Cold calling for experience

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Jan 23, 2007 4:56 pm

I wanna be an FA (just like every other rosy eyed college grad) and I know that I have the potential.  I'm moving to southern California, so I won't have an initial network or experience.  Those are just temporary barriers to the business that will fade.

Anyway, I'm thinking of getting sales experience so that I don't fail out like so many do.  I have 4 months left in school and am considering asking the local Northwestern Mutual if they could use somebody to help cold-call.  I want the experience, and I'm sure they wouldn't mind the grunt work.

If you were in their shoes, as owner of the branch, how would you feel about some guy asking if he can cold-call for minimum wage for a few months?

Jan 23, 2007 5:03 pm

I believe they have an internship program which will allow you to do just that.

Jan 23, 2007 5:23 pm

Set your goals higher. Call for a golf lesson lunch and learn event or such, with an established individual or group practice. Offer something of fun and value, in conjunction with an advisor who can afford an event (wholesaler pays?). It will be easier to get into conversations about what the prospect is interested in - let the prospect talk, make him talk. You listen.

Jan 23, 2007 5:40 pm
TheDude:

I believe they have an internship program which will allow you to do just that.



Yeah, I've heard lots of (mostly bad) things about their internship program.  Using kids for their 100-list of friends and families.  If I were to do this, I would not call my friends and family; I'd want to be calling complete strangers for the sake of experiencing what the real world will be like.  Friends and family lists dry up quick.

They've been known to come to my school's career fair and offer cold-calling internships on the spot to kids.  That's what made me think of them in the first place.

Jan 23, 2007 5:43 pm
planrcoach:

Set your goals higher. Call for a golf lesson lunch and learn event or such, with an established individual or group practice. Offer something of fun and value, in conjunction with an advisor who can afford an event (wholesaler pays?). It will be easier to get into conversations about what the prospect is interested in - let the prospect talk, make him talk. You listen.



The thing is, I doubt that the advisor would be willing to have me tag along, since I have no intentions of working for him after graduation.

Good suggestion though.  If this minor cold-calling stuff works, then I'll see if I can bump it up to that next step in client relations.  Thanks

Jan 24, 2007 1:52 am

I doubt that the advisor would be willing to have me tag along, since I have no intentions of working for him after graduation.


Defeated by your own logic, before you get out of the starting gate.
You don't know what you don't know. If a college student called me up, I would put them to work right away doing exactly what I described, for my business, to augment the client-bring-a-friend events we are doing right now.


No college student has ever called me up and asked for an internship. I have run a successful practice for 13 years in a good sized metro area. I have never been in a better postion to hire, but won't chase interns around just as I don't chase new clients.  Most people in life take the beaten path. Many aspects of this wonderful career are hidden from plain view, this is just one example.

Jan 24, 2007 7:28 am
Trapper SS:
TheDude:

I believe they have an internship program which will allow you to do just that.



Yeah, I've heard lots of (mostly bad) things about their internship program.  Using kids for their 100-list of friends and families.  If I were to do this, I would not call my friends and family; I'd want to be calling complete strangers for the sake of experiencing what the real world will be like.  Friends and family lists dry up quick.

They've been known to come to my school's career fair and offer cold-calling internships on the spot to kids.  That's what made me think of them in the first place.


Just a few thoughts...they will use you for your list.  Regardless of whether you think so or not, you will have to call your family and friends as this is the real world.  Anytime you start a business, you take what you can get, ask for referrals, then go into cold calling/walking/mailing. 


The other thing is they usually do not offer you minimum wage to cold call (at least not the internship I was offered).  You recieved no salary or wage.  You got licensed (series 6 and some insurance), you did the work of an actual insurance rep, then he would sit in on your appointments and collect half the commission.

Jan 24, 2007 12:01 pm

What kind of previous work experience do you have?


Did you finance your way through college?


why do you want to be an FA?

Jan 24, 2007 2:00 pm
entrylevelFA:
Trapper SS:
TheDude:

I believe they have an internship program which will allow you to do just that.



Yeah, I've heard lots of (mostly bad) things about their internship program.  Using kids for their 100-list of friends and families.  If I were to do this, I would not call my friends and family; I'd want to be calling complete strangers for the sake of experiencing what the real world will be like.  Friends and family lists dry up quick.

They've been known to come to my school's career fair and offer cold-calling internships on the spot to kids.  That's what made me think of them in the first place.


Just a few thoughts...they will use you for your list.  Regardless of whether you think so or not, you will have to call your family and friends as this is the real world.  Anytime you start a business, you take what you can get, ask for referrals, then go into cold calling/walking/mailing. 


The other thing is they usually do not offer you minimum wage to cold call (at least not the internship I was offered).  You recieved no salary or wage.  You got licensed (series 6 and some insurance), you did the work of an actual insurance rep, then he would sit in on your appointments and collect half the commission.


The reason I don't want to call my family & friends is because I'm planning on moving out of state after graduation.  I'm not going to be able to rely on them once I enter this business, since I'm going to be far away.

As far as payment for doing this, it really doesn't matter to me too much.  I'd be fine doing this for free, since the experience is the real payment I'm getting.

Jan 24, 2007 2:27 pm


vbrainy:

What kind of previous work experience do you have?


Did you finance your way through college?


why do you want to be an FA?



I have over 5 years experience doing consulting work in Information Technology.  This involved listening to the staff I worked with and figuring out ways to accomplish what they wanted done.  It's not pure sales experience, but I know the listening and problem solving aspects would be applicable in this new career.  It wasn't commission based, either, which hurts me when I try and spin this experience as being relevant in a sales environment.

I've payed for my college through always working part-time, but had loans on top of that since my low wages weren't enough to pay for everything.  I refuse to have my parents bail me out when cash is tight.  I've even been to the point to where I was donating my plasma twice a week for several months just to get the extra cash for groceries (although I stopped that, since I was tired all the time).


Why do I want to be an FA?  Well there's quite a story behind that.
After I graduated high school, I had some money from graduation gifts.  I wanted to invest it, but I didn't know how.  I had some mutual funds that had dropped over 50% since I'd had them and thought I could definitely do better than that.  I did some "research" online, bought some "hot stocks" that were "guaranteed" to go to the moon!  Well I'm sure you know how this turned out.  I lost all my savings.  Luckily it was only a few thousand.  It made me realize that investing actually takes hard work.  If a person doesn't know what they're doing, then they'll end up being a sucker.

All through college I've been doing independent reading about investments.  I've participated in some investment contests over the past 3 years and always do great:
** 3rd of 281
** 5th of 238
** 7th of 290
** 11th of 1056
** 7th of 175
I've got a 3.8 GPA, double majored in Finance & Econ with an Accounting Minor, worked part time, have done a lot of reading about sales, marketing, and investments, and still had time to party on the weekends.  I'm a firm believer in the work hard, play hard mentality.

Another thing that makes me want it more is that I've called several advisors already who have all tried to push me away from the business.  With good reason, too.  I'm the opposite of the ideal candidate since I'm young, inexperienced, and don't have a network what so ever.  But it seems like the more they steer me away, the more I want it. 


I really think I can succeed in this business.  Although the first couple years will be excruciatingly difficult, I need to find a way to communicate to an office that I've got what it takes.

Jan 24, 2007 2:57 pm
Trapper SS:
entrylevelFA:
Trapper SS:
TheDude:

I believe they have an internship program which will allow you to do just that.



Yeah, I've heard lots of (mostly bad) things about their internship program.  Using kids for their 100-list of friends and families.  If I were to do this, I would not call my friends and family; I'd want to be calling complete strangers for the sake of experiencing what the real world will be like.  Friends and family lists dry up quick.

They've been known to come to my school's career fair and offer cold-calling internships on the spot to kids.  That's what made me think of them in the first place.


Just a few thoughts...they will use you for your list.  Regardless of whether you think so or not, you will have to call your family and friends as this is the real world.  Anytime you start a business, you take what you can get, ask for referrals, then go into cold calling/walking/mailing. 


The other thing is they usually do not offer you minimum wage to cold call (at least not the internship I was offered).  You recieved no salary or wage.  You got licensed (series 6 and some insurance), you did the work of an actual insurance rep, then he would sit in on your appointments and collect half the commission.



The reason I don't want to call my family & friends is because I'm planning on moving out of state after graduation.  I'm not going to be able to rely on them once I enter this business, since I'm going to be far away.

As far as payment for doing this, it really doesn't matter to me too much.  I'd be fine doing this for free, since the experience is the real payment I'm getting.


I once said the same thing until I realized that experience didn't pay the rent.  Just remember, your family and friends can have a broker out of state.  I moved 1000+ miles from home to start my practice.

Jan 24, 2007 3:24 pm
entrylevelFA:
Trapper SS:
TheDude:

I believe they have an internship program which will allow you to do just that.



Yeah, I've heard lots of (mostly bad) things about their internship program.  Using kids for their 100-list of friends and families.  If I were to do this, I would not call my friends and family; I'd want to be calling complete strangers for the sake of experiencing what the real world will be like.  Friends and family lists dry up quick.

They've been known to come to my school's career fair and offer cold-calling internships on the spot to kids.  That's what made me think of them in the first place.


Just a few thoughts...they will use you for your list.  Regardless of whether you think so or not, you will have to call your family and friends as this is the real world.  Anytime you start a business, you take what you can get, ask for referrals, then go into cold calling/walking/mailing.


BS!, for years my family didn't know what I did for a living, many of them thought I was in the greeting card business. Do not work with friends and family. Money runs much thicker than blood, and it would be easy to ruin relationships if they lose money.


The other thing is they usually do not offer you minimum wage to cold call (at least not the internship I was offered).  You recieved no salary or wage.  You got licensed (series 6 and some insurance), you did the work of an actual insurance rep, then he would sit in on your appointments and collect half the commission.


That's no way to go about it either. There is no internships in this business, of the classic type. But if someone wanted to work for me as an office boy, and learn about the business that way, it could work out very well.


Nobody serious about client relationships would ever put a customer in the same room as a newbie intern.

Jan 24, 2007 3:28 pm
Trapper SS:


Another thing that makes me want it more is that I've called several advisors already who have all tried to push me away from the business.  With good reason, too.  I'm the opposite of the ideal candidate since I'm young, inexperienced, and don't have a network what so ever.  But it seems like the more they steer me away, the more I want it. 


Be very careful, about what you wish for. This is a gritty sales job, you will be hustling for sales, not using anything your education has prepared you for. Infact you will discover that most people in this industry know zero about investing or money management. You are going see alot of asinine BS, and yet have to grin and accept it.


If anything, you should go find a local RIA, and see about working for them. Much more suitable for a smart well educated person.



I really think I can succeed in this business.  Although the first couple years will be excruciatingly difficult, I need to find a way to communicate to an office that I've got what it takes


The odds are against you.

Jan 24, 2007 6:41 pm

Do not know if this helps...but based on my 7 years in the business I have found that the dumber you are the better off your are, in terms of doing really well in this field.  I wish I fit that catagory sometimes, but some brains and conscience have been a  hinderance.

Jan 24, 2007 6:59 pm
AllREIT:

Be very careful, about what you wish for. This is a gritty sales job, you will be hustling for sales, not using anything your education has prepared you for. Infact you will discover that most people in this industry know zero about investing or money management. You are going see alot of asinine BS, and yet have to grin and accept it.


If anything, you should go find a local RIA, and see about working for them. Much more suitable for a smart well educated person.



The difference between the regular FA and an RIA is blurry to me.  What type of position would a person start in to aim towards the RIA role? 

If anything, it seems that starting as an FA trainee would be the route to becoming an RIA.  Does that seem right?

Jan 25, 2007 12:34 am
fritz:

I wish I fit that catagory sometimes, but some brains and conscience have been a  hinderance.





Jan 25, 2007 12:44 am
Trapper SS:


The difference between the regular FA and an RIA
is blurry to me.  What type of position would a person start in to
aim towards the RIA role? 

If anything, it seems that starting as an FA trainee would be the route to becoming an RIA.  Does that seem right?





Learn about the "Merrill Lynch rule". As a registered rep, you
represent the company and its interests at all times, subject to NASD
rules. Any financial advice is "purely incidental" to your job of
selling securities.



That's not how firms present themselves to the public, but if you sue
Merrill Lynch, they will pull out the SEC ruling saying they have no
responsibilty to act in your best interest.



And RIA is exactly the opposite, you have fiduciary duty of care to act
in the best interests of clients at all time. You are not compansated
based on the sales of any financial product. You are compensated soley
by the client for services rendered. There are no commisions or trailer
fee's, and so RIA's tend to charge a %age of AUM or hourly or flat
fee's.

Jan 25, 2007 9:36 am
AllREIT:
Trapper SS:


The difference between the regular FA and an RIA
is blurry to me.  What type of position would a person start in to
aim towards the RIA role? 

If anything, it seems that starting as an FA trainee would be the route to becoming an RIA.  Does that seem right?





Learn about the "Merrill Lynch rule". As a registered rep, you
represent the company and its interests at all times, subject to NASD
rules. Any financial advice is "purely incidental" to your job of
selling securities.



That's not how firms present themselves to the public, but if you sue
Merrill Lynch, they will pull out the SEC ruling saying they have no
responsibilty to act in your best interest.



And RIA is exactly the opposite, you have fiduciary duty of care to act
in the best interests of clients at all time. You are not compansated
based on the sales of any financial product. You are compensated soley
by the client for services rendered. There are no commisions or trailer
fee's, and so RIA's tend to charge a %age of AUM or hourly or flat
fee's.


Using the "ML Rule" sure doesn't seem like a good way to get referrals.  Besides, don't they charge based on % of AUM, like an RIA would?  What you're talking about sounds like the Ameriprise or Waddell & Reed model.  But then again, I haven't had any real experience in the industry yet, so what do I know. 

I fully intend to act in the best interest of my clients, even that means passing up a commission-based sale.  It seems like having this attitude would build long-term trust and add them as a permanent client to build my AUM.

Jan 25, 2007 11:27 pm

Wait first of all, are interns allowed to cold call and solicit business?  I thought if they weren't licensed that act is purely illegal relative to the rules and regulations set forth by the SEC.


Or am I missing something?  Is there a clever way to say that they don't need to be licensed and are not cold calling?  I mean, if this is true, then wouldn't any of you guys be licking your chops off to hire this intern to cold call for you?  I would!  If he was working for free and could find 1 person out of 100 mildly interested, I don't think it would be a waste of my time to follow up.  This would be a mutually beneficial relationship.

Jan 26, 2007 1:00 am
young_gun:

Wait first of all, are interns allowed to cold call and solicit business?  I thought if they weren't licensed that act is purely illegal relative to the rules and regulations set forth by the SEC.


Or am I missing something?  Is there a clever way to say that they don't need to be licensed and are not cold calling?  I mean, if this is true, then wouldn't any of you guys be licking your chops off to hire this intern to cold call for you?  I would!  If he was working for free and could find 1 person out of 100 mildly interested, I don't think it would be a waste of my time to follow up.  This would be a mutually beneficial relationship.



See, if I call to setup appointments and not actually sell products, then I think I'd avoid any regulations.  I know it can't be illegal to refer a person to an FA, right?