Struggling

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Mar 21, 2008 8:03 pm

I just finished up my year in the business.  My production numbers weren't very good,  I really enjoy my job, work very hard and have a great pipeline but I'm discouraged.  I've heard that production less than 50k your first year is an indication you probably won't make it in the business.  Anyone in the forum that struggled in the beginning to finally succeed?

Mar 21, 2008 8:15 pm

It would help if you could give some background information.  What type of channel are you in (bank, wirehouse, indy)?  Production less than 50k has a wide range.  Was it 10k or 49k?  What market are you targeting?  What do your daily activities look like (how do you prospect, how many dials do you make, how have you been getting the clients you have)?  How are you getting prospects through your pipeline?  If you get in front of someone and don't close them, why do you think it didn't happen?


Post some of this stuff and maybe some people will have some suggestions for you.
Mar 21, 2008 8:31 pm

45k, EDJ, Midwest, 80% cold calling via phone, 20% cold knocking.  Sell ce and open end mutual funds, annuities, stocks and muni's.  Try to make at least 100 cold call per day.  Do a lot of follow ups on pipeline.  Try to contact my pipeline often with idea or economic news. 

 
Cold calling technique.  I try to qualify and then set appointment.  95% of the time on qualifieds with interest I send out card with some type of info that is relevant and then they fall into the follow up routine.
Mar 21, 2008 8:52 pm

If you are really making close to 100 cold calls a day I believe you will be successful if you stick with it.

Mar 21, 2008 8:54 pm

You try to make 100 cold calls per day, but how many people do you actually get to talk to?  There's a big difference.  I could make 300 calls per day and knock on 50 doors, but if I only really talk to 5 people, I might as well just stand outside my EDJ office next to my little stand-up CD rate sign and shake everyone's hand that walks by.

 
I'm not at EDJ, so I have no idea what an average first year gross production number should be. 
 
As far as your pipeline is concerned, there will be a point where you need to just say, "Mr. Prospect, we've been talking for a few months now and I've been very happy to provide you with my ideas and perspective from time to time.  But I have many other people I need to help, so unless you're ready to make a move, I think it's time to part ways as friends".
 
Some other guys on here might have a better way to word that, but you've got to make them make a move because if you don't, you know you might not even have a need for a pipeline anymore.
 
Do you actually ask for the order?  If you're contacting your pipeline with economic news, that's not going to do much.  Are you able to find their pain?  That's what you need to do.  Most of the time, their pain is not that they aren't getting appropriate economic news.
 
At EDJ, what is the point where you are shown the door?
Mar 21, 2008 11:35 pm

I agree with Snaggletooth, it does not matter how many dials and knocks you make, you need to speak to 40 qualified prospects per day.  If you are doing this, following up consistently, and asking for the order, you will be fine.  I know right now it is difficult to see, but if you are working, accounts will just start to roll in.  Prospects you thought were great on day 1 and frustrated you after 6 months of contact will finally come in when you least expect it.  Personal info, I did $14m first 6 months (no family, no connections, no personal network going in), $56m next 6 months, $159m 2nd year, on pace for $196m 3rd year.  Continue to work and you will be successful.

Mar 22, 2008 12:19 am

Blue are those  cumulative numbers?  Either way extremely impressive and inspirational.

Mar 22, 2008 12:21 am

not cumulative, that is per year

Mar 22, 2008 5:33 am

Bluetag, what is your definition of a qualified prospect?  How do you maximize your chances of getting contact info for qualified prospects so you don't waste your time contact non qualified ones?

Mar 22, 2008 10:00 am

Person with money with an immediate need.  To maximize your time you have to find the prospects hot button quickly and avoid asking yes or no questions.  Instead of asking "did you have a plan for this bear market?" (they will answer yes and you have no where to go) ask "what is your advisors (never use broker) plan to deal with this bear market".  No one knows the answer to that question.  Briefly give your process for risk management (don't use broker terms like risk management to a prospect) and ask when can you meet in person to discuss their portfolio.  There will still be many prospects who you will waste time with, but finding what interests the prospect, what they do not feel they are currently getting, and how you are different will cut down on wasted effort with people that will never bring you money.  In my humble opinion.

Mar 22, 2008 10:20 am

Unfortunately, most new advisors do not have the opportunity to concentrate on fee based right away.  You have to meet the minimums and more importantly eat.  Typically you HAVE to start out primarily transactional and then migrate to fee based later.  As for measuring progress with AUM, that is great as long as you are hitting your bogeys, your manager is looking closer at production, regardless of what he/she may be telling you.

Mar 22, 2008 10:44 am

I was commenting on life at a wire.  May (sounds like it is) be different at an Indy firm.  At a wire, you do not "pay your own way", the firm provides you with a salary regardless and if you don't produce you are a liability to the firm. 




Rarely do they look past the hurdles just because you concentrated on fee business.  And yes, wire managers, Indy managers, regional managers love all fee based business that you bring in because if you fail, they get it.
Mar 22, 2008 11:52 am

Thanks for all your feed back.  I track my contacts as well.  On average I only talk to about 25 qualified prospects per day.  I do about 1/2 A shares and 1/2 C shares on mutual funds and have done about 200k in VA business.  I do ask for the order but I've got to say lately I think I've pushed a little too hard and scared some deals off.  I have found where people I talked to 6 months ago will come in a transfer their accounts to me.   The last couple of months I've had a lot setting in cash and haven't been able to get them off the fence.

 
I am going to start on Monday to put in more hours, more dials and more contacts.
 
Thanks
 
Go KU!
Mar 22, 2008 1:01 pm

If you are having trouble getting people off the fence, try this.  What is your favorite Mutual Fund? (Don't answer on the board).  Run a hypo starting 10 years ago and show long term performance.  Next show what the results would have been if money was added EACH time the market pulled back (5%,10% whatever you chose).  Then tell the client that the market has pulled back and it is time to put SOME (don't want to scare them) money to work and the most successful investors put money in when everyone else thinks the sky is falling.  Then tell them you will call them again when a. things look better to add even more, or b. when the market pulls back again to add even more.  Condition your clients to expect advice.

Mar 24, 2008 8:33 am

Kuj...what have your mentors and/or supervisors recommended?  Have you approached them to evalaute your prospecting and clsoing techniques?

Mar 24, 2008 12:11 pm

I wouldn't give up yet. In the beginning it is extremely frustrating. As long as your managers are Ok with your numbers, keep on going.


For the fence sitters that are firmly entrenched, as Blu has suggested it's time to stop the portfolio management approach and just sell'em something. His idea of a good mutual fund is excellent and comes with built in urgency. Other candidates for getting the account open are preferred stocks, and stocks of local companies. A local utility works well here. And the absolute best buy it now product is a Tax Free Municipal Bond.  


"Mr Smith, we've been talking for some time now about your portfolio and I'm not calling you about that today. During our conversations you mentioned that taxes were a concern to you and today an exceptional tax free bond yielding over 5% tax free has crossed my desk and I wanted to call you about it. This bond has the same yield as a CD yielding 8%. Mr Smith do you have any CDs yielding 8%?"
 
Answer questions and close.
 
All day long with calls just like that.
 
Once you open the account you can go after all four corners of the table. But first , get a seat at the table.
Mar 24, 2008 2:57 pm

To those thinking of entering the biz: Extremely frustrating is an under statement.

 
I did very well in year 1 and year 2 is killing me. My wife even went so far as having a nervous breakdown over the Easter weekend and we are seeing signs of strain in our marriage because of the financial burden married couples go through when one of them is entering this business. Thing is: I told her if she thinks it's stressful imagine how it has affected me!
 
Seriously, there has to be something mentally wrong with you for a)entering this business and b)being able to stay in it.
 
Keep it up and do not give up until your firm physically throws you out themselves. It takes one nice account to turn things around.
Mar 24, 2008 3:14 pm
anabuhabkuss:

To those thinking of entering the biz: Extremely frustrating is an under statement.

 
I did very well in year 1 and year 2 is killing me. My wife even went so far as having a nervous breakdown over the Easter weekend and we are seeing signs of strain in our marriage because of the financial burden married couples go through when one of them is entering this business. Thing is: I told her if she thinks it's stressful imagine how it has affected me!
 
Seriously, there has to be something mentally wrong with you for a)entering this business and b)being able to stay in it.
 
Keep it up and do not give up until your firm physically throws you out themselves. It takes one nice account to turn things around.
 
It could be worse for your wife...tell her you're quitting to try out for the NFL.  I bet the odds are even less in your favor.
Mar 24, 2008 3:52 pm

Oh absolutely. My mentor told me that most newbs fail because they try so hard to find the "right product" that by the time they find it management doesn't want them any longer.

 
I can't stand when newbs in my branch come talking to me about which product is better than the rest. It is completely irrelevant to your production numbers this early in the game.
Mar 24, 2008 3:54 pm

Oh and sorry I didn't get the NFL reference. I'm not into sitting on the couch and cheering for a bunch of burly guys in shoulder pads tackling and throwing balls at one another.