My Cold Call War (My personal journal)

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May 8, 2012 4:08 pm

Hi folks, I've been on these forums for about six months now, I work at a major firm and was hired as a new trainee, didnt have my series 7 or series 66, I passed them both and recieved my production number two weeks ago.

For these past two weeks I can honestly say I've wasted time, doing busy work and reading training manuals on how to use the system. I've trried networking but it hasn't yielded any results. I followed another experienced advisor in the same program as me who heled three seminars and spent about 700.00 out of pocket and has yet to close an account.

So what am I going to do? Im going to keep it simple and pretend that I've been given an order by my commanding officer to take the hill (my hurdles) and figure out a way to get to the top.

Just to let you guys know that I've never done a cold call in my life before today, I've never held a sales job either. I recently graduated from college.

I'm going to execute a series of campaigns and cronicle my journey here on this forum for you guys to critiuqe and comment and give me suggestions. I'm going to keep the first campaing simple and keep it focused on business owners and I am going to pitch a muni bond.

Campaign 1:

- Pitch:    Muni Bond

-Target:  Business Owners

I'll be reporting in daily on my activity, I believe it will keep me motivated and accountable, the posts wont lie.

Here goes!

May 10, 2012 1:14 pm

Day 1 results:

Dials 300

Connects: 20 (all said owner wasn't there)

Decision Makers spoken to: 0

Prospects: 0

------------------

I called out of the yellowbook and used a service that automatically scrubed each number I dialed through the DNC list.

Maybe my pitch was bad, but I didnt get to speak to a single business owner.

My pitch:

"Hi thi is (name) calling from (firm) in (location), this is regarding a personal financial matter may I speak to the owner please?

The rason I'm calling today is have some important information on a tax free municipal bond fund yielding 5%, its state and federal tax free. What I'm looking to do is help people increase their income and avoid taxation. Would this be of interest to you?

(No) = thank you very much

(Yes) = Great, if you dont mind me asking what kind of investments have you been making lately?

(blah...blah..blah)

How's that worked out for you so far?

(blah....blah...blah) I see, well I'd love to send you some information I think you'll find beneficial would that be okay?

May 10, 2012 2:38 pm

Good efforts, Harkkam.  Two BIG recommendations I'd make:

1.  Do NOT call through a call screener.  No business is on the national DNC list.  Although your firm has an internal DNC list, you do not have the time or the resources to scrub your leads for internal DNC.  From time to time you will run into an existing client of the firm.  Simply thanks them for their business and then move onto the next call.

2.  You must have the name of the prospect you are calling.  Take five seconds and look the name of the business owner up on Manta.com before you call.

Best of luck!  You're muni bond pitch looks plenty fine.  Keep those dials up and tweak your process to see the contact ratios higher!

Best,

LtC

May 10, 2012 8:40 pm

Thank you, by the end of the day I had realized two things.

1. All business are exempt from the DNC so no longer will I scrub them

2. I need to know the owners name, and you provided manta.com thank you!

May 11, 2012 12:12 pm

Day 2:

Dials 200

Connects: 10

DM reached: 2 (Owners who I get a chance to speak my script with)

Prospects: 0

I need a better list

May 11, 2012 1:31 pm

CIS seems to have great lists. A little pricey though but have heard alot of good things.
Infofree is cheaper but the lists have been pretty good.
Also try to call businesses early 7-9am, makes a huge difference. Or late after 4-5, though I don't do much of that.

May 11, 2012 1:43 pm

Just bought a CIS list, of 1400 names. I'll record the stats and see what happens monday morning. Yeah I've been calling business out of the yellow book to just get my skills up so when I hit lists that I paid for I dont make silly mistakes.

Thanks guys

May 16, 2012 2:18 pm

Day 3:

Dials: 50

Connects: 20

DM: 10

Prospects: 2

I was still using the yellow book to increase my skill and I think I got lucky today I had two people who wanted me to send them information and had a conversation with for about 10 minutes.

I'll be honest this is really tough the cold calling, with about a month and a half till my first hurdle and zero assets under management, I'm trying my best to hit up my network and see what comes out of it but as of yet nothing.

Even though this is my third day cold calling it really is starting to get to me already, not so much the rejection but more so the fear of not making my hurdles and the amount of work it takes to dial so many numbers and remain enthusiastic call after call. After the 30th call you're already like "ahh this isn't going to work, Im wasting my time" and that just seems to suck your level of energy out.

May 16, 2012 3:03 pm

Harkkam,

Heads up mate. mixing worry of hurdles and calling together.....counting down the hurdle clock...tick-tock.......not the way to go......there will be anxiety coming through in your voice.

Also, 30 dials before aarrr....come on mate....takes a lot more calls than that....and you are a lot  stronger than that.

Get it clear in your mind, before you start cold calling, exactly what it is you want to accomplish...is it sending info, opening an account, booking a meeting....then, feel the accomplisment of getting through the calls, one at a time, getting closer and closer to that target, 30 done...great, nothing to show,,,,great....I'm getting closer....It's on the way.....beleive it and do it.

You're a superstar in the making......now make them calls.

All The Way

May 16, 2012 4:17 pm
harkkam:

Day 3:

Dials: 50

Connects: 20

DM: 10

Prospects: 2

I was still using the yellow book to increase my skill and I think I got lucky today I had two people who wanted me to send them information and had a conversation with for about 10 minutes.

I'll be honest this is really tough the cold calling, with about a month and a half till my first hurdle and zero assets under management, I'm trying my best to hit up my network and see what comes out of it but as of yet nothing.

Even though this is my third day cold calling it really is starting to get to me already, not so much the rejection but more so the fear of not making my hurdles and the amount of work it takes to dial so many numbers and remain enthusiastic call after call. After the 30th call you're already like "ahh this isn't going to work, Im wasting my time" and that just seems to suck your level of energy out.

10 mins is almost always too long on an initial call, you're not paid to teach. Also, being 'enthusiastic' is pretty overrated. With those two comments know wonder you're out of energy.
You're just looking for the people that want to buy your offer now or soon. It might be 1 in 40 or it might be 1 in 300 (starting out), simply find them and work your system. But with that said, yeah the ups and downs can be challenging since the numbers don't always play out EVERY week which would be more convenient.

May 16, 2012 5:40 pm

[quote=harkkam]

Day 3:

Dials: 50

Connects: 20

DM: 10

Prospects: 2

I was still using the yellow book to increase my skill and I think I got lucky today I had two people who wanted me to send them information and had a conversation with for about 10 minutes.

I'll be honest this is really tough the cold calling, with about a month and a half till my first hurdle and zero assets under management, I'm trying my best to hit up my network and see what comes out of it but as of yet nothing.

Even though this is my third day cold calling it really is starting to get to me already, not so much the rejection but more so the fear of not making my hurdles and the amount of work it takes to dial so many numbers and remain enthusiastic call after call. After the 30th call you're already like "ahh this isn't going to work, Im wasting my time" and that just seems to suck your level of energy out.

[/quote]

The hurdles are tough, no doubt but you got to keep at it. I haven't spent that much time on a single call. I just ask (well this week) are you interested in tax free income? Talk to them about some bonds I have access to, find out when they'll able to purchase and move on. I am also building a list that I can hit with all sorts of articles about the upcoming tax hikes and hoping that I can light a fire under them to move now. I got a client ready to come in with $75,000 next week and it has me pumped to keep going. It sucks that most people I talk to may not be interested but my first week doing this and I got $75,000! That's awesome. What are you pitching? 

May 22, 2012 11:02 am

Okay so here are my day 4 results:

Calls: 250

Contacts: 25

Prospects: 1

----------

I'll be honest and say that this is really time consuming and inefficient compared to what I thought it would be. I have access to D&B hoovers and I have over 10,000 leads all businesses in a 10 mile area around me that have over 250k in revenue and up to 10 million with only 1-3 employees. Smaller number of employees means easier to get to the principal.

Still call after call you get one prospect who is okay with you mailing him something, and after that you cant reach them again.

I've done two seminars and cold walked out, and I've gotten three really good qualified prospects who had a meeting with me from a seminar and after just one hour of cold walking I had a prospect who wanted to sit down with me and told me he had a smith barney account he was unhappy with.

Cold calling may be easier in that you can sit in your office and call rather than get in front of crowd, but that crowd is usually of a much better quality than a cold call list.

Its demoralizing to call 200 people and have only one person that is "iffy" on being mailed something vs a room full of people who "want" to be there.

One seminar cost me 300.00 in total , I had a wholesaler cover half the costs and I am in talks with a guy who has a 1.5 million in assets.

I feel like it might be better to go the semiar way than cold calling to be honest. But I know all you guys support cold calling I know it must be working but I dont think I can call so many times and get one half assed prospect.

Its not that the rejection bothers me, its putting in all that effort and not knowing what will happen and after only doing it for four days and getting one or two prospects at most it feels like way too much effort for something so small.

If I knew a list of 1,000 names had 3-4 good accounts 100% then I'd call that list like no tommorow but I've called close to a 1,000 people and nada. Thats what gets to me.

May 23, 2012 5:35 pm

25 contacts and 1 prospect?  Sounds kind of low for any list.  Personally in addition to contacts (measures the list quality) I measure Presentations (i.e. decision makers talked to). 

I know the folks here on the board say business owners, but I have to tell you....i like calling pre-retirees and retirees at home.  Yes DNC is an issue, but don't believe the hype.  Everyone is NOT on the DNC, and every 90 days they roll on and off.  You have to work a little harder then they did in the 80s and 90s, but it is worth it.  I buy lists from various lead brokers, and just dial dial dial.  I try for 300 a day, and I will generate 5-7 prospects.  Check out Bill Good's Mystery Advisor Script:

http://www.billgood.com/resources/research/articleviewer.cfm?&str_publicationID=818

It goes over, what is a prospect, etc. 

As far as business owners go, I am finding that they are NOT very liquid.  Their business IS their investment.  They are either tied up in real estate ventures or the business is sucking their extra cash.  Even so, you can make a lot of contacts to businesses.....but not very many presentations.  You have to talk to the decision maker thats why I like homes.

I do a call-mail-call process that Bondguy and Bill Good recommend.  Sometimes if I smell it on the phone, I will close a meeting.  Dial the phone, talk to people, get them to talk about money, qualify, close to send info or appointment, follow up follow up follow up follow up follow up....Did I mention follow up? 

FYI I am a trainee at a major wire and I am at 800% of goal, and ALL my clients started with a cold call.  Not $1 of mommy and daddy's money or their buddies.  I buy lists, call, follow up and close.  You can do it bud...just keep chopping wood!  :)

May 23, 2012 8:34 pm

"every 90 days they roll on and off".
Not sure what you mean here. You have 90 days to comply with them being on the list (not get fined). You do not get off the list unless you request to be. Once on the federal DNC you are always on it.
Otherwise I agree with everything you said. Find a corporate directory or two and call for people about to retire. That is if you want to coldcall.
There're a hundred different ways to get clients in this business. You have to find what works for you, and do it over and over and over.

May 23, 2012 9:05 pm
harkkam:

If I knew a list of 1,000 names had 3-4 good accounts 100% then I'd call that list like no tommorow but I've called close to a 1,000 people and nada. Thats what gets to me.

There is. Either your list was horrible, the product didn't match the audience on the list, the product wasn't very attractive, or you need some more practice sounding normal on the phone (not a knock, some people sound bad at first-usually trying too hard or something)

Call another 1,000 contacts and add 8-20 good clients.

May 24, 2012 12:48 am

Hmm...should I try to go for businesses then. I am also finding it hard to get past the gate keeper, and they are usually broke or all invested in their business. Perhaps I'll call people at work

Jun 4, 2012 4:15 pm

To be quite honest I'm glad I'm no longer at a major firm. If you are calling from Wirehouse, depending on who you are talking to, they have all heard it before. Secondly I thoroughly believe that a newbie should be teamed up with a senior FA. However you must find one that you trust. Also don't cold call 100k households. You need to whale hunt. Go after million dollar accounts or at the minimum 500k. You're chances of closing a million dollar prospect as a newbie are limited so thus the need for a senior FA.

Also unsure where everybody is located but if you're in a major metro area then corporate directories are your best bet. You can either buy the lists or build them yourself.

Jun 4, 2012 9:36 pm
riaassociate:

To be quite honest I'm glad I'm no longer at a major firm. If you are calling from Wirehouse, depending on who you are talking to, they have all heard it before. Secondly I thoroughly believe that a newbie should be teamed up with a senior FA. However you must find one that you trust. Also don't cold call 100k households. You need to whale hunt. Go after million dollar accounts or at the minimum 500k. You're chances of closing a million dollar prospect as a newbie are limited so thus the need for a senior FA.

Also unsure where everybody is located but if you're in a major metro area then corporate directories are your best bet. You can either buy the lists or build them yourself.

No.

Going after ~100k households is a great way to build a business if you don't want to be an assistant for X number of years to a Senior Advisor. Some people want to build their business NOW.

Jul 23, 2012 8:25 pm

King Bobby,

I beg to differ on this but maybe you could give me some insight. I'm not someone's assistant we are working on a joint split. To be quite honest I don't think I could have landed some of our clients by myself so for me it works. I'm just curious as to how landing 100k accounts works for building a business. Eventually you'll run out of time as the fees generated off the accounts won't allow you to survive if you're in a fee based model. 100k accounts will take up all of your time. Would you mind me asking if you're in Wirehouse or if you're independent?

Jul 23, 2012 11:06 pm
riaassociate:

100k accounts will take up all of your time. Would you mind me asking if you're in Wirehouse or if you're independent?

Here's a link that explains it nicely. (100k avg, fee based etc)
http://wealthmanagement.com/forums/prospecting-marketing-and-selling/500-day-war-rookies

For me, my minimum is 50k, Indy, commission based, no fees.