Mentor issues

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Apr 7, 2008 10:47 pm

I am in a very small office and I am in the "pre-production" phase of
the program. There is a tenured FA who has mentioned teaming with me,
but my gut tells me it is not a good fit. I haven't brought anything to the table yet, and this person is
not helping me reach my hurdles, so I am having a difficult time
figuring out how this is a good situation for either of us.  This
person also tells me not to cold call and to use my "network," which is
relatively small because I am new to the area, and I really don't want to call on family and friends.  There are a few other
tenured FA's that I would like to get to know to see if it might be a
good possible fit for a team, but I think I am stuck. And more
importantly, do I have to team? What if I am good on my own? I hope I don't seem ungrateful but is it worth teaming if it is not going to be a good fit? There
seems to be so much emphasis on teaming. Has anyone been in a similar
situation and what did you do?

Apr 8, 2008 6:18 am

Why don't you want to call on friends and family?   Are they not worthy of your services?


What is your job?  Tell us a little more about your work situation.  For instance, is a 30 year old attorney who makes $100K and has very little saved, but can afford to put away a $1000/month a good prospect or a waste of time prospect?

Apr 9, 2008 2:11 pm

Calling your friends and family when starting is foolish.  That's bad advice anonymouns. 

Unless your family has huges assets, getting their business wont make a long term difference to your success or failure.  So ignore anonymous.  He isnt very bright.
 
Am I understanding this correctly that you are with EDJ?  You use the word mentor so I assume you are.  If so, then you do not team up anyway as an EDJ rep.  You work on your own unless you get into the Goodknight program.  Is that what you are being offered?
 
Bottom line, St Louise has provided you with training.  What you are supposed to do has been made very clear to you if you are with EDJ.  Doorknocking and networking.  Doorknocking is the key.  Why are you confused as to what to do?  Everything should be very clear as to your duties.  Help me out here and I will try to help you.
Apr 9, 2008 2:16 pm

Clearly she is not with EDJ.

Apr 9, 2008 2:19 pm

Yea I think you're right .  When I hear the term Mentor I automatically go into EDJ mode.

 
So what firm are you with Financiallady?  By-the-way, my advice on family and friends stands.
Apr 9, 2008 2:37 pm

Edisfree,  I must not be the only one with intelligence issues.  It's tough to not miss your problems with reading comprehension. 


Not once did I tell her to call on friends and family.  I asked her a series of questions.  The answer to those questions would determine whether calling on friends and family would make sense. 


Just like door knocking is a good way for an EDJ guy to start, it is probably a terrible way for a ML guy to start.   If she doesn't have to put insurance through a grid, calling on friends and family is a great way to start and it has absolutely nothing to do with getting their business.  If you want to have a discussion about this, I'm willing.   

Apr 9, 2008 2:44 pm

No discussion is required. You implied that calling friends and family was a viable thing to do.  I just stated a fact and that is that it is not a good idea.  I will also note that anyone who has a lot of time to waste on this site is not likely a producer of any significance.  Therfore their advice should be taken with a grain of salt.  There are a lot of small fish on this site.  I trust you are not one of them.  

 
I do agree with you that I should have caught that she likely does not work for EDJ.  Now I need to get back to work.     
Apr 9, 2008 2:50 pm

Calling your friends and family when starting is foolish.  That's bad advice anonymouns. 


If you read anon's post again you will see he did NOT say you should call on family and friends.  He asked a more probing question of why WOULDN'T she want to do so?  He is keying in on what is likely the real issue here: her attitude about her value proposition, and how that affects her willingness to prospect.  You, on the other hand, want to offer her the valuable advice of doing whatever it is that EDJ teaches folks to do in training.  Very insightful.

Unless your family has huges assets, getting their business wont make a long term difference to your success or failure.  So ignore anonymous.  He isnt very bright.
 
Am I understanding this correctly that you are with EDJ?  You use the word mentor so I assume you are. 

Talk about not being very bright.  Clearly she is NOT talking about EDJ, but since she uses the term "mentor" you ignore everything else? 

If there's any ignoring to be done, I think it should involve your post, not anon's.
Apr 9, 2008 3:11 pm

Well I disacree Morphius.  I believe he implied that calling family and friends was something to do.  That's bad advice.  Yes, she should ignore anonymous.  I would also recommend ignoring Morphius. 


I was with EDJ for nearly ten years.  I left to go to a wire house where I spent eight years.
I now run my own practice specializing in running several discretionary stock portfolios for roughly 70 families.  My guess is I have more success and experience than you Morphius and also more good advice to offer a new broker. 
 
Also, I am being silly and foolish with my time today.  Financiallady, first advice is never waist time on the internet getting advice from small producers.    This place is often for small producers who dont get enough ego fulfullment in their everyday life so they come here to pretend they are successful.     
Apr 9, 2008 3:12 pm

I have plenty of time to waste on this site.  I must be small fish.


I am seriously questioning your intelligence.  You inferred that I was trying to say that she should call on friends and family, but in no way, shape, or form did I imply that.  I asked a few questions.  Depending on her answers, it is very possible that I would agree that calling on F&F would be a bad idea.


"I just stated a fact and that is that it is not a good idea."  Can you humor me for a second and explain why it is a fact that calling on friends and family is a bad idea for all financial advisors regardless of where the advisor works.  (I'm assuming that this is your stance based upon your posts.) 
Apr 9, 2008 3:25 pm

So in a nutshell, Edisfree, your advice is:

1. Everyone here is inexperienced and a small producer.
2. Except you.
3. Everyone here is a small producer who come here for ego fulfillment and to pretend they are successful
4. Except you.
5. Everyone here should be ignored.
6. Except you.
7. Financiallady should not waste time on the internet getting advice.
8. Except from you.

You should change your username to Catch22.


Apr 9, 2008 3:33 pm

I guess I don't buy the whole friends and family avoidance technique.  If he is in fact at an independent or insurance agency, why not call on them?  So he doesn't make a large sale.  Gets his feet wet, makes some easily corrected mistakes on those who KNOW him, and learns from the situation.  If you are simply an asset gatherer, fine, I can see the avoidance unless they are wealthy.  But if his brother in law needs life or disability insurance and he simply refuses to call on them because they are family, he should be ashamed.  Who will get the stares if something happens and he could have helped plan for the situation?  I know this is an extreme, but why not help those you care about the most.  Sure, some family members will not be receptive, but so will alot of other prospects down the road.  He will have done his job, and move on.

Apr 9, 2008 3:45 pm

Ironhorse,

Oops.  Now you've done it - you've proven yourself to be another unsuccessful, inexperienced, small producer who is to be ignored since you come her to waste time and pretend to be an FA. 

Perhaps you didn't hear inisfree when he informed us of this indisputable fact (not opinion, but fact): that working with friends and family is wrong.  Always and everywhere. 

Disagreement is proof of ignorance.

Apr 9, 2008 3:57 pm

Morphius I would not agree that everybody on here is inexperienced and small in production.  Just the vast majority.  I recall some producers who seemed to be top notch.


Zacko, Greenhills and Put come to mind.  ALthough Put was a manager and not a producer.
There are others, but most or small fries.
Apr 9, 2008 4:37 pm

Ok kids now try to settle down.  We all know your big and tough and that you are big swinging D...ks.  Everybody is impressed.  Poor little iceco1d.  He is typical of  what's on this site.  I'm simply overwhelmed with your impressive behavior. 

 
I do have to respect theironhorse though.  Intelligent disagreement.  He sounds smart and mature.  Don't you all think he made some good points.   I know I do and I have no problem admitting it.  I don't think insurance agent though.  Are there really people who only sell insurance on here?  That's hard to even imagine.  
 
Apr 9, 2008 9:58 pm

Don't feed the troll.

Apr 9, 2008 10:17 pm

Financiallady, there are times when working w/ the wrong mentor is a good thing. My first mentor was a total ***, but to this day I still credit him for my being successful in this business. He taught me how to talk on the phone, what to say & do to get an appointment, and helped me get over my reluctance to close. He was completely uncharming, totally rough when off the clock(his previous job had been a manager of Burger King), didn't have a college degree, and knew nothing about the markets.



I'd ask yourself why you don't like this person. For a lot of people the answer is that they're asking you to stretch and get out of your comfort zone - that they're passionately pushing you towards an outcome that they see is possible for you. Most assigned mentors in this business get paid for their time. If that's who this mentor is, keep him/her. You say you're not being helped to reach your hurdles in pre-production? If I was your mentor I wouldn't either. What are you doing in pre production that's so hard? Studying for the exam?



May I also add that most of the people we want to emulate when we are starting out are the people who make it look easy. This would be a huge mistake, because this business does become easy after a time. Those people who have easy to run businesses may not remember what it is like to fight in the trenches. Looking at them from afar may be a good idea, but emulating their business strategies & thought processes may lead you to starvation in the early years.



Finally, there's a great deal of serendipity in this business. If someone wants to give you a hand up early in this simple but very difficult business, I'd stick around to figure out if it's good before slapping it.

Apr 10, 2008 12:10 am

Wow. I was not expecting so many responses to my post! Ashland, I agree with some of your points. Let me re-iterate that I am not expecting for this person to help me with my hurdles, but at the same time, I am being asked to jump through many hoops and take on some admin for this person that is distracting me from getting clients. My question is...is this a good move or will I always be seen as an admin?

I assume that it is justified by the scenario that maybe one day I would get some clients for his/her book, but I am not interested in that, because hopefully they hired me to build my own book in time. Unfortunately, time is not on my side. So how do I jump through hoops for this person but not meet the goals I need to meet?

Additionally, I have a passion for a niche market that this person doesn't see as valuable, and other people who I trust in my office think it is a great idea.  I have huge goals, and this person keeps pushing me to use my network, while my network is very small, and I am trying to figure out why cold-calling isn't a good option?

Don't get me wrong...it is not that I don't like this person, but I almost feel restricted to do things a certain way that might have worked for them, but I think I have a small chance of finding success in the same way. I know I have thrown out a lot of questions...but hopefully I can get some guidance on how to be gracious but still succeed? 

Apr 10, 2008 12:21 am
Financiallady:

Wow. I was not expecting so many responses to my post! Ashland, I agree with some of your points. Let me re-iterate that I am not expecting for this person to help me with my hurdles, but at the same time, I am being asked to jump through many hoops and take on some admin for this person that is distracting me from getting clients. My question is...is this a good move or will I always be seen as an admin?

I assume that it is justified by the scenario that maybe one day I would get some clients for his/her book, but I am not interested in that, because hopefully they hired me to build my own book in time. Unfortunately, time is not on my side. So how do I jump through hoops for this person but not meet the goals I need to meet?

Additionally, I have a passion for a niche market that this person doesn't see as valuable, and other people who I trust in my office think it is a great idea.  I have huge goals, and this person keeps pushing me to use my network, while my network is very small, and I am trying to figure out why cold-calling isn't a good option?

Don't get me wrong...it is not that I don't like this person, but I almost feel restricted to do things a certain way that might have worked for them, but I think I have a small chance of finding success in the same way. I know I have thrown out a lot of questions...but hopefully I can get some guidance on how to be gracious but still succeed? 

 
I knew a girl who was hired as an advisor and teamed up with a group in the same fashion you are talking about...doing some admin and hopefully mining the bottom part of the book.  In her case, the successful group of advisors were of course looking out for number one, themselves.  Her "part time" admin duties slowly transitioned into "full time" admin duties.  It was kind of like the typical give an inch take a mile scenario.  They would throw her enough assets to meet hurdles, but she got nowhere as an advisor.  Once she was burned out on the admin, she was done, never to be heard from again.
 
So, given what you have said, it would seem like you have other opportunities and your own ideas about the market you would like to go after.  If you work hard enough you will not need to team up with anyone you don't want to.  There are probably advisors in your office that may help you close someone when you need it and that can be shared.  Either respectfully decline his offer or talk to your manager.  Your world will not be over if you decide to do what's best for you, not him.
 
Good luck.
Apr 10, 2008 11:16 am

You need to set up your own "private appointments" to get away from the office.  This will help you manage the relationship and get some time for you to build your own business.

 
This is called "Time Blocking".  Just make it an appointment AND GET OUT OF THE OFFICE.