Business Building Ideas

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Nov 1, 2006 7:19 pm

I wanted to start a thread on great business building ideas, primarily stories and ideas on how people built their businesses from scratch.  How did you prospect, who did you target, how did you get in front of them, what networking ideas worked for you, products you focused on, etc. 

I am not interested (at least not in this thread!) in banter and useless bashing, so only post if you have questions or real input.

I can say, much of my business started by targeting people that had poor service with their current brokers.  I can't tell you how many people were with Met, Pru, Primerica, etc. that had not heard from their brokers in 5-7 years (or since opening account).  I was ACAT'ing like crazy in the beginning.  I was never a "product" guy.  I could not call prospects on stocks, bonds, etc. 

Nov 1, 2006 8:10 pm

Broker24 there is a never ending problem with advisors providing no or poor service. Did you stop looking that direction when you bumped up clientel?

If you were not a product guy, what did you do? General advice and knowledge for a plan with insurance and funds?

Did you feel as if your training provided you the skills to complete the job? Mentoring or somthing else?

Nov 1, 2006 8:21 pm

AF, I still do this.  It was just what I focused on more of, versus my peers.  I also hate calling on product (hi, got a great bond paying 6%, blah, blah, blah).

Typically, I am calling to talk about retirement planning.  It's what I love to do.  I am very conversational, so I get people to open up about their situations, and then I am able to get them thinking.  This way, I pitch a free review, free advice, etc.  Once I get them in the door, game over.  I do utilize insurance as part of my routine, but not as a main focus.  I usually get THEM to bring it up (by steering them that way).  Then I'm not the insurance sales guy.

I had good basic sales training (Jones), but the way I have developed my business is different from their model.  My mentor (Jones also) has been my biggest contributor in terms of ideas.  He is a very good planner, has a lot of insurance and estate background, so he deals primarily with complex cases.  He doesn't do any outbound calling.  He is a networking and referral guy.  His referrals are all big dollars, estate stuff, managed money, trusts, business owners, etc.  That is how I am trying to steer my business (I am a long way from turning down business, as he does).  I just don't want to be the product guy, so I am positionaing myself that way.  My prospecting is very focused as well.

Nov 1, 2006 11:17 pm

[quote=Broker24]I can say, much of my business started by targeting people that had poor service with their current brokers.  [/quote]

How did you locate these people? 

Nov 2, 2006 1:18 am
Well, I don't specifically go out looking for them (or
didn't when I started), But I quickly learned how to ask the right questions to
figure out if they were REALLY happy with their broker. Yes, everyone says
they are THRILLED with their broker, but you probe a little deeper and you
get the real deal. I don't sell returns, but I sure ask about them to
prospects, since many are still licking their wounds from a few years back.
A few years from now, everyone will have such great historical returns that
'00-'02 will be a faint memory. And ironically, many are still sitting with the
same half-a$$ed tech funds that they lost 50% on a few years ago. But their
broker hasn't looked at their account in 7 years.
Nov 8, 2006 1:46 pm

If you have a local college around it's really easy to hire college interns for little money to make the calls for you.