EDJ - New Accounts

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Jun 8, 2009 9:57 pm

I'm a few weeks past my can-sell with EDJ as a new/new and am having trouble opening my first account. I have some decent appointments still coming this month but want to place my first order. How did some of you new/new EDJ vets fare your first few months after can-sell? My VV at Eval/Grad as well as my FT has told me after listening to my calls that I sound great on the phone but am just having crappy luck. I'm not panicking yet because I have a few promising appointments coming up but it would be nice to get the monkey off my back and place my first order.

 
Thanks in advance
Jun 8, 2009 10:40 pm

My can sell was about two weeks ago. I originally set 12 appointments at eval grad in which I'm 0/2 so far with both being no shows when I stoped by their home. Since then I've been able to reach 100 people by phone with many others never answering even when I leave a message. I've went back to some of the houses and most are either not home or not answering the door so I leave a marketing piece and a business card to let them know I stopped back by. I have about 9 appointments left (after 1 cancel & 2 no shows)for June so far with another appointment scheduled for tomorow. I called to confirm the appointment with the guy today that I'll be seeing tomorow so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I know he has very little to invest but seemed interested in some AT&T stock and maybe getting a college fund started for his daughters.


It's pretty frustrating right now because I have nothing to show for my effort and definately need some good gas. I want to know if there are other new/new FAs on here that struggled when they first started as well.
 
I've had lots of encouragement so far from other FAs and has helped a great deal. That's something I like about this firm so far. The support and encouragement.
Jun 8, 2009 11:49 pm

I'm still making 25 per day but have only been able to reach around 100 thus far by phone. The rest of my contacts are coming from new 1st contacts via door knocking. I'm just going to keep going until 1 of 2 things happen.

1. They give me the boot
 
2. I succeed
 
I'm brand new at this and I know that once I can get a few accounts opened that I'll feel much better. Until then I'm trying to stay positive but it's tough.
Jun 8, 2009 11:56 pm

Keep making new contacts. So long as you have 9 or 10 appointments upcoming at all times you will be OK.
Oh, and keep making new contacts.
Did I mention to keep making new contacts.




Jun 9, 2009 7:28 am

bastermind,





You are doing just fine. Just be patient and keep up the activity. It's a numbers game and eventually you will close new business.



By the tone of your posts I can tell you are already frustrated since prospects are "no shows" and you haven't closed the ones that do show up for your meetings. All I can say is welcome to the world of a new FA. Keep moving on to new people and don't waste time with the ones that blow you off.



Good Luck!

Jun 9, 2009 7:59 am

You're going to have a lot of no-shows and you're going to be dark-housed quite a bit in your 1st 6 months.  This all just because of your skill on the phone (qualifying, building urgency to make the client NEED to meet with you) and your confirm process.  Its no big deal as long as you continue to improve and get more comfortable either on the phone or when meeting them in person.  Don't act to overzealous to sit down with them, and don't try to get off the phone ASAP once they've set the appt. just because you don't want to say anything to make them change their mind.  I made this mistake early on, thinking that the less that is said and the less I give myself a chance to talk too much, the better.  After a while you'll have your phone call down to a T and your confirm process systematized. 

 
There's not a whole lot to do early on though about cancelled appts., because they are going to happen.  I'd say very early on, out of every 10 appts. I'd set 5 would no show, 3 would cancel, one would be incredibly unqualified, and one would be a good meeting that I either closed or didn't close.  Others may have different results, but you'll need to expect something like this early on.
Jun 9, 2009 9:04 am

B-

 
I am trying to remember back to my first account.  I think it took me close to a month to open #1.  That is by far the hardest.  Just keep at it.  What eventually happens is someone just says "OK, let's do it now".  And you crap your pants 'cuz you have no idea what to do next.  But it gets much easier after that, mostly due to confidence.  But don't panick two weeks in.  As long as you are still making contacts, getting some appointments, etc., it will happen.
Jun 9, 2009 10:11 am

do yourself a favor. Have a friend or family member open an account. They may or may not need to put money in it right away but at least you will know how to open the account and be familiar with the forms. The last thing you want to do is have an appointment, get a new account and then look like a fool trying to figure out the paper work. It is just one less thing to worry about. This business is a contact game to start. Keep plugging away.

Jun 9, 2009 10:27 am

After 2 weeks I wouldn't start worrying about production and "getting the boot".  It is frustrating having no shows and what not but from when i was at Jones, the level of expectation on production is very minimal the first year.  Keep doing the work and things will start to fall into place.  

Jun 9, 2009 12:35 pm

Attitude is important, and that seems to be well covered here. Here are a few things that I've learned after a year.


-I never schedule appointments on Mondays. I found (and it may not be the same for everyone) that Monday has the highest rate of people that don't show for appointments. I don't know if it is because you can't talk to them the day before or what, but I rarely got a new prospect to sit down with me on a Monday. Use that day for pure prospecting.
 
-I was TERRIBLE at being able to properly qualify someone. People I thought were slam dunks were horrible prospects, and people that I thought would never do business with me opened accounts. In fact, one of the "f*** you's" I recieved early on ended up being a client after some persistance. Don't assume anything, good or bad, early on. You probably don't have a good idea of whether or not they are going to be a good match.
 
-No one prospect is going to make or break you. There were some people I thought I had to have, chased them forever, wasted a bunch of time, and never ended up doing business with them. There is A LOT of money out there ready to be gotten, especially since the economy has produced a lot of 401k's ready to be rolled over. If you get some bad luck and lose some prospects, don't think about it for too long. Learn something from it and move on.
 
- The sales process in this business seems very, very long. Two weeks is nothing. Some clients will take 6 months or more to be won. You may not see the benefit from the work you do now for a couple months, so don't think that a "not yet" is a "no".
 
I believe myself to be one of the 10% that will make it (not sure yet, I'll tell you in two more years), and I still go two weeks sometimes without opening an account or doing a significant amount of business. So, as said earlier, don't panic. Even terrible salespeople make a sale once in a while, so that first client is out there for you. Just keep your head down, and don't look at the picture too broadly. Do the work day-to-day, and the business will come.
Jun 9, 2009 12:45 pm

Baster,

I'm having a fair amount of luck opening accounts at an early stage (just a few weeks ahead of you).  So far what has worked for me is everything repeated above and....

 - Make sure you are having good conversations at their door.  Ask them what they are doing to prepare for their retirement.  If the say 401k - ask them what else. Make sure to offer to review their 401k for free.  I really try to set the expectation for follow ups and doing business.

- I still don't understand why someone makes an appt., I call to confirm, and then they are not at home.  Drives me nuts - I've been sending the appt. reminder post cards jones has and I think those are helping a bit since sometimes I forget to call and remind them :)

Just my two cents but keep in mind I'm as green as you!

Jun 10, 2009 3:41 pm

Bastermind,

Based on what you've said I'm thinking you're either talking to the wrong people or you are doing something wrong in your presentation.


I'm out about 6 months, new/new, and exceeding expectations.  I'm not nearly as experienced as some on here, but I can tell you where I have had my success.  I have had my best luck with 401k rollovers and selling tax-free bonds to people that were already bond buyers.

To get at the old 401k ask about their plan for retirement in general.  Find out if they have recently changed jobs.  Once you find the account, find a way to add value.  Discuss the benefits of rolling over the account to you.  A lot of people know the basics of what a rollover is, and that someone told them it was a good idea, so you just need to make it easy for them to work with you.

With the retired folks I always talk about how my current clients like our government bonds.  I flat out ask every older guy I meet if he likes tax-free bonds.  If no, I ask what sort of things he does like.  It seems like the older generation is used to a more transactional relationship, so they mostly care about the rate you have and if you seem to be a nice enough guy.

Most important - make sure you are talking to people with money.  I have found that in general they are more likely to give you a fair shake at the door, and understand that you are trying to make a living.  You can call on the best investments all day long, but if they really don't have any money you'll never get anywhere.  Go to the nicest, biggest and oldest houses you can find, single level if possible.  I have also found that people with money are more likely to keep appointments, they made a commitment to you and they understand that.

I never confirm appointments unless they are made weeks in advance, but I also don't usually make appointments with people unless I have a good feeling they are serious and will do business with me.  This might be hurting me, I don't know.  It saves my ego.

As for the appointments, keep it simple.  I don't use much of anything anymore except a whiteboard, or paper if I'm at their house.

I do:
Introductions
Ask about their financial goals
Risk tolerance questionnaire - so I don't feel like I'm shooting from the hip.
Own/Loan
Discuss asset allocation and the importance - read up on modern portfolio theory
Ask if they understand all of this.
Usually I have an idea of what their allocation should be, so I'll be ready with a proposal or something very close to what they will need.
Very briefly discuss individual funds
Discuss how I get paid.
Ask for their business

I use the FAST asset allocator if they are a bigger client or I get the risk tolerance before the appointment.  I invest their money according to the results, unless they want to tweak it a little.


Remember, people know you are new, so their trust is justifiably low.  Based on what I have seen people generally don't want to know everything about investing.  They just want you to present enough info so they can see that you aren't completely incompetent.  After that they just decide if they like you or not.  If you pass both tests you will get the business.


Hope this helps.  Sorry for the long post.
 

Jun 18, 2009 5:34 pm

Hey Bastermind!!  We've traded some posts in the past during SFS.  I'm about three weeks out from can-sell.  I managed to close a few accounts/trades at Eval/Grad, but other than a small FTF transfer it has been slow going so far.  I'm actually surprised your VV let you get out of the training without at least placing one trade.  Ours was a psychological slave driver, we had people coming in and staying all hours of the day/night it seemed, and several people literally in tears by the end, but our picture is somewhere on that darn wall!

 
Going back to your problem, I agree with the post about getting a friend/family member to at least open an account.  It is a breeze after the first one but could get a little sticky trying to open that first one in front of a client.  As for your prospects, are they of good quality?  I will be honest with you, door knocking was not my strongest suit as far as prospecting, and I think that has played itself out in my town as there have been four Jones wannabes come and go.  My advice, if you haven't joined the local chamber of commerce, join tomorrow.  Sign up for every committee and if they have a leadership class, sign up for the next one.  Join a service organization (Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, etc.) and be active.  Volunteer for charity fundraising events.  Work the key referal centers to the best of your ability.  If you know people or have family in your area, leverage them for as many references as possible.  Networking in this manner has been what has worked for me so far.
Jun 18, 2009 11:08 pm
voltmoie:

Baster,

I'm having a fair amount of luck opening accounts at an early stage (just a few weeks ahead of you).  So far what has worked for me is everything repeated above and....

 - Make sure you are having good conversations at their door.  Ask them what they are doing to prepare for their retirement.  If the say 401k - ask them what else. Make sure to offer to review their 401k for free.  I really try to set the expectation for follow ups and doing business.

- I still don't understand why someone makes an appt., I call to confirm, and then they are not at home.  Drives me nuts - I've been sending the appt. reminder post cards jones has and I think those are helping a bit since sometimes I forget to call and remind them :)

Just my two cents but keep in mind I'm as green as you!

 
Jul 10, 2009 10:22 pm

I look backwards and so few of my eval and KYC friends are still around. We had 80% drop out rates; but what strikes me most is the ones that made it aren't at all the "pro's" that seemed destined to glory. Especially the "Triple Crown Winners" and the licensed guys that already knew all about options and laddered portfolios.



It's like that with everything in the world. For some it comes too easy out of the gate, for others it's hard. When it is easy and they suddenly come on hard times, they'll fold. But some people just won't quit, whether or not they are succeeding. Be that guy, get a short memory, and don't look at the other guys/gals. They aren't you, they aren't speaking to your clients.

Jul 10, 2009 11:37 pm

I did well first 6 months in 2006 as a newnew.  it really is all about contacts; the recipe does work just as the training says. If appt is at a house, I never sent a reminder or called. If they forget, they'll let you in anyway. Reminder calls remind them to skip out. most people disagree with me on this, so do some trial and error.

 
Also, most sales are at the second or third appt- however the "setup" in the 1st appt is crucial. Go back with a FAST allocation and retirement report and a Morningstar Snapshot of their current vs proposed. Always do this analysis stuff on saturday or at 6am. More time to get to 15-25 per day (being realistic).
Jul 11, 2009 1:03 am
bastermind80:

I'm a few weeks past my can-sell with EDJ as a new/new and am having trouble opening my first account. I have some decent appointments still coming this month but want to place my first order. How did some of you new/new EDJ vets fare your first few months after can-sell? My VV at Eval/Grad as well as my FT has told me after listening to my calls that I sound great on the phone but am just having crappy luck. I'm not panicking yet because I have a few promising appointments coming up but it would be nice to get the monkey off my back and place my first order.

 
Thanks in advance

Do a search for username Gaddock, or the "500-day war" posts- Gaddock and I started about the same time 2yrs ago @ AGE and his posts got me through a couple of bad days.
There are also some good ideas in the 500day series..
 
I just think as long as you can stay motivated and not let a bad appointment turn into a bad day, and a bad day turn into a bad week--the accounts will eventually come. Just keep doing something-anything-and the activity will produce results.
 
It suprised me when it began to happen--its was like a someone turned on a switch. I couldnt really point to one thing and say "thing is what did it". It was just the shear volume of calls and the level of activity that made stuff happen.
Stay busy and keep smiling.
Jul 11, 2009 10:15 pm

Thanks for the info on the 500-Day War...

 
I'm also having trouble opening my first account. I'd like to hear how Bastermind is doing and if anyone else has any suggestions when I feel like I'm spending my days chasing squirrels.