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Apr 1, 2008 5:21 pm

I am working through my own little personal slump right now with prospecting (which is why I probably spend more time on this sight than I should), and I would love to hear some ideas on what people are doing that is getting them in front of new prospects.  I would love some ideas on networking with CPA’s (what works, what you do, what they are looking for, etc.), as well as some ideas on asking for referrals.  Whatever seems to be working for you to get in front of new people is helpful.  I don’t have a problem with closing, just not getting in front of enough people right now. 

Apr 1, 2008 5:55 pm

You’re not alone, B24.

  I'm having a tough time forcing myself out of the office these days...or even to just pick up the phone and call someone! (I'm sick of hearing, "I'm losing money.")   I'll look forward to the responses to your post.
Apr 1, 2008 6:29 pm

B24, have you tried going back to doorknocking everyday?  If so, how many are you doing everyday?

Apr 1, 2008 6:30 pm

OK - to rehash an old Connolly. People don’t care about investments, people care what the investments do for their lives. Show them that you’ll make their lives better & the money will roll in.

The question is, as it has always been, what do you do? If it’s that you put together the best American Funds portfolio possible(or my results are awesome!), you put yourself in the same bin as the 90% of brokers who are running for cover. If you answer the question with something like, “I help people retire and stay retired” you’re bringing in money and getting unsolicited referrals.

This will, of course, change again. When the market goes back up, no one’s going to care about the touchy feely *(%@, they’ll again care just about results.

So, do you become a chameleon? No, but the way you pick up the phone everyday is because you know deep down in your bones the ‘value’ you provide to clients, and you can authentically communicate this over the phone & in person. In good markets that value is perceived(by the client) in terms of results & in bad markets it will be perceived by the strength of the relationship, that you don’t hide, and that you have a process by which the clients will overcome…

The other answer is:

I have a mentor who runs super-marathons. Crazy guy is 66. He ran 66 miles this year & will run 67 next year. To watch him, you’d think he’s killing himself. He swears, though, this is what keeps him alive. He knows no matter how he feels that he’s going to run that day. His mandate(and he truly believes the order is given from a higher power) is to run, and the feelings align.

Apr 1, 2008 6:40 pm

“I help people retire and stay retired”

    That's great.  It's so simple and true, I wonder how I couldn't have thought of it myself.   Thanks Ashland.
Apr 1, 2008 7:36 pm

[quote=Borker Boy]You’re not alone, B24.

  I'm having a tough time forcing myself out of the office these days...or even to just pick up the phone and call someone! (I'm sick of hearing, "I'm losing money.")   I'll look forward to the responses to your post.[/quote]   Those feelings you are having are THE REASON you need to be out ringing doorbells, calling on the phone, or whatever you do to meet people.  Two years ago they didn't need you, so they brushed you off.  When they get their quarterly statements in the next couple of weeks and it's down again, they'll be more likely to pick up the phone or agree to a review of their investments.  It's time to align their investments with their REAL risk tolerance.    A ton of people out there aren't getting calls from their advisors.  They're wathing their money evaporate and don't know why.  They want to talk with someone.  People are willing to listen to you right now.  It's a limited time opportunity.  Once the market goes back up they'll go back to thinking investing is easy.  
Apr 1, 2008 8:45 pm

These are great points.  It may be time to do some cold calling/walking again.  Everything’s been rosy since I started in the biz a few years ago, so people have been content.

  Thanks for the input.   Anyone do anything particular with CPA's to get in front of them?
Apr 3, 2008 2:43 pm

I am ALWAYS prospecting.  Networking groups and cold calling.

There is never a good time to cold call and never a bad time.  Fact of the matter is people are losing money and they want to talk to someone that will reassure them things will be ok, that someone is watching over them and that makes them feel comfortable in times of distress.  All that takes is a phone call. I set up two appointments this week with people who are not happy w the service and communication of their advisor. So... thats what Im doing.   CPAs, I have compiled a database of my clients' CPAs.  Tough group to crack but I have sent them tax booklets that they could use/give to clients.  I have also done CE credit seminars that allow me to get in front of them.  The last one was a primer on Hedge Funds (fund of funds) as their clients were asking. The goal is to slowly develop a repor and trust.
Apr 3, 2008 5:14 pm
Anyone do anything particular with CPA's to get in front of them?   I do two things.  1) I pick up the phone and call them.  2)When I'm out and about, and I see a CPA firm, I stop in.    I understand that this sounds awfully complicated.   "It's not a short-term approach...but it gets your name on their brain in a non-threatening, professional way"   Icecold, I'm just using your post.  I'm not trying to pick on you specifically with this one.  It just seems that people are going after CPA's and attorneys in a very pansy way.  They are the same as everybody else, but they have a better ability to refer business.  I've met with a lot of CPA's over the years.  Which ones do I send business to?  1) CPAs who are my clients.  2)CPAs who send business to me.  3)CPAs who are close personal friends.  Guess what.   The exact same thing happens in the other direction.   CPAs all have a bunch of contacts in our business.  They refer to their own advisor, and people who send them business, and their friends.   Go after them personally!  Think about it this way.  Regardless of whether they become your client, how can they refer someone to you if they've never seen how you work?
Apr 3, 2008 5:27 pm


Anyone do anything particular with CPA's to get in front of them?[/quote] I forgot to mention but I also reach out to every CPA of clients I know around October/November.  I ask them if there is anything I could do on my end, take ganis/losses, to help client's tax situation. Most of the time they are not ready to address it but gets me talking to them, helps build repor, it shows them I will make myself available.  I often send gain/loss summaries.   The idea is that if they are presented with the opportunity to mention a Financial Advisor's name to a client they will most likely mention someone's name who call them, is in front of them or someone who gives them the impression that would make their jobs easier.   And quite frankly does not take too much time to make those calls.  If they say they dont need anything at that point the conversation usually goes to "Hows business?", "Hows the family?" which fosters dialogue.
Apr 4, 2008 8:16 am


Granted, they don't want/can't understand the whole macroeconomic picture, but I've found explaining some of it to them helps a lot (and have gotten a few clients - pretty much just based on being able to explain what's going on in various parts of the economy).   [/quote]   Ice, do prospects seem to eat up the macroeconomics stuff?  Because of my background I enjoy discussing these things and I actually just bought two books that are essentially macroeconomic investing tools.  Some of my favorite topics recently have been: How the weak US dollar promotes US Job growth and US exports Using historical key economic indicators to help predict long term "turns" in the overall market up or down

I bought a book called The Secrets of Economic Indicators that I have yet to open but I have been reading a book co-authored by the famous economist/tv personality, Ben Stein called "Yes You Can Time the Market!"  That book is very interesting and it goes into using the long run moving average of the S&P 500 to determine if the market is overvalued or undervalued and suggests buying equities only when the market is undervalued (pretty simple in theory).  He also attacks the myth that dollar cost averaging is the best way to invest.  Pretty interesting stuff.  

In this market, cold calling a prospect and telling them that dollar cost averaging was not appropriate for everyone could get your foot in the door to explain yourself since the mantra from wall street and their broker is probably that dollar cost averaging is always the way to go.  If you could also point to some key macroeconomic indicators that may have helped predict the recent decline in the market and told them you would have put their current account into cash positions in December, that might be a pretty convincing story.  "Mr. Prospect, I will show you based on past history when the market was headed north or south.  It is important that your advisor has a firm grip on the larger economic situation so he can help manage risk.  If you currently don't have an economic advisor that you work with, we should talk." 
Apr 4, 2008 9:25 am

Akkula, I don’t mean to be picking on you, but you need to go back to being a question asker.   First of all, if you say that to a client, they will hear, “Blah, blah, blah, Mr. Prospect, blah, blah, blah.”  Secondly, if they did listen to you, you’d be setting yourself up as a market timer.  You may be able to get clients in this manner, but you won’t be able to keep them…unless you have the ability to time the market.  If that’s the case, you won’t need clients.