First 2 years

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Apr 3, 2007 7:58 pm

I had a rookie ask me recently about what they should do to survive/prosper in their first two years.  No connections, just sweat equity.  Here is a portion of what I passed along:


- Consider your first 2 years a "500 day war." Embrace the grunt mentality.  Rid yourself of ego and get the job done.


- Assemble a list of 15000 names: business owners, corporate directories, business cards, etc. Do not call any residences.  Period.


- Your goal is to contact a minimum of 30 new people a day.  More in the early months as you will not be bothered with callbacks, appointments, clients, etc.  Call on a specific portfolio strategy/fund/whatever that has an excellent long-term track record.  Qualify everyone for an absolute minimum of 100k.


- Here is how the #'s are likely to play out: 15000 contacts (over 2 years) will lead to 1000 prospects (1 out of 15); you will make approx. 4000 callbacks (4 callbacks/prospect or average or 8/day PLUS a ton of messages) and you will open 100 new accounts. Average new household will be 250k if you have qualified properly.  After 2 years you will have gathered approx. 25 million in fee-based/mutual fund assets paying you approx. 1 % a year.  Talk about a splendid base to build from.


Apr 3, 2007 8:39 pm

Excellent post Judge.

Apr 4, 2007 10:39 am

Agreed...

Apr 4, 2007 7:38 pm

Good post "Your Honor".          

Apr 4, 2007 7:59 pm

Judge,good stuff!


With a minimum use of bandwidth you've given every rookie here an outline for their business plan. Every rookie should copy your post and then fill out the plan. Truly, well done!

Apr 15, 2007 3:17 pm

Judge:


I wish someone would have given me that advice when I began cold-calling a few months ago.  I am now adjusting my marketing away from predominantly calling homes and am already seeing improved results.

Apr 15, 2007 8:08 pm
The Judge:

I had a rookie ask me recently about what they

should do to survive/prosper in their first two years. No connections, just

sweat equity. Here is a portion of what I passed along:



- Consider your first 2 years a "500 day war." Embrace the grunt

mentality. Rid yourself of ego and get the job done.



- Assemble a list of 15000 names: business owners, corporate

directories, business cards, etc. Do not call any residences. Period.



- Your goal is to contact a minimum of 30 new people a day. More in

the early months as you will not be bothered with callbacks,

appointments, clients, etc. Call on a specific portfolio strategy/fund/

whatever that has an excellent long-term track record. Qualify everyone

for an absolute minimum of 100k.



- Here is how the #'s are likely to play out: 15000 contacts (over 2

years) will lead to 1000 prospects (1 out of 15); you will make approx.

4000 callbacks (4 callbacks/prospect or average or 8/day PLUS a ton of

messages) and you will open 100 new accounts. Average new household

will be 250k if you have qualified properly. After 2 years you will have

gathered approx. 25 million in fee-based/mutual fund assets paying you

approx. 1 % a year. Talk about a splendid base to build from.







Judge, can you expand on the strategy for WHO to call. Why do you (did

you) avoid the residential cold-calls?

Apr 15, 2007 8:21 pm

Good question.  There is no "magical" list.  For the most part, it's all about the numbers.  Allow me to elaborate:


- I almost never called people at home for the simple reason that I don't care to be called at home.  At work is another story.  And this is way before the DNC era (90's).  The residential #'s have/were pounded for years and you are (like) the 5th broker to call them this week.  Find a better list.  One exception (and the only residences I called after my first year) was a new homeowner list.  These people were often new to the area and were looking for new sources of professionals.  In addition, they hadn't been at that same # for years (i.e. pounded). In addition, the new home price/mortgage amount gave you a good idea of who you were calling. I tossed many leads that were under a $ minimum that I had set up.


Call business owners; officers; etc.  pitch them an idea (w/ a proven track record) that you sincerely believe in.  Ask for the order.


Call corporate directories.  Pitch them the same idea.  Ask EVERYONE of them if they are looking to retire or change jobs in the near future- rollovers.  This works especially well with long/established companies.


It's not rocket science.  It's part of the "grunt mentality" that I've referred to before.  Make the calls and make it happen!


Other questions? Please ask away. 

Apr 15, 2007 8:49 pm

'Call corporate directories' Are you speaking of internal corporate directories that you might acquire? If you call someone in at their desk I imagine they would be reluctant to speak about job change and even retirement right?

Apr 15, 2007 9:12 pm

Corporate directories are the Holy Grail, especially for "established" companies.  I've made thousands' of calls to these and NO ONE has ever declined to speak about their work situation.  Quite the opposite in fact.  The most surprising thing (in my view) is that approx. 90% of people who respond favorably to your initial pitch will tell you to almost to the dollar the current value of their 401k. Now and again someone will ask why you need to know the dollar amount; the best (and useful) response is: "We have many different money management programs; they differ primarily on the amount being invested; I want to make sure to send you info that is most pertinant to your situation." Works every time.


Success story- I cold called someone from a corporate directory; pitched them; they informed me that (at that very moment) they were actually packing up their office as it was their last day after 30+ years at the company.  Met with me 9 days later and rolled over 750k from their 401k.  It works.  Make the calls.


Apr 15, 2007 9:45 pm
The Judge:

Success story- I cold called someone from a corporate directory; pitched them; they informed me that (at that very moment) they were actually packing up their office as it was their last day after 30+ years at the company.  Met with me 9 days later and rolled over 750k from their 401k.  It works.  Make the calls.



Now there is a salesman!! 


I can't wait 'til morning.  You won't be catching me cleaning my clean office out of nervousness either. This is good stuff I wish I had found this site sooner.

Apr 16, 2007 1:06 am

Judge,


How do you go about obtaining one of these corporate directories?


Apr 16, 2007 10:28 am

Could you post a pitch sequence you used or some questions you would ask to get a dialogue going with a business owner?  Did you call with a specific product when first getting started?

Apr 16, 2007 10:35 am
The Judge:

  Call on a specific portfolio strategy/fund/whatever that has an excellent long-term track record.  Qualify everyone for an absolute minimum of 100k.



Great idea about calling on a strategy with a good track record and qualifying for at least 100k.

Apr 16, 2007 10:38 am
LEAP:

Could you post a pitch sequence you used or some questions you would ask to get a dialogue going with a business owner?  Did you call with a specific product when first getting started?


Ask Joe or Ashland.

Apr 16, 2007 9:06 pm
The Judge:

Good question.  There is no "magical" list.  For the most part, it's all about the numbers.  Allow me to elaborate:


- I almost never called people at home for the simple reason that I don't care to be called at home.  At work is another story.  And this is way before the DNC era (90's).  The residential #'s have/were pounded for years and you are (like) the 5th broker to call them this week.  Find a better list.  One exception (and the only residences I called after my first year) was a new homeowner list.  These people were often new to the area and were looking for new sources of professionals.  In addition, they hadn't been at that same # for years (i.e. pounded). In addition, the new home price/mortgage amount gave you a good idea of who you were calling. I tossed many leads that were under a $ minimum that I had set up.


Call business owners; officers; etc.  pitch them an idea (w/ a proven track record) that you sincerely believe in.  Ask for the order.


Call corporate directories.  Pitch them the same idea.  Ask EVERYONE of them if they are looking to retire or change jobs in the near future- rollovers.  This works especially well with long/established companies.


It's not rocket science.  It's part of the "grunt mentality" that I've referred to before.  Make the calls and make it happen!


Other questions? Please ask away. 



Judge, good insight.  I have worked on trying to get two specific directories for big biz in my area, but to no avail yet.  I am working on asking one of my clients from these companies, but I am scratching my head for a good way to ask.  I found some creative ways to mine the names off the internet, but not quite there yet.  Any other thoughts on how to obtain them would be much appreciated.


Thanks again.

Jun 1, 2007 12:23 pm

This is an excellent thread - Thank you Judge.


I have been calling business owners with a fund that prioritizes dividend yield, div. growth and valuation because it has done very well over the past few years and should be safe during periods of market weakness. 


#1 - Is this a good type of product to pitch?


#2 - When you call a business owner, what script or language would you hit him with prior to pitching the fund? 

Jun 1, 2007 1:41 pm
Broker24:
The Judge:

Good question.  There is no "magical" list.  For the most part, it's all about the numbers.  Allow me to elaborate:


- I almost never called people at home for the simple reason that I don't care to be called at home.  At work is another story.  And this is way before the DNC era (90's).  The residential #'s have/were pounded for years and you are (like) the 5th broker to call them this week.  Find a better list.  One exception (and the only residences I called after my first year) was a new homeowner list.  These people were often new to the area and were looking for new sources of professionals.  In addition, they hadn't been at that same # for years (i.e. pounded). In addition, the new home price/mortgage amount gave you a good idea of who you were calling. I tossed many leads that were under a $ minimum that I had set up.


Call business owners; officers; etc.  pitch them an idea (w/ a proven track record) that you sincerely believe in.  Ask for the order.


Call corporate directories.  Pitch them the same idea.  Ask EVERYONE of them if they are looking to retire or change jobs in the near future- rollovers.  This works especially well with long/established companies.


It's not rocket science.  It's part of the "grunt mentality" that I've referred to before.  Make the calls and make it happen!


Other questions? Please ask away. 



Judge, good insight.  I have worked on trying to get two specific directories for big biz in my area, but to no avail yet.  I am working on asking one of my clients from these companies, but I am scratching my head for a good way to ask.  I found some creative ways to mine the names off the internet, but not quite there yet.  Any other thoughts on how to obtain them would be much appreciated.


Thanks again.



take your client out to lunch. tell him how much you enjoy working with him and would like to help more people from his company. ask him for his "advice" on how to do that. after he responds...ask him if he could get you a company directory. make it happen!

Jun 1, 2007 3:32 pm
LEAP:

This is an excellent thread - Thank you Judge.


I have been calling business owners with a fund that prioritizes dividend yield, div. growth and valuation because it has done very well over the past few years and should be safe during periods of market weakness. 


#1 - Is this a good type of product to pitch?


#2 - When you call a business owner, what script or language would you hit him with prior to pitching the fund? 



go to http://www.ftportfolios.com/ and get a username/password. play around with the target strategy portfolios by doing some hypotheticals. find a combination of 2 or 3 of them that produced a high return that lost less than 10-12% in 2002. fall in love with it.


tell the business owner that you own a small business and that you are looking for new business, to open the call. while you're talking, email him the hypo and walk him trhough it. remember...you just told him that you are a business owner. you are on equal footing and should speak to him like you are.

Jun 1, 2007 4:16 pm

What do you do when there are fewer than 100 businesses within 20 miles of your town?  Many of these business owners are low net worth clients with not much potential.  I have my office in a working class community of commuters, most work at plants in the city miles away.  I've had some success through rollovers but am almost forced to work exclusively residentially.  Any suggestions Judge?