Causes of Failure

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Mar 8, 2007 8:18 am

Hello everyone, seems like a lot of veterans here like to illustrate how hard it is to succeed in this business.  From your experiences what are some specifice reasons for failure and success in this industry.  Anything more than the obvious "hard work."


mooose

Mar 8, 2007 8:29 am

Wasting time on message boards that ought to have been spent tending to your business! (Cause of failure.)

Mar 8, 2007 8:45 am

I think its the same in this field (if your at a wirehouse) as in real estate.


Avoid the office (as long as your still working!)


I would see a lot of people in real estate come into the office ALL day and then go home. You dont get prospects siting at a desk.

Mar 8, 2007 10:24 am

Let's just give the man his answer. We all know it only takes a few minutes to peruse this thing daily and get the information you're looking for, so if a few minutes is going to "break" this guys practice, then I think he'd been doomed regardless of visiting this message board. That being said, he's come here to glean advice and ask for help. Consequently, although I'm not a veteran, my research says that you've got to push every method of prospecting first, then stand back and see what works. By stand back I mean, keep working until you're about to pass out and while you're working that hard, keep watch at what prospecting methods are working.



If you notice Seminars are best, then do more seminars. IF you notice cold-calling (warm leads) work best, then start pushing the numbers on the dial pad more. Etc...



My research says that those who fail don't put in the hours (12 - 15 per day) and don't pay attention to what is working for them--they just blindly push against the rock without realizing there's a lever nearby. That's my non-veteran advice.

Mar 8, 2007 10:41 am

Awesome,


I gave the man his answer. I am sincere and I am speaking from deep deep experience.


These boards are habit forming.


Want proof? Watch how many hits there are to topics even when no one is adding to the discussion. watch the topics that are more likely to contain a fight and see how the hit count grows. There are literally thousands of lurkers here who could/should be doing better things with their time (and before you say it, no I do not disinclude myself, I am the person who coined the word "Postaholic" nearly 7 years ago. I'm the guy who introduced the concept of "The Doppler Effect of posts" where post going away from you sound calm and melodious, whereas the same post comming at you sounds shrill and alarming).


So Newbian Gosh, don't be so quick to dismiss the advice that doesn't echo the sentiment you had in the first place. 

Mar 8, 2007 10:46 am

Managing the emotional swings... That's a huge part of why people fail in this business. I cant tell you how many times I have seen the following:


FA gets commitment from a prospect to ACAT a huge account that will generate nice production. Natural thought is to relax- "my month/quarter/year is taken care of". FA puts their feet up- comes in a little later, leaves earlier, doesnt grind as hard as they should. They still prospect, but half assed (" Mr. Prospect is moving over that $18MM account- I am set..."). Even without consciously knowing they are doing it, they placed 'all their eggs in one basket"...


A month or two down the road, FA gets a call from Prospect saying its a NO GO (insert million reasons why here..). FA is crushed. Now some lay down and let nature take its course. Others suck it up and grind on. Only thing is, they have just wasted a month/ quarter when you could have been conducting business as usual.


For seasoned FA's with decent books they bounce back, some more quickly then others. For trainees that are grinding to hit asset/ production goals, its the sweet sweet kiss of death. Thanks for playing but- buh bye...


In summary, managing your emotions and not getting too high or too low is CRUCIAL... You need to have an even keel at all times, and only get excited when you ge tto the office one morning and those monies from the big ACAT is actually sitting in the account. ( As you can tell, I have some experience with this scenario over the years...)

Mar 8, 2007 11:50 am
mooose:

Hello everyone, seems like a lot of veterans here like to illustrate how hard it is to succeed in this business.  From your experiences what are some specifice reasons for failure and success in this industry.  Anything more than the obvious "hard work."


mooose



Many newbies don't realize that this a sales career. They can't or won't sell. The pictured themselves sitting behind a desk, wearing a headset, buying and selling stocks all day. Dreams may die hard, but they die a lot faster when faced with the realities of this business.


Other reasons, failure to work enough or effectively enough. No plan.


Inability to close. This is systemic because of training.


However, reason number one: Fear of the phone. When that puppy gets to weighing about a thousand pounds it's time to find something else to do. And so they do.

Mar 8, 2007 6:02 pm

[/quote]


However, reason number one: Fear of the phone. When that puppy gets to weighing about a thousand pounds it's time to find something else to do. And so they do.


[/quote]


Why do most new FAs seem to use cold/warm calling as a method of generating leads?  It seems like this would only work if you already knew you had a lead, especially in an era of DNC. 


I'm just wondering how many of you actually got leads from cold calling that generated business vs other methods of prospecting?

Mar 8, 2007 7:57 pm
blarmston:

Managing the emotional swings... That's a huge part of why people fail in this business. I cant tell you how many times I have seen the following:


FA gets commitment from a prospect to ACAT a huge account that will generate nice production. Natural thought is to relax- "my month/quarter/year is taken care of". FA puts their feet up- comes in a little later, leaves earlier, doesnt grind as hard as they should. They still prospect, but half assed (" Mr. Prospect is moving over that $18MM account- I am set..."). Even without consciously knowing they are doing it, they placed 'all their eggs in one basket"...


A month or two down the road, FA gets a call from Prospect saying its a NO GO (insert million reasons why here..). FA is crushed. Now some lay down and let nature take its course. Others suck it up and grind on. Only thing is, they have just wasted a month/ quarter when you could have been conducting business as usual.


For seasoned FA's with decent books they bounce back, some more quickly then others. For trainees that are grinding to hit asset/ production goals, its the sweet sweet kiss of death. Thanks for playing but- buh bye...


In summary, managing your emotions and not getting too high or too low is CRUCIAL... You need to have an even keel at all times, and only get excited when you ge tto the office one morning and those monies from the big ACAT is actually sitting in the account. ( As you can tell, I have some experience with this scenario over the years...)



Bingo, Blarm! You hit the nail on the head.

Mar 8, 2007 9:05 pm

I have to say, one of the things I see at Jones a lot is when newbies only

try one type of prospecting (typically door-knocking). Many don't even

consider another type of prospecting. Some don't even door-knock

businesses. They do strictly residential door-knocking. When that

doesn't work, they are like deer in headlights. I have to say, I don't blame

Jones for that. They get you started, but they can't hand it to you on

silver platters. You have to use some of your own initiative, instincts, and

research ability. Step back and realize that everyone is different, areas of

the country are different, and maybe, just maybe, you need to try

something else (even if it's uncomfortable at first!).

Mar 9, 2007 1:09 am

Most failure comes down to the pain of rejection outweighing reward of closing a sale. 


You don't see how this could ever happen to you (I didn't), but after a few days, months, even years, the rejection starts to wear on you, and you can make excuses for not calling and for not closing when you do call or get an appointment.


The way I described starting in the business to a friend of mine was like this:  Imagine you knock on someone's door, and as politely as possible ask them for a moment of their time.  They then kick you in the nuts so hard you drop to the ground.  Repeat this at least 25 times a day, 6 days a week for 2 years.  Very occasionally someone will suprise you and not kick you, but not often. 


If you keep this up long enough eventually 2 things will happen.  First, you will develop a tough skin that makes those kicks not hurt nearly as bad as they once did.  Second, after a while some people stop kicking you and actually listen to you and follow your advice.  The trick is to keep getting up until those 2 things happen.  Most of the people I started with couldn't keep getting up, that's why most of my peers from 4 years ago are now in different careers. 


By the way, most successful advisors I have spoken with have said that you have to survive either the first 3 or first 5 years, after that it gets much easier.  Personally I felt like I turned the corner at about 3 1/2 years.  Being too stubborn to quit is finally paying off.

Mar 9, 2007 11:13 am
tri$mom:

However, reason number one: Fear of the phone. When that puppy gets to weighing about a thousand pounds it's time to find something else to do. And so they do.


[/quote]


Why do most new FAs seem to use cold/warm calling as a method of generating leads?  It seems like this would only work if you already knew you had a lead, especially in an era of DNC. 


I'm just wondering how many of you actually got leads from cold calling that generated business vs other methods of prospecting?


[/quote]


Many of us call business owners and corp execs, so DNC is not a factor.


Cold calling is used because it works. It's proactive and effective if done right. Whether it's calling with an offer or an invitation, most don't come close to doing right. Much of the criticism of cold calling comes from those who have never done it. They look down their noses at it. Yet, there are those of use who swear by it.

Mar 9, 2007 2:35 pm

"Many of us call business owners and corp execs, so DNC is not a factor. Cold calling is used because it works. It's proactive and effective if done right. Whether it's calling with an offer or an invitation, most don't come close to doing right. Much of the criticism of cold calling comes from those who have never done it. They look down their noses at it. Yet, there are those of use who swear by it."


In the past 6 weeks, after switching my marketing niche, I have had great success calling on Exec's and business owners. Had 2 meetings last week- an Exec with $1.4MM at Schwab, and a business owner with $2MM in the company 401K and $600K at a rival. Both have set second meetings and have provided statements.


This week I met with a business owner with $1.2MM in a business cash account and $400K in a DB plan (2 years old, growing rapidly, and he is not happy with current situaiton). Next week I have a meeting with 2 senior partners at a law firm- $2.5MM in 401k/PS plan and god knows what else in terms of personal money.


Point is- it can be done..

Mar 9, 2007 7:32 pm
blarmston:

Next week I have a meeting with 2 senior partners at a law firm- $2.5MM in 401k/PS plan and god knows what else in terms of personal money.


Point is- it can be done..



Don't forget your EIA brochures...

Mar 9, 2007 7:56 pm
blarmston:

"Many of us call business owners and corp execs, so DNC is not a factor. Cold calling is used because it works. It's proactive and effective if done right. Whether it's calling with an offer or an invitation, most don't come close to doing right. Much of the criticism of cold calling comes from those who have never done it. They look down their noses at it. Yet, there are those of use who swear by it."


In the past 6 weeks, after switching my marketing niche, I have had great success calling on Exec's and business owners. Had 2 meetings last week- an Exec with $1.4MM at Schwab, and a business owner with $2MM in the company 401K and $600K at a rival. Both have set second meetings and have provided statements.


This week I met with a business owner with $1.2MM in a business cash account and $400K in a DB plan (2 years old, growing rapidly, and he is not happy with current situaiton). Next week I have a meeting with 2 senior partners at a law firm- $2.5MM in 401k/PS plan and god knows what else in terms of personal money.


Point is- it can be done..



This is exactly what I'm talking about. The pipeline is starting to fill. By my count blarm is in front of 8 million dollars just over the past two weeks. That's 8 million more than he would have been in front of if he hadn't picked up the phone. It can only get better. Make your own opportunities. This is how big producers are made.


Blarm, I'm sure the gathered masses wouldn't mind it one bit if you'd  share your new niche and your approach. I know I'd love to hear it.

Mar 9, 2007 8:44 pm

This is an excellent/productive thread and one that I hope will continue in the same fashion.


With regard to prospecting, it's all about getting in front of people with big $.  And yes, I said "big $" as it takes the same amount of time/service/etc to service the very small accounts.  Now, that doesn't mean you don't make exceptions where it's warranted.


I have four set appointments (thus far) for next week .  The first is a retired individual who will be opening a fee-based account for approx. 700k; the second is a business owner worth about 6 million who wants/needs planning and will be moving over quite a bit in new assets to the firm.  The third individual has recently sold quite a bit of real estate and is liquid in the neighborhood of 10 million.  I'll likely only get a portion of that, but so be it.  The last appointment is with an individual who would appear on a "Who's who" list.  Net worth in excess of 200 million and a rolodex that could build all of our businesses'. Not that I'll ever gain access but why not die trying?


Point of the matter? ALL of these individuals were developed from cold calls.  No introduction, no favors. I made it happen, from my own efforts.  It didn't happen overnight and it has taken time.  Still, it works.  As I said many years ago on this forum:


"Shake the bushes; hunt for some elephants; hard to capture but imagine what one elephant could do for your entire forest!?"

Mar 9, 2007 10:54 pm
blarmston:

"Many of us call business owners and corp execs, so DNC is not a factor. Cold calling is used because it works. It's proactive and effective if done right. Whether it's calling with an offer or an invitation, most don't come close to doing right. Much of the criticism of cold calling comes from those who have never done it. They look down their noses at it. Yet, there are those of use who swear by it."


In the past 6 weeks, after switching my marketing niche, I have had great success calling on Exec's and business owners. Had 2 meetings last week- an Exec with $1.4MM at Schwab, and a business owner with $2MM in the company 401K and $600K at a rival. Both have set second meetings and have provided statements.


This week I met with a business owner with $1.2MM in a business cash account and $400K in a DB plan (2 years old, growing rapidly, and he is not happy with current situaiton). Next week I have a meeting with 2 senior partners at a law firm- $2.5MM in 401k/PS plan and god knows what else in terms of personal money.


Point is- it can be done..



Blarm and BondGuy:  Thanks for the explaination.  It sounds as thought your cold calling is focused though.  You're calling on a niche of people, not just walking down Street USA or shooting a dart at a phonebook and seeing what happens.  That completely makes sense and would seem to increase your odds of gaining a client.  Thanks for the feedback! 

Mar 9, 2007 11:09 pm
The Judge:

This is an excellent/productive thread and one that I hope will continue in the same fashion.


With regard to prospecting, it's all about getting in front of people with big $.  And yes, I said "big $" as it takes the same amount of time/service/etc to service the very small accounts.  Now, that doesn't mean you don't make exceptions where it's warranted.


I have four set appointments (thus far) for next week .  The first is a retired individual who will be opening a fee-based account for approx. 700k; the second is a business owner worth about 6 million who wants/needs planning and will be moving over quite a bit in new assets to the firm.  The third individual has recently sold quite a bit of real estate and is liquid in the neighborhood of 10 million.  I'll likely only get a portion of that, but so be it.  The last appointment is with an individual who would appear on a "Who's who" list.  Net worth in excess of 200 million and a rolodex that could build all of our businesses'. Not that I'll ever gain access but why not die trying?


Point of the matter? ALL of these individuals were developed from cold calls.  No introduction, no favors. I made it happen, from my own efforts.  It didn't happen overnight and it has taken time.  Still, it works.  As I said many years ago on this forum:


"Shake the bushes; hunt for some elephants; hard to capture but imagine what one elephant could do for your entire forest!?"



What's your secret Judge?  And good luck to you!

Mar 10, 2007 3:40 am

I can agree with Blarm & Judge...i'm  2 months into it and have done maybe 40-50 cold calls total. I attract about 1 million a month. No one is out of reach, I glean announcements in the papers, and basically anyone i feel that may sport a $200,000 or more sized portfolio.


Cold calling will work, if you believe in it and target those with money.


I go by two rules:


1. If they're not dealing with me, they're dealing with some other broker/adviser, so its fair game to test the waters. I don't care what firm they're with, its a reason to meet. The firm they say they are with is a reason to meet, because "...I'm glad your with XYZ, so are most of my clients, and my strategies compliment those of XYZ, we should really meet! How's tuesday 3pm?"


If you don't call them, someone else will. That's lost production that could've been in your pocket.


2. Manage your emotions and welcome "no", 'cuz you want to work with clients that sincerely see your value. Sell nothing over the phone, just find a reason to meet.


If you get the appointment and are face to face, you're 99% going to close the prospect.



Mar 10, 2007 6:51 am

Soolgoode,


Based upon your post, you are either full of it or lazy.


If you close everybody and call on people who can invest more than $200,000, you are only meeting with 5 people a month. 


I do like your 2 rules.