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Aug 27, 2010 10:44 pm

I'm wondering how you guys bring in $ I've been at it for about 15 months and it's hard. Here are 2 things I've done that worked:

1) natural marketing- worked with 4 warm prospects

2) estate planning seminars- then I help attorney at signings and help clients retitle assets and sweep in and opeen accounts in process

It's not enough. I've went back to the cold market. I've got money to burn so after sheer effort didn't cut it I'm thinking of buying my way into this impossible industry- lots of spending and mistakes- I see no other way. Spend Spend Spend. Do anything to get these miserable prospects to talk to me. Here's what I've been considering:

1) cold call scripts- call, mail, call, appointment, regroup with suggestions (close) 

2) ProspectMacth- $149 down and then $18 a lead within 10 miles of you (someone who requested annuity, mutual fund, rollover info and included their #, address etc). Then you send them the report with a note you will call them. Is $18 for a "lead" a good deal?

3) forced product selling- force it down their throats- I'm so tired of the resistance levels. I'm ready to sell bonds, anything to survive. Managed money is hard to implement and slow and people don't want it you're no different than their advisor

Thoughts?

Here has been my cold calling approach:

A) Hi Attorney so in so (I reach 50-75 a day!),

My name is John ... and I work with a number of attorneys as their financial advisor. What I'd like to do is send you some background information on myself and my firm. Does that sound reasonable?

Good, my specialty is reviewing mutual funds you own in a brokerage account or 401k. To make sure what I send you is relevant, can you tell me one investment firm you're working with?

Okay, would you prefer I send the information by email or mail? Great, i'll send this and call you in 10 days.

B) Mail 3 page landscape powerpoint pitch book- page 1 contact info, page 2- my picture and background (personal experience managing family money past 10 years after 2 advisors did poor job- good college- some experience at Morningstar- been on client side, personal quotes and views about money, page 3- why my firm is pretty squeaky clean in a shady industry of scoundrels)

C) remind them I sent them info and that they told me they had account with XYZ, tell them my family money management story that I've been the client before, explain 30 minute meeting philosophy to review investments, promise to review 401k choices, determine their current fee structures, and offer more consistent return ideas. Interested in cost savings and consistency?

D) in person review statements, risk tolerance, brief goals

E) meet with suggestions and close

Will i mail and fail? I think I'm qualifying my leads- getting only 1/5 attorneys letting me mail them stuff. So far mailed 70 pieces of mail for $70. Called 35 and reached 25. Of 25, got 23 no's, a yes that eventually cancelled the appointment, and a church endowment prospect who would need to rip the mney out of the committe's bank-loving hands.

Thoughts on prospect match company?

One of my rebuttals is trying to get permission to be a product salesman to people who have an advisor already and won't give me time of day. I get permission ro send them an alternative investment mutual fund idea to show how I'm unique from their broker. But I'm thinking I need to sell bonds with urgency or market my firm's excellent small-cap research instead. Ideas? I'm really a mutual fund guy.

This is way harder than I would have ever imagined and I am a hard worker. Why is every prospect happy with his advisor? Are they that blind they're down or is their advisor that good an investor or are the advisors really stepping up their service game to compensate? Sometimes I think this industry is so saturated I'm wasting my time. I could start a candy business easier than financial services probably. Jesus!

Aug 28, 2010 4:23 am

I'm not sure you are going to get advice from us when you call us all "shady industry of scoundrels".  Maybe that is your problem, you come in reminding clients about all the negatives in the industry.  Do you really believe people's accounts are down because of shady advisors??  If so you are clueless.  Acccounts are down because the market is down.  Just because you managed your mom and dads 401K does not make you better than all the "shady advisors".  Go work for a wirehouse, after you get fired maybe you will appreciate us more.

Aug 28, 2010 9:10 am

The industry does have some shady types. But scum bag lawyers make most of our scoundrels look like amateurs. Why would anyone want a book full of these types?

I agree with LA, there is no reason for us to help someone who holds us in such low regard.

After analyzing your post i will give you this: Your inexperience is tripping you. You are selling the wrong product on your opening calls. The product you should be selling is an appointment. Nothing more!!!!!! And certainly, not the wonder of you. You are giving them way too much informantion before they meet. Really, after a three page power point etc etc, there is no reason to meet. You've given away the store.

Additionally, the scope of your service is to narrow.

Lastly, the hot botton with attorneys is money. Money-money -money!!!!! Work that backwards and you'll understand how to get more meetings with lawyers than you can handle. To make money attorneys need billable hours. To get billable hours attorneys need clients. To get clients lawyers need referrals. To get referrals they need referrals sources. Bingo! Ask them to breakfast to discuss what THEY DO to see if there might be a "fit" with your WEALTHY clients. At breakfast begin the meeting with "Before you begin let me tell you a little bit about me, my clients and the type of practice i have." That's your big chance to WOW them. Leave the powerpoint presso at home.

That's a freebie you don't deserve. No more help unless you change  your attittude towards us.

Aug 28, 2010 6:35 pm

LA Broker,

My apologies if my words were taken out of context. I use bold words but wasn't descriptive enough. By shady industry, I meant the depiction of powerhouse firms closing up shop because of risks taken within OTHER areas of the company. It makes our industry full of desperation mergers appear negatively TO prospects. That has been my experience. I've been at a major wirehouse and received that feedback from prospects I called on. Actually got called a whore in the thick of it and my firm's name laughed at.

I didn't manage mommy and daddy's 401k. My father passed and there was no planning so I got handed money (a blessing and burden) and quickly some advisors circled me like shark bait and I accepted crappy products from them because I was 18 in a roaring bull market. So this experience does have relevance and people LIKE hearing about it, seems it has happened to them. People often don't understand products some advisors quickly sell them (their fault and the advisor's). The experience is familiar to them. Lots of people see us as scoundrels for reasons, not the least of which include these. That doesn't make YOU a scoundrel. I don't even know you. My bad returns WERE at least partially because of bad advisors. They sold me mutual funds that severely overlapped the Large Growth Category, offered inadequate small-mid exposure (other than technology), little exposure to Bonds, and basically blew up my investment portfolio from 2000-2002. That is pure negligence. Advisors get paid, they can also get criticized.

BondGuy, 

Thanks for the feedback. I call lawyers because they are easy to reach and I assume a good # have money. I need somewhere to start. I find business owners much harder to pin down on the phone. 

I ask to send mail because the first call is so cold people have been giving me 20 seconds in most cases. But after I SEND something and tell my story, they listen to an entire pitch for 90 seconds. I just feel it warms them up immensely. Am I wrong here?

I like your idea about money. I have previously suggested that I could pass on referrals but got a lot of coldness from attorneys who already have enough advisors they networks with. There have been a handful who I disqualified because it sounded like they were completely trying to sell me. Maybe I should partner up with those ones if that's what you're suggesting.

I had read elsewhere that I also need to be specific HOW I deliver my service.

When I've tried to sell appointments without mailing in the past, my results were abysmal. I don't know if that's because I need work on rebuttals/human touch or if it's PURELY a numbers game. I'm about to buy a book called "Spin Selling" and consider some Sandler coaching, at my successful friend at Merrill's advice.

I'm going to let my method play out for 100 prospects, but I will gladly consider changing it if it bears no fruit. I'm a believer in assessing the productivity/profitability of things so I can try your method just the same in a few weeks. On a side note, my friend sparked my optimism by informing me that not only is cold calling far from dead, he built his 50 client-$40M book doing it last 4 years. But he said NO major wirehouse training prepared him, he needed coaching and investing in himself.

Aug 28, 2010 10:24 pm

My one piece of advice is don't buy the $18 leads.  You will find that they are no better than the lists you can get for 10-30 cents per name.

Aug 28, 2010 10:38 pm

Maybe you should reconsider your career choice. My observation of this industry is that everyone makes money when the market is up and everyone loses when it is down. Most FA's don't know sh-t. And the problem with that is that there is no way to know which FA's are worthwhile.

Aug 29, 2010 4:15 pm

BondGuy,

I respect your opinion and I understand why you wouldn't simply want to mail a PowerPoint presentation to a prospect, but how has he "given away the store" by doing that?  A concise, well-constructed presentation can help tell your story and develop your brand and be part of the pitch for why someone would want to work with you.  But unless you're including all your best investment ideas in there (which would be frightfully stupid) then I don't see how it would actually cost you a client.

Aug 29, 2010 4:17 pm

And Navet, thanks for the bright ray of sunshine!

Aug 30, 2010 9:02 am

[quote=loneMADman]

BondGuy,

I respect your opinion and I understand why you wouldn't simply want to mail a PowerPoint presentation to a prospect, but how has he "given away the store" by doing that?  A concise, well-constructed presentation can help tell your story and develop your brand and be part of the pitch for why someone would want to work with you.  But unless you're including all your best investment ideas in there (which would be frightfully stupid) then I don't see how it would actually cost you a client.

[/quote]

I think you're geeting hung up on a nuance. Mailing that much info before a meet, imo, is jumping the gun on the sales presso. First let's see if i like what you've got to say and then, if i'm interested, i can read more about it and you. Personally, i can't see any busy professional taking the time it would take, unsolicited, to go thru that type of packet. Case in point, how much unsocited junk mail from wholesalers do you just toss? That's not to say there isn't some very good stuff in there, stuff that could possibly help you in your practice. Honestly, with everything that is competing for your time how much of that time can you devote to sitting through  unsolicited power point pressos? The good gets tossed with the bad.

The OP should concetrate his first call on getting the appointment, period! He needs to sell himself before he sells his service. At the appointment make a short best case pitch. If he's done his job the prospect will want to to take the time to view the materials he's left. Again, this is no different than with a wholesaler or product person in our biz. They ask for 2 minutes of your time. Grudgingly, you grant it, and then they knock you off your seat with something you really like. You ask for everything they've got and read from cover to cover.

It's horse-cart

Aug 30, 2010 10:51 am

I agree with everything you said.  It's a waste of time to send the preso ahead but it won't lose the prospect in and of itself.

Sep 3, 2010 7:19 pm

Guys,

I am getting one heck of a warm response from my prospects by sending this presentation and following up aggressively . The jury's still out, but I think you're wrong about the waste that mailing represents. I'm not telling my methodology, I'm selling myself and my firm in 2 pages. And if they absolutely won't do business with a young person, I self-screen for that by putting my picture on there. It's now just a #s game to find who's open-minded. Here are 4 comments I've received past 2 weeks:

"You're a nice young man, and refreshing to hear compared with most pitches I get. Send me your info."

"I can appreciate you' no-nonsense approach in asking permission to send and moving along."

Follow-up call: "You have the most professional approach of the 4 advisors I've spoken to before, and your follow-up skills are very impressive I know who you are from speaking to you twice."

Call 1: " I have an advisor and I'm not going to do business with you unless I know you from a referral" Follow-up Call 11: "I like what I hear. I don't even have what you sent me. Where did you go to school? How long have you been in the industry? Please send me the info over email and call me in a week. If I like what i see I'll make an appointment."

Jury's still out, but after a month of doing this I have a tracking book with 180 yes conversations I've had (12 per page) and another book of scheduled days to call them. I've sent information to 180 people. I have 154 follow-up conversations scheduled for September. And if I miss them, I roll them forward 2 days.Just by default with this many people I'm getting follow-up conversations from tons of people daily. Nick Murray #s game in full effect. Before I left the office, I sent 45 emails out. Got 2 emails back from people before I got home. When I call for appointments call 1, I hear a lot of silence after they hang up quickly. I don't receive thank you emails like the one I received today. I'm Active like Magic, before he caught the HIV.

Sep 4, 2010 11:53 am

[quote=BondGuy]

[quote=loneMADman]

BondGuy,

I respect your opinion and I understand why you wouldn't simply want to mail a PowerPoint presentation to a prospect, but how has he "given away the store" by doing that?  A concise, well-constructed presentation can help tell your story and develop your brand and be part of the pitch for why someone would want to work with you.  But unless you're including all your best investment ideas in there (which would be frightfully stupid) then I don't see how it would actually cost you a client.

[/quote]

I think you're geeting hung up on a nuance. Mailing that much info before a meet, imo, is jumping the gun on the sales presso. First let's see if i like what you've got to say and then, if i'm interested, i can read more about it and you. Personally, i can't see any busy professional taking the time it would take, unsolicited, to go thru that type of packet. Case in point, how much unsocited junk mail from wholesalers do you just toss? That's not to say there isn't some very good stuff in there, stuff that could possibly help you in your practice. Honestly, with everything that is competing for your time how much of that time can you devote to sitting through  unsolicited power point pressos? The good gets tossed with the bad.

The OP should concetrate his first call on getting the appointment, period! He needs to sell himself before he sells his service. At the appointment make a short best case pitch. If he's done his job the prospect will want to to take the time to view the materials he's left. Again, this is no different than with a wholesaler or product person in our biz. They ask for 2 minutes of your time. Grudgingly, you grant it, and then they knock you off your seat with something you really like. You ask for everything they've got and read from cover to cover.

It's horse-cart

[/quote]

Exactly.....An example of this just happened to me this week.  I was speaking to a prospect on the phone and he asked me to send him a sample portfolio and I simply said to him it would be easier for me to explain it to him and for him to understand it if we met in person.  When next week can you meet??  Appt set.....

Sep 5, 2010 9:25 pm

lovetoraise,

One thing you've going is a lot of activity.  I would just offer a few suggestions: don't pay big bucks for leads.  I have NEVER heard of a lead service that could produce anything more than a well-designed list from InfoUSA, etc, which will cost 25-50 cents per lead.  Insurance leads MIGHT be an exception, but I don't know enough about those.

You might want to open your universe to more than just attorneys.  They are WAY over-prospected.  Continue to do those, but maybe add another occupation/profession or maybe focus on executives/managers from a few big employers (that employ 100,000+ employees).  You will get more efficiency that way.

Sep 5, 2010 9:25 pm

lovetoraise,

One thing you've going is a lot of activity.  I would just offer a few suggestions: don't pay big bucks for leads.  I have NEVER heard of a lead service that could produce anything more than a well-designed list from InfoUSA, etc, which will cost 25-50 cents per lead.  Insurance leads MIGHT be an exception, but I don't know enough about those.

You might want to open your universe to more than just attorneys.  They are WAY over-prospected.  Continue to do those, but maybe add another occupation/profession or maybe focus on executives/managers from a few big employers (that employ 100,000+ employees).  You will get more efficiency that way.