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Apr 28, 2009 10:41 pm
Gaddock:

“dude”? Now that’s professional

  LOL, good one Gaddock.   Mishigun, I understand where you're coming from but when you're a rookie in this business, networking is ONE of the many ways to make clients but the fastest way to speak to people is picking up the phone.  Great for you that your business is at the point that you do not have to do that but us rookies need to and there is nothing wrong with it.  Before I pick up the phone, I know that if I can get in front of someone, they're going to be better off than if I hadn't called them and that's what drives me.  Kind of crazy but I have fun cold calling . . .
Apr 28, 2009 10:43 pm

You made it personal. That's an easy way out, Gaddock. I don't care about you, but saying that your production is proof of your professionalism is kind of like saying that your swagger proves you have a big d***. I don't need to know. Do whatever you want, some of us were talking about the big picture, not the little weenie.

Apr 28, 2009 10:47 pm

You know what Army? I respect you, and I started my biz the same way, and I had fun and was one of the best. Of course, at some point, most get burned out, liked cooked, on cold calling. What I was talking about before is more like, "isn’t it a shame that the training firms, like Jones, don’t take some of their profits and invest in a way that makes all of us more professional, and more successful (instead of starting a brokers union, as was mentioned somewhere here) - a lot of people need our help, and we still approach them like we’re selling pots and pans.

  I really appreciate you literally taking a shot for America, I believe history judge America as having been courageous and smart, but you are one of the guys who walked the talk. Enjoy what you're doing now, I did.
Apr 28, 2009 11:33 pm

<span id=“userPro140937” =“showDropDown’userPro140937’, ‘proMenu140937’, 160, 0;” =“msgSidePro” title=“View Drop Down”>Mishigun, you are my hero.  Will you train me?

Apr 29, 2009 12:13 am
army13A:

[quote=Mishigun]And yes, advisors can be more successful and a happier than doctors, if they act like professionals. I’m not going to be spending a lot of time trying to convice anyone here. " How do you feel when you’re door knocking ?" If you feel unprofessional, you probably are.



Unprofessional? I just had an appointment with a business owner that I cold called and he is closing on this govt contract that will net him $5million in the next couple of months. Also, I’m working on a bond ladder for his current holdings and oh yeah, he’s going to introduce me to his 54 independent contractors that I can pitch as well. Cold calling sucks huh? I was in Iraq buddy . . . Getting shot at sucks [/quote]



Getting shot at is not bad. Getting shot is.



I’m gonna go ahead and bust your balls a little bit because it’s fun for me. I don’t really know your situation while you were over there.



But - How does an artillery guy get shot at from behind the FOB:)?



Just messing around.



I have to agree with Mishigun though. Doorknocking looks like crap, especially in the summer months. The problem is that this is the way the industry has worked for so long Mishigun, you are not going to change these guys’ minds. And they aren’t going to change yours.



I built my business doing a number of things - never got any clients from doorknocking, but from some cold calling - sure did. Some of them are decent clients. My best clients came from referrals though.
Apr 29, 2009 12:18 am
Mishigun:

You know what Army? I respect you, and I started my biz the same way, and I had fun and was one of the best.

  Ahh so you did it cold calling, and ahh you were "one of the best" eyy? and had fun.   But we, starting out the same way, are dragging down the professionalism of the industry.   But now it's above you and oh so unpro you have to come here and vent?   What's good for the goose is good for the gander yes?     Why not help these guys out rather than insult them?? It was you that made it personal.
Apr 29, 2009 12:21 am

I went years without doing anything cold…no coldwalking and no cold calling.

  I have found that I have become more successful now that I don't avoid doing things cold.   I'm certainly not any less professional now than I was then.    I'm just really having a difficult time understanding how my professionalism is impacted by my prospecting methods.    Does my professionalism change when I get business because someone calls me? Does my professionalism change when I get business because I call a referral? Does my professionalism change when I call someone who I met at the little league game? Does my professionalism change when I do a seminar? Does my professionalism change when I call someone without a referral? Does my professionalism change when I walk into an office between appointments?  
Apr 29, 2009 12:21 am

About 5 years in, I decided I had called enough. I bought into all the “never cold call again” books and seminar packages. Wasted a ton of money, Yes, I did get some clients from it. But dollar for dollar, it is easier and cheaper to pick up the phone.

At the end of the day this is still a sales job, no matter what you call it.





Apr 29, 2009 12:37 am
Gaddock:

[quote=Mishigun]You know what Army? I respect you, and I started my biz the same way, and I had fun and was one of the best.

  Ahh so you did it cold calling, and ahh you were "one of the best" eyy? and had fun.   But we, starting out the same way, are dragging down the professionalism of the industry.   But now it's above you and oh so unpro you have to come here and vent?   What's good for the goose is good for the gander yes?     Why not help these guys out rather than insult them?? It was you that made it personal.[/quote]   It's absolutely not my intention to insult anyone for cold calling. If you make a commitment to this industry, you should not be used by others who would profit from your labor. If a lawyer, or a doctor, or dentist, make the commitment to get educated and get set up, they naturally get some business, and the good ones get more referrals. In our highly regulated industry, the rules are dictated from the top down - things have been structured in a way to take advantage of us.   Part of that top-down dictation means, a training firm will unleash a  trainee out into the market place, a they like to give the public the impression that "brokers" or "planners" are commodities. The ultimate expression of the degrading of financial professionals is condoning or expecting the practice of cold calling.   At this point, instead of forming a union, the way we can take control - and get people to come to us - is to cut out the middle men, and that will happen by being honest and clear about costs, to the client, for the first time. No one will mind paying you well - if you're bright, diligent and experienced. We have to bring new people in by mentoring, and that will help the "experience" factor, which is critical. A down market has been accelerating the destruction of bad practices, and we'll emerge stronger.
Apr 29, 2009 1:13 am

[quote=Mishigun]You know what Army? I respect you, and I started my biz the same way, and I had fun and was one of the best. Of course, at some point, most get burned out, liked cooked, on cold calling. What I was talking about before is more like, "isn’t it a shame that the training firms, like Jones, don’t take some of their profits and invest in a way that makes all of us more professional, and more successful (instead of starting a brokers union, as was mentioned somewhere here) - a lot of people need our help, and we still approach them like we’re selling pots and pans.

  I really appreciate you literally taking a shot for America, I believe history judge America as having been courageous and smart, but you are one of the guys who walked the talk. Enjoy what you're doing now, I did. [/quote]

Seriously, thanks for the kind words.  And you're absolutely right that firms don't spend more money on building this profession as a respectable profession.  We do awesome work where we help people send their kids to college, retire comfortably and protect against financial risks yet you have the media and government telling people to avoid financial professionals and firms don't fight back enough.  I totally understand where you're coming from but I can either a) wait for the firms to "get it" or b) make it happen on my own.  I'm hungry right now and have mouths to feed and I don't have the luxury of time to wait for it to happen.  Ultimately, when I make enough clients and I'm getting more referrals than I know how to handle, I won't have to cold call anymore.  But until then, I'm dialing for dollars . . .
Apr 29, 2009 1:18 am
Moraen:

[quote=army13A] [quote=Mishigun]And yes, advisors can be more successful and a happier than doctors, if they act like professionals. I’m not going to be spending a lot of time trying to convice anyone here. " How do you feel when you’re door knocking ?" If you feel unprofessional, you probably are.

 

Unprofessional? I just had an appointment with a business owner that I cold called and he is closing on this govt contract that will net him $5million in the next couple of months.  Also, I’m working on a bond ladder for his current holdings and oh yeah, he’s going to introduce me to his 54 independent contractors that I can pitch as well.  Cold calling sucks huh? I was in Iraq buddy . . . Getting shot at sucks [/quote]



Getting shot at is not bad. Getting shot is.



I’m gonna go ahead and bust your balls a little bit because it’s fun for me. I don’t really know your situation while you were over there.



But - How does an artillery guy get shot at from behind the FOB:)?



Just messing around.



I have to agree with Mishigun though. Doorknocking looks like crap, especially in the summer months. The problem is that this is the way the industry has worked for so long Mishigun, you are not going to change these guys’ minds. And they aren’t going to change yours.



I built my business doing a number of things - never got any clients from doorknocking, but from some cold calling - sure did. Some of them are decent clients. My best clients came from referrals though.[/quote]

I see you know the military MOS codes and acronyms.  I’m assuming you’re prior service?

In Iraq, all combat arms become Infantry.  Our big guns were parked and tucked away in a nice secure environment and we were told to conduct dismounted and mounted patrols in Baghdad.  I wanted to be Artillery but became Infantry in real world situation, go figure. 
Apr 29, 2009 1:32 am

11B - eight years. Was in Iraq from Dec. 2003 - Jan. 2005.



That’s true - I know an Air Force guy that got drafted to go on convoys - that’s got to suck.



Should have gone Satellite Intel - could have been sippin’ margaritas down at CENTCOM for my deployment.

Apr 29, 2009 1:50 am

[quote=Moraen]11B - eight years. Was in Iraq from Dec. 2003 - Jan. 2005.



That’s true - I know an Air Force guy that got drafted to go on convoys - that’s got to suck.



Should have gone Satellite Intel - could have been sippin’ margaritas down at CENTCOM for my deployment.[/quote]

Hooah! Our time in Iraq was overlapped; I was there from May 2003-July 2004. 

Airforce doing convoy? You know he was hating life.  My cousin was a 1LT in the AF and he never left Boston during his entire stint; wore his nice Class A’s every day.  In hindsight, should have gone AF b/c they had all the nice stuff down range. 

I don’t see too many Vets in our line of business; good to know I have a fellow Vet on these boards. 

Apr 29, 2009 2:56 am

Hey TQ - looks like a lot of opinions are popping up on this one.

  There is no simpler, cheaper, nor easier way to learn how to pitch, dodge and weave than cold calling. None. It works, it's not easy, it will thicken your skin and help you build your book in ways you don't know. You'll BUILD a network cold calling. Cold calling is networking with a phone.  You go networking and some people don't take your card or want your services or walk away from you.   When cold calling, the lady who tells she works for a non profit housing agency... the one that tells you she has no money - but she makes a living counseling people with bad  situations....you can refer her to the guy you hit having a bad time with his mortgage and about to hit the skids.    Goodwill connection created, they will remember you and you will get referrals from places you never expected. It happens all the time to me.   I worked with one person - who failed out in a blaze of their own making - who believed they were master networkers. They drove HOURS to go to events. Spent DAYS strategizing about who to talk to at events. SPENT money hand over fist trying to get into the "best networks".   Me? I cold called. Don't spend a lot of time traveling, etc. I just made the calls. Day in, day out. One day, I was excited about a big account I'd opened on a cold call. The origination was a cold call and then I dripped back around, around, around. The person's comment? Not "Nice work" or "way to go" or "hey - that works for you" It was "Oh, anyone can get lucky once in a while cold calling" . It's not luck. It's persistance, and process.     You don't ever get better at cold calling - you just learn to suck less. The post about the guy failing with a masters degree that I think Gaddock made - damned right. I just watched people let go in a firm that did layoffs. People ahead of me were let go, people behind me were let go. To the left and to the right.   Not me. Why not? Assets coming in all the time. Pipeline steady and always replenished. New meetings, new connections all the time. How? Cold call. Yes, I network, seminar and support several non profits by serving on boards. Hands down, though,  cold calling is the single most profitable activity I do.         
Apr 29, 2009 7:28 pm

Names,

What are some of your typical pitches that get people interested?  Everytime I try cold-calling, I can't seem to find the right words, the right pitch, etc.  I know it's my own avoidance behavior (looking for the "perfect" pitch), but I have to approach it with a pitch I "believe" in, or I can't put 100% into it.
Apr 29, 2009 7:31 pm

The only way to get over the reluctance is to do it, over and over again… repetition will gradually make it a more and more comfortable task. Call it unprofessional if you will, but that being said, it is a unprofessional act which works extremely well… BTW, so does door knocking, another supposedly unprofessional act…

I wouldn’t suggest to getting wrapped up in what makes you a professional or not, especially if that definition is coming from Wikipedia… professionalism is what you make it… I know people who shine shoes who are professionals. And to be totally honest, if it paid as well as this career does, I would have no problem pumping gas. I would just strive to be the best damn gas pumper there is…

Apr 29, 2009 8:50 pm

[quote=Mishigun]

Please don't confuse the two. Jones is doing our industry no favors with their brand of door knocking. [/quote]   So, is it professional for me as a Jones FA, to walk into a business and try to make a personal contact with the business owner I haven't yet met?  Or should I call him on the phone and ask his secretary if I can talk with him?  What about if the person runs his business out of his home?  How do I handle that?      I get it that you don't care for the Jones model, investments, commissions, etc, but to say that Jones is hurting the industry because our guys get off their butts and walk down a street is just retarded.  I know Morean says he never got any clients from doorknocking.  That tells me he either sucked at it or didn't give it a fair shot.  You go out and introduce yourself to 25 people a day for months at a time, call them, ask them to buy something or to meet with you and something will come out of it.     I used to hear all the time that doorknocking wouldn't work for some stupid reason or another.  What it usually boiled down to was that whoever was doing the doorknocking wasn't doing some part of the process.  Either they weren't making the follow up phone calls or they went doorknocking a couple of times, nobody threw money at them, so they quit and said it doesn't work.  I don't know that I ever found a single instance where someone was following the "recipe" and not having any success.     
Apr 29, 2009 8:52 pm

Like everyone else said, you just have TO DO IT.  Doesn’t matter if you suck or are an expert, just pick up the freaking phone.  What’s the worse that can happen? They hang up on you? Who gives a crap? Screw them and move on.  I made 3 appointments today so far . . . Getting back on the phones. 

Apr 30, 2009 3:46 pm

[quote=Spaceman Spiff][quote=Mishigun]

Please don't confuse the two. Jones is doing our industry no favors with their brand of door knocking. [/quote]   So, is it professional for me as a Jones FA, to walk into a business and try to make a personal contact with the business owner I haven't yet met?  Or should I call him on the phone and ask his secretary if I can talk with him?  What about if the person runs his business out of his home?  How do I handle that?      I get it that you don't care for the Jones model, investments, commissions, etc, but to say that Jones is hurting the industry because our guys get off their butts and walk down a street is just retarded.  I know Morean says he never got any clients from doorknocking.  That tells me he either sucked at it or didn't give it a fair shot.  You go out and introduce yourself to 25 people a day for months at a time, call them, ask them to buy something or to meet with you and something will come out of it.     I used to hear all the time that doorknocking wouldn't work for some stupid reason or another.  What it usually boiled down to was that whoever was doing the doorknocking wasn't doing some part of the process.  Either they weren't making the follow up phone calls or they went doorknocking a couple of times, nobody threw money at them, so they quit and said it doesn't work.  I don't know that I ever found a single instance where someone was following the "recipe" and not having any success.     [/quote]   Not here to say that doorknocking or cold calling doesn't work.  Not here to say what is and is not professional.  I will say that when I was doorknocking I didn't feel professional.  I was a door to door salesman peddling my wares.  Yes I got many clients from it.  Truth be told the only time I feel professional in this business is when I am sitting down with clients and solving their problems.  There's only one way to get to that point though, networking.  Networking through traditional or non-traditional means, no matter what you do, it is all networking to me, cold-calling, door-knocking, seminars, COI, Rotary,etc...   army as for vets as advisors, more than you think.  BM3, U.S. Navy.
May 2, 2009 11:53 pm

B24

I call on several "campaigns" if you will and have different scripts for each.

Campaigns are process or service (Planning/portfolio review/retirement plan review) or product (Annuity review/bond offering)   Examples. "Hi Mrs. Jones, this is Takingnames from Broker Dealer.  I work with people on financial planning and wealth management. I Pause for a second. Then I ask. Do you have a few moments now to discuss your investments (in annuities, stock market, bond market) whatever I think might appeal to the demographic I'm calling.

If yes, then great - qualify by asking if they have 100k or more and take it from there. If not, I'll go for appointment. If they waffle or say they are all set - I ask what they mean by all set - ie - When you say you are all set, is that because you are already working with an advisor? Then I might ask them to describe what they use, etc.

Anyone who I can't close on an appointment I ask for an e-mail address so I can send more information and I tell them I will send a card, as well.   If I see a great bond, or can run a sample generic bond ladder off with a good yield, I'll run on it. Mrs. Jones, if I could offer you an 5.5% return is that something you would be interested in.   Then I send them the generic bond ladder proposal or bond detail and let them know I'll look for other ideas like that for them.   So for other scripts, I have leading questions like:    Will you come in to my office for a complmentary portfolio review? Will you join me and a small group of people for an after market seminar on strategies to recover from losses in this market. Are you ever interested in attending educational seminars?  
I am calling to introduce myself and learn if you have an interest in any of our cash management products. I am calling to offer a fiduciary review of your 401k plan as an independent third party. I calling to invite you to a lunch and learn seminar on how different types of retirement plans might benefit your company.   The most critical part of cold calling, however, from my view - is not even what you say - but HOW you say it. I take great pains to match the tempo, force and attitude that people pick up the phone with.  That's is the art. The script is just a shell.   I also take a lot of time if someone says...I'm already retired and I'm all set. I don't try and get off the phone with them...I ask what kind of work they retired from and if they loved what they did. More often than not, they'll spend 5 or 10 minutes telling you about an amazing career, or some interesting things they have done. Take good notes and TALK with them about that. Reference detail from this conversation in every single correspondence and they will be your client in no time.     Check your inbox. Kicking and Taking.