Cold Call Follow ups and Closing

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Feb 4, 2009 2:13 am
I have three areas that I need to improve on in my business practice and would appreciate any advice on your successes in any of the following:   Cold Call Follow ups:   For those that pound the phone to prospect, can you walk me through what has successfully worked for you on a follow up call?  I know the answer entirely depends on what was or wasn't discussed on the initial call and what your end goal is.   But lets just say your goal is to gain appointments and that your last call you qualified the prospect where they said that it is okay for you to keep in touch in the future.  What angle would you use for the next call to progress the sales process?  Sharing your exact script for would be helpful.   How to prevent chasing:   Most of the time the first meeting is the "get to know you" meeting and hopefully the prospects brought their statements.  Half of the time they don't, but leave agreeing to send me them in the mail, but yet I find myself chasing them call after call to have them send it to me.  This is a very long and inefficient process.  When I chase prospects, I always feel like I'm coming off dripping of desperation and succumb to giving them a 2 week window until I "check-in" again only to find out that they are REALLY going to send it to me this time. Any suggestions to making this more efficient?  I hope making an excuse to drive to their house would be the only option.   Closing & "I want to think about it":   Also, if I get their statements and do my homework (analysis plus proposal) I usually get the "I want to think about it" answer.  I've tried to combat this by clarifying what is cloudy and simply what they have to think about.  I've asked what is influencing their decision and they mostly respond saying that it'll be easier for them to make a big decision like this overnight.  Any suggestions to get over the "I want to think about it?"  What closing techniques do you guys use that has been most effective for you?   Thank you all for your time and suggestions.
Feb 4, 2009 7:38 am

Are you serious?

Feb 4, 2009 8:03 am

I know where you are coming from. Selling is hard.

Feb 4, 2009 8:09 am
Cold Call Follow ups:   Why don't you use the language that you always use?     

How to prevent chasing:

Why do you need their statement?   Closing & "I want to think about it":   Why are you doing an analysis and a proposal for a non-client?
Feb 4, 2009 8:53 am

Hank is priceless…

  I agree with anonymous also.. Clients don't know what the investments are and shouldn't be thinking about it.. They are never going to meet or talk to the fund managers, CEOs, money manger, you name it..   If they are in your office they have already thought about it which is why they are there.   "I want to think about it"   Most people don't need to think about it. They generally don't care/know enough about investing and investments to make that logical step.   They want to think about you..   Try this, "Mr/Mrs Client... I understand this is a big decision, but you really don't want to think about it. You aren't going to go home and analyze the investments because if you wanted to do that, you would be here..   You need to ask yourself 3 difficult questions: Do you trust me? Do you like me? and most importantly Do you think what I am doing is in your best interest..   I am going to go check(voicemail, email, etc) and leave you alone for 5 minutes and then come back, if I get a unanimous Yes, then we can start the process, if not at least you know what is available."   Truth is nobody wants to think about retiring(They definitely want to do that when they are able) They don't want to worry about their investments(Or they wouldn't be in your office) They have issues with their current advisor(service,trust, whatever)
Feb 4, 2009 9:24 am

tsaem-i would look at what anonymous and squash have said.  i think you are basically selling the way EVERY other FA out there is selling, and the prospect has seen it before.  you have to find a way to get to the point, so to speak.

you should try to not ever sell an investment, so their statements should not really be necessary.  sell the client on your model and process and get them to buy that, YOU, before anything else. if they do not have their statements, fine.  i would tell them that is fine, "i really don't need them right now anyway, let's talk about you and your goals and let me tell you about my process here at ABC and we can see if there is a potential match."   i know many advisors who do not spend a ton of time chasing down clients over and over.  often a waste of time and prevents you from finding someone genuinely looking for help.  every advisor has a different take on this piece of the puzzle.
Feb 4, 2009 11:35 am

When you get to the point where they are sitting in your office, and the statements are out, and they are still being wishy washy, you need to get into sh*t or get off the pot mode. Tell them it’s time to open up an account and ACAT some assets over. If they still are unsure about your plan you tell them there is no harm in setting up an account right now and even transferring assets and keeping everything in place. This forces them to decide if they are in a position to trust you. You tell them that if they don’t like your plan you will work day and night until you come up with a plan you are both comfortable with. If they still don’t want to be direct or make a move, MOVE ON. They don’t have faith in you or your ideas and they probably never will. 4 types of clients
1) Trust still - no matter what you do they trust you in everything
2) Trust till - They will only trust you until you screw up
3) Suspect till - They suspect you will screw up until you show them returns
4) Suspect still - No matter what you do they will always suspect you and fight you on everything (ditch these people immediately, whether prospect or client)

Feb 4, 2009 10:04 pm
Wait for statements? You could go out of business waiting for people to do things! Make it easy for them to give you what you want.      Here are four ideas. -Tell them to fax you  -Offer to go get them -Send a Self Addressed Stamped envelope -For a reasonably good prospect a little out of your driving range, send a prepaid overnight envelope, overnight.     Cold Call Follow up   Galpers Web site has some ideas for follow up.   Prevent Chasing Before you do the analysis presentation, be prepared to ask them if they have any concerns or questions up front. This will allow you to air objections early on the second meeting. You can then address the objections and then move to the analysis presentation. Also, are you making a SOLID proposal? The time in the second meeting is best spent telling them what you will do for them BASED on the analysis.   If you are spending 75% of the time on the analysis review, and 25% on the proposal, flip it. They don't care about the analysis. They want to know what you are going to do for them.  The alpha, the beta, the sector and asset allocation, the Morningstar ratings or relative performance is going to have them drooling on the table in no time.   They want to know what you can do for them and they'd like to know a little bit about HOW you will do that....but not the bone numbing detail of our work we find so endlessly fascinating.   The "I want to think about it objection". Ask - What is there left to think about? Always ask questions.   Ask them Is there something that is unclear from our review here that is keeping you from being able to make a decision?    Then repeat their needs, goals, risk tolerance, briefly! Give them a different explanation of your proposal. (This is the point where having planned some good visual descriptions you can do with simple drawings will be worth it's weight in gold) Read Storyselling for Financial Advisors.    Analogies work too. If you are dealing with an auto fanatic, use words like "this annuity is built on a chassis that allows us to have 4, 6 or 8 cylinders working" or if they are a plumber - look up at the sprinkler system pipe in the office and ask them if there were a leak in it, how they  would fix it (they'll tell you they would replace the pipe, or something like that.) Then you show them how most of the plumbing in their portfolio is good or bad and tell them you want to take out some of the pipes. 
Feb 6, 2009 2:12 pm

Listen more, talk less. Ask questions. Lead the conversation. Get their agreement on every little step. Make it THEIR idea. Give them choices. Today or tomorrow? 10:15 am or 6:30 pm? Blue or green? Paper or plastic? Spend more time asking questions and listening, and you’ll spend less time hearing, “I need to think about it…”

  You need to know when it's time to "sh*t or get off the pot" like Squash said. If you listen more, ask good questions, and get agreement along the way, chances are you'll gain trust. If you haven't, then cut bait.    
Feb 6, 2009 10:15 pm

Generally speaking, people often need to be told what to do. People are comfortable in the status quo but look where the status quo has landed them. 

Feb 6, 2009 10:25 pm

Dude - seriously, the thing you need to improve on is quit wasting your time. Of course, I’m posting drunk on the RR forums when I could be following up on my cold calling or chasing prospects down to get statements or possibly worry about objections.

Here is my advice for people who say they want to think about, “That’s okay. I don’t need to think about it. I appreciate your time, but I need to get to some clients’ business”.

Feb 6, 2009 11:43 pm

Moraen, here’s a good response when a prospect wants to think about it.

You: "Tell me Mr. Prospect, have you thought about RUCND’s?"

Prospect: "What are RUCND’s?"

You: “Are you seeing deezzzz nuts (click)”