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Apr 30, 2008 2:24 pm

Apr 30, 2008 2:32 pm

Hello:

I am replying to my above message since for some reason it doesn't allow me to post messages in the first place.
 
This is a question regarding EJ training. I am interested in how they get you ready for the series 7. I know you get the laptop and read and take practice exams. Here are some of my questions:
 
1. Are the practice exams completed and submitted to someone for review?
 
2.  Do they monitor your practice tests? Is this done by a mentor?
 
3.  What is the total time commitment each day that's required for studying?
 
4.  IS there studying PLUS branch work during prep for the series 7?
 
5.  What do they pay you during training.
 
6.  Regarding door knocking....what do you do with neighborhoods that post "no soliciting" signs? Still make house visits?
 
I'm a guy in my mid 40's thinking about a career change. I like the autonomy idea, not crazy about the door knocking but OK with it, really enjoy building people relationships (I do have a sales/key account sales background) and helping people achieve goals.
 
I've looked at EJ and Ameriprise. EJ seems to offer more flexibility (ie: no load funds, etc). Any and all thoughts from all the "pros" out there is very much appreciated. Thanks.
 
Apr 30, 2008 2:42 pm

yeah, Jones is famous for their no load funds.  Seriously, there is a ton of commentary on this topic posted throughout this forum.  I would scan and search through some other forum topics for answers to many of your questions.

All new reps need to realize the amount of time is always more than you think it will be, and the pay is always lower than you hope.  The Jones salary during training is nothing more than a few bucks to prevent you from starving.  It is purely gravy, but a huge "mental" leg-up on the competition.  Any first year salary should be one of the last things you worry about. 
Apr 30, 2008 2:50 pm

I-Horse:


 
Thanks for the post. You're right. I've looked through alot of the replies and have had many of my questions answered. Just curious about those several ones. I look at a training salary is gravy since I'm lucky enough to be married to a great wife with a terrific job. Start up liquidity so to speak isn't an issue. My biggest one is passing the 7 and doing well at door knocking.
 
Apr 30, 2008 3:05 pm

Jones has THE BEST preparation course for the S7 in the biz.  The pass rate is 90%.  You have a Study for Success Trainer who monitors your test scores via the Jones system during  your study.  You'll do them online so they can track them.  They do conferences calls for the more difficult topics (at least they used to).  You also have an 800 number to call for help when/if you get stumped on a concept.  Unless you are a complete dolt, you won't have any trouble with the 7 at Jones.  Expect a normal 8-5 study time for the exams.  You might be able to get done quicker, but that depends on your study skills.  You might take longer. 

 
As far as the no soliciting signs go, it's up to you.  Some guys breeze right past them.  Some people respect them.  I've never had a good conversation with anyone with a no soliciting sign on their door, so I just skip them.  There are too many good people out there that don't care if you ring their doorbell. 
 
Prospecting is prospecting.  At Jones you do it door to door.   At Amex you do it on the phone.  I like doorknocking better than cold calling.  It's more personal and more fun for me.  If nothing good happens at least I got some fresh air and some sunshine.    
Apr 30, 2008 3:10 pm

You are expected to study 45-50 hours per week you are paid buy the hour during this time including overtime. test are done on their lap top and are reveiwed on a group phone session each week the study material is very good, I thought it was more diffacult than the test itself, I think you have 2 chances to pass your practice final, but not sure on that. hourly wage depends on area etc expect about 12-14 per hour. I had no branch contact whatsoever no mentor either. but that may not be the norm.



NO soliciting signs are a good thing,weak people put those up. Make sure you hit every one of those unless your city has a ordinance against door to door marketing they mean nothing.  Good Luck

Apr 30, 2008 3:32 pm

Thanks Spaceman and Yooper! I think the door to door is a more personal touch. Over the phone is annoying and in alot of instances illegal.  During studying, that's all you do right? Nothing but a focus on passing the 7 I take it?

 
Also, once you're an FA and you have established accounts, how do you get paid on an account that more or less "invests and forgets"? Is there a retention bonus for that specific account?
Apr 30, 2008 4:14 pm

Dixie


Personally, I knocked on all No Solicit homes and let them know right off the bat that I wasn't soliciting but just meeting people in the neighborhood as I was opening a new business in town and wanted to get to know the people...It worked pretty well.  As far as the study for success goes, Spiffy pretty much covered it, it was really a piece of cake and if you had a problem you had all the help you could possibly need/want.

Apr 30, 2008 5:09 pm

It is a pretty rigid study program which is good.  You must complete one exercise before it allows you to begin another one.  It's all organized on a computer program with tabs for what you need to accomplish each week and day.  I've been very impressed with the course. 

You must maintain a 70% average on all the tests or else you will get a call and they'll make an employment decision.  If your average after the Jones study program is 77% or higher, you have a 98% chance of passing the 7. 

All your scores are automatically transmitted and monitored.

I study about 50 hours a week and score in the mid 80's on my practice tests.

During the study time you do NOTHING but study.  There are a couple days where you shadow your field trainer.  It's a nice break from the laptop.

I made roughly $60,000 in my previous career and they are only paying me $11/hour to study.  It seems low but I'm only 24 so I think that has something to do with it.

I haven't started doorknocking yet but I do have some experience with it from a different standpoint.  I solicited painting contracts door-to-door when I was in college.  I was nervous and skeptical at first but I just did it and quickly gained confidence and success.  It got to the point where I almost expected a contract at each door.  "why wouldn't they want me to paint their house?!"

So far I've been impressed with the experienced brokers I've met so far.  I had dinner with the Regional Leader. Great experience.  I shadowed my field trainer. Great experience.  They seem positive and willing to help.  I think Jones must put pressure on these guys to help us be successful.  I dunno.

I'm not sure where you got the impression the EJ sells no load funds.  How would we get paid?

Good luck!




Apr 30, 2008 8:08 pm

When you say "not crazy about the doorknocking but ok with it," really think long and hard about that. I was certainly not crazy about it but told myself over and over it would be fine. Keep in mind, thats the majority of your job for the next two years.    You need to be certain you can do this before you jump in. That being said, Jones has an outstanding training program (as far as I can tell). Good luck with whatever you decide!

Apr 30, 2008 9:14 pm

Jones:

 
I know this is a very big question and issue. I think the "soft" approach would be to knock on the door, introduce myself, and tell the homeowner that I've just opened an office in the neighborhood and I'm out meeting the residents. I think that's non-threatening and would lead to more dialogue.
 
One other question I had if anyone would like to chime in is this-how long do you go after passing the 7 before you get your office. Plus, in the meantime, how do you meet with clients? I can't imagine inviting them over to your basebment office in the house would look very professional. Thoughts
 
Also....a marketing idea that I will throw out to all of you that came to me earlier today...Hook up with a local coffee shop and purchase from them $100 worth of gift cards. For buying these cards, get the coffee shop owner to allow you to pass out brochures on a weekday morning where patrons could sign up to win the gift cards. You ould have 2-$25 winners and 5-$10 winners, all of which are awarded that day to those who enter the drawing. This way, you get names and phones, you create a relationship with the coffee house owner by buying their cards (and putting money in their pockets) and you get follow-up interaction with the winners of the contest. What do you think?
 
Thanks again for all the replies.
 
Apr 30, 2008 9:32 pm

Thinking about marketing strategies and unique ways to prospect at this stage is outstanding.  Make sure that your prospecting and marketing efforts are focused.  You want to come into contact with people with money.  Do not use what  time you have on a crapshoot.  Not saying this couldn't work, but how do you know the patrons are the type of people you want to prospect.

Apr 30, 2008 9:37 pm

Primo:

 
Very good point. I would think at the beginning you are trying to spray to many different areas and not focusing on just one or two....or am I wrong? To me, any face to face contact beats sending mailers, dialing for dollars, running an ad, etc.
 
The other thing about face to face is arm extension techniques. I spent time at P&G and they had us teach or product demo people to reach out to the consumer with product coupons and samples since the natural reaction is to take it. Same as when a person extends their arm for a handshake.
 
 
Apr 30, 2008 10:04 pm
Very good point. I would think at the beginning you are trying to spray to many different areas and not focusing on just one or two....or am I wrong? To me, any face to face contact beats sending mailers, dialing for dollars, running an ad, etc.
 
This business is a contact sport.  The more people you contact the greater chance you have of success.  Often, you have to cast a wide net.  Make sure you are fishing where the fish are is what I am saying.  I did a chamber event last year.  All local businesses.  Not open to the general public.  Purpose of the event was networking.  Gave away quite a few door prizes.  Winners who would meet with me = 0.  Prospects from event = 16.  Clients = 9.  Point is the giveaway will probably not help.  Take the $100 and go to the coffee shop twice a week on your way to the office.  Casually ask the owner after he has seen your face a few times "I am starting my own business and would love to pick your brain about your success."  If he bites, use the conversation to cull information that you can use to get him.  Then ask for referrals.  Less time spent, less money spent, greater chance of success (unless the business owner is a deadbeat).
May 1, 2008 8:22 am

Makes sense on the gift cards and your results were interesting.

 
Speaking of marketing, does EJ provide tools to promote your business. I'm sure brochures are available. But what about "leave behinds" like refrigerator magnets, calendars, etc. Is this something you can purchase on your own through a set budget?
 
 
May 1, 2008 8:41 am

Dixiepukes - you're done before you've even begun.  You're apprehension to prospect like a morman, or a high school kid selling magizines - will hinder your efforts.  If you don't completly buy into your strategy, or message - you're toast!  If you stand for nothing - you'll fall for anything.  Give me one person who 'legitimately' built a successful practice by walking neighborhoods selling 'goods' out of their trunk.

 
Listen to yourself write - your sophisticated marketing strategy focuses on 'leave behinds' like magnets and calendars.  Get serious - this is a tough business and you can't screw around with 'soft' 'wimpy' strategies.  Honestly ask yourself if this strategy would motivate you to give someone hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest.
 
May 1, 2008 9:37 am
dixiepucks:

Makes sense on the gift cards and your results were interesting.

 
Speaking of marketing, does EJ provide tools to promote your business. I'm sure brochures are available. But what about "leave behinds" like refrigerator magnets, calendars, etc. Is this something you can purchase on your own through a set budget?
 
 
 
We have an entire marketing website dedicated to mailers, online ads, newspaper ads, etc.  They can all be electronically manipulated online and e-mailed to wherever for publishing.
 
Also, we have an online catalog of a few hundred different gift items that can be customized with your information (one of those corproate gift programs).
 
My advice, when starting out, don't go hog-wild on gifts, ads, etc.  It will be a waste of your money.  If anything, choose one item, and make it your "trademark".  Maybe it's a particular pen, or magnet, or whatever.  But make it not-too-cheesy,and something you can give to anyone (that's why I like pens).  I have nice rollerball pens with my name/logo that I give to everyone.  People love them, and they remember me because of them.  I see them all over town (don't use the cheesy Bic Stics).
 
But all the marketing dollars ain't gonna close a deal.  It just gets you a little exposure. 
May 1, 2008 11:28 am

Apprentice:

 
You are probably the guy that would come to my door, come at me hard and completely turn me off. I'd let you "pitch" me, then say no. I had a guy come to my door one time selling car wash packages. I told him "not interested" three times...he persisted. So I let him go through his 5-10 minute pitch. When he came up for air, I said "no Thanks" and closed the door. He ended up wasting enough time to probably visit 2-3 additional houses in that time.
 
You are missing my point. When one door knocks, I would assume the strategy is to strike up a conversation with the homeowner, and then "leave behind" a business card or anything that will help them remember you. Sure, it's up to the FA to follow-up and get the sale. For example, I have magnets on my refrigerator for insurance people, pizzza shops, etc. I refer to them all the time and even pass along their information to friends. That's what I am saying.
 
Stand for nothing? Unfortunately, you don't know me. I stand for quality service, solid relationships, great advice and the ability for people to trust me. It's kind of like the old bull and the young bull at the top of the hill. They see some great females at the bottom of the hill. The young bull wants to race down to do one of them while the old bull says lets take our time going down the hill and do them all. Follow me?
 
Also understand that magnets and calendars are not at all "sophisticated", although you might feel otherwise. It's just a part of the overall plan that includes the seminars, the referrals, the meetings, the door kncoking, etc.
 
As far as the motivation to invest, I'd be alot more motivated to someone who brought to me plans and ideas for long term success. Once I showed and proved such a strategy, I'm sure the hundreds of thousands of dollars would follow.
 
That's my angle.
 
 
May 1, 2008 11:56 am

Dixie, don't forget to add the disclaimer about your historical results don't come with a guarantee of future performance.  Just to cover your ass, in case your strategy blows up...just an old bull giving some advice....

May 1, 2008 11:57 am

apprentice - you want just one person who built their business going door to door?  How about thousands of them.  If you want names, just open up your local yellow pages and write down the folks with EDJ.