On Cold Calling

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May 8, 2007 9:20 pm

I created this new thread to bring new attention to an old topic.


I work for a major brokerage (the one with the highest hurdles ) and my director swears by cold-calling.  For me, being 22, cold calling represents my only option as most of my 'connections' are still busy finishing college [partying].  I have had success using two methods:


1. Very limited pre-dial qualifying (i.e., dialing down the phone book of affluent zip codes) with a script to the tune of: "I work with affluent households to help them invest for the longer-term and I was wondering if you had any money in the market?"  It really is surprising how much the answer to that question will help you qualify the person on the other end of the line.  Because my b/d has goals of 250m+ for new accounts, it becomes inherently obvious whether they fit that mold or not quickly with that line.  The goal here is to qualify the prospect and setup the follow-up system.


2. Significant pre-dial qualifying (i.e., reading the newspaper for prospects) and asking for the appointment with a line like: "I work with affluent (business owners, professionals, etc.) and was going to be in (your city) on (predeterimed date) and was wondering if I could drop by, give you a card, and introduce myself."  This method will get you quickly in front of affluent people.



Goal is roughly 30 cold contacts using method 1 and 15 using method 2 per day.


LOS: 3 months, 8 accounts, 2.5mm AUM, 20m annuitized PC's


Get conversation on this topic going, because no matter what anyone tells you: this is both the most important and most difficult part of starting out.


May 8, 2007 11:01 pm
drewski803:

1. Very limited pre-dial qualifying (i.e., dialing down the phone book of affluent zip codes)





Are you scrubbing for DNC? If not and you get caught, you could get canned.

May 8, 2007 11:24 pm

Of course.  My B/d has a great third-party dnc service.  I simplified my process, but basically what I do is reverse-lookup phone numbers for a zip and paste it into our scrubber.  Works well.  Of course business leads aren't subject to those restrictions.

May 9, 2007 11:51 am

drewski, excellent stuff! Don't change a thing, you're doing great.


Your search for qualified lists will become a major part of you job description in coming months. If the phone book you're using isn't a reverse street directory, get one. It will help you hone in on wealthy streets or blocks, as well as zip codes. But keep the book you're using until or unless it stops producing.


Take a drive and look at the houses in various neighborhoods. New McMansions, with 30 something owners, bad. Older established neighborhoods with 40ish and older residents, good. I pass on any street overrun with minivans.


Country clubs have rich members. Somewhere there is a list with phone numbers. People who own big boats have money, as do classic car owners. Where to find those names? I'd start with the directory of directories or the directory of associations in the ref section down at the local library. I'd bet that that directory has the name, address, and website info for just about yacht club, and classic car club in the country. Airplane owners have money. AOPA use to have a buyable list.


 And if all else fails you could try calling the classifieds:


" I 've got good news for you and bad news for you. The bad news is I'm not calling to buy your 55 300SL Gullwing Mercedes. The good news is I have a high yield tax free bond to offer you. Do you buy tax free bonds?"  


Yeah, it's ballsy, but the worse that can happen is the owner tells you to crawl into a dark wet cave with your dog and die. Of course, in that case you don't get the sale. Which is exactly the same result you get when you don't make the call. Hmm, same result? You have nothing to lose. And with any luck you can cross ref the phone number to come up with a name before you make the call.


Your credo "Find the M-U-N-Y!!!!"

May 9, 2007 12:19 pm

Sorry to burst your balloon, but I am skeptical.


Personally, I don't answer the phone to let some one give me a quote for the roof on my house.  I would never let someone I don't know look over my investments, and I know few rich people who answer the phone.


If this works for you, great.  but I am skeptical of your numbers.


$20 million what in 8 months.

May 9, 2007 12:39 pm
vbrainy:

$20 million what in 8 months.


He said $20M not $20 million.

May 9, 2007 1:34 pm
vbrainy:

Sorry to burst your balloon, but I am skeptical.


Personally, I don't answer the phone to let some one give me a quote for the roof on my house.  I would never let someone I don't know look over my investments, and I know few rich people who answer the phone.


If this works for you, great.  but I am skeptical of your numbers.


$20 million what in 8 months.



Clear this up. Are you skeptical because you misread the numbers, or are you skeptical because you don't like cold calling as business channel?


May 9, 2007 2:48 pm

I think cold calling with a product works best. Muni's & Preferreds are great account openers. If the prospect is looking for other products/services they will let you know, and you can go from there.

May 9, 2007 3:46 pm

Isn't there a better way to get into the business? Cold calling seems so outdated - it may have given some of us a start, but it seems folks today are just bombarded with solicitations - and if you could differentiate yourself, it might not be easier, but it could be more effective.

May 9, 2007 7:30 pm

Frankly, I just can't get enough people at home. Yes, I do it at night

sometimes, but I run into people not answering the phone because of

caller ID, and if I try the *67 route, a lot of people have that service that

won't accept blocked ID's. I have had limited success, but I just can't

connect with enough people. I am trying to cold-call businesses, but I

can't find a good directory for that.



Any thoughts?

May 9, 2007 7:51 pm

I've done both vigorously over the past year.  Houses SUCK.  Though I've gotten a 250m, 100m, and a decent shot at a 750+m from a res. list.  My best accounts come from businesses, though. People with money really don't seem to mind being called at work.  I like what BondGuy (I think it was him) said about the harder the number is to find the better lead it is. 


Theres a kid in my office (you always hear this bs, but I've seen this one in real life) that has been there for roughly 3 years (+1 interning) that did 300m in production last year (LOS 2).  He swore to me that he never called a single residence and I know for a fact he isn't connected.  I think you've just got to use that kind of stuff as your driving force.  I asked my director the other day what he did that I'm not and he looked me square in the face and said "Nothing, Drew."  That is motivation.


Today I had two appointments: first one was a lady with 100m investible but with parents (hers and her hubbies) that had some real money.  Second was an attorney that oversaw an 850m profit-sharing plan.  Where I'm from thats called getting in front of real money.

May 9, 2007 7:55 pm

Broker, I use Hoovers.com for business leads.  I'm sure there are alot of great ones.

May 9, 2007 8:52 pm

oh yeah, vbrainy, I don't care if you are skeptical.  My numbers aren't stellar (20,000 in PC's on 2,500,000 of assets) but if you're a noob like myself, I'd recommend this method.  Especially for those of you who are young like me.

May 9, 2007 9:50 pm
Broker24:

Frankly, I just can't get enough people at home. Yes, I do it at night
sometimes, but I run into people not answering the phone because of
caller ID, and if I try the *67 route, a lot of people have that service that
won't accept blocked ID's. I have had limited success, but I just can't
connect with enough people. I am trying to cold-call businesses, but I
can't find a good directory for that.

Any thoughts?


Here's some thoughts:


Start at your local library. Go to the reference section. We're looking for the Dunn and Bradstreet million dollar directory. Take some time with it and look at how it's organized. You'll note that there are thousands of business listed with thousands of names of officers and top managers. Take special note of the page that lists ordering info for the book. Also take some quarters along and make lots of copies. That should hold you until your copy of the book arrives. Next look for the local Chamber of Commerce directory. Most libraries have these stasted somewhere. it too is a wealth of names. better yet call your local chamber and become a member. Call all the Chambers in your state and ask for membership lists. Last stop at the library is a regional business directory like the Mark directory. Most areas have this type of book. It costs about $250 and has all the info you'll ever need. Most of largest clients have come from this type of book. Next stop is your company's investment banking dept. Get the prospectus of some of the recent new issues. it will list all the officers and directors of whatever firms have recently been brought ot market. You don't even have to guess at how much money these people make. It's right there in the prospectus.These people have new found money to invest. Next on the list are the publicly traded companies with offices or operations in your home town. Everything from the electric company to the big box store. Become an expert in their company and then start calling top managers.


Or, you could just call a list broker like CIS and buy all the names you need.

May 9, 2007 10:05 pm

Thanks for the info, Bondguy.

May 10, 2007 1:31 pm

get the glen-gary leads

May 10, 2007 1:49 pm

Judging by your screen name, Vin Diesel, and your post, it appears that you are also a fan of amped up, commission pumping sales movies.

May 10, 2007 1:58 pm

Coffee is for closers!

May 10, 2007 7:44 pm

May 11, 2007 1:12 am

So does cold calling still work in the day of the DNC list?  After a 4 year hiatus, I'm thinking about doing it again.  I don't need to, but I loved doing it.