My 500 Day War

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Jul 8, 2008 9:27 pm

A quick background; for the most part I've built my practice doing public seminars and talks at clubs/organizations.  In the past I've tried to supplement my prospecting with a cold calling campaign but never gave it enough gas to really take off.  Reading Judge's post and another article from Bill Good made alot of sense to me:


http://www.billgood.com/resources/research/articleviewer.cfm?&strpublicationID=274
 
So I made a committment to stick with it for six months without looking back at my results with the idea that I need to just stuff my pipeline with leads and eventually something will spill out the other end. 
 
So here I am 10 weeks into my campaign; dating to the end of last week I have made 4,545 dials, 764 contacts, and developed 109 leads.  Leads being basically the person accepted the information that I was offering to send or was friendly enough to engage me in a conversation and although couldn't invest now was ok with me sending my contact info and checking back with them in 6 months.
 
Today I closed my first official client from the campaign.  It was a $30K IRA and a $150K brokerage acct, paperwork signed wire transfer done, and the portfolio was implemented, I know it's not a home run but a big boost in my confidence that I can make it happen.
 
To date I have had what I consider 4 real appointments.  1 was a dud; the guy opened a Roth and asked for a term qoute then never got me the voided check for the b.a. so I just threw him into my monthly drip and told my asst to give up on chasing him for it. 
 
The other wanted to do a 529 then said that biz slowed down so he balked on me.  The 3rd was this deal that closed.  And the fourth which has me really inspired; I just did the first meeting 1 week or so ago and he is coming back for the second meeting.  
 
On my follow up call after I cold called him and he accepted the info I would send; I try to qualify him a little more asking him if he has an IRA and tells me has nothing.  I explained I can help him get something started for retirement.  Sets the meeting comes down to my office, he lived on the far side of town so I was thinking guy drives this far I'm going to have to explain what a mutual fund and the whole nine from the begining.   10 minutes into my meeting he says I brought a statement so you can see what I have; hands me a Merrill statement with $1.5 million!  I'm thinking "holy S**t, but I cold called you??" 
 
I may not get the whole account, but as I've read in Bondguys posts / comments, I set up a SIMPLE IRA for the guy show him how to save a few thousand dollars in taxes, get in with the CPA, and I've got a "seat at the table" waiting for the Merrill guy to drop the ball!!
Another part was this guy was worth $4 million with Real Estate and all and had a $1.5 million term in HIS name, no one at Merrill even has touched on that yet for him. 
 
So with that in mind now that I starting to build some momentum; I have a few questions for anyone that has more experience on the phone/mail/phone type of prospecting:
 
1.  To date I now have about 50 people that agreed for me to send them some investment info; but some of them I can't get a hold of.  At what point do I start leaving messages and or just give up and come back to them a few months later?  I'm planning to call them without leaving messages a few times over a 2 week period; if after that I don't get a hold of them I plan to leave 3 messages spaced out 5 business days each and then just cut them loose into my monthly drip and come back to them 3  months later; hopefully by that time I can have some name recognition and get something going again. 
 
Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
 
2.  I would love to get the my recent results on a weekly basis.  I figure if I did; that would be $150k a week, $600k a month, after 12 months, I'd have maybe $7MM in fee based from this campaign, that would be enough to hire someone to make the initial call and then I can just make the follow up call.  I know what I've done in terms of calling over 10 weeks some of you might do in a week or two but I am trying to develop a new habit.  My goal moving forward is do 30 contacts a day for the next 3 months. 

With my numbers or a rule of thumb how many active leads do you think I need to develop to get to $150k a week in new assets or so?
 
With what I have shared; any other suggestions or comments would be appreciated.  I've learned alot from the posts of everyone on this board.
Jul 8, 2008 11:31 pm
That is impressive discipline. I made 100 dials for 3 straight weeks and was so burnt out that I became numb.
 
Are you calling businesses or residential numbers ?
 
Also how many numbers do you have ?
Jul 9, 2008 11:16 am

Pre- I too am impressed with you work ethic. here are some thoughts to get you to your goal:

 
1. You need to make more dials. Your numbers are about spot on, one contact for every 6 calls, one lead for about every seven contacts. When i prospect I too go about one for seven. However, looking at your numbers, you are averaging about 2 leads per day. You need to be at four or five leads a day. Either figure out a way to increase your contact rate, your lead rate, or make more calls.
2. Your close rate seems low. Ok, in ten weeks you needed to first fill the pipeline. Now it's full. Keep doing what you are doing and see if it picks up. Obviously 1/109 isn't going to cut it. If over the coming weeks it doesn't improve it's time to change something. When you add the low close rate to the low per day lead rate, attaining your new account goal will be difficult. you should be closing at at least a 1/5 rate.  Again BG's book covers this. Also on this website STOK and Doberman are very good at getting appointments. Do a search and read up.
3. More on close rate: 109 leads/prospects- 30% fall out on call back= 76 leads. 76 appointment/presentations with 1/5 close rate equals 15 new accounts. 15 divided by 10 weeks= 1.5 a week. Not bad if they are large accounts. Pick up your current 10 leads a week to 25 and watch your new account production double. Add in the green cherry pipeline 3 to 6 months from now and your NA production will triple.
4. If you have ten week old leads you haven't contacted in the mean time they need to be refreshed. Call'em and talk to them.
5. Your definition of lead needs some tweaking. A lead/prospect is someone who is interested and has money to invest now. Sendin info without qualifying for money is only OK if you qualify them on the next call. You need to qualify for money.
6. Get on the phone and sell something! For the pile of aged leads that you are getting nowhere fast with, call'em and say " Mr. Jones, this is Pre over at Dewey Cheatem and How. We spoke about a month ago and i sent you some informantion on X. Well, I'm not calling about that today, my reason for calling is that we are bringing a preferrred stock for Big Bank to market that will pay 8.5%, and i wanted to call you to see if that woud be something you'd have an interest in? Or, as an alternative close " I was wondering what questions you might have before you tell me how many shares you'd like?" The point is to move these people off the fence. If they have no interest qulaify them for money now! if they have no money, rip up the lead card, and move on because not to is wasting your time.
 
 
Good luck, keep us updated.
Jul 9, 2008 12:10 pm

Just read the article mentioned. 2 things:



Bill's plan calls for 20 prospects per week.


Bill's recco is to qualify for 10K. The article is a some what dated. Qualify for 25k as a minimum and 100k if you are gorilla hunting.



Jul 9, 2008 7:44 pm
BondGuy:

Pre- I too am impressed with you work ethic. here are some thoughts to get you to your goal:

 
1. You need to make more dials. Your numbers are about spot on, one contact for every 6 calls, one lead for about every seven contacts. When i prospect I too go about one for seven. However, looking at your numbers, you are averaging about 2 leads per day. You need to be at four or five leads a day. Either figure out a way to increase your contact rate, your lead rate, or make more calls.
2. Your close rate seems low. Ok, in ten weeks you needed to first fill the pipeline. Now it's full. Keep doing what you are doing and see if it picks up. Obviously 1/109 isn't going to cut it. If over the coming weeks it doesn't improve it's time to change something. When you add the low close rate to the low per day lead rate, attaining your new account goal will be difficult. you should be closing at at least a 1/5 rate.  Again BG's book covers this. Also on this website STOK and Doberman are very good at getting appointments. Do a search and read up.
3. More on close rate: 109 leads/prospects- 30% fall out on call back= 76 leads. 76 appointment/presentations with 1/5 close rate equals 15 new accounts. 15 divided by 10 weeks= 1.5 a week. Not bad if they are large accounts. Pick up your current 10 leads a week to 25 and watch your new account production double. Add in the green cherry pipeline 3 to 6 months from now and your NA production will triple.
4. If you have ten week old leads you haven't contacted in the mean time they need to be refreshed. Call'em and talk to them.
5. Your definition of lead needs some tweaking. A lead/prospect is someone who is interested and has money to invest now. Sendin info without qualifying for money is only OK if you qualify them on the next call. You need to qualify for money.
6. Get on the phone and sell something! For the pile of aged leads that you are getting nowhere fast with, call'em and say " Mr. Jones, this is Pre over at Dewey Cheatem and How. We spoke about a month ago and i sent you some informantion on X. Well, I'm not calling about that today, my reason for calling is that we are bringing a preferrred stock for Big Bank to market that will pay 8.5%, and i wanted to call you to see if that woud be something you'd have an interest in? Or, as an alternative close " I was wondering what questions you might have before you tell me how many shares you'd like?" The point is to move these people off the fence. If they have no interest qulaify them for money now! if they have no money, rip up the lead card, and move on because not to is wasting your time.
 
 
Good luck, keep us updated.
 
Bondguy - thank you!! Man there is so much great information here I've printed this out to go over again and again to make adjustments.   Thanks!!
Jul 9, 2008 7:55 pm
LRT12:
That is impressive discipline. I made 100 dials for 3 straight weeks and was so burnt out that I became numb.
 
Are you calling businesses or residential numbers ?
 
Also how many numbers do you have ?
 
Thanks, I started off slow.  I followed some of the advice Nick Murray refers to which is from Aaron Helmsley.  You go 5 days and build a baseline.  Then try to add to it a bit every day; kinda like if you were trying to work your way up to be able to do 50 pushups straight.  You do work on it everyday start with maybe 10, then get to 12, 15...etc. over time you'll build up to 50.
 
I try to focus on contacts.  Now I am trying to aim for 30 a day; and keep working my way up.
 
I'm calling SBO's; my mutual fund wholesaler let me borrow his library card and I was able to get the names off the internet.  The catch is they only let you download 10 names at a time; so it takes a bit.  My asst can get about 200 names in about 1 hour or so then clean them up so we can import them into our CRM.  So I have him doing a little each day in time for me to reload for the coming week.
 
When I pull all the SBO's in my metro area regardless of size or years in biz it's like 28k names so I figure it will be awhile before I run out of names.
Jul 9, 2008 8:49 pm

That is good stuff. The Helmsley/Murray thing is what I need to do. I had actually read about that, but instead I tried to be a hero from the start and that just doesnt work.

 
Keep updating this, I know I will be looking for it.
Jul 9, 2008 10:13 pm
LRT12:

That is good stuff. The Helmsley/Murray thing is what I need to do. I had actually read about that, but instead I tried to be a hero from the start and that just doesnt work.

 
Keep updating this, I know I will be looking for it.



Ditto

Jul 10, 2008 12:33 pm
preluder:
LRT12:
That is impressive discipline. I made 100 dials for 3 straight weeks and was so burnt out that I became numb.
 
Are you calling businesses or residential numbers ?
 
Also how many numbers do you have ?
 
Thanks, I started off slow.  I followed some of the advice Nick Murray refers to which is from Aaron Helmsley.  You go 5 days and build a baseline.  Then try to add to it a bit every day; kinda like if you were trying to work your way up to be able to do 50 pushups straight.  You do work on it everyday start with maybe 10, then get to 12, 15...etc. over time you'll build up to 50.
 
I try to focus on contacts.  Now I am trying to aim for 30 a day; and keep working my way up.
 
I'm calling SBO's; my mutual fund wholesaler let me borrow his library card and I was able to get the names off the internet.  The catch is they only let you download 10 names at a time; so it takes a bit.  My asst can get about 200 names in about 1 hour or so then clean them up so we can import them into our CRM.  So I have him doing a little each day in time for me to reload for the coming week.
 
When I pull all the SBO's in my metro area regardless of size or years in biz it's like 28k names so I figure it will be awhile before I run out of names.
 
Which database are you using to get the names?  And why do you have to go to the library to use the internet?  I assume it's a proprietary program that the library has?
Jul 10, 2008 1:53 pm
B24:
preluder:
LRT12:
That is impressive discipline. I made 100 dials for 3 straight weeks and was so burnt out that I became numb.
 
Are you calling businesses or residential numbers ?
 
Also how many numbers do you have ?
 
Thanks, I started off slow.  I followed some of the advice Nick Murray refers to which is from Aaron Helmsley.  You go 5 days and build a baseline.  Then try to add to it a bit every day; kinda like if you were trying to work your way up to be able to do 50 pushups straight.  You do work on it everyday start with maybe 10, then get to 12, 15...etc. over time you'll build up to 50.
 
I try to focus on contacts.  Now I am trying to aim for 30 a day; and keep working my way up.
 
I'm calling SBO's; my mutual fund wholesaler let me borrow his library card and I was able to get the names off the internet.  The catch is they only let you download 10 names at a time; so it takes a bit.  My asst can get about 200 names in about 1 hour or so then clean them up so we can import them into our CRM.  So I have him doing a little each day in time for me to reload for the coming week.
 
When I pull all the SBO's in my metro area regardless of size or years in biz it's like 28k names so I figure it will be awhile before I run out of names.
 
Which database are you using to get the names?  And why do you have to go to the library to use the internet?  I assume it's a proprietary program that the library has?
 


The way it works is I login into the library's reference section via their website.  They have a subscription to "reference USA" AKA InfoUSA's "Sales Genie"; it's a bit abbreviated but you can get residential and commercial lists. 
 
So no I don't have to go to the library I login from my office.
 
 
Jul 29, 2008 9:26 am

Preluder, how have the last few weeks been going ?

Jul 31, 2008 9:23 pm

Things are still moving.  I took Bond Guy's advice and flushed out alot of people in the last 2 weeks that just weren't going anywhere.  I've come to terms that I may not be ready to make 30 contacts a day so I've made my goal 20 and will use that as a baseline to build from.

 
I had my second meeting with that good prospect; he balked on the close for the ML account but liked the idea of doing a $13k annual year premium on a 2nd to Die instead of the $30k annual premium he is doing on a single policy that is set up all wrong (he owns it).  So if I can rewrite the policy I will be very motivated to keep calling even more. 
 
So we're trying to get him in the door with an Estate Planning attorney.  As far as the last week or so I have been on vacation and taking it lite.  I'm going to hit it hard on Monday again
Aug 7, 2008 3:55 pm

How do you compare your numbers from reference usa with the DNC list?