeslty I am hoping cold calling IS the solution because its hell of alot easier to sit at a desk and call and talk and just call again and rinse and repeat rather than going to a networking event, blah..blah blah

[/quote]

It's good to be young and naive.  Cold Calling works.  Cold calling is not easy in practice, just in theory.  You'll just have to figure out if the juice is worth the squeeze. 

[/quote]

Interesting Statement. I do have another concern with the viability of cold calling. The DNC list, has effectively eliminated all residential households.

All that leaves are small businesses, how do I reach residential households without calling them. The only thing I can think of is direct mail and getting their permission to call them, inviting them to seminars, meeting them in events.

Consider a retired individual that is on the DNC list, he does not own a small business where I can call him. So effectively he is off the grid and unreachable through a cold call another method must be used to reach him.

What would that method be

Jan 9, 2012 12:02 pm

Network, Doorknock, Referral, Seminars, Events, Direct Mail, Etc. Etc. - Figure out what you are comfortable doing and do alot of it.

Jan 9, 2012 12:55 pm

How can I harness the power of the internet, if im at a wirehouse right now?

The wirehouse has its own website and its what not, but I would like my own personal footprint that I can use to prospect from. Where people can leave reviews like they can like they do product on amazon.com

If I have a client I would like him to leave me a review saying how I was caring considerate etc. is that possible?

Jan 9, 2012 1:25 pm

You sound lazy.

Jan 9, 2012 2:20 pm

[quote=Element]

You sound lazy.

[/quote]

Okay thanks.

The web is the next frontier of customer marketing, just look at how amazon.com drives sales based on customer reviews. I buy purely based on what others have said.

The web allows for word of mouth advertising without need to be a part of that persons life.

Lazy maybe in your opinion but smart in mine. Work smarter dude not harder is my aim. But to each his own

Jan 9, 2012 3:16 pm

Good luck with that, most people usually work hard and then figure out how to work smarter.  It typically does not happen the other way around.  Advisors get paid because we get people to act - websites or reviews don't do that.  You could probably check out angieslist if you want a website that offers reviews?

Additionaly you'll never be able to compete with the likes of ML, Fidelity, Scottstrade, etc. that own the web.  You might be able to get hyperlocal but it's doubtful.  Good luck eitherway.

Jan 9, 2012 3:25 pm

[quote=Element]

Good luck with that, most people usually work hard and then figure out how to work smarter.  It typically does not happen the other way around.  Advisors get paid because we get people to act - websites or reviews don't do that.  You could probably check out angieslist if you want a website that offers reviews?

Additionaly you'll never be able to compete with the likes of ML, Fidelity, Scottstrade, etc. that own the web.  You might be able to get hyperlocal but it's doubtful.  Good luck eitherway.

[/quote]

No you're right a website will not close accounts I was thinking that perhaps it could be used as a merketing tool to add clout, for exmaple including the website in an direct mail, or cold call that I make. They then go on the site and see all the things my previous clients have to say about me and just pushes them that much closer.

I know that I have to be in the office at 7:30am and be out at 8:00pm

I see my day, mostly cold calling Mon-frid, then sending direct mailing campaigns and invitations to seminars at night for the next day. Then on saturday going to networking events and doing a bit of cold walking.

Jan 9, 2012 3:27 pm

FINRA would allow that crap.

Jan 9, 2012 6:43 pm

Two things for you:
You are right the hurdles makes networking too difficult to be a sole source of accounts. Unless you are in your mid-40s+ and already have a network of people who know you are good with money.
Second, your statement about cold-calling shows me you have never had to do it to pay the bills. The only thing "easy" about cold calling is that it is not physiclally demanding. To get 25+ people every day to hear your whole "pitch" is difficult. And with your hurdles, cold calling and selling a product is the only chance you have.

Jan 9, 2012 6:53 pm

People with money don't have time to find their own bond or research advisors. They get their advisor one of two ways:
Typically they chose an advisor from a referral by a friend or family member. And being new, you have no where to get referrals.
The advisor cold calls them.
Two of my larger clients ($1.2mm and $800k) came from a cold call. These are non-business owners, but are low level executives at a fortune 500 company. I got them because they had always managed their own money, but have since been promoted to where they do not have the time, or want to spend the time, managing it anymore. Know how I got in touch with them? Linkedin and dial by name directory. Called one early morning and other around 6pm. Gatekeeper is gone but execs are still working.
Work smart and hard, but if you only have the personality for one, I hope it's hard. Otherwise you will just get a paycheck for a few months before being out on the street.

Jan 10, 2012 11:17 am

1) I thought that you were not allowed to pitch products and services through the internet ie. Linkedin

2) The dial by name directory means that every person has a unique extension and you are able to locate that person using the system of that corporation so you are technically calling them at work correct?

3)Are there enough 250K + oppurtunities in businesses alone for all the FA's out there to have a piece of the action?

Jan 10, 2012 9:11 pm

[quote=harkkam]

1) I thought that you were not allowed to pitch products and services through the internet ie. Linkedin

2) The dial by name directory means that every person has a unique extension and you are able to locate that person using the system of that corporation so you are technically calling them at work correct?

3)Are there enough 250K + oppurtunities in businesses alone for all the FA's out there to have a piece of the action?

[/quote]

1- you are correct, but you use linkedin to find the person/people within the company to call so you know who you are calling (by using the dial by name directory)
2- yep you are calling them at work (way around the DNC). Most people are okay with it. If they complain, say "not a problem _____, what's a better number and a good time for me to call you". Then you know if they are actually interested.
3- no idea, but that doesn't matter. You HAVE to find them. $250k just makes it harder and thins the pool out.
If you are in a metro area, look for companies that have a headquarters there. Then websearch/linkedin for director levels and above. Tell them your minimum is $250k and you will likely find a few who have no problem with that.

Jan 10, 2012 9:31 pm

[quote=Hacksaw]

[quote=harkkam]

1) I thought that you were not allowed to pitch products and services through the internet ie. Linkedin

2) The dial by name directory means that every person has a unique extension and you are able to locate that person using the system of that corporation so you are technically calling them at work correct?

3)Are there enough 250K + oppurtunities in businesses alone for all the FA's out there to have a piece of the action?

[/quote]


1- you are correct, but you use linkedin to find the person/people within the company to call so you know who you are calling (by using the dial by name directory)
2- yep you are calling them at work (way around the DNC). Most people are okay with it. If they complain, say "not a problem _____, what's a better number and a good time for me to call you". Then you know if they are actually interested.
3- no idea, but that doesn't matter. You HAVE to find them. $250k just makes it harder and thins the pool out.
If you are in a metro area, look for companies that have a headquarters there. Then websearch/linkedin for director levels and above. Tell them your minimum is $250k and you will likely find a few who have no problem with that.[/quote]

Great ideas hacksaw, really appreciate it. This stuff is gold.

Jan 12, 2012 11:38 am

Harrkam;

WHOA.

You're way too busy putting up hurdles and not figuring out ways to work with the hurdles you truly have. 

Get through your training program and learn why the hurdles exist (regulatory, policy, etc) which is what your training and licensure program is all about and then learn how to operate in spite of them.  Cold calling works.  It's not about what YOU think of cold calling; or what YOU want to do.  Take yourself out of the equation. Then and only then can it work.

No no no no no on the internal dialing.  Read the SOURCE legislation and then learn your company policy.  

DNC lists are not just residential. B2B can ask to be removed from another company list.  There are restrictions on business to business calling too. Each firm has to manage that list and the fines are high.  Do you want to be the guy who doesn't follow your company rules and forces a fine and nice publicity for breaking the regs?

Work hard - and play by the rules.  It's a simple business, really.  Just not easy.