Door Knocking small Businesses

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Aug 14, 2008 6:34 pm

Any advice on the best approach to start door knocking small businesses?

Today was my first day after KYC approaching small business owners and I didn’t have the success I was hoping for. I started at 9:30am and most owners were cordial and would speak to me about starting their business,how things were going, where to place my office, joing the chamber of commerce and other conversational things but once I brought up giving them a call with “High quality investment advice” the mood changed.

I’ll be back out tomorrow morning door knocking but any advice as to how approach these business owners would be greatly appreciated.


Aug 14, 2008 6:40 pm

Keep using that approach.  You don’t need permission to call them because it is a business.  Make note of their name and look up their number.  Be aware that they won’t be so friendly when you DO call them.  Good luck.

Aug 14, 2008 6:55 pm

Ask yourself this:  If you were a business owner where you had 100% control over profits and losses, taxes, management, and expenses, why would you bother with “high quality investment advice” that some investment rep was pitching?

Aug 14, 2008 7:06 pm

deekay- I understand that part. What I need help with is the best way to approach these hard working, driven, A-type people and have a reason for a follow up visit or follow up call.

Aug 14, 2008 7:57 pm

Redsox08- Keep doing exactly what your doing, up to the point where you ask them if you can call them with “investment ideas.”  Dont ask them if you can call them because all that does is give them an out. Take their card and call them regardless. Mention your previous visit and give them a tax free idea. No business owner likes taxes and eventually enough will warm up to you.

Aug 14, 2008 7:57 pm

Sox, I think you need to realize that the people you are describing have others like you calling and coming in all day.  They simply aren’t likely to jump up and down at the prospect of you coming in, taking up more of their time, and trying to sell them something.  Your reason to come back will be to bring them something of value.  I could be an investment idea but it is more likely an article or something pertaining to their business or market.  You need to move the relationship along the continuum of trust.

  I just received a call from a business owner that I doorknocked about two years ago.  I have dripped on him since them.  His wife has switched jobs and needs to roll over her 401k.    Do what you're doing but scrap the end.  Instead, say something like: "I really enjoyed talking to you and I appreciate your time.  I'd love to stay in touch with you and perhaps pick your brain in the future."  Most of them have worked hard and invested a lot to be successful.  They get a kick out of "helping" new business people, but they don't like salesmen (or women, unless they're really pretty).
Aug 14, 2008 8:00 pm

They need buy-sell agreements, disability insurance, group benefits above a QP, key person insurance and the like.  Simply put, “What happens to your business if you get hit by a truck and don’t make it home?  What happens if you get hit by that truck and you can’t work for the next year?”

  Knowing what I know about EDJ, you may be able to find a few reps who can help.  However, they're few and far between.  Look for a local insurance pro who can help you with these issues.  Split the case with them, and study up on business succession planning.
Aug 14, 2008 8:08 pm

Jones can sell most of what Dee mentioned but not the group stuff.  You're not allowed to split cases if you play by the rules (at Jones).  Choose an insurance wholesaler that is smart and presentable.  They can help you understand and sell those products.

Aug 14, 2008 8:28 pm

Thanks Everyone! I am getting something from each response that makes sense and that I can use in the future. Keep the suggestions coming my way!!!

Aug 14, 2008 9:02 pm


Jones can sell most of what Dee mentioned but not the group stuff.  You're not allowed to split cases if you play by the rules (at Jones).  Choose an insurance wholesaler that is smart and presentable.  They can help you understand and sell those products.

[/quote]   If you can't sell group products, you're at an immediate disadvantage.  Plus, you'll have to put the commissions through the grid.  Strike two.  Finally, if you're limited as to who you do joint work with, there is a much bigger chance you'll work with a piker, a thief, or a moron.   I'm not saying to not go after business owners, just realize you cannot do what other can. 
Aug 14, 2008 9:12 pm

The guy isnt even selling yet, he doesnt have to be concerned with group insurance and all that crap.

Redsox08- All you are trying to do at this point is offer them something of value that is simple and makes sense for them. Tax Free bonds/bond funds will get you a seat at their table and the relationship can grow from there. Keep it simple and you will be fine.

Aug 14, 2008 9:27 pm

Offer their employees a review of their 401k as an “employee benefit”.

  Make the boss look good and you'll get a chance to help review portfolios.  Some of the employees may actually have 401k's at previous employers or other IRA money you can manage.
Aug 15, 2008 8:04 am

…he is kind of cheesey, but read Gittomer’s stuff about bringing value first to a prospect, with no expectations of any return.  Bring value first, establish rapport, and the business will come…even if it doesnt, you are building a network.  I have my sales reps (we are in the commercial/industrial construction business) compile leads for contractors, we get our clients and prospects onto invite to bid lists, we take prospects to pre-bid meetings and lunch, we network our sub-contractor clients with General Contractors and suppliers…we try to position ourselves into every relationship concerning construction…and then the business comes…this doesnt happen overnight, it takes time…remember, its not whose number is in your phone that matters, its whose phone your number is in…bring value to a business owner, make his/her life a little easier, and you will get thier business…rememeber, they need someone to work as hard at protecting and growing thier assets as they have at earning them…let them focus on growing thier business, while you focus on securing thier future…just an idea…