Let's Be Serious For A Bit (Cold Calling)

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Mar 29, 2007 4:19 pm

Has there been a quality discussion on cold calling and scripts yet?  I don't think so.  It seems that the discussions never go anywhere.  People end up talking trash and not offering any valuable advice because they don't want to possibly help the "competition". 


Let's get real for a while and help one another out.  Everybody has had to do some prospecting in some manner.  What worked?  Be specific.  Do you have a specific script that guided you that worked well?  Starting out, would you go with a shotgun approach and try to sell your services to anyone, or more of a rifle approach and target specific groups?


The times have changed and are continually changing.  The DNC list has made it more difficult and people simply aren't as friendly and don't have as much time anymore.


We should all be in this industry to help people achieve their financial needs and goals, so we shouldn't be worrying about helping our competition.  WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE?

Mar 29, 2007 4:34 pm

Seriously, you saw the other thread.


One thing about building your business, you always want to think your way to the silver bullet that will efficiently fill the fishing net.


Concentrate on speaking with a smile in your voice, sounding intelligent and likeable, get the potential client to talk, you listen.


Let your own subconscience write your own script.


Some folks like to lead with a product, I like to lead with open ended questions, like, " what is it about not losing money that is important to you."


It takes more guts to lead with a open ended question, but you are a licensed and trained professional.


Either way, if they  take the bait, listen. Use follow up questions, "  You said that growing this portfolio in a moderate fashion is necessary so you can retire, tell me about your retirement, what does that look like?"


If you don't ask open questions, you won't get any info about the person. If you don't get any info, you won't have any reason to have an appointment.


"Bill, last time we talked, you said you need to make sure that portfolio is on track, that you won't lose money, and you are not sure your advisor is keeping you conservative enough.


I'm calling so we can meet to give you a second opinion. Generally, what is the best day of the week and time of day for us to sit down for an hour ... because having that portfolio " right " will save you if things fall apart in the market, and you said it's important for your retirement, which is only 8 or so years from now... next week, what day is best for you?


You need to distinguish yourself from others by being fearless, intelligent, and mostly a good listener who feeds back what the prospect said is important.


The product is would lead with is actually the prospects goals, in a financial planning sense. But you have to be assumptive when you first ask for info.


If the prospect gets offended that you are asking seemingly personal info, move on. That is just ego. There is plenty of that around, and your practice will be better for you and your clients if it can be kept small.

Mar 30, 2007 9:00 am

But if your not wanting to get the in-person appointment? is it still the same approach when you call the guy the second time?

Mar 30, 2007 10:00 am

Has anyone considered just having a natural conversation?


"I manage money for people and I'm looking for some new clients to do business with..."


You come accross as an honest, regular guy and they are thrown off of their game.

Mar 30, 2007 10:05 am

Honesty?  Would that really work?


Whatever you do - just remember that most committments are done on the 5th contact.  Most people give up after the 2nd contact.

Mar 30, 2007 12:19 pm

As a rookie, I originally thought that it would be good to become more conversational in regards to financial services because I thought it would add more credibility and therefore make me a profit prophet to potential clients.


This is a strange subject because if you ask a good conversationalist what it is that makes them so well received, they will answer your question with questions and before you know it, you are answering your own questions instead of learning a knew paradigm.


I will admit that the learning curve has been drastic for me.  In the beginning, I felt like I probably sounded like a complete buffoon when making calls.  I knew nothing about the industry other than that it is a people biz. Success probably goes to people who are well liked by a great deal of people.  Combine this with an ability to persuade responsibly now you are a consultant - not a sales person.


What are the things I have in my favor?  I have thick skin so even though I fail a lot, I am getting better just thru practice.  I also have a 30 minute commute in my car, where I practice new scripts until they sound appropriately professional in my own words.  To me, it was important to start with a script given to me and explained by a big producer so that I could understand the concepts well enough to make it conversational. 


After this, the other side to cold call prospecting is the fact that you have to pick the phone up to be successful and you have to do it a lot.  Failure leads to contacts which lead to opportunity which then results in success.


As a rookie, I have been told that the one thing of value that I can provide is contact.  Look around your office...  Are the senior brokers constantly on the phone with all their clients even during times like the past few months when the market has been quite volatile or do they just call to sell something?  If that is going on in my office, then there is a good chance it is going on next door and at other wirehouses where you might work.  A lot of the guys that learned this biz longer than 5 years ago see themselves as sales people rather than as consultants.  They see the phone as a microphone.  I look at it as a listening device.  Are you a good listener or are you trying to perfect your skills as a speaker? 

Mar 30, 2007 12:24 pm

Whatever you do - just remember that most committments are done on the 5th contact.  Most people give up after the 2nd contact.


Absolutely true. Don't over think it. Be persistant, keep a good database, ask open questions ( not yes or no questions).

Mar 30, 2007 1:13 pm

This is great so far.  I am reading everything and taking most of it into account.  I hope there is more constructive advice to come. Thanks.

Mar 30, 2007 7:51 pm

Reciting a script aloud, to yourself, will cause you to miss the subtle nuances that could give you greater success on the phone.


A better way to practice cold calling would be to recite the script over the phone and record yourself, but record yourself by placing a tap on the receiving phone set.


First, try it using a landline, then your cell phone.


If your voice sounds terrible, imagine what the prospect is thinking. Sometimes, by simply raising your voice and changing your tone in certain places, your sales pitch will leave a better impression. 

Mar 31, 2007 2:24 am
Raton:

But if your not wanting to get the in-person appointment? is it still the same approach when you call the guy the second time?





Then you should be calling and asking prospects about a new jobs outside of stock brokerage. The main purpose of cold-calling is to close on personal appointments.



Mar 31, 2007 9:11 am
Bobby Hull:

Has anyone considered just having a natural conversation?


"I manage money for people and I'm looking for some new clients to do business with..."


You come accross as an honest, regular guy and they are thrown off of their game.



I have not even started in this field yet, however this approach makes the most sense to me. Most of the people I know like to do buisness with "regualar guys."

Apr 24, 2007 11:33 am

when planning on cold calling it  should be important to take into account that what ever works for the other guy might not work for you. THat is why you have to develop your own approach. what works for one person might not work for another person and that everyone brings their own unique approach to the table. What can most help you is the tools you bring with you and that starts with an up to date and accurate list of names you want to prospect. For example http://www.canadianbusinessdirectories.ca comes to mind when cold calling. They provide you with names, number, addresess and top execs ensuring that most of the time you are speaking to the decision makers. If your considering cold calling in order to branch out, prospect new clients and increase your sales companies such as http://www.canadianbusinessdirectories.ca can be a great asset. In conjunction with proper sales skills, preservation and accurate data, one can increase the amount of sales and revenue that one can bring in for himself and his company!!

Apr 27, 2007 8:26 pm
Bobby Hull:

"I manage money for people and I'm looking for some new clients to do business with..."



One of the best ideas I have come across.

Apr 27, 2007 8:39 pm
tomeradv:

when planning on cold calling it  should be important to take into account that what ever works for the other guy might not work for you. THat is why you have to develop your own approach. what works for one person might not work for another person and that everyone brings their own unique approach to the table. What can most help you is the tools you bring with you and that starts with an up to date and accurate list of names you want to prospect. For example http://www.canadianbusinessdirectories.ca comes to mind when cold calling. They provide you with names, number, addresess and top execs ensuring that most of the time you are speaking to the decision makers. If your considering cold calling in order to branch out, prospect new clients and increase your sales companies such as http://www.canadianbusinessdirectories.ca can be a great asset. In conjunction with proper sales skills, preservation and accurate data, one can increase the amount of sales and revenue that one can bring in for himself and his company!!


And who, praytell, do you work for or sell for? 

Apr 27, 2007 9:01 pm
NaySayer:
Bobby Hull:

"I manage money for people and I'm looking for some new clients to do business with..."



One of the best ideas I have come across.



Thanks.

May 2, 2007 4:46 pm

I bought a book I saw while waiting in Kinkos, I think it was called something along the lines of "Cold calling techniques that work," or something like that. I thought it had some great insight and personal stories of how to make cold calling more effective. Good luck!

May 2, 2007 4:49 pm
hoopfan:

I bought a book I saw while waiting in Kinkos, I think it was called something along the lines of "Cold calling techniques that work," or something like that. I thought it had some great insight and personal stories of how to make cold calling more effective. Good luck!



That's where I've bought some of my greatest books!