If I only knew then what I know now

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Sep 25, 2008 4:21 pm

After successfully meeting the EDJ 120 day sales goals, I chose to move my practice from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City in search of a more affordable place to live. Made in 2006 during the real estate bubble, it seemed the only logical thing to do. Rent was costing $2000./ month in LA at the time and taking on a $400,000. mortgage for an old LA condo seemed unwise.

EDJ corporate endorsed the move but after three months of door knocking, I only had a few clients with total AUM of 100K or so. The RL doork nocked with me only to say, "Gee, they just aren't talking to you." One month later, I was finished...

Growing up in suburban Washington DC, the LA marketplace accepted me, but I must admit that I just couldn't establish relationships in Utah either with colleagues or customers!  I returned to California and joined another major firm where clients pay for financial planning. I brought in 23 prospects (through free lunch presentations and cold calling) during the first 120 days, but my manager only made two sales. He was fired when caught trying to cover up the situation. I left in disgust, partly in reaction to the poor management and partly in response to their high pressure "time-share" type sales tactics which I found reprehensible.

Now with two employers on my resume in two years, other firms won't go near me...  What to do? I met all the goals while in LA and have no problem with rejection. I clearly understand the numbers game one must go through when prospecting initially to build a practice. At EDJ, my RL, mentor and field trainer all thought highly of me in LA. In UT, I never fit in.

What a mistake I've made...

Sep 25, 2008 4:27 pm

Tough story. But hang in there. If you're a young guy, you should know that most of us have 'failed' many times. Hang in there and you'll find your thing.



Sep 25, 2008 7:14 pm

"you should know that most of us have 'failed' many times."

If there are readers of this forum out there who have failed, then succeeded, how did you address the issue when interviewing with prospective employers?

My track record looks bad. Hiring managers focus on my lack of success in Utah. They don't look at my success in Los Angeles.

Sep 25, 2008 11:55 pm

Joe - don't despair. This too shall pass. This might be a lame idea, but are you not able to go back to the LA market? I've seen that happen 2 or 3 times in my midwest region?

Sep 26, 2008 10:32 am

Did you leave EDJ by choice or did they put you on goals and then ask you to leave?  If you left by choice, I'd reapply with Jones and see what they have to offer.  Things are drastically different now than they were in 2006. 


Otherwise, I'd look at banks or take Ice's advice and look for an indy office to hang out with for a while. 
Sep 26, 2008 2:03 pm

When I was new to the industry, I had no clue how things worked. I just trusted the Jones system and it worked when I was in LA. Door knocking works well for me as I'm originally from back east and don't know too many people out here in California.

EDJ did not put me on goals. My leader at St. Louis and I agreed over the phone to end it. I did this to avoid any reimbursement issues for their training costs. I could re-apply to them now that I'm back in CA. All they can do is say no. Who knows, as you've said, things are different right now.

Could door knocking as an Indy work without the brand recognition of a major, well known firm name behind me? I know many real estate agents use this approach...

Sep 26, 2008 2:10 pm

Thanks everyone for your support, PM's etc...

Sep 26, 2008 9:11 pm

it worked with jones didnt it. people work with you not your firm. remember that and you will be fine. 

Sep 26, 2008 9:24 pm

Aye, agreed with everyone else.  People like you for you, not for the firm.  But if you do go that route, be sure to have a nice piece that explains why your firm isn't like Lehman Brothers or AIG 

Sep 26, 2008 10:26 pm

HNW's can see right through a rookie on their doorstep. Sometimes it's best to cut your teeth on small tickets for the first few years just to gain experience (like there's any choice???).

New FA's like me should listen more than they speak. Now that's something to think about...