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My 500 day war : calling out of area, closing over the phone

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Sep 25, 2011 6:15 am

I'm about to start my own 500 day war as my clock starts to tick this week. Over the last couple months I drank a little koolaide and considered my own personal issues that I have to overcome to succeed. Here's my dilemma:

I am new to the area where I was hired and about 1000 miles from where I spent all of my adult life. I am in a small metro area that is essentially an island (about 400+ miles in every direction before you hit another "city") with 1 Fortune 500 company and not a very strong economy, or wealthy population.

I am starting with The Judges gameplan as I have been in self generated business building in the past and have always accomplished my results by "smiling and dialing" and can attest that his road map is pretty spot on as far as what it's gonna take to make it, especially for me with no network and a lot of economicly challenged friends and family. 

I will be calling out of my area as I'm taking Judges advice about calling somewhere you'd like visit, for me it's logical to call my old home since all our family is still there and we are likely to spend time there at least 2 times a year anyways and there is an abundance of wealth and companies to call and build lists from in greater number than where I'm living. I have every intention of course calling where I am and building lists as much as possible working my way out of the area. 

My question is this. When calling out of area, what sort of challenges come up regarding where you are located? Does that become an issue as the conversations progress, being that you are calling from another part of the country? Also can someone who opens accounts over the phone revisit the theory and share your approach? For me it makes sense from a time saving standpoint. I have opened across state lines in the past, but those were people who already knew me. Anyone want to share the sales process?


I have recently been through several company sponsored training programs for the new FA's. And each trainer has stories of top earners in firm that did esentially what Judge mapped out as the path for success in this business. It takes a high level of activity and as much as every newbie hates to hear it, the best way to talk to a lot of people in the shortest about of time is cold calling. Period.

I knew it, I lived it, forgot it, and now relearned it and ready to put it back in action.

Thanks for the wake up call Judge.

Sep 25, 2011 12:50 pm

This is a very interesting experiment and one I will enjoy following. I am also 1,000+ miles from "home", and have considered trying to building a book of business there, as well. I already have some clients there - if they know me the distance doesn't seem to bother them in the least - but I am really interested in reading how cold prospecting might do.

I look forward to reading about your results!

Sep 27, 2011 12:35 am

I have opened accounts across state line before. What worked for me is to have a hook. Like say you have clients that work for the same company and know about their retirement plans (make sure you actually know it).
Judge’s approach works best: Calling Montana? Check your firm’s inventory of munis in that state and call. Call small towns as they will not be prospected much and might just have a cd coming due.
Don’t over-think it. Chances are they will not care a whole bunch if you have a good thing (rate) to sell them.

Oct 10, 2011 10:33 pm

Ok... after having to jump through more hurdles and more training that was due, now I can actually get to calling. I think the most challenging thing for me right now is coming up with enough names to call.. I bought a list of targeted residences (net worth, income, age over 55) but I'm gonna blow through that real fast. I've been trying to make lists of business's in surrounding states using Lord Abbett's Advisor porta. Manly looking for closely held business with less than 10 employees. Hell at this point I may just download whatever I can get from that site that has a name and a number... so that being the case..

do you all have a different pitch for different folks? This list can go from CEO/Exec with other officers in the company to what may be the owner/plan administrator. I'm not going after 401k business (as our branch manager said thats a quick way to the unemployment line if thats your only marketing channel), trying to get the owner or whoever may have $ and qualify. I was just thinking of using the Muni Script thats floating around this point I'm trying to find the $ and put it in the que for a call back and a sale.. any tips or just jump in with both feet first and see if it sticks?

Oct 13, 2011 2:34 pm

Same pitch for everyone. Write it down and practice it. Bill Good's site has good templates for for scripts. Memorize so you are not reading script. Modify to your liking. Key is making many contacts. That means short and sweet calls. Call present/ask for interest and qualify for money. Anyone not interested or not qualified, thankyouverymuch - click -dialtone. Work in 55 minute stints, 5 minute break every hour. Make sure you can work without interuption. Plan your day around getting the dials in, it is job number 1.

Oct 16, 2011 1:23 am

Thanks Bond Guy for you help, your posts here on this forum have been the most helpful in helping me get back on the right path. Now I have some time to make up quick and get on target. 

FYI.. The 500 day war is THE blueprint for making it in this business today. Several 20 year veterans and 2 company wide trainers responsible for training million dollar producers have concured that anything else has a low percentage success rate.  You simply must talk to as many people as possible in a short amount of time. As several people have stated " I've seen a lot of trainees looking for another way and all of them are looking somewhere else cause they aren't working here anymore." As someone else put it "this office had plenty of trainees who spent all there time prospecting 401k's and aren't working here anymore." High level of activity, high number of contacts. Period.

Nobody wants to hear that cold calling is the way the majority of us without rich family, friends, luck,  or an inherited book are going to make it. The Muni/Tax Free approach is beautiful, it accomplishes everything you want and need to build a solid business, with the right type of clients. As one vet said " over the last 20 years more money has been brought in here with the income conversation than anything else."  Calling to meet people and discuss "our approach to wealth planning" is a slow painful bleed especially if your a newbie with no track record. 

Bottom line is nobody wants to do this work, its hard, its painful, and thats why the attrition rate is high. As the vet said in frustration that the koolaid they sell new trainees on, that you have to make appt's, take your flipcharts. tell them about our wealth process and convince only people with HNW that you can do better than the person they've been working with for 20 years is a sham, as he said.. you need to open acounts.. lots of them.. any size and as many as you can.. then later on you can decide on which ones to keep... I'm sold...Monday morning it's game on.