Cold Calling

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Mar 19, 2009 6:48 pm

So after a few months of studying I finally passed my series 7 and series 66. Its nice to finally get that over and done with. No more studying for a little while



Now I am starting to work. I work for a small boutique firm down in FL. This has been my first week of cold calling and I have had tons of very interesting responses. I have been very close to closing one or two people, but just wasn't able to finishing the call strong. I guess it comes with experience.



I thought this would be interesting for people to talk about there first week or two cold calling and talking about there experiences. How long did it take you guys to close your first account.



Looking forward to seeing some responses....

Mar 19, 2009 6:54 pm

It took me 3 months to open my first account.  I remember being on very thin ice and my manager finally sat down next to me and listened.  He said "Mike, in all my years I have never heard a sh*t*ier pitch."  He said I was making things way too complicated.  The best advice he gave me was to keep it simple and find the pain.

Mar 19, 2009 11:10 pm

Good topic Ry. I'm looking forward to some interesting stories.

Mar 19, 2009 11:15 pm
Mike Damone:

It took me 3 months to open my first account.  I remember being on very thin ice and my manager finally sat down next to me and listened.  He said "Mike, in all my years I have never heard a sh*t*ier pitch."  He said I was making things way too complicated.  The best advice he gave me was to keep it simple and find the pain.

 
What were you doing? What did you change?
Mar 19, 2009 11:40 pm

It takes about 6 months to convert the reasonably interested & well qualified prospect to a client from a cold call. Every call you make helps fill your pipeline for the 6 months to a year out.  


Don't expect it all to happen overnight. A big problem I've seen people hit is that they give up because they don't think it works.  It does work - but you have to keep in mind it can take more than 10 touches - calls, meetings, e-mails, cards, follow up calls  from the FIRST cold call to move someone to a decision.
 
Most sales people give up much earlier in the process and then say cold calling doesn't work.  In my experience, it's people who don't work the process who don't work.  Cold calling is just the first step in a process. It is the first pass. Are you qualified? Are you interested? That's it. That's usually all you get from a cold call and you have to be able to qualify people.  Sometimes you book the appointment on the call  - but that is rare. Sometimes you have to call, mail, call, mail, call, mail, call to get them into your office or you to their home.
 
Think baseball.  You don't win a baseball game on a pitch or a swing. When on offense, you have to have connection with the ball to make a good hit or lots of good pitches on defense to thwart hits.  You have to run each base completely to home. You can't go from first base to home. Ever. In sales that CAN happen - but don't count on it. It's not a one step process.
 
Mar 19, 2009 11:58 pm
Takingnames:

It takes about 6 months to convert the reasonably interested & well qualified prospect to a client from a cold call. Every call you make helps fill your pipeline for the 6 months to a year out.  

Don't expect it all to happen overnight. A big problem I've seen people hit is that they give up because they don't think it works.  It does work - but you have to keep in mind it can take more than 10 touches - calls, meetings, e-mails, cards, follow up calls  from the FIRST cold call to move someone to a decision.
 
Most sales people give up much earlier in the process and then say cold calling doesn't work.  In my experience, it's people who don't work the process who don't work.  Cold calling is just the first step in a process. It is the first pass. Are you qualified? Are you interested? That's it. That's usually all you get from a cold call and you have to be able to qualify people.  Sometimes you book the appointment on the call  - but that is rare. Sometimes you have to call, mail, call, mail, call, mail, call to get them into your office or you to their home.
 
Think baseball.  You don't win a baseball game on a pitch or a swing. When on offense, you have to have connection with the ball to make a good hit or lots of good pitches on defense to thwart hits.  You have to run each base completely to home. You can't go from first base to home. Ever. In sales that CAN happen - but don't count on it. It's not a one step process.
 



Are you KIDDING me? Six months? If they are a good prospect, you should get an appointment on the first call and close them at the first meeting! There's 300,000,000 people in this country? Why the f*** would anyone chase any ONE of them until they cave in?

At least you gave yourself an appropriate name, instead of calling yourself "Takingapplications."

Mar 20, 2009 12:20 am
Blitzkrieg Bop:
Takingnames:

It takes about 6 months to convert the reasonably interested & well qualified prospect to a client from a cold call. Every call you make helps fill your pipeline for the 6 months to a year out.  


Don't expect it all to happen overnight. A big problem I've seen people hit is that they give up because they don't think it works.  It does work - but you have to keep in mind it can take more than 10 touches - calls, meetings, e-mails, cards, follow up calls  from the FIRST cold call to move someone to a decision.
 
Most sales people give up much earlier in the process and then say cold calling doesn't work.  In my experience, it's people who don't work the process who don't work.  Cold calling is just the first step in a process. It is the first pass. Are you qualified? Are you interested? That's it. That's usually all you get from a cold call and you have to be able to qualify people.  Sometimes you book the appointment on the call  - but that is rare. Sometimes you have to call, mail, call, mail, call, mail, call to get them into your office or you to their home.
 
Think baseball.  You don't win a baseball game on a pitch or a swing. When on offense, you have to have connection with the ball to make a good hit or lots of good pitches on defense to thwart hits.  You have to run each base completely to home. You can't go from first base to home. Ever. In sales that CAN happen - but don't count on it. It's not a one step process.
 



Are you KIDDING me? Six months? If they are a good prospect, you should get an appointment on the first call and close them at the first meeting! There's 300,000,000 people in this country? Why the f*** would anyone chase any ONE of them until they cave in?

At least you gave yourself an appropriate name, instead of calling yourself "Takingapplications."

What tips do you have then?
Mar 20, 2009 8:24 am
tqspygame:
Blitzkrieg Bop:
Takingnames:

It takes about 6 months to convert the reasonably interested & well qualified prospect to a client from a cold call. Every call you make helps fill your pipeline for the 6 months to a year out.  

Don't expect it all to happen overnight. A big problem I've seen people hit is that they give up because they don't think it works.  It does work - but you have to keep in mind it can take more than 10 touches - calls, meetings, e-mails, cards, follow up calls  from the FIRST cold call to move someone to a decision.
 
Most sales people give up much earlier in the process and then say cold calling doesn't work.  In my experience, it's people who don't work the process who don't work.  Cold calling is just the first step in a process. It is the first pass. Are you qualified? Are you interested? That's it. That's usually all you get from a cold call and you have to be able to qualify people.  Sometimes you book the appointment on the call  - but that is rare. Sometimes you have to call, mail, call, mail, call, mail, call to get them into your office or you to their home.
 
Think baseball.  You don't win a baseball game on a pitch or a swing. When on offense, you have to have connection with the ball to make a good hit or lots of good pitches on defense to thwart hits.  You have to run each base completely to home. You can't go from first base to home. Ever. In sales that CAN happen - but don't count on it. It's not a one step process.
 



Are you KIDDING me? Six months? If they are a good prospect, you should get an appointment on the first call and close them at the first meeting! There's 300,000,000 people in this country? Why the f*** would anyone chase any ONE of them until they cave in?

At least you gave yourself an appropriate name, instead of calling yourself "Takingapplications."

What tips do you have then?



Get an appointment on the first call and close them at the first appointment.

Mar 20, 2009 12:32 pm

Ok, boys let's play nice. Let's agree that there are different approaches and that new accounts can be opened in a time span ranging from one call to several months. Personally, I've been on both ends of that range.

 
Gererally, i agree with takingnames in that it can take a while for a pipeline to fill and that it takes more calls to open many accounts than the effort put forth. In other words, the callers quit too soon. Same as with direct mail. People try it once, find the phone doesn't ring off the hook with prospects responding to the mailing, declare direct mail a failure, and then move on.
 
In both cases, saying that cold calling doesn't work, or that direct mail doesn't work, those who proclaim this are 100% accurate. It didn't work for them. The good news for the rest of us is that leaves one less competitor.
 
Mar 20, 2009 12:48 pm
Squash1:
Mike Damone:

It took me 3 months to open my first account.  I remember being on very thin ice and my manager finally sat down next to me and listened.  He said "Mike, in all my years I have never heard a sh*t*ier pitch."  He said I was making things way too complicated.  The best advice he gave me was to keep it simple and find the pain.

 
What were you doing? What did you change?
 
I was reading from a script which basially sounded like a brochure.  I got better results when I threw away the script and simply talked naturally to people and cut to the chase.  "Hello, this is Mike Damone from ABC Financial.  I'm a local financial planner.  Are you working with anyone?"  Regardless of what they said, I would qualify them and then find the pain.
Mar 20, 2009 12:54 pm

remember this is a marathon not a sprint...bla,bla,bla

just remembering back... best advice is be consistent, if you don't already have one install a call counter, I use Voip so it is very easy to track the dials of the guys in the office. If a guy is pitching and he says a guy is done I look at his dials, 7 min call we have a mtg. no one buys in 7 mins... a proper presentation can't even be done in close to that time, guy says he isn't get the leads the guy next to him is getting, again after a quick check... guess what??? guy has 150 dials less than the guy next to him... the point here isn't be a complete machine but in the 10 yrs I have been doing this one thing reigns true... be consistent and then you have a fundamental base to work off of... than you can work on specializing your craft...all the other stuff falls in to place (ie. guy who opens on the CC, one time close for $250K, etc.)... there are always exceptions to each his own... GL

Mar 20, 2009 9:54 pm

I wouldn't think it would take 6 month to generate a client(maybe bigger whole portfolio accounts), but I would think calling on a product(fixed annuity, bond, etc) you could generate a client pretty shortly..

Mar 20, 2009 10:54 pm

Pound sand. 


 
 
 
 
Mar 20, 2009 10:55 pm

was that to me?

Mar 20, 2009 10:56 pm

LOL - No that's to Blitzkrieg! I meant to copy his reply

Sorry Slim!

Mar 21, 2009 9:30 am
Takingnames:

Pound sand.   



Blitz is right. If it takes you 6 months to get an appointment, you need to review what you are calling on an your presentation. Most clients that have a need want to talk to you NOW if you present a solution for their problems.


Try to think about what you are saying and create a need for them to see you immediatly. There are way too many potential clients out there to focus on 7 or 8 contacts before you ever get an appontment. Do you make your clients feel the need to see you NOW?? If not review your script before and make sure you are addressing their needs. 



Mar 21, 2009 1:11 pm

Onion w/all due respect, I share what works for me - and my input is shared to the original poster. 

 
What I do works for me.  I have dozens of scripts, have used calling coaches, and there is no problem with the scripts. I take a systemetized approach that works for me.  I make more than 20k calls a year.  I find many hesitant to meet on a first call. Yet they will come around on more touches. Visibility can equal credibility.
 
Most people (advisors specifically and sales people in general) don't have the persistance to make the high volume of touches.  Yet, I find that if one doesn't circle back - money is left on the table. One CAN close appointments on the first call AND close business on the first appointment. Yet, I firmly believe any of us is doing newbies a disservice leading them to believe that they should have an expectation that a one call one meeting approach is the only way it can work.
 
That will lead to frustration, self doubt and possible failure because give up when they don't see immediate successes and results. That can happen when they don't see the value of taking a slow steady systemetized approach and BUILDING a business. 
 
In baseball, sometimes you run all the bases for a home run on the first swing of the bat - but baseball games can be won in many ways and this business is more like baseball than anything else. Sometimes you have to take a slow roll around the field, following other pitches and other hits; sometimes you have to head back to a bag to move forward because you realize going forward might cost you a base. Sometimes the ball is hit out of the park. One just has to stay in the game to win,  one doesn't have to hit the ball out of the park every swing.
 
 I think it's misleading to tell a newbie that home runs are the way to roll. In fact, I believe it's a way to help a newbie fail.  I'm sharing my experience and my opinion. Take what you want, leave the rest.
 
I believe that  "successful people make a habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don't like to do"
 
Mar 21, 2009 2:48 pm

 The telephone cold call has been the SOP for our industry for years. I'll be honest most of us old timers love to tell the rookies our old war stories of how we cold called day and night and got the big sale and built our book. Well, that may true then, but today with caller ID, do not call lists and the information age of the internet and do it yourself investors along with banks offering investment products...it's whole lot different now.  I would say most of the new successful guys use face to face networking, seminars and use contacts they have to build books. We still have cubes of rookies cold calling all day and I feel for them, they have no chance using outdated methods, today. (Of course their trainer would disagree with me. )

Mar 21, 2009 7:00 pm
Blitzkrieg Bop:


Are you KIDDING me? Six months? If they are a good prospect, you should get an appointment on the first call and close them at the first meeting! There's 300,000,000 people in this country? Why the f*** would anyone chase any ONE of them until they cave in?

At least you gave yourself an appropriate name, instead of calling yourself "Takingapplications."



Bobby?

Mar 25, 2009 2:52 pm

Takingnames-

I agree with you 100%. If someone is looking to create a long-term client and not just a 1 time customer, then it will take more than one contact to bring them in for an appointment. Trust based selling is all about this concept.


If someone is interested in exploring this idea further check out the "One Card System"
Now, i am not suggest that everyone go buy it and use but it does work.