Cold Walking

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Jul 19, 2009 1:14 pm

I've read a couple of other posts on cold walking already; still haven't seen anything specific written.

 
Do you cold walk?  What do you bring?  What do you say?  How do you target the areas that you cold walk - residential / commercial / etc?  What times during day tend to work best - mornings / afternoons?
 
It's been recently suggested to me that I start cold walking.  I don't really have a clue where to begin.  Any help to a newbie would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance.
Jul 19, 2009 1:51 pm

I am also wondering how this is done.  When selling adhesives and we weren't on the approved vendor list already, the main goal of walking in was to find out who made the vendor decision.  Anything else was gravy, the next step was calling, emailing, or walking back in at a later time.  Conceptually, have much committment are you trying to get when walking in?  10-20 minutes?  A full hour to discuss their situation?  What are the main conerns you talk about to get someone to meet with you?

Jul 19, 2009 2:39 pm

Here is what has worked for me cold walking residential and small businesses. 

#1 the hardest thing to do is get out of the car.  I find every excuse under the sun not to do it.  Not the right place.  No place to park.  Someone is looking at me.  The list goes on and on but the important thing to do is get out of the car!

Business cards are all you need although sometimes I bring more - typically just a simple brochure outlining what we offer.

The conversation is simple. 

"Hi, I'm Volt, I'm a FA with EDJ here in town and the weather was so nice I wanted to get out of the office and intro. myself to some folks today.  How long have you lived in the area?"  -- use similar for business, but say "how long have you been in business.

Most of my business has been rollovers and the question I ask to get
these is "Are you retired or do you work in the area?"  Great, what do
you do for a living?  Have you been there long?

We go through the small talk, I ask them if they've heard of EDJ before?  Tell them what I do.

I then say "I love to keep in touch with the folks I meet - would that be alright?  Great, what's the best number to reach you?  ... If I come across something I think might benefit you I'll give you a call"

If you've done a good job building rapport you'll get numbers 90% of the time.

Make sure you ask some financial questions during or at the end of the conversation.  You are a professional, they'll answer.  "How do you feel about the taxes you are paying?"  or "how are you saving for retirement"

Jul 19, 2009 3:02 pm

Volt, how do you decide where to go? 

Jul 19, 2009 3:10 pm

I targeted middle to upper middle class areas.  I am now moving into the wealthy homes.

Start with a middle class street without tons of potential when you first go out.  It'll help you work out the kinks.  6-8pm is golden to knock on doors.

Jul 19, 2009 3:12 pm

Rick and ReadyAimFire, are you wirehouse reps or working for an insurance company or something else?  If insurance is going to be a decent part of your practice, I can probably be helpful.

Jul 19, 2009 3:29 pm

How do you define a middle class street?  Do you just go by zipcodes?  I'm looking to go out tomorrow and was given two areas that I should be targeting.  Not really familiar with the area and not really sure where to start.  I might just drive out to the area and randomly go around, trying to remember where I've been so I don't circle back.

 
Anonymous, I am a wirehouse rep.  I don't think insurance will play a huge role for me, honestly.  I'd like your advice either way though, please.
Jul 19, 2009 3:34 pm

You'll need to define middle class for your area, the homes in my area are small and would prob. be lower middle class in most areas.  I'd scout out where I'm going tomorrow, today.  The first knock is the hardest.  Good luck!

Anonymous, I'd also like to hear what you do.  I'd like to add insurance in my business at somepoint.

Jul 19, 2009 3:37 pm

How long do you cold walk?  Where do you normally park your car?  Do you just sort of go out there or do you have it down to a system / science?

Jul 19, 2009 3:42 pm

What is the best way to go about planning a day / week / whatever of cold walking?

Jul 19, 2009 4:22 pm

Life insurance, disability, and retirement savings.  I'm still trying to decide where I call home, I like the Mass Mutual office as well as Northwestern Mutual.  Also, I'm going to check out New York Life and Guardian.  I want to make sure I know exactly what to do on Day 1 to hit the ground at full speed.

Jul 19, 2009 7:48 pm
"Anonymous, I am a wirehouse rep.  I don't think insurance will play a huge role for me, honestly.  I'd like your advice either way though, please."
 
My advice is fairly useless to you.  As a wirehouse rep, in order to make a buck, you need to talk to people who have a decent amount of assets to invest.  With an insurance company, anyone who has asset or cash flow or loves somebody is a decent prospect.  It completely changes prospecting methods.
 
For instance, I think that cold walking business owners is great for people who work for insurance companies, but not nearly as effective for wirehouse reps.
 
Jul 19, 2009 7:51 pm

"Life insurance, disability, and retirement savings.  I'm still trying to decide where I call home, I like the Mass Mutual office as well as Northwestern Mutual.  Also, I'm going to check out New York Life and Guardian.  I want to make sure I know exactly what to do on Day 1 to hit the ground at full speed."



If you like the offices equally, go with MassMutual over Northwestern Mutual.