Prospecting experiences

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Aug 2, 2005 9:34 pm

Ok, lets try to have a constructive thread where we actually help each other...



What are everyone's experiences with different prospecting
techniques?  What has worked best for you?  What turned out
to be a waste of time?  Do seminars pay off or is it a lot of
hassle for no relative return?  Since I'd be willing to bet that
NONE of us are going after the EXACT same prospects (we are about 20
people spread across the entire country) lets not be shy about sharing
tips that got you a ton of business...



I will be going into production in a couple months and I'm trying to
formalize an attack plan so I can hit the ground running. 
Learning from others' mistakes as well as their successes will save me
a lot of time and frustration so any tips are much appreciated.



P.S. Please ignore any PUT-type responses...

Aug 2, 2005 9:37 pm

Oh yeah, forgot to mention..



If you have a trade secret and don't want to put it up here, PM's are always appreciated


Aug 2, 2005 9:47 pm

I would love to say that I have a special technique, but I am not experienced enough in this career field.


First and formost I think there needs to be a clear goal and plan. One needs to stay active by staying on top of trends, learning from those who are where you want to be, active in organizations and network like a bull!


Now general networking in my sales background included direct sales, refferals and focus on a predetermined target market. In the seafood industry it took about a year for me to get a great network of associates. Also after a few years I know enough to sit with the best brokers and talk the lingo!! SO KNOWLEDGE is critical!!


Aug 2, 2005 10:51 pm

Try doing a coffee club where all the older retirees gather for breakfast. Buy all of their coffee one morning a week and use that as a way to build your referral base.

Aug 3, 2005 8:59 am

Direct mail still works.  You must find a reputable marketing company that has proven mailers.  You may conduct one-on-one appointments or conduct seminars depending on how you structure your mailers.  The same principle applies to email too.


Read the trade mags.  Call all the lead sources that you can find.  Even if you are not independent and cannot use their marketing systems you will be wiser know the marketing techniques that are currently being used.  Ask for free samples.  Ask for any powerpoint presentations that they may have on CD.  Accept anything that is free.


Aug 3, 2005 9:35 am

First of all you should develop a business plan. Who is your target market, do you plan to specialize in a segment of the population etc, ie people age 55 getting ready to retire. I own a sucessful business other than financial services and I can tell you as a business owner you have to develop a plan or you have no direction. Once you develop your plan you should break your day into 1 hour segments. Be realistic in your goals. You need to do all this before you start prospecting. That will dictate how you will prospect. Most brokers that are established don't have to make cold calls anymore-They get continious referrals from their cleint base. You and I don't have that luxury yet. I am on the phone about 6 hours a day. I do businesses in the morning and households in the afternoon and evening. Join a local chamber of commerce. Do anything and everything you can to get your name out there in front of the public. Its like a 747 Jumbo Jet-it takes a while to get going but once you have momentum you can get off the ground.

Aug 3, 2005 9:36 am

I think any direct mail without a call or a handshake is a waste of time.  But, I do like having something dynamite to send them after you reach someone.


Also, many people join Chamber of Commerce.


You might want to post this type of topic on the Prospecting forum.


Good luck.

Aug 3, 2005 11:05 am

You must find a reputable marketing company that has proven mailers.  You may conduct one-on-one appointments or conduct seminars depending on how you structure your mailers


What companies do other people use for mailers?  I am currently using Liberty.  Emerald was too expensive and the flyers struck me as garish...too much color and graphics.   I prefer to mail out my materials myself, instead of a mass mailing, and follow with a phone call.  I publish a canned article monthly in the local paper under my by line, in lieu of an ad of the same size and am in the weekly business section of several local papers.  The cost of those weekly ads is small but it keeps my name out there constantly.  Much of my prospecting now comes from referrals from my clients and cold walking the businesses.


Does anyone make their own newsletters?  I have thought about it, but the compliance issues and the time involvled seem prohibitive.


While we are at it, how do you all keep track of your prospects and client contacts?.  I am currently using ACT for Advisors, but must admit to being lazy in not customizing the drip system effectively.


First of all you should develop a business plan.


This is great advice. As a former commercial lender (many many moons ago) I know that a great business that is poorly managed or not completely thought through can fail miserably.  Keeping track of goals, costs, revenue and progress of the business is probably the most boring part of being an entrepeneur, but the most important.

Aug 3, 2005 11:26 am

100% DETAILED PLAN OF ATTACK


Even better then that is having a mentor guide you through your plan. I do agree established people in this industry get a ton of refferals. Because of this they may be 10 years behind in the current trends on contacting, but neverless can provide valuable information.


Another critical tool for success is utilize your experience. Think about your past. If you have experience in a certain area find a way to associate with these people. You have an instant connection. If you are a union member offer free consulting for those who are about to retire.

I have a ton of bullets in my sleve so stay close and well go far!!


Creativity and the ability to communicate are essential for success!

Aug 3, 2005 12:58 pm

Babbling looney is right on the money. Those of us that fail to plan ultimately plan to fail. Most importantly you have to set reasonable goals. I know that I have to contact at least 200 people a day to maybe talk to 20 and out of that 20 maybe get 2 or 3 appointments-real interest-not just talkers. The more exposure you have to the general public the better off you are. You also need to differentiate yourself and your firm vs. the competition. I have found that you only have a couple of minutes to make a lasting impression and if you are not on your game-then you are an after thought to the client.

Aug 4, 2005 9:16 am

Are both Babbling Looney and Asset Gatherer = Put Trader.  Is this guy now having conversations with himself? 

Aug 4, 2005 10:14 am

You are a paranoid idiot.

Aug 4, 2005 10:53 am

Hey maybeeeeeee-



I am not PUT. Allow me to identify myself-I work for Morgan Stanley in Dartmouth MA which is more than I can say for most on this forum. As I said before no one wants to identify themselves. Obsess all you want about PUT. I actually thought some of his responses were kind of funny. Most in this forum seem to have alot of balls because they think that they can't be identified or mask themselves as some one or something that they are not. I guess thats why most people think that brokers eat their young and will do anything for a sale.



GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR CONSPIRACY THEORIES!

Aug 4, 2005 11:07 am

Morgan Stanley eh??? Hope you're not one of the 10% being shown the door....

Aug 4, 2005 11:12 am

No I am not- I am probably one of the last to be hired into the training program here. Its actually a great place to work.

Aug 4, 2005 11:33 am
maybeeeeeeee:

Are both Babbling Looney and Asset Gatherer = Put Trader.  Is this guy now having conversations with himself? 


Assetgatherer adds value to the conversation and gets attacked? Why?


Aug 4, 2005 11:47 am

Because people can hide behind their computor monitor and not worry about reprocussions of what they say if they remain anonymous. That is why I identified myself. Its truely amazing how adults can act like children. I think this could be a really productive forum where people serious about building their book of business could interact but it has become a joke. I don't mind having some fun but I have a business to run and if I don't produce I become an afterthought!

Aug 5, 2005 1:11 am
assetgatherer:

Because people can hide behind their computor monitor and not worry about reprocussions of what they say if they remain anonymous. That is why I identified myself. Its truely amazing how adults can act like children. I think this could be a really productive forum where people serious about building their book of business could interact but it has become a joke. I don't mind having some fun but I have a business to run and if I don't produce I become an afterthought!



You make some good points.


You should also be careful about identifying yourself.  You never know who is reading these posts.  What if I was your branch manager?

Aug 5, 2005 10:02 am

Joe-I understand your point, but I have nothing to hide. I work my tail off just like you and most in our business. MS has been very good to me and I hope to repay the courtesy by treating my clients right and earning money for the firm and myself.

Aug 6, 2005 1:29 pm

If someone were to work from 7am to 9pm Monday through Friday and then
put in a half day on on Saturday, would that be enough to "guarantee"
success? 



Or is it more of just getting lucky?