Cold Call Idea

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Dec 31, 2008 3:23 pm

anonymous: with all due respect, there is no way in hell anyone is getting in front of 5 people per day.  Referrals are difficult to come by when my clients balanced funds are down 25-30%…keep in mind, since I went back into production, every statement my clients have received has been lower than the previous.  Not the type of experience my clients feel they should share with their friends/family.

Dec 31, 2008 3:34 pm

[quote=bjacobus]anonymous: with all due respect, there is no way in hell anyone is getting in front of 5 people per day.  Referrals are difficult to come by when my clients balanced funds are down 25-30%…keep in mind, since I went back into production, every statement my clients have received has been lower than the previous.  Not the type of experience my clients feel they should share with their friends/family.[/quote]


Anonymous is more of a thinker than a doer and he hasn’t earned your respect.

Dec 31, 2008 3:47 pm

[quote=bjacobus] AKKLUA, I like the approach and have a similar relaxed approach to calling. Do you guys really use the DNC list? Everyone is on it…how do you make contacts? I make 100 cold calls per day and get between 20-25 contacts per day. I think it’s all about contacts, not number of dials. Actually speak to 25 people per day, and the rest will cure it’s self. My daily schedule is below, please give feedback.



I live in the Seattle area, all times are PST.



7-9am Admin work, emails, catch up on market, product to discuss

9-11am Cold calls, takes 2 hours to get 100 dials and 25 contacts

11am-1pm Follow up calls, try to set appointments for next day

1-5pm Client meetings, prospect meetings, follow up calls to set appointments (my goal is to have 2 afternoon appointments everyday, doesn’t always happen though) I always meet at their house first.



My line for getting appointments is "I am usually out meeting with clients in the afternoon, would it be alright if I stopped by to shake your hand and drop off a few ideas that have worked for some of my clients, next time I’m in your neighborhood? They ususally say that would be fine, I call a few days later to let them know I’ll be in their neighborhood…I don’t really have anything scheduled, but most people/retirees can spare 10 or 15 minutes so they say sure come on by…



I’ve been averaging 5 prospect meetings per week, brought in about $6mm in the past 10 months and opened up 85 accounts, all on cold calls…every client has come via cold call. Can’t wait for a referral, I consider that “free” business.



Thoughts?[/quote]



I think it looks like a solid plan and judging by your results as Hank pointed out $600K/month average is a pretty good way to start the business.



I have a few questions regarding your schedule(not criticisms, since I am trying to form a new schedule revolved around cold calling). I notice you call from 9-11am: Who are you calling? Business or Residential?

You mention you are out from 1-5pm: on appts or setting follow up calls(or these cold calls also or second contacts?) It would seem to me that if you don’t have the appointments it would be a good time to get back on the phone(say from 4-6pm??)



Is there a reason you block off that time period (1-5pm) the way you do?



Dec 31, 2008 4:08 pm

Good questions.  I call residential only.  I have never had success calling people at work, they’re busy and don’t like to be solicited.  But I’m sure that’s more my hang up than anything else, I just have had much better success calling residential.

  My goal is to be out of the office seeing people every afternoon, doesn't always happen but that is my goal.  When I am in the office in the afternoons I am either cold calling, making follow ups, or preparring for meetings.   I block off 1-5pm everyday for appointments because I like to be home with my family, and quite frankly, I lose steam at about 5pm.  I get up and go run at 5:00am, so by 5pm my motivation to pick up the phone is completely gone.  However, if I can get an appointment with a client who has over $50k...I'll pretty much take it at any time.   For me, I'm a morning guy, my most productive hours on the phone are from 9-1pm.
Dec 31, 2008 8:08 pm

[quote=bjacobus]AKKLUA, I like the approach and have a similar relaxed approach to calling.  Do you guys really use the DNC list? Everyone is on it…how do you make contacts?  I make 100 cold calls per day and get between 20-25 contacts per day.  I think it’s all about contacts, not number of dials.  Actually speak to 25 people per day, and the rest will cure it’s self.  My daily schedule is below, please give feedback.

   Thoughts?[/quote   Are you saying you don't scrub your numbers against the DNC? I think there is some post on here about some rep who did that at AGE or WACH, and they got canned for violating the list.    
Jan 1, 2009 2:10 am

[quote=bjacobus]

My line for getting appointments is "I am usually out meeting with clients in the afternoon, would it be alright if I stopped by to shake your hand and drop off a few ideas that have worked for some of my clients, next time I'm in your neighborhood?   [/quote]   I will give this a shot.  My biggest weakness right now is closing the appointment on the cold call.  I do like your non threatening line that you use.    I generally only call on businesses.  How do you get an effective list to use for residential?  I can scrub numbers on the DNC pretty effectively but I would prefer to use a pre-srubbed list if I am going to call residential.     Also, do you all work at a wirehouses?  I am wondering if my target market is a bit more limited than some of yours on the types of clients I can work with.     I would love to hear any more good ideas! If you can get 25 contacts in 100 calls, I need to do what you are doing!
Jan 1, 2009 12:18 pm
bjacobus:

anonymous: with all due respect, there is no way in hell anyone is getting in front of 5 people per day.  Referrals are difficult to come by when my clients balanced funds are down 25-30%…keep in mind, since I went back into production, every statement my clients have received has been lower than the previous.  Not the type of experience my clients feel they should share with their friends/family.

  I hope that you have read at least a few of my posts so that you see that my intent is to be helpful.   First of all, if you believe that there is no chance that you could get in front of 5 people a day, you will prove yourself to be correct.  You tell me.  What is possible?   As for not getting referrals, are you sure that the problem is not in your head?  Are all of your clients blaming you for the loss in their portfolios?  Do some of them understand that the problem is the market and not you?  Have some of them lost less money because they are working with you?  I'm betting that you aren't getting referrals for the simple reason that you aren't asking.  Am I correct?    At some point, everyone of these clients were happy with you or they wouldn't have given you their business.  When they opened the account, they were happy with you and you didn't lose any of their money.  They would have given you referrals if you had asked.  The bottom line is that if you want referrals, ask.  You will get them.    By the way, I think that bringing in $6,000,000 of assets in 10 months while only keeping 1 appointment a day is phenomenal.   You are averaging $30,000 in assets per kept meeting.   If you were keeping 3 appointments a day, with your numbers, you would be bringing in $1,800,000 of assets a month.   Your numbers don't really add up to me.  Maybe I don't understand something.  First of all, you are getting 25 contacts in 2 hours of calling.  I've been at this a long time and I don't think that I've ever gotten 12 contacts in an hour.  My typical phoning session lasts about 45 minutes.  My normal numbers for cold calls are 40 dials, 5-6 reaches, and 2 appointments set.   I use a low-pressure approach like you do.  If you are truly reaching 25 people, you should be able to turn this into 5-10 appointments.   You are turning this into less than 1 appointment.  It sounds like you are contacting people, but aren't bothering to ask for an appointment.   Here's my point.  You obviously have good sales skills.  If you simply call people and ask for an appointment, you can easily triple the number of people who you are seeing and triple your income.  If you then ask these people for referrals, before they have the chance to become unhappy with you, you will get referrals.   It sounds to me like you can be a superstar in this business, but first you have to get rid of your self limiting pre-conceived notions.  
Jan 1, 2009 2:27 pm
anonymous:

[quote=bjacobus]anonymous: with all due respect, there is no way in hell anyone is getting in front of 5 people per day.  Referrals are difficult to come by when my clients balanced funds are down 25-30%…keep in mind, since I went back into production, every statement my clients have received has been lower than the previous.  Not the type of experience my clients feel they should share with their friends/family.

  I hope that you have read at least a few of my posts so that you see that my intent is to be helpful.   First of all, if you believe that there is no chance that you could get in front of 5 people a day, you will prove yourself to be correct.  You tell me.  What is possible?   As for not getting referrals, are you sure that the problem is not in your head?  Are all of your clients blaming you for the loss in their portfolios?  Do some of them understand that the problem is the market and not you?  Have some of them lost less money because they are working with you?  I'm betting that you aren't getting referrals for the simple reason that you aren't asking.  Am I correct?    At some point, everyone of these clients were happy with you or they wouldn't have given you their business.  When they opened the account, they were happy with you and you didn't lose any of their money.  They would have given you referrals if you had asked.  The bottom line is that if you want referrals, ask.  You will get them.    By the way, I think that bringing in $6,000,000 of assets in 10 months while only keeping 1 appointment a day is phenomenal.   You are averaging $30,000 in assets per kept meeting.   If you were keeping 3 appointments a day, with your numbers, you would be bringing in $1,800,000 of assets a month.   Your numbers don't really add up to me.  Maybe I don't understand something.  First of all, you are getting 25 contacts in 2 hours of calling.  I've been at this a long time and I don't think that I've ever gotten 12 contacts in an hour.  My typical phoning session lasts about 45 minutes.  My normal numbers for cold calls are 40 dials, 5-6 reaches, and 2 appointments set.   I use a low-pressure approach like you do.  If you are truly reaching 25 people, you should be able to turn this into 5-10 appointments.   You are turning this into less than 1 appointment.  It sounds like you are contacting people, but aren't bothering to ask for an appointment.   Here's my point.  You obviously have good sales skills.  If you simply call people and ask for an appointment, you can easily triple the number of people who you are seeing and triple your income.  If you then ask these people for referrals, before they have the chance to become unhappy with you, you will get referrals.   It sounds to me like you can be a superstar in this business, but first you have to get rid of your self limiting pre-conceived notions.  [/quote]

Big fat liar.
Jan 1, 2009 3:54 pm

anonymous: I love your optimism, I could and should press harder for an appointment on initial contact.  Maybe it's the area I live in, I don't know, but I get a hold of a lot of people.  Thanks for your help.

Squash: You decide about scrubbing, disregard what I said about scrubbing the list.

Jan 2, 2009 2:47 pm

How do you build your list?  I have tried tried to build lists, but the problem I face is that (a) 90%+ of people in my market are on the DNC list, and (b) unless they are over 65 or so, most of them are working during the day.  So I am left with tose that are not working and not on the DNC list.  Pretty small list.  Could just be my market (suburban, not near any major urban center).

Jan 2, 2009 2:56 pm

Where do your current clients live? What streets what part of town? Then build a list and go drop something off after market hours(4-6pm) that way you don’t have to worry about the DNC(you could get a phone number) and also they should be home from work.

  By going later it also doesn't look like you have nothing to do during the day. Call the areas around you too. That way if you add in 3-5 areas you increase the number of people you can call. I typically find that 12-15% of qualified people are not on the do not call list, but if you broaden that out to a local perimeter(depending on you area) that could be 2-3K people..
Jan 2, 2009 5:42 pm

[quote=bjacobus]

7-9am Admin work, emails, catch up on market, product to discuss

9-11am Cold calls, takes 2 hours to get 100 dials and 25 contacts

11am-1pm Follow up calls, try to set appointments for next day

1-5pm Client meetings, prospect meetings, follow up calls to set appointments (my goal is to have 2 afternoon appointments everyday, doesn’t always happen though) I always meet at their house first.

[/quote]



Does anyone else have a schedule they use and would like to share, that revolves around cold calling. I am thinking just starting out with a new campaign, the bottom half of this schedule wouldn’t work.



Any ideas?
Jan 2, 2009 8:34 pm

8-2 See people or fight to see them.

  It's pretty simple.  If you aren't with a client, you need to be on the phone or cold walking.
Jan 2, 2009 8:38 pm

How many calls could you make in that 6 hour period (600)

Jan 2, 2009 9:37 pm

I've never made more than 100 calls in a day.  It's been years since I've made more than 40.  I, like most people, hate calling.  If I have appointments, I can't sit on the phone for 6 hours. 

In order for me to have to be on the phone all day, all of my appointments would need to cancel.  Because I hate being on the phone, when I'm making calls in the morning, I try to make an appointment for the same day. 

Keep in mind that I'm not a wirehouse rep so virtually everyone I call is a qualified prospect.  If I'm making cold calls, I only call business owners, CPAs, and attorneys. 

If I do have a day where everything goes wrong and I have no appointments, I'll make 40 dials and do a lot of cold walking.  I don't have it in me to do much more calling than that. 

What I find is that it takes me about 40 dials to keep a full calendar.  However, it probably would take me 100 dials/day  to get a full calendar if I didn't have one.

Jan 2, 2009 9:47 pm

Anon, what kind of business do you run?  It sounds more like insurance based.  Is that correct?

Jan 2, 2009 11:17 pm

Insurance (Life, DI, LTCi, health) is a huge part of my practice.  However, I don’t think that it’s correct to call it insurance based.  It’s actually financial plan implementation based. 

  I try to do a complete fact finder and do whatever it takes to get the prospect to take the necessary actions to accomplish their goals.  What the insurance allows me to do is to not have to really pre-qualify prospects.  Virtually everyone who I call is a decent prospect.  I only cold call attorneys, cpas and business owners.  Many of these people would be terrible prospects if I focused on being an asset gatherer.
Jan 3, 2009 3:16 am

Chief;  

300 in 6 hours is reasonable. My max was 450 in a day. 

50 an hour is about right.  Look - bottom line is that it's not easy to start - your "closing ratio" on booking appointments, etc will be lower than you like. You will make mistakes, you'll kick yourself and you'll think you stink at cold calling. 

  Reality check:  You will be correct that you stink at cold calling.   That's because you do stink when you start. You are nervous and not skilled at it. You will cringe a little inside when an 8 year old hangs up on you instead of getting daddy to the phone. You will think you will never open an account when someone says you should get a real job. You will shrink a little inside when someone says "Yeah- you are a financial advisor and I'm Mickey Mouse."   You'll internalize all of this and learn how to respond better the next time.  As you evolve, the skills evolve. As you become a better cold caller, what will happen is this:   ~When the 8 year old hangs up - you learn to call that number at a different time of day.  ~When the person who says you should get a job says that you will learn to dodge the blow, weave a bit and respond by saying you have a job and you've love to talk them about it. Then you can tell them you only make a few calls a month because you really believe what you have to share is important. ~When the person tells you they are Mickey Mouse you can use that as an opportunity to tell them about your professional background as the CFO of a Fortune 500, or about your MBA and PhD in Economics or about this great test you took called the Series 7 and then you can ask them what kind of retirement plan Disney offers and they'll laugh and start talking to you.   It might take 20 calls for some people to get good - or 20,000 for others to get more skilled at calling. But if you never call - you will never know how many it will take to get better.   Skills like listening more than you talk, sensing the mind set or mood of the person you are talking too, etc..it all comes with time and effort. It's not simple. It's like swinging at a baseball or throwing free throws. There is a lot of nuance and skills several areas to become good at before you start to really get "good" at cold calling.  Even then - the best batting averages aren't anywhere near 100% are they?

Then, what happens as you do it is you start to stink less. That is when the magic of it happens. You lose the self consciousness and although you will, from time to time make a mistake, wish you hadn't said something, wish you had something, etc. you will become much more adept at reading the mind set of the people you are calling, and reacting to their instinctive reactions, and you will become deft at overcoming objections they throw out.

Kickin A and Taking Names 

Jan 3, 2009 4:09 am

[quote=chief123] [quote=bjacobus]

7-9am Admin work, emails, catch up on market, product to discuss
9-11am Cold calls, takes 2 hours to get 100 dials and 25 contacts
11am-1pm Follow up calls, try to set appointments for next day
1-5pm Client meetings, prospect meetings, follow up calls to set appointments (my goal is to have 2 afternoon appointments everyday, doesn't always happen though)  I always meet at their house first.
[/quote]

Does anyone else have a schedule they use and would like to share, that revolves around cold calling. I am thinking just starting out with a new campaign, the bottom half of this schedule wouldn't work.

Any ideas?[/quote]   "Put the Big Rocks in First" - Dr. Stephen R. Covey   I'm starting the day off with my prospecting & cold walking before going into the office.  I then identify which "admin" work needs to be done during daylight hours and what can be done in "after hours".  (Hint:  "Daylight Admin" is stuff that requires the assistance of other people or other companies to get done.)  Once my "daylight admin" work is done, it's time to hit the phones on the people I cold-walked in the previous few days.   So: 8-11 - Cold-walking/prospecting 11-1:30 "Daylight Admin" 1:30 - 4:00 - Phoning 4:00 - ? = "After Hours" admin   Get a blackberry and check the market while you walk.  Emails?  Determine each email if it's a "daylight admin" or an "After Hours" admin email and categorize it and work on it at the appropriate time.  All admin work should be done at appropriate times - and first thing in the morning is NOT NECESSARILY the best time.  Product to discuss?  Ever thought about planning the night before?  That's part of "after hours" admin work.   11am - 1pm is a tougher time to get people on the phone because most people like to EAT.  So, do the same and get some of your "daylight admin" stuff done during this time.  Who knows?  You might even get a call BACK from the prospecting you did in the morning!   Just my thoughts on how I would work better than the schedule outlined above.
Jan 3, 2009 12:56 pm

11-1:30 “Daylight Admin”

  This is one of the reasons that it is critical to hire staff as soon as possible.  There are "daylight admin" duties that must take place.  The time spent on these duties can crush a rep.   Unless your time is worth less than $20/hour, someone must be hired to do this or you are hurting your income.