Qualified Prospects

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Dec 16, 2006 5:53 pm

I am just getting started in the business.  I am working for Smith Barney and I am very excited.  I don't mind the cold calling or the no's, but I hate wasting time with people that are just not prospects.  Can anyone suggest alternate ways or activities to find qualified prospects for cold calling?  I plan on incorporating other long term networking activities into my routine, but for now I want to fine tune the current plan of action which is primarily cold calling. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks again!!!

Dec 17, 2006 1:49 pm

how about telling them you only work with people who have over X amount and then asking them if they meet your minimum

Dec 18, 2006 3:23 pm
bankrep1:

how about telling them you only work with people who have over X amount and then asking them if they meet your minimum


Agree. in this day and age when anyone can qualify for a jumbo mortgage and 20 somethings with no net worth are lining up at the BMW dealership some of the old fashioned ways of identifying wealth just aren't valid. Asking always works.


The question is who do you ask? Well that's the fun part of the job. It's called find the money. I'd start with business owners. They are risk takers by nature and receptive to money making or money protecting ideas. Next, try older neighborhoods of large houses. This is hit or miss as many of these people may be mortgaged out. But it's certainly worth an effort. Forming a strategic, nothing beats a referral, alliance with another professional, a CPA for example, could bear fruit. Then there are the service clubs. The Lions run the city, the Rotarians own it. Rotary clubs are always begging for guest speakers. Wear a clean tie, tuck in your shirt, and wow them. Private clubs like country clubs or yachting clubs are a good source of monied individuals. Some of these clubs have membership lists hanging someplace in the locker room. These things get lost all the time. My rule is finders keepers. But you didn't hear that here. Mid to upper level corporate executives may have money. Corporate directories have been known to change hands in parking lots for monetary remuneration. $20 to $100 should do it. Or so I'm told.  Calling these directories is a good way of finding rollover candidates. Of course there's D&B which will give you the officers. These are but a few of the many ways to find the M-O-N-E-Y.

Dec 18, 2006 3:30 pm
BondGuy:

$20 to $100 should do it. Or so I'm told.  



classic!

Dec 18, 2006 9:40 pm
BondGuy:
bankrep1:

how about telling them you only work with people who have over X amount and then asking them if they meet your minimum


Agree. in this day and age when anyone can qualify for a jumbo mortgage and 20 somethings with no net worth are lining up at the BMW dealership some of the old fashioned ways of identifying wealth just aren't valid. Asking always works.


The question is who do you ask? Well that's the fun part of the job. It's called find the money. I'd start with business owners. They are risk takers by nature and receptive to money making or money protecting ideas. Next, try older neighborhoods of large houses. This is hit or miss as many of these people may be mortgaged out. But it's certainly worth an effort. Forming a strategic, nothing beats a referral, alliance with another professional, a CPA for example, could bear fruit. Then there are the service clubs. The Lions run the city, the Rotarians own it. Rotary clubs are always begging for guest speakers. Wear a clean tie, tuck in your shirt, and wow them. Private clubs like country clubs or yachting clubs are a good source of monied individuals. Some of these clubs have membership lists hanging someplace in the locker room. These things get lost all the time. My rule is finders keepers. But you didn't hear that here. Mid to upper level corporate executives may have money. Corporate directories have been known to change hands in parking lots for monetary remuneration. $20 to $100 should do it. Or so I'm told.  Calling these directories is a good way of finding rollover candidates. Of course there's D&B which will give you the officers. These are but a few of the many ways to find the M-O-N-E-Y.



I'd like to buy you a drink of your choice someday...you are the kind of guy every broker wishes would have been in their office when they were coming through the ranks.


Dec 19, 2006 11:19 am

congrats to you for loving cold calling.  I have not found it to be an efficient way of attracting big clients.


be honest, I personally never give cold callers the time of day.


I am not saying it cannot be done, just that it takes alot of time and a TON of dials.


I would encourage you to add other ways to build your business such as networking groups.

Dec 19, 2006 2:00 pm
vbrainy:

congrats to you for loving cold calling.  I have not found it to be an efficient way of attracting big clients.


be honest, I personally never give cold callers the time of day.


I am not saying it cannot be done, just that it takes alot of time and a TON of dials.

I would encourage you to add other ways to build your business such as networking groups.


Funny I just got cold called today asking if I want'ed to buy muni bonds. I tried to sell him a preferred stock.


So we chatted for a bit, and I asked him what they were plugging these days. Seems they do business with reverse convertables.


That's not the way to build business, sell first time clients a 4
month brokered CD. When it matures, you have a funded account and a
happy customer .


Don't think this is cheesy and won't work, because right now Merril Lynch is promoting a 5.65 CD for the same reason.


OTH if you sell a reverse convertable, it gets knocked in, you have
a account with less than the opening balance and an angry customer.


If you are selling fixed income products never sell anything to a customer that could lead to the account having materially less than the opening balance.

Dec 19, 2006 3:58 pm
vbrainy:

congrats to you for loving cold calling.  I have not found it to be an efficient way of attracting big clients.


be honest, I personally never give cold callers the time of day.


I am not saying it cannot be done, just that it takes alot of time and a TON of dials.


I would encourage you to add other ways to build your business such as networking groups.



Yep, agreed it's inefficient.


Last week the WSJ did a story about FA cold calling. Seems none of the majors push it but most still teach it. Usual interview with a snob FA telling how it can't possibly work or some other negative diatribe.


Interestingly, the WSJ did a story about 8 or 9 years ago about a SB trainee using cold calling as part of the training process during her intial three week stay in Hartford. The writer commented on how hopeless cold calling was after watching the trainee dial for hours on hours and only ended up with 5 qualified prospects for the day. Hmm, let's see, 5 prospects a day everyday(250/yr) for 5 years with a 10% close rate, more or less, that's what, 625 new accounts with average assets of say 75k, that's about 47 million AUM, at 1% yield to pocket and we have $470k in production at 40% giving our poor hopeless trainee an income of $188,000. Yep, it doesn't work.

Dec 19, 2006 4:35 pm

How long do you think the lead time is on networking events though? The lead time on networking events and such are very long though wouldn't you agree?

Dec 19, 2006 7:00 pm
BondGuy:
vbrainy:

congrats to you for loving cold calling. I have not found it to be an efficient way of attracting big clients.



be honest, I personally never give cold callers the time of day.



I am not saying it cannot be done, just that it takes alot of time and a TON of dials.



I would encourage you to add other ways to build your business such as networking groups.





Yep, agreed it's inefficient.



Last week the WSJ did a story about FA cold calling. Seems none of the majors push it but most still teach it. Usual interview with a snob FA telling how it can't possibly work or some other negative diatribe.



Interestingly, the WSJ did a story about 8 or 9 years ago about a SB trainee using cold calling as part of the training process during her intial three week stay in Hartford. The writer commented on how hopeless cold calling was after watching the trainee dial for hours on hours and only ended up with 5 qualified prospects for the day. Hmm, let's see, 5 prospects a day everyday(250/yr) for 5 years with a 10% close rate, more or less, that's what, 625 new accounts with average assets of say 75k, that's about 47 million AUM, at 1% yield to pocket and we have $470k in production at 40% giving our poor hopeless trainee an income of $188,000. Yep, it doesn't work.





No offense but the person wouldn't last

Dec 20, 2006 1:27 pm
bankrep1:
BondGuy:
vbrainy:

congrats to you for loving cold calling.  I have not found it to be an efficient way of attracting big clients.



be honest, I personally never give cold callers the time of day.



I am not saying it cannot be done, just that it takes alot of time and a TON of dials.



I would encourage you to add other ways to build your business such as networking groups.





Yep, agreed it's inefficient.



Last week the WSJ did a story about FA cold calling. Seems none of the majors push it but most still teach it. Usual interview with a snob FA telling how it can't possibly work or some other negative diatribe.



Interestingly, the WSJ did a story about 8 or 9 years ago about a SB trainee using cold calling as part of the training process during her intial three week stay in Hartford. The writer commented on how hopeless cold calling was after watching the trainee dial for hours on hours and only ended up with 5 qualified prospects for the day. Hmm, let's see, 5 prospects a day everyday(250/yr) for 5 years with a 10% close rate, more or less, that's what, 625 new accounts with average assets of say 75k, that's about 47 million AUM, at 1% yield to pocket and we have $470k in production at 40% giving our poor hopeless trainee an income of $188,000. Yep, it doesn't work.




No offense but the person wouldn't last



No offense taken



Ah, Hmm, what person wouldn't last? If you mean someone cold calling for five years at an intense level, well that's been done over and over and is being done over and over. I spent the first seven years of my life in this biz smiling and dialing for hours on hours EVERYDAY. So did a few of my friends. We are all still here living, more or less, off that early work. My partner did the same and she's done very well for herself as well. And today a trainee in my branch opened a new account on a cold call (cold called and developed) for $700,000. The account is going all munis at 2pts. That's $14000 gross today. Last week she opened an account from a cold call that is doing a $300,000 annuity. What's that $12000 gross, I don't know? She's been at it for about two years averaging 8 to 12 new accounts per month. Just focused smiling and dialing.


As for me, the calling is scaled back right now but not stopped. Yesterday we opened a $200,000 account and two weeks ago My partner landed a million dollar annuity. All from cold calling. So again, it doesn't work. In fact, the more we do it the more it doesn't work.


Cold calling in an intense highly focused way isn't that hard to do. It's really no big deal. So iI curious as to why anyone would think a person wouldn't last if they picked that route to take?

Dec 20, 2006 4:22 pm

What about the Do Not Call List?  Are you calling people at home or at work?  Are you selling a product or an appointment on the phone?

Dec 20, 2006 5:23 pm
futureadvisor:

What about the Do Not Call List?  Are you calling people at home or at work?  Are you selling a product or an appointment on the phone?


Business owners at their work number or to homes that have been screened per DNC. Always a product. Usually the process is call mail call. That is: call, send info, then call back. It's that second call that gets it done. The prospect will either fall out or move forward. Moving forward may include an appointment or a sale on that call or shortly thereafter. It may also move the prospect to a future funds due date at which time another series of calls/appointments would take place.


A word about the future funds due prospects. Most advisors put a note on their program to call about two weeks before the money due date. This is a big mistake. The prospect should be put on the call back list every month for at least one call every month until the money comes due. Or something should be mailed. This time between intial contact and funds due date is a great time to get the prospect to know you and to scale the wall of trust necessary to get the prospect on board as a client.


Dec 20, 2006 7:22 pm

"Usually the process is call mail call."


With the higher end prospects, sometimes it take 10 calls and various mailers (firm's economic outlook, a newspaper article pertaining to their interests, info on a tactical idea you have been using, etc) to crack the nut.


Once I identify them as an ideal client, I will not stop calling and DRIP'ping until they either make an appt or open an account, or they threaten to burn down my apartment.


The key is to be pleasantly persistant and try to learn more about the prospect every time you call. If you find that 2 or 3 calls to the person is yielding no progress or the uncovering of new info- move them from the monthly DRIP list to the quarterly one.

Dec 20, 2006 7:41 pm
blarmston:

Once I identify them as an ideal client, I will not stop calling and DRIP'ping until they either make an appt or open an account, or they threaten to burn down my apartment.



You'll find you'll open more accounts if You threaten to burn down their home. Works for me...

Dec 20, 2006 8:28 pm
blarmston:

"Usually the process is call mail call."


With the higher end prospects, sometimes it take 10 calls and various mailers (firm's economic outlook, a newspaper article pertaining to their interests, info on a tactical idea you have been using, etc) to crack the nut.


Very good point! I was simplifying the process to get my thought across. But, multiple calls are a reality of the business.


Once I identify them as an ideal client, I will not stop calling and DRIP'ping until they either make an appt or open an account, or they threaten to burn down my apartment.


Another excellent point. We have nothing to lose by making the calls. Many times an FA will hesitate on these calls. Not making the call and getting a no from the prospect yield the same result, no sale. So making the call can only improve the outcome. So, always make the call.


The key is to be pleasantly persistant and try to learn more about the prospect every time you call. If you find that 2 or 3 calls to the person is yielding no progress or the uncovering of new info- move them from the monthly DRIP list to the quarterly one.

Dec 20, 2006 8:43 pm
BondGuy:

Always a product. Usually the process is call mail
call. That is: call, send info, then call back. It's that second call
that gets it done. The prospect will either fall out or move forward.
Moving forward may include an appointment or a sale on that call or
shortly thereafter.


What products do you like to call with? I'm partial to CD's because
everyone knows about them and they are self-liquidating. At which point
you have a funded account and a happy customer.


At the very least you build up a group of people to mail monthly CD term sheets.

Dec 21, 2006 12:30 am
BondGuy:
bankrep1:
BondGuy:
vbrainy:

congrats to you for loving cold calling. I have not found it to be an efficient way of attracting big clients.



be honest, I personally never give cold callers the time of day.



I am not saying it cannot be done, just that it takes alot of time and a TON of dials.



I would encourage you to add other ways to build your business such as networking groups.





Yep, agreed it's inefficient.



Last week the WSJ did a story about FA cold calling. Seems none of the majors push it but most still teach it. Usual interview with a snob FA telling how it can't possibly work or some other negative diatribe.



Interestingly, the WSJ did a story about 8 or 9 years ago about a SB trainee using cold calling as part of the training process during her intial three week stay in Hartford. The writer commented on how hopeless cold calling was after watching the trainee dial for hours on hours and only ended up with 5 qualified prospects for the day. Hmm, let's see, 5 prospects a day everyday(250/yr) for 5 years with a 10% close rate, more or less, that's what, 625 new accounts with average assets of say 75k, that's about 47 million AUM, at 1% yield to pocket and we have $470k in production at 40% giving our poor hopeless trainee an income of $188,000. Yep, it doesn't work.



No offense but the person wouldn't last





No offense taken





Ah, Hmm, what person wouldn't last? If you mean someone cold calling for five years at an intense level, well that's been done over and over and is being done over and over. I spent the first seven years of my life in this biz smiling and dialing for hours on hours EVERYDAY. So did a few of my friends. We are all still here living, more or less, off that early work. My partner did the same and she's done very well for herself as well. And today a trainee in my branch opened a new account on a cold call (cold called and developed) for $700,000. The account is going all munis at 2pts. That's $14000 gross today. Last week she opened an account from a cold call that is doing a $300,000 annuity. What's that $12000 gross, I don't know? She's been at it for about two years averaging 8 to 12 new accounts per month. Just focused smiling and dialing.



As for me, the calling is scaled back right now but not stopped. Yesterday we opened a $200,000 account and two weeks ago My partner landed a million dollar annuity. All from cold calling. So again, it doesn't work. In fact, the more we do it the more it doesn't work.



Cold calling in an intense highly focused way isn't that hard to do. It's really no big deal. So iI curious as to why anyone would think a person wouldn't last if they picked that route to take?





In your original statement you said cold calling opening up 1% accounts all day. The person will likely fail out of the business starting out 100% fee based. I know you know a guy who made it and I am sure there are a few but the fact is the firms are building up a nice revenue streams while recycling motivated rookies who are good to bring in 5 or 10 million and drop out becuase they are broke, burned out and learn there are better opportunities to get rich quick. It ain't the old days, no porsche at 25!



10 mil at 1% is 100K broker is making about 35K when he loses his salary yeha

Dec 21, 2006 1:23 am

Hey Jos, I am nearing the end of the interview process with SB and I am anticipating an offer, what kind of deal did you get?  Where are you located?, as I am sure this will affect the starting salary.


thanks mooose

Dec 21, 2006 9:17 am

Jos - why not create your own, targeted, qualified list?  Why rely on random activities that only leave you hoping for success?  Hope is not a valid strategy.  Find a niche my friend - an industry, profession, company, sport, hobby, club, association, ethnic group, laid off auto workers, Kansas City attorneys, fields you worked in before coming into this industry, etc.


Niche qualifiers include:  High average income and net worth, Large groups of people, should be an affinity group, you should have a point of entry to the group, you should be able to relate to the group, you should be able to offer something unique.


Now - you're off to the races with something much better than 'hope', it's an actual strategy that you can control.  Or - just keep pee-ing into the wind.