Give your best cold calling lines/example

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Oct 1, 2006 4:33 am

Alright, well I pretty much started and all I am focusing now is cold calling as my main tool to generate business.  Yes, I can get creative and set up seminars, join financial/business clubs, go through social networks, centers of influence, blah blah blah.  But this is what Im doing now and hope that people can add to my cold calling education.


My managers told me not to pitch services, but rather product if I am going to cold call.  This is the criteria for now and I cannot change it.  All I mostly do is pitch bonds.


So moving foward... I wanted to know if anyone can chip in their two cents of what worked well for them.  Maybe show how you handle certain objections and what you said to overcome them.  Even if you tell the same joke everytime you call that makes them laugh is valuable to me.  Whatever is effective.  But if you detail the conversation that would be great too.  Thanks everyone!


Oct 1, 2006 4:51 am

For now, I'll give some examples to show you what Im looking for:


Objection:  "I don't have any money!"


Response: 


- "Well...don't you have any CD's to be matured or bonds to be called?"  


- "When will you have the funds?"


- "Your on my list of wealthiest people in the state! Are  you telling me this list is wrong?!" (they usually them to chuckle and loosen up)


Objection: "Im not interested"


Response:


-"what doesn't interest you? Is it this investment or you don't have any funds now?"


-"Do you ever invest in bonds/stocks?"


-"What can I show you that will peek your interest then?"


Objection: "Im 80 years old. Im too old to invest!"


Response:


- "Well your retired right? These are made for retired people.  These are made for seniors like yourself!"


- "No. No.  80 years Young!  Did you know the oldest person in the world is 120?  Your not too old for anything."


Okay, I guess you all get my point.  Im looking for more material to work on.  I know you guys have some good lines.


Objection: "I lost money in the bond/stock market!"


Response:


-"Someone sold you on emotion before to buy.  Im selling you on facts."


-"I burned my mouth once eating, I didn't stop eating...I just started learning to eat more carefully"

Oct 1, 2006 9:59 am
tsaem:

For now, I'll give some examples to show you what Im looking for:


Objection:  "I don't have any money!"


How much money is "no money"?


Response: 


- "Well...don't you have any CD's to be matured or bonds to be called?"  


- "When will you have the funds?"


- "Your on my list of wealthiest people in the state! Are  you telling me this list is wrong?!" (they usually them to chuckle and loosen up)


Objection: "Im not interested"


Makes sense...I haven't said anything interesting yet.


Response:


-"what doesn't interest you? Is it this investment or you don't have any funds now?"


-"Do you ever invest in bonds/stocks?"


-"What can I show you that will peek your interest then?"


Objection: "Im 80 years old. Im too old to invest!"


I promise not to tell anyone if you won't.


Response:


- "Well your retired right? These are made for retired people.  These are made for seniors like yourself!"


- "No. No.  80 years Young!  Did you know the oldest person in the world is 120?  Your not too old for anything."


Okay, I guess you all get my point.  Im looking for more material to work on.  I know you guys have some good lines.


Objection: "I lost money in the bond/stock market!"


Let's do some oil and gas deals.


Response:


-"Someone sold you on emotion before to buy.  Im selling you on facts."


-"I burned my mouth once eating, I didn't stop eating...I just started learning to eat more carefully"

Oct 1, 2006 11:09 am

I did nothing but cold call my first five years.  Yes, it is not the most effective way to prospect and it is grueling.  Still, when all you have to offer is "sweat equity" you do what you have to.  Fortunately, cold calling taught me how to sell and to deal with all types of individuals.  A baptism by fire, if you will.  While there is no "secret formula" consider the following as a tried & true perspective:


- Always remember that a good prospect is located, not created.  ESPECIALLY when you are cold calling.


- It has and always will be a numbers game.  That said, put some serious effort in putting together a call list with qualified individuals.


- Call with a product; you have about twenty seconds to get interest.  Something along the lines of "This is Joe Broker over at XYZ investments in anytown.  Would an investment that has averaged better than 10% a year for the past decade, and has had no down years during that time something you would like to take a look at?"


- Never ask how they are, if they have a minute, etc (on the first call). Always end your call with "Thanks for your time." Callbacks are a different story.


- It's not a lead unless you qualify for $.


- Start calling businesses @ 7:30 am every day


- Keep first calls short; respects their time and allows you to make more calls.


- Never haggle a prospect.  Yes, there is a difference between "no" and "no maybe." Experience will teach you to know the difference.


- 10 contacts= 1 lead; 10 leads = 1 account.  


- When you get a lead, ask if this is a good # to call them at and what time of day they prefer to be reached.


- Go directly for an appointment a week after the first call and after you've mailed out the brief info.  The call goes something like this- "Mr. Prospect this is Joe Broker, calling back from XYZ investments in anytown.  We had spoke a week ago, and I had mailed you some brief information regarding the ABC Fund.  As I had mentioned, the fund has averaged better than 10% a year for the past decade, with no down years.  My clients have been able to exceed market returns, with much less volatility and risk. Wanted to get back in touch to see if there might be a time at your convenience that we could sit down, and see if perhaps this investment would have a place in your portfolio." Then shut up.  Granted, you may not even recommend this particular investment after discovering his needs; still- you are trying to sell the appointment.


- Keep in mind that only 1/10 of your qualified leads will become actual clients.  Put it out there and see who responds favorably.  That is why it is so important to keep adding fresh names to the pipeline and purging the non-responsive.


- Immediately toss out any lead who is a jerk.  You don't want them as clients.  Find nice people with money.


- Leave messages; no more than once a week.  Prospects will respect your diligence/persistence as long as you don't overdo it.


- The more qualified prospects you have, the less important each one is.  The significance of that is huge.  You won't come accross as desperate to any particular prospect if you have 500 like them in the hopper.


- Most important: make the calls and do it on a consistent basis.  Keep records; NEVER let a day go by without making some calls; it's amazing how quickly a day becomes a week, a week turns into a month, and so on.


Go get em'

Oct 1, 2006 12:06 pm

Good advice, Judge.


The best advice I can give is to watch the movie, "Boiler Room". In that movie, they give some very smooth responses to various objections.


(I think the name of the movie is correct. In it, they featured the B/D firm of J.T. Marlin. Correct me, if I'm wrong.)

Oct 1, 2006 3:18 pm

Although that movie is very entertaining, I can't fathom that it works
like that. Do people actually go for those lame pitches? What happend
to rapport? 

Oct 1, 2006 4:15 pm

Leave the damn people alone, ever wonder why no one objected to a national do not call list and like everyones # in the country is on it. Find a smarter way to work...

Oct 1, 2006 5:26 pm

Bankrep1- I think the national do-not-call list is a great idea.  That's why I recommend only contacting people at work #'s.


As far as finding a smarter way to work, most of them take too long and are just as difficult.  There's a reason 75%+ of rookies won't survive past two or three years.  As a "bankrep" I imagine you are contacting your firms' bank clients with regard to their investment needs (in addition to being referred by your bankers).  Excellent; still you are simply prospecting via a different channel. Not everyone has those same resources and have to rely on other means. 


Ask ANY successful broker who built their own business (i.e. TJC) and they will all tell you to make cold calling part of your routine.  It builds discipline, develops the thick skin that we all need, and really teaches you how to "sell." In addition, many of those same successful brokers still cold call to keep them sharp, like a boxer who spars regularly between bouts.


Oct 1, 2006 8:04 pm
The Judge:

Bankrep1- I think the national do-not-call list is a great idea.  That's why I recommend only contacting people at work #'s.


As far as finding a smarter way to work, most of them take too long and are just as difficult.  There's a reason 75%+ of rookies won't survive past two or three years.  As a "bankrep" I imagine you are contacting your firms' bank clients with regard to their investment needs (in addition to being referred by your bankers).  Excellent; still you are simply prospecting via a different channel. Not everyone has those same resources and have to rely on other means. 


Ask ANY successful broker who built their own business (i.e. TJC) and they will all tell you to make cold calling part of your routine.  It builds discipline, develops the thick skin that we all need, and really teaches you how to "sell." In addition, many of those same successful brokers still cold call to keep them sharp, like a boxer who spars regularly between bouts.




My cold calling days were the most fun and exciting days of my career.

Oct 2, 2006 2:29 am

Thanks Helter Skelter for the different alternatives responses to the listed objections. 


Also Judge, I extremely appreciate the detailed post.  That information is valuable to me.  It seems like you know what Im going through.  I know this is a numbers game and I have to find what the number "n" is in the equation 1 over n.  Because after several hundred calls and some qualified leads, I still can't get any of them to bite.


If I had to point something out that I feel is wrong in my system, I'd say my 2nd call back has been unsuccessful.  After the 1st call, I get permission to send over the info or call back, and when I actually call back for the follow up it ends up in shambles. 


Most of the people I have been calling are relatively within a 20-40 mile radius and my calls haven't focused on setting up an appointment.  Usually because most of them are opposed to travel to my branch or are not open for me to come to their house.  My firm is not nationaly recognized, so usually when I call they aren't familiar with us and few are only familiar with our parent company when I mention who we are affiliated with.  Keeping this in mind, many don't feel comfortable to do business at all in person or on the phone.  I guess its just easier for me to try to ask for the sale on the phone because I can't see them in person.


Any other advice on what to do with the 2nd call or the follow up?  Perhaps I don't qualifiy them enough?  Should I even bother with the guy who just says, "okay, you can send me something in the mail" just to be polite. (I always hope that if I don't give up on them, 1 out of 20 will turn out good.)  But am I just wasting their or my time?


In the mailings I usually send info about our company history, a detail letter about the security I pitched them, and if they're a good prospect I will add a hand written note to personalize it along with my business cards.  So far I have found mailings to be ineffective because when I call back some say they haven't even received my mail (some are lying too), some have told me they didn't even read it yet, and those who have read it tell me they still aren't interested.

Oct 2, 2006 2:34 am

Its nice to know that others are having the same troubles with these calls.  But what is a realistic number of years I would have to dedicate to cold calling?  Usually I hear 3, but its a little discouraging to hear that I would have to rely on it more than 5 years.

Oct 2, 2006 7:58 am
young_gun:

Thanks Helter Skelter for the different alternatives responses to the listed objections. 


Also Judge, I extremely appreciate the detailed post.  That information is valuable to me.  It seems like you know what Im going through.  I know this is a numbers game and I have to find what the number "n" is in the equation 1 over n.  Because after several hundred calls and some qualified leads, I still can't get any of them to bite.


If I had to point something out that I feel is wrong in my system, I'd say my 2nd call back has been unsuccessful.  After the 1st call, I get permission to send over the info or call back, and when I actually call back for the follow up it ends up in shambles. 


Most of the people I have been calling are relatively within a 20-40 mile radius and my calls haven't focused on setting up an appointment.  Usually because most of them are opposed to travel to my branch or are not open for me to come to their house.  My firm is not nationaly recognized, so usually when I call they aren't familiar with us and few are only familiar with our parent company when I mention who we are affiliated with.  Keeping this in mind, many don't feel comfortable to do business at all in person or on the phone.  I guess its just easier for me to try to ask for the sale on the phone because I can't see them in person.


Any other advice on what to do with the 2nd call or the follow up?  Perhaps I don't qualifiy them enough?  Should I even bother with the guy who just says, "okay, you can send me something in the mail" just to be polite. (I always hope that if I don't give up on them, 1 out of 20 will turn out good.)  But am I just wasting their or my time?


In the mailings I usually send info about our company history, a detail letter about the security I pitched them, and if they're a good prospect I will add a hand written note to personalize it along with my business cards.  So far I have found mailings to be ineffective because when I call back some say they haven't even received my mail (some are lying too), some have told me they didn't even read it yet, and those who have read it tell me they still aren't interested.



Tell them that you'd love to send information, but you've never done business with anyone who asked for information. If they're really serious about taking a look, they need to meet with you in person.

Oct 2, 2006 9:50 am

Ask yourself this, and really try to put yourself in the situation:  If YOU inherited $500,000 tomorrow, would YOU meet with someone who cold called you from a firm you've never heard of to invest your money?


I wouldn't.  I bet you wouldn't.  That's why so far no one you have called has either.


Cold calling is dead for all but the few who simply refuse to let it fail.  I've been there and done that (ML).

Oct 2, 2006 2:21 pm
BankFC:

Ask yourself this, and really try to put yourself in the situation:  If YOU inherited $500,000 tomorrow, would YOU meet with someone who cold called you from a firm you've never heard of to invest your money?


I wouldn't.  I bet you wouldn't.  That's why so far no one you have called has either.


Cold calling is dead for all but the few who simply refuse to let it fail.  I've been there and done that (ML).



So how would you suggest prospecting?  other than having leads handed to you from tellers when a CD comes due?


The majority of my clients have come from cold calls.  Albeit, it is a slow tedious process, it does work. 


The no-call-list has created some problems with who you can contact by phone, but not face-to-face.

Oct 2, 2006 6:26 pm
BankFC:

Ask yourself this, and really try to put yourself in the situation:  If YOU inherited $500,000 tomorrow, would YOU meet with someone who cold called you from a firm you've never heard of to invest your money?


I wouldn't.  I bet you wouldn't.  That's why so far no one you have called has either.


Cold calling is dead for all but the few who simply refuse to let it fail.  I've been there and done that (ML).



It doesn't cost anything to meet with someone. I'm not afraid that I would accidentally buy something.

Oct 2, 2006 7:58 pm

A few rules:


1. Don't listen to anyone who has never cold called. Don't let them tell you it won't work. How would they know?


2. Call with a product. Services are nice, they just aren't as effective when cold calling. Bonds, preferreds, fixed income mutual funds, all work very well.


3. Time management- I know of some people who make a few calls an hour and call it cold calling. Not so! We want maximum exposure. Minimum, 50 dials an hour, 50 contacts per day. Calling businesses will yield about 8 o 10 contacts/hour. A contact is getting the right person on the phone. Even if they hang up on you, it's a contact. The more contacts, the better we'll do. I use to go for 100 a day. That is, 100 cold call contacts a day. As a rookie, what else did I have to do? Ah, that would be nothing!


4. Set aside 3 to 5 hours/day to cold call. Start early/stay late. In the old days 3 qualified leads per hour was the norm. Now it's one or two.


5. Qualify the lead for interest AND money. Mr. Jones, if you like the idea I trust an investment of $50,000 wouldn't be a problem for you at this time? Qualify for at least 25K. If no money now ask when in the future do they have money coming due?


6. Track everything, time, dials, contacts, and leads.


7. www.billgood.com     Bill wrote the book on how to cold call in this industry. His website has enough free content to make you a million dollar producer.



Oct 2, 2006 8:08 pm
BondGuy:

A few rules:


1. Don't listen to anyone who has never cold called. Don't let them tell you it won't work. How would they know?


2. Call with a product. Services are nice, they just aren't as effective when cold calling. Bonds, preferreds, fixed income mutual funds, all work very well.


3. Time management- I know of some people who make a few calls an hour and call it cold calling. Not so! We want maximum exposure. Minimum, 50 dials an hour, 50 contacts per day. Calling businesses will yield about 8 o 10 contacts/hour. A contact is getting the right person on the phone. Even if they hang up on you, it's a contact. The more contacts, the better we'll do. I use to go for 100 a day. That is, 100 cold call contacts a day. As a rookie, what else did I have to do? Ah, that would be nothing!


4. Set aside 3 to 5 hours/day to cold call. Start early/stay late. In the old days 3 qualified leads per hour was the norm. Now it's one or two.


5. Qualify the lead for interest AND money. Mr. Jones, if you like the idea I trust an investment of $50,000 wouldn't be a problem for you at this time? Qualify for at least 25K. If no money now ask when in the future do they have money coming due?


6. Track everything, time, dials, contacts, and leads.


7. www.billgood.com     Bill wrote the book on how to cold call in this industry. His website has enough free content to make you a million dollar producer.





Absolutely perfect.

Oct 2, 2006 11:43 pm
BankFC:

Ask yourself this, and really try to put yourself in the situation:  If YOU inherited $500,000 tomorrow, would YOU meet with someone who cold called you from a firm you've never heard of to invest your money?


I wouldn't.  I bet you wouldn't.  That's why so far no one you have called has either.


Cold calling is dead for all but the few who simply refuse to let it fail.  I've been there and done that (ML).



Yes, I can honestly undestand what your saying.  Especially because I used to work at a bank.  But I can assure you this, working at a bank vs. at ABC firm is a different beast.


At the bank you have such a huge pipeline.  You have literally half of the bank working for you: the tellers, bankers, home mortgage, and even other managers referring leads to you (since they benefit from the referral one way or another.)  Furthermore, you have the most sophisticated computer prospecting program to weed out what type of high value accounts you want.  You make warm calls since they already have a relationship with the bank.


So yes, its easy to generate business this way.  But from the people I have met at my firm and at other firms they have found ways to build their business through cold calls.  It still works if you have persistence and dedication to make hours and hours of calls (at least thats what they tell me.)  One of the brokers at my firm whose building his business only has about 3 AUM within 11 months, but all of them have come from cold calls.  Meaning yes, he had eventually brought in a $400,000 account that was originally obtained through a cold call.  Im sure this type of story isn't unique to this type of industry. 


I am not saying that I have found the ingredient to success through cold calling, I do know, however, that it is possible.  I am hoping that there are also other people who can share their good "ingredients" that made them successful in this area.

Oct 3, 2006 12:42 am

I've cold called in the past and it does work, but it's a very stressful way to build your business.  A couple things I picked up over the years that worked well were:

Never mail anything.

You can tell them you will send it out, but don't.  Then when you call back, (as if you did send it), you can apologize and insist on meeting with them because you don't trust the mail anymore.  It sounds shady, but it works. 

"Hello Mr. Smith, this is Bobby from XYZ Investments.  Did I catch you at a good time?"

"I was calling to follow up on that ___________ information I sent to you last week.  I wanted to see what you thought about it?"

"Oh, you didn't get it yet?  Man, I sent it 5 days ago.  I'm really sorry about that.  I've got an appointment down the road from you tomorrow afternoon, how about I stop by around 3pm and show this to you real quick?"

You can also set the appointment at your office, (which is preferable).

"...I've got 3 appointments tomorrow afternoon here in the office, but if you want to come by around 3pm I can take a couple minutes and show this to you?"

You will be shocked at the people who say they got it and are not interested.  (You never sent it).  I used to keep track and was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by the amount of sheer liars I supposedly sent things to.

Anyhow, that method is a bit shady, but so is cold calling.  It does work and it saves you or your assistant stamps and time putting together nice mail packages that will most likely be disposed of.  Bill Goods book is a must read because it puts you in the correct frame of mind.  I always used to use "Did I catch you at a good time?" as my opening because sometimes it really is a bad time.  Plus when you get permission to continue, the prospect feels more in control and you are not ramming information down their throats.  Also, if it is a bad time, you can always call back tomorrow, (now you can set a phone appointment in your schedule...)

Oct 3, 2006 8:58 am

great info in this thread so far!