Eval/Grad

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Jul 21, 2008 5:24 pm

Here is my situation, I am heading down for eval/grad next week with one problem (big problem).  Most of my prospects I have are garbage expect for maybe a dozen of them.  I've been busting my tail and it seems that people are just not interested in doing anything with their investments or they tell me thanks but no thanks...

I honestly don't know what to think anymore, as it has become a mind game with me at this point and anxiety and doubt are winning the battle. 

Did anyone else at EJ go through this?  I heard at KYC that some that do come back for eval/grad get fired or sent home and I'm afraid that could be me. 

Only serious replies please...thanks. 

Jul 21, 2008 5:57 pm

Actually, at this point you have no idea even if those 12 people are good prospects or not.  I can't tell you the number of people that I have met at their door, had a great conversation with, and then never saw again. 

 
My suggestion is not to focus on what you believe you know.   You believe that you have 12 great prospects.  Until they write you a check you don't know that for sure.  That leaves 113 other people you need to talk with during E/G in order to call it a successful week.  Who knows what kind of conversations you'll have with those 113 people.  You may find some gold while you're digging.  Of course you might come up empty too.  Just keep digging and you'll eventually find something.  
 
Stop worrying about your success this early in the game.  Focus on the only thing you can really control.  Like ice said, keep prospecting.  Keep your chin up.  Have fun at E/G. 
 
Are you coming to STL or going to Tempe?
Jul 21, 2008 6:11 pm

Its been a long time since I was at EDJ and eval/grad. 

 
However, it seemed to me that they were more interested in helping you with your sales techinques and presentations skills on the phone.  IF you did sell a product through the phone sessions it was just icing on the cake.  
 
I was a transfer broker when I went to EDJ so I had a bunch of very very warm phone calls.  What you might do with your prospects is to give them a heads up that you are going to St Louis (or wherever they send you now) for some specialized training (sounds important doesn't it?) and that you might be contacting them from your training sessions and that you might even be offering some information about an investment idea and of course they are under no obligation to buy from you then, but hey.....it just might be something that they have been waiting for.  
 
I also had some really really crappy leads that I KNEW would never ever do business with me, so I saved those guys to call on when the call session was on something that I had no desire to sell or was using retarded phrasing that I objected to.  I thought I might as well blow them up as prospects rather than my good prospects.  At least I was making the calls. /shrug
 
If you can't sell something on the phone ask for an appointment for when you get back in your territory.  That kind of impresses the trainers a bit.
 
The main point of eval/grad is to hone your skills and learn from the trainers and the other newbies like yourself.  
Jul 21, 2008 6:58 pm

Thanks for advice so far everyone.  I know that it is icing on the cake if you get someone to buy something.  What I am worried about is that people will not give me the time or they will just blow me off when I do call them. 

Today was just horrific now that I am able to ask financial information.  I seriously went back to about 40 people today and only 4 of them would actually give me the time of day.  The others said they are not interested, its a bad time, had a few that told me not to come back, and/or thanks but not thanks. 

My main concern is getting down there, not being able to set up any appointments and receiving no info on the calls.  This is my biggest fear...since at KYC we saw that they have a board with everyones daily presentations, appointments, money dues etc...

I am going to watch some tv right now, forget about today and start tomorrow fresh. 

Jul 21, 2008 7:10 pm
bankroll:

at KYC we saw that they have a board with everyones daily presentations, appointments, money dues etc...

 
This may have been discussed before, but what all do you do at KYC and what's a typical day like there?
Jul 21, 2008 7:22 pm

bankroll,

Dont judge yourself on appointments set or commissions made at Eval/Grad or the number of conversations that went well. Your only job is to continue adding names to your prospecting system. If this is all you focus on you will trip over enough business to hit your EJ numbers.

Jul 21, 2008 10:18 pm

Bank-

I can't remember it being nearly that bad. If you only have 12 serious prospects after like 7 weeks of prospecting, you just might be doing something wrong. It may be your personality, your looks, your voice, whatever. I'm not joking. I remember (and I was not an exceptional doorknocker) sometimes getting what I thought was 12 qualified people in a day of doorknocking (the other 10 or so were worhtless), let alone the month or two before Eval/Grad. Dude, if you really only have 12, you are doing something wrong. Am I reading your message correctly?

Jul 21, 2008 10:49 pm

12 schmelve. He has no idea. He is putting the cart WAY before the horse. Settle down. One day at a time. You methodically add people and call over and over and.......some will let you set an appt! of those, some will buy!

 
Point is: prospects say "all set; got an FA" . MEANINGLESS. Just need a few more contacts to see if they really are NOT a prospect.
 
You need sales skills. That is what this job is. Prospecting rarely "feels good". Get used to it. If you are ending your day at 6PM to watch TV---you got no shot.
Jul 22, 2008 9:39 am

Bankroll , some valuable comments - PROSPECT , PROSPECT & PROSPECT AGAIN. Look for the QUALIFIED PROSPECTS. Put a value on your time , if you place no value on your time it is not realistic to expect someone else to put a value on your time.

I know " don't take it personally " hard perhaps, but get your mind in to the idea it is not personal. Best of Luck and keep plugging away.
Jul 22, 2008 1:10 pm
bankroll:

Thanks for advice so far everyone.  I know that it is icing on the cake if you get someone to buy something.  What I am worried about is that people will not give me the time or they will just blow me off when I do call them. 

Today was just horrific now that I am able to ask financial information.  I seriously went back to about 40 people today and only 4 of them would actually give me the time of day.  The others said they are not interested, its a bad time, had a few that told me not to come back, and/or thanks but not thanks. 

My main concern is getting down there, not being able to set up any appointments and receiving no info on the calls.  This is my biggest fear...since at KYC we saw that they have a board with everyones daily presentations, appointments, money dues etc...

I am going to watch some tv right now, forget about today and start tomorrow fresh. 

 
You know, everyone approaches sales differently.  Clients are also different from place to place and in age groups.  I've found my best approach is to NOT be directly asking financial questions at first. That really makes my prospects back off.  Some advisors are very direct and 'controlling' others like myself tend to approach the prospect from a less direct angle.
 
A more round about technique that seems to work for me and my more laid back retiree type of clients and prospects is to do some general chit chat, throw in some humor even self deprecating.  Basically, I ignored what EDJ told us to say because the words just sounded stupid coming out of my mouth: like some sort of Stepford Robo Broker.  I used my own words and my own style to get the same results.
 
Bonding with your clients and prospects is number one. This is a relationship business and sometimes it takes a while, a long while, to build the trust that is needed to get someone to spill their financial information to you, a stranger.  Would you tell someone that you don't even know, who just stopped by your doorstep or business, confidential information? Try to find something in common that you have with each and every prospect.  I like the "Me too!" approach.   Bonding and commonality.
Jul 24, 2008 12:03 am

I think Babbling Looney is giving some good advice. The standard 'canned' EDJ doorknocking script sounded so awkward and alien coming out of my mouth that people could smell my discomfort. Once I tossed the EDJ script and just chatted with people, I started getting much further with people. I don't like pushing too hard for financial info on the doorstep, on the first visit. I ask a lot of open-ended questions about them, their families, their jobs, etc. People like to talk about themselves so that helps them relax. They like to think they're interesting, so if you're asking insightful questions about something they've said, they know your listening. After you have the rapport, then segway into finances or retirement planning. Stand next to them and show them your literature of the day (Investments & Services, EDJ & You, Rates at a Glance...). Point to random words on the literature and talk about what you do/EDJ does. Then you can probably casually ask them how that sounds, what are they doing to deal with inflation/rising price of gas/low interest rates/yada yada yada.

Also, it sounds like you need to get a ton more contacts if you only have 12 decent ones to call. Don't stop at 25 per day. Go for 30 or 35.

Good luck.

Jul 24, 2008 1:17 am

Are you approaching businesses?  I would start at 8:00 AM or so cold calling the small blue collar type businesses in my town.  If the owner wouldn't talk to me I'd talk to the secretary.  Get her info.  Call her from KYC she'll remember you and will have to answer the phone when you call.  Small biz probably has no company plan but the owner probably needs to invest something outside of the company.  Secretary's hubby probably has an old 401k at a previous employer.  Knock out 10 to 15 businesses before attempting the door to door residential.  Trust me on that one.