My first 6 months

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Aug 17, 2006 9:55 pm

well im in my 6th month at MetLife. when i first looked into this industry, my dream was to go to a big time wirehouse and make big bucks there. but most of those companies don't hire people straight out of college (i'm 22 years old). anyways, im at a good company, my branch office is decent, and overall i enjoy this business (even though i've made little money).

the thing i need to focus on going forward is a marketing plan, which i have planned out pretty well. we'll see how it goes. all the way until now, i've been mostly cold-calling and calling existing metlife clients whose broker/advisor/insurance agent has left the company. it feels great to make a sale off of a cold call and the whole process it takes to get investments and insurance finalized.

but yeah, the hardest thing i've found is GETTING CLIENTS (this was obvious to me before ever starting, but i never realized how hard it is until i got into this business. you never really understand something unless you have personal experience in that particular area. just my 2c.). most of my peers don't care about retirement or investing or they don't have any money to do it with.

i've seen a lot of people come and go already. people DROP LIKE FLIES. i started off with about 10 others. Most of them have left and the few survivors aren't making it.

one thing that pissed me off - last week one of my mentors gave me a larger cut on a case we were working on just to get me going a little. one of the other senior reps told my mentor that i was a lost bet and he shouldn't have done that. he says i will be out of here within a year cause i'm so young and don't have a market i can penetrate. **ck him is what i say. haha

Aug 17, 2006 10:49 pm

Chris, you really should learn to write--what you presented above reveals an immature kid.


That carries over to the rest of your world.

Aug 17, 2006 11:23 pm

Over a couple of months on this forum and many other forums for financial advising, I have realized no matter where you are and in whatever situation, your writing and grammer should be perfect.  Although you may think it's great when writing to your clients or talking to them, it probably is not, because practice makes perfect.  If you don't practice 24/7 you will never be perfect.

Aug 17, 2006 11:57 pm
brothaK:

Over a couple of months on this forum and many other forums for financial advising, I have realized no matter where you are and in whatever situation, your writing and grammer should be perfect.  Although you may think it's great when writing to your clients or talking to them, it probably is not, because practice makes perfect.  If you don't practice 24/7 you will never be perfect.



"grammar"

Couldn't resist!

Aug 18, 2006 6:36 am

If you're selling insurance or Fuller brushes. If you're peddling

investments, advice about 401(k) roll overs and the like having the guy

walk up the sidewalk, pulling his collar to let some air into his shirt, is not

the most impressive thing to see.



The reality is that seminars are the most effective way to market this

stuff--the problem is that you have to actually know what you're doing

and talking about.



This is a business filled with Catch 22s. You can't get the job without a

Series 7 and you can't get the Series 7 without the job.



Once you have the job you can't really be effective without great

experience, yet you can't get the great experience because you don't have

great experience.



One of the best lines to be uttered on this forum was the one from the

guy who said to invite people to a seminar, and tell them to bring their

doggy bag. Clever.



Because of something I've done within the last year--I suspect it was

opening a naked options writing account with Fidelity, but it could be

something I subscribed to--I get invitations to dinners at least once a

week. Some are very, very, fancy invitations. I have never gone and don't

suppose I ever will--but I'm not the typical boomer you guys are trying to

reach.



On the other side of the coin is my mother and father. They too get

them, and they go. They eat the free food and sit there an politely listen

to the pitch, then leave. When they are asked to sign in they do, but they

leave the phone number blank and if pushed my Dad just makes one up.

This does not make me proud of my folks--but it's an outting for them

and I encourage them to get out as often as they can. Plus the invitation

clearly says that they are welcome to come eat and don't have to buy a

thing.



Personally I think seminars where you don't give them food are better

because if somebody actually shows up they've got "Buying Signal" written

across their forehead in red lipstick.



Over the years I've known several brokers who charged for seminars. It

gives the impression that you really have something to tell them, and if

they'll pay to hear you they too are obviously buyers.



Women in particular can get older women to show up at seminars--or be

invited to speak at women's gatherings.



Go fifty to one hundred miles from a major city and you'll find all sorts of

people who have money and don't know what to do with it.



You don't have to live in Waxahachie to do business there--that Jones

broker down there doesn't know what he's talking about, go steal his

customers by baffling them with BS and a song and dance.]



There are so many ways to make it--but you have to do something. And

your voice has to have changed and you have to have some wrinkles and

a touch of gray hair.



I keep reminding you kids--give it the Mom and Dad test. If you cannot

imagine your own parents allowing you to run their finances why in the

world would anybody else who is their age let you run theirs?

Aug 18, 2006 7:06 am

registeredchris, I'm willing to bet that you don't work very much.  By "work", I'm not talking about putting in hours.  Start tracking your time.  How much of your time is spent either seeing people or fighting to see them?  This is the only thing that counts.  Do you look at your mail during the day?  Work on case preparation?  Go to lunch without a prospect?  These activities all need to stop.


Immediately, start only seeing people and fighting to see them and you'll see a turn around. 


NASD has never done cold walking, so he is not in a position to tell you that it doesn't work.  I can tell you that cold walking business owners works great.   

Aug 18, 2006 7:12 am

Wouldn't that depend on your definition of "great?"


If a broker started to cold walk businesses, what type of prospects do you suppose he would uncover?


I'm willing to learn, teach me.

Aug 18, 2006 7:40 am

The prospects that he would uncover is business owners. 


Nothing is wrong with seminars, but business owners don't attend.  They are too busy running their business.   Many of them also won't answer the phone for a cold call.  This leaves me the choice of waiting to get referred or just cold walking.


Several things can happen with a cold walk.  I'll give you my rough guess on the % of time each of these happens:


1)They are rude and kick me out very quickly. (10%)


2)We both have time to have a serious conversation and I take a fact finder on the spot or we focus on a specific concern that they have.  (10%)


3)We have a brief introduction and they schedule a time to have an in-depth conversation. (15%)


4)We have a brief introduction and they don't agree to allow me to stay in touch with them (20%) 


5)We have a brief introduction and they agree to allow me to stay in touch with them (45%)


In short, about 70% of the business owners allow me to at least stay in touch.  They all get dripped on weekly in a professional manner.  It does not matter that the majority of them may never become clients.  Many of them will.


If we use a baseball analogy, batting average doesn't count.  All that matters is the number of hits.


In short, cold walking business owners works because the advisor is spending his time talking to prospects. 

Aug 18, 2006 7:45 am

So, who are these business owners?  Not names, just types of businesses.

Aug 18, 2006 9:13 am

There's no need to discriminate.  Walk in on all of them. 


You have nothing to lose.  Mr. Prospect from "Mr. Prospect's Auto Repair" is currently not a client.  If I walk in on him, the worst case scenario is that he remains not a client.

Aug 18, 2006 10:48 am
NASD Newbie:

So, who are these business owners?  Not names, just types of businesses.


I would think that the success of this strategy would vary depending on your location.  In an urban area you might not have as warm a reception as you would in a more laid back rural/suburban area.  It also depends on the time of day that you approach the business owners and the size of the business.  Many times the "owner" isn't really on-site.  At that point, you can prospect the employees or store manager.


It has worked for me to some extent.  It's very difficult to get business owners or the decision makers of the business to attend seminars.  As someone else stated, they are busy running their businesses.  The best seminar contacts I have had in this area is through presentations at Rotary or Chamber of Commerce meetings.


That being said, the cold walking works best on smaller businesses (in my experience): retail establishments like hardware stores, clothing stores, dry cleaners, auto mechanic shops, small privately owned restaurants (not franchises), trucking companies, construction firms, landscaping firms and beauty shops.  Big companies will not usually have a decision maker on site and usually have their affairs in order already.  Not to say you can't try to compete, just that cold walking doesn't get you in the door.


Forget cold walking on Lawyers, Doctors or Dentists.  Unless you know them personally, all you will get is body blocked by the gate keepers.


Aug 18, 2006 10:57 am

Why not franchises?


One of the best retail clients I had was a couple who owned a couple of Baskin Robbins.  They alternated between the stores during the typical business day because the business was relatively slow and their staff was in class over at the high school.


On more than a few occasions my wife, or I, would fill in for one of them if they had to go to the doctor or dentist.  They rarely went on vacation--but when they did they just closed the stores in the dead of winter for a few days.


Nothing sweeter than picking up large checks in an ice cream joint--not to mention the ability to go to the head of the line on a hot summer night.

Aug 18, 2006 11:08 am

I guess it depends on where you are.  In my area the franchise owners don't live locally.  They actually reside in localites that are hundreds if not thousands of miles away.   Same thing goes for the local motels.  The absentee owners are never there during working hours and only come up once in a while, if at all, to meet with the on-site managers.


Every place is different.

Aug 18, 2006 11:14 am

Again, walk in EVERYWHERE.  There is no reason to discriminate.  So what if you usually can't get past the gatekeeper with certain businesses.  It takes 2 minutes of time and you'll find out that often you can get in.  At the very least, you'll get the name of the owner and you can follow up with a phone call.

Aug 18, 2006 11:14 am

I think you'll find that Best Westerns and Choice Hotels are almost always owned by somebody who is very nearby--often right there behind the desk.


If all you're doing is walking from door to door it never hurts to stop in and ask if the owner is in--it would be wrong to prejudge any business door.


Except Lucy's "The Doctor is In" practice in Charlie Brown's front yard.

Aug 18, 2006 11:16 am

We're all slowly learning around here.


1.  host seminars at Holiday Inn conference centers


2.  fill in for my clients at Baskin Robbins so they can go the doctor


DON'T WE ALL KNOW WHAT WE HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN THIS BUSINESS!!!


So, I'm not living up to my full potential because I wear a golf shirt on many days..........I guess I need to prioritize my daily schedule to fit in filling in for my clients at their work.  Did you wear a dark suit, white shirt and red tie while putting the one of the original 21 flavors in a cone? 



Aug 18, 2006 11:19 am
ribsnwhiskey:

We're all slowly learning around here.


1.  host seminars at Holiday Inn conference centers


2.  fill in for my clients at Baskin Robbins so they can go the doctor


DON'T WE ALL KNOW WHAT WE HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN THIS BUSINESS!!!


So, I'm not living up to my full potential because I wear a golf shirt on many days..........I guess I need to prioritize my daily schedule to fit in filling in for my clients at their work.  Did you wear a dark suit, white shirt and red tie while putting the one of the original 21 flavors in a cone? 





Actually it was 31 flavors....

Aug 18, 2006 11:24 am

You are so right and so wrong, but I was trying to bring us back in time to when Newbie claims to have actually been a rep/ice cream ---server.  Surely that was at least 54 years ago. 


------------------------------------------------------------ -


Dunkin' Brands was a part of Allied Domecq until its purchase in 2006 by a group of private equity firms - Bain Capital, Thomas Lee and The Carlyle Group.<SUP =reference id=ref-0>[1]


Baskin-Robbins was known for its "31 flavors" slogan. When the first Baskin-Robbins store opened, they offered 21 flavors, an innovative concept at the time. The idea for 31 Flavors came from Carson-Roberts advertising agency (later became Ogilvy & Mather) in 1953 along with the slogan "Count the Flavors. Where flavor counts."

Aug 18, 2006 11:31 am
ribsnwhiskey:

You are so right and so wrong, but I was trying to bring us back in time to when Newbie claims to have actually been a rep/ice cream ---server.  Surely that was at least 54 years ago. 


------------------------------------------------------------ -


Dunkin' Brands was a part of Allied Domecq until its purchase in 2006 by a group of private equity firms - Bain Capital, Thomas Lee and The Carlyle Group.[1]


Baskin-Robbins was known for its "31 flavors" slogan. When the first Baskin-Robbins store opened, they offered 21 flavors, an innovative concept at the time. The idea for 31 Flavors came from Carson-Roberts advertising agency (later became Ogilvy & Mather) in 1953 along with the slogan "Count the Flavors. Where flavor counts."



I'm impressed!  

Aug 18, 2006 12:03 pm

22 is a very young compared to the old farts around here.  It's an uphill battle to win business from a 50 year old guy who has been around the block unless it is a quality referral.  I dont try because I have a harder time connecting with them.  However, it is very reasonable to work with recent new grads entering corporate america.  You will more likely connect with them and acquire accounts. 


I am 28, and look 24.  I work the yuppie asian american market.  I have 10 close MD friends in their residency.  My network revolves around them, their nurses, their brothers, sisters, optometrist friends, chiropractor friends, etc....  I treat each relationship like gold.  Get in a niche circle that you are absolutely comfortable with; Of course find one that has money.  Do a great job with your niche and they will be your advocates. 


I'd recomend reading:  Book yourself solid by Michael Port & Super networking for sales pro by Salmon