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Aug 16, 2010 2:21 am

Hey Guys:

Let me just preface my inquires by saying that I'm starting as a trainee September 1st and I know barely anything.

If I come off naive and uninformed, it's due to my dearth of experience in the biz, not because I'm a clown.  I'm not.

Seems like everyone here is pretty cool for the most part and won't eviscerate me for what might be considered a 'stupid question'.

Long story short - I came up in Housing and moved to pharma sales at the top of '09.  I like that business and it's as steady as the US will get but the margin / sale is maddeningly low on average.  A friend of mine who started with a company called Sun Life (they bought the rights to the field that the Dolphins play in) recommended me to the manager of a independent firm down here and after one sit, he offered to train me extensively and sponsor me for the 7.

I gotta say........I'm pretty excited.  Had I not been coerced into housing out of college in 2003 by certain family members, I imagine this day would have come a lot sooner.

With all the aforementioned nonsense said, I figure 800-1000 dials per week is where I want to be for the first few months.  I came up on the phones in the early part of the decade and I'm definitely not afraid to hammer them. 

I liked what one member wrote here, that cold calling should be viewed as a way to 'disqualify who you DON'T want to do business with'.  That's a great mindset to have when I imagine the rejection rate will be as high as all phone gigs are in the states.

OK........my actual QUESTION - and I'm sure my boss could answer this in a quick text message but I don't feel like waiting to talk to him and I enjoy reading what I read here - is this:

Generally speaking, what will I be pitching from the beginning?  I mean, are there safer pitches for rookies that I'm likely to have put in front of me, and what will they be?  Like I said.....I'll get that answer eventually but I'm anxious.

I read earlier today that a young guy in the trainee program at some firm was given a stimulus bond to chat about with prospects because it sounds safe and it's tough to eff up. 

Anybody wanna throw in their two cents?  I appreciate it, preemptively, and hopefully in six months I won't be so green and/or a turnover statistic.

-JC

Aug 16, 2010 9:21 am

Sunlife sounds like insurance... They have those ridiculous commercials. "Florida-The Sun-life State" etc...kewl.

Anyway, yeah, your boss needs to answer this question. We all reco. different things, but the idea is the same... dial, knock, or meet up w/ old people.

I dial, and also think you should plan on making 250 + dials a day. Monitor everything. Your dials, your contacts, your leads, your accounts, and then after 60 days, make a nice little spread sheet w/ charts and graphs and whatever else...

My point, know what you need to improve on. If you are getting a qual. lead every ten contacts, try to increase that to 8.

Your intial enthusiam is nice, but be realistic. I should say be reasonable. This business has a way of putting you in a desolate place and then right before you break it pulls you out and rewards you. Most people die in the desolate place.

Glad your breaking into the biz... just don't let the biz break into you...

Aug 17, 2010 9:21 pm

Back when I was cold-calling, I would shoot for 200 dials in the morning and 200 in the afternoon/early evening.  The only thing that ever resulted in a client was by calling on bonds whether corp or tax free.  Get a list of people age 55+ in the nicer zip codes within a 30 mile radius of your office and start dialing for dollars.  These people love the income if they have ever owned bonds and if they haven't, they will love it when they get a taste of it.  It was no problem getting the dials in and getting maybe 3-5 quality conversations going. I think my close ratio was between 1/2 to 1% of dials.  I tried the other non-product scripts with zero luck.  i.e.  Hi Mr. Bagby, this is Danny from First Union in Charlotte and I was simply calling to see if you are an investor, and if you are, would you be open to new ideas from time to time?  <crickets>   no, I am not an investor. click.    versus,  Hi Mr. Buffett, this is Lipshitz calling from Edward Jones in Muskogee and we just got our hands on some Muskogee School G.O.  Tax Free bonds that are AAA rated, AGC insured, and best of all, paying a 4.5% coupon.  How many should I set aside for you?

Aug 17, 2010 11:13 pm

Bud:

Yea man I'm with you.  Like I conceded above, I'm a novice to the game but certainly not to sales and most definitely not to psychology.

Being in pharma sales for the short time that I've spent in it has confirmed, for me, that a product pitch is far more likely to A) defuse someone's reactionary dismissal of me and lower the guard PLUS B) garner legitimate interest, albeit possibly for a very short time, on the first 'touch'.

Another thing my manager-to-be laid on me in my interview is that this is a business compromised, almost, entirely of one call closes.  That the 6-10 touch methods implemented by other industries are obsolete here.  Given that dialing 300-400 times a day to be successful is required, one call closes are probably welcome.

Aug 18, 2010 11:38 am

[quote=Bud Fox]

Back when I was cold-calling, I would shoot for 200 dials in the morning and 200 in the afternoon/early evening.  The only thing that ever resulted in a client was by calling on bonds whether corp or tax free.  Get a list of people age 55+ in the nicer zip codes within a 30 mile radius of your office and start dialing for dollars.  These people love the income if they have ever owned bonds and if they haven't, they will love it when they get a taste of it.  It was no problem getting the dials in and getting maybe 3-5 quality conversations going. I think my close ratio was between 1/2 to 1% of dials.  I tried the other non-product scripts with zero luck.  i.e.  Hi Mr. Bagby, this is Danny from First Union in Charlotte and I was simply calling to see if you are an investor, and if you are, would you be open to new ideas from time to time?  <crickets>   no, I am not an investor. click.    versus,  Hi Mr. Buffett, this is Lipshitz calling from Edward Jones in Muskogee and we just got our hands on some Muskogee School G.O.  Tax Free bonds that are AAA rated, AGC insured, and best of all, paying a 4.5% coupon.  How many should I set aside for you?

[/quote]

Hands down, that is the best post on this subject I've seen written at this forum. Very well said.

Aug 18, 2010 5:11 pm

[quote=J.C.]Another thing my manager-to-be laid on me in my interview is that this is a business compromised, almost, entirely of one call closes.  That the 6-10 touch methods implemented by other industries are obsolete here.  Given that dialing 300-400 times a day to be successful is required, one call closes are probably welcome.[/quote]

When you say your manager said that the 6-10 touch methods are obsolete "here" do you mean here as in your company specifically or here in the general sense of the entire industry?

Aug 18, 2010 5:23 pm

Spaceman:

Our office, specifically.  Not that he forbids more than one touch, but he was pretty adamant that he wants me to be a one-call closer.

I've never really been that in my entire life, so it'll take some adjusting.

I mean, I'm a total novice so I can't opine one way or another.  Does your office subscribe to a similar school of thought?

Aug 18, 2010 5:53 pm

No.  Not my office, not my company, and for the most part, not my industry. 

Does cold calling work?  Absolutely.   Even the blind hog finds an acorn once in a while.  But I'd guess that most guys that are cold calling don't really expect a one call close.  What they're looking for is to start a conversation.  A relationship, if  you will.  Sometimes that relationship starts with a $10K bond order.  Most of the time it doesn't.  It's the next 5-7 (the Jones mantra) contacts that is going to get you to where you want. 

Now, if what you want is to be a transactional broker selling $10K bonds at a pop, then more power to you and your manager.  I'm not interested in that, so that's not the way we roll in my office.  For example, my next new client is going to be a guy with only $180K, but he's got a life insurance deal he needs to do.  He's been to my office 4 times now, one seminar, and at least 5 phone calls.  I'm not an aggressive guy, so some guys would have definitely closed him sooner than me.  My point isn't that it's taken me 10+ contacts to get him, but rather had I not been successful on a one call close, I'd have never gotten the $180K.  Sometimes it just takes longer. 

I'd hate for you to get frustrated with this career right out of the gate because your boss has unrealistic expectations for you.  But, if it turns out he IS the world's best saleman and teaches you how he does it, you'd better come back on here and share the wealth. 

Aug 18, 2010 6:10 pm

[quote=BigFirepower]

[quote=Bud Fox]

Back when I was cold-calling, I would shoot for 200 dials in the morning and 200 in the afternoon/early evening.  The only thing that ever resulted in a client was by calling on bonds whether corp or tax free.  Get a list of people age 55+ in the nicer zip codes within a 30 mile radius of your office and start dialing for dollars.  These people love the income if they have ever owned bonds and if they haven't, they will love it when they get a taste of it.  It was no problem getting the dials in and getting maybe 3-5 quality conversations going. I think my close ratio was between 1/2 to 1% of dials.  I tried the other non-product scripts with zero luck.  i.e.  Hi Mr. Bagby, this is Danny from First Union in Charlotte and I was simply calling to see if you are an investor, and if you are, would you be open to new ideas from time to time?  <crickets>   no, I am not an investor. click.    versus,  Hi Mr. Buffett, this is Lipshitz calling from Edward Jones in Muskogee and we just got our hands on some Muskogee School G.O.  Tax Free bonds that are AAA rated, AGC insured, and best of all, paying a 4.5% coupon.  How many should I set aside for you?

[/quote]

Hands down, that is the best post on this subject I've seen written at this forum. Very well said.

[/quote]Thanks for saying so BigFire.  I thought it sounded pretty good the other nite on "Springer's Final Thoughts".   HHHHhmmmm........