Fall out ratio?

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Mar 2, 2008 12:06 pm

What is the fall out ratio for new FA's within the first 5 years?  What is the main reason for the fall out?  Is the fall out ratio higher at wirehouses?  What firms have the highest fall out ratio?

Mar 2, 2008 3:55 pm

What is the main reason people fail in this industry?  Not enough clients/assets to support themselves.  Why don’t they have enough clients/assets?  Because in this industry, you and only you, are responsible for finding, closing and servicing your own prospects/clients.  Add to the mix that these are intangibles and you are new and inexperienced.  Frankly, I’m always amazed that anyone survives.  It is not a good system.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


The fail ratio is probably lower if you start on the insurance side.  You could search for some posts by Annonymous on this issue.  This is because people who would not be prospects for a wirehouse often are prospects for insurance products.  A larger pool of potential clients likely would mean a slightly higher survival rate.


What firms have the highest fall out rates?  I would guess the firms you are talking about affiliating with: Ameriprise, Primerica, and there are some other, lesser known names.  Why?  They have no financial interest in your survival.  I swear, their interest is in having you fail.  They hire you, get you to either introduce all your friends, family & acquaintances to them, or get you to sell to them, you don’t survive 6 months, and they keep the people you brought in as clients.   For the most part, the firm doesn't make a difference, but it does.  You don't want to be affiliated with low-lifes or third-tier firms.


Let me ask you a couple of questions – as we’ve been answering quite a few from you.  1)  Do you have experience in sales?  2) Have you read the thread “The 500-day war”?  You have said in another post you have a passion to become an FA.  In order to succeed, you must also have a passion to be a salesman. 

Mar 2, 2008 8:17 pm

Yes, I have had a few posts as of late.  Let me give you my story.  I have been in business for over 12 years.  I have held very high positions at some large companies.  I have an extensive sales background, and am not affraid of hard work.  I am very used to working 60+ hours per week.  I am used to making well over $300,000 per year.  The industry that I have been in is going through some major changes due to globalization and has limited my potential to make the money I am used to.  I am looking to get started in a new industry that I can have longevity for the next 20-30 years.  The reason I have been asking so many questions is because I want to get as much information about what I may be getting into.  I am about to make a life changing decision and want to make sure it is the right one.  I guess what I want to know at the end of the day is, if I bust my ass, make as many cold calls as is humanly possible, and am half way intelligent, what are my chances to succeed?  Is it possible for me to make $300K+ after 5 years?  Which firm should I look to plant my feet for the next 20 years?  What is the best way to prospect?

  And YES I have read the "500 day war" post and to be quite honest doesn't seem like rocket science, it is all about having disipline and being commited to what you do everyday.  I been doing that for over 12 years and can certainly continue to do it.    Please give me the best advice as possible.  I am asking for any help and tips.   Thank you.
Mar 2, 2008 8:32 pm
If you make as many cold calls as you say, your chance of success is 100% and chance of making 300k in 5 yrs is very attainable.    If I were you I'd start at Merrill.  Best name recognition, great platform.  Overall great place for a top producer.  (Of course you'll probably want to go independent in 5 yrs, which makes great sense as well.)   Side note: I love it when all these people say I'm used to hard work but have no clue how hard making sales calls really is.    Not saying that is you billybob, it's just a common quote you see here a lot.     
Mar 2, 2008 8:37 pm

How many cold calls per day do you need for success? In my current position I make over 100 per day, and feel that I could do more.  Is that enough or do I need to do more?

Mar 2, 2008 9:29 pm

BillyBob – Thanks, it really helps to know more about you.  I seem to recall from your previous posts that you are not a good test-taker.  I will leave it to others to answer your question about cold calls, as I’ve never made a cold call in my life (seminars are my thing).

  As to what firms to look at, I would look at top-tier insurance companies and brokerage firms that have good reputations in your area (I'm assuming you want to stay in your same area).  Merrill is top notch, but also has really high hurdles.  I am guessing most any firm that you feel is a good fit will be interested in you.  When you interview, talk to the manager about your concern about test-taking -- if someone really likes/wants you, they likely will have some latitude.  Insurance companies will be more mellow if you don't pass tests the first time.   I might suggest you talk to/interview with some independent advisors in your area -- that's not a typical path for a new FA, but given your background, you may find a firm or individual who would be willing to take you in and train you.   In this scenario, passing the test the first time, probably wouldn't be do-or-die either, particularly if they know of your test-taking problems.    These are just my thoughts, but I hope it helps!    
Mar 2, 2008 10:31 pm

Depends if you are talking dials or contacts.  If you talk with 100 “qualified” ( people with investable assets) prospects on the phone each day you will be successful.  (Probably won’t get you to 300k Net income in 5 yrs.)

  Merrill high hurdles yes, but if you are really a prospecting machine it won't be too high.  I agree about talking with some independets in your area.  Could be a good way.  Just be careful as some may start you out at a position below FA, or a position where you won't "own" the client relatonship.  If someone else is handling the client relationship you are not building assets for yourself, but for someone else.  That may be ok for a short period of time to get started.  But don't get stuck doing that more than 6 months or 1 yr max. 
Mar 3, 2008 3:25 pm

Billy, is that 100 dials per day or actual contacts with a decision maker? What are you prospecting with? Going for the appointment or sale over the phone?

Mar 3, 2008 4:06 pm

If I was an OldLady with hot legs I’d be able to make it on seminars, too. The rest of us need to call.

Mar 4, 2008 2:00 am

If I was an OldLady with hot legs I’d be able to make it on seminars, too. The rest of us need to call.

  You DO have that right!!!  I was also lucky enough to come into the business back in the day when you could do seminars and make a living.  Thankfully I now have referrals.  I can sell but I sure as hell can't cold call -- I love the souls who can.  A salesman always loves another good salesman.
Mar 4, 2008 11:31 am

Billybob, as you say, it’s not rocket science. But it is still hard. Harder than what you’re doing? I don’t know. What makes it hard are several factors:

  Competition from several channels, some on price, some on platform.   Management at many firms who have never prospected a day in their lives, but will tell you exactly how it's done and expect you to follow their advice.   Management with a product or platform agenda that may not be in your clients best interest or agree with your marketing plan.   Being measured against training class peers on a moving matrix where top producers in the class are integrated onto teams, are wired in, and pull big numbers from day one. Example, Suzie Blueblood who is joining her father's million dollar practice. Managers  fawning over Suzie's rookie success will make you want to throw up, but more importantly YOU are being measured against her and could miss a cut because of her. Yes, it's effed up.     Rejection. It's high and constant   Financial sales is the sale of an intangible. Selling intangibles is the toughest type of sales. There is nothing but your words. Your prospects only see the picture those words paint. And much of it is conceptual. Some are better than others at being able to take high concept ideas and boil them down to a concise sales presso.   Cold calling is frowned upon by many offices. Like I said, many of the managers you will meet today have never done it. It being building an advisory business from scratch. Cold Calling is a low form of prospecting that doesn't mix with the business club mentality of most "Wealth Managers" these days. So, don't expect to get a warm reception or much support to to a business plan that utilizes it. That it works is not a factor.   That said, I built my business on cold calling. So, I'm a believer.   As for how many calls you have to make to be successful? That's an easy question to answer. The answer is, get to the office by 7am every weekday. Pick up the phone at 8am and start dialing. Take a five minute break every hour, a half hour for lunch and an hour for dinner. Put the phone down at 9pm. Take an hour to organize for the next day. Repeat for at least five years. I did it for seven and then backed the hours down. Give your family the weekends/no work on weekends.     How many calls will you make? When you start come on the board and let us know. Whatever the number, I'm sure if you put forth that kind of effort, you will be successful.    
Mar 4, 2008 12:06 pm

Wow, Bondguy. That’s a tough slog. All the respect…

One might also start in a bank & know where the money is. That might cut down on about 3 - 4 yrs of that hell. That would mean that one might have to eat one’s pride for a bit, though.

I had a $48K month in Feb - 13 months sitting in this seat (I’ve been in the biz since 1998 so I have my pres down pretty well). I’m already over $20K for this month from ACAT’s & 1035’s & have $10K in revenue I know will hit in April from wrap products & UIT’s. I work about 70 hrs per week during the winter & 45 during the summer. I have no salary & my payout is much much lower than BondGuy’s, but will approximate his in about 6 - 7 yrs(over 45% all in). I add about $400K to wrap each month & get paid 1% to the grid & touch something in the range of $600K more with an average of 3% revenue to the grid. I don’t focus necessarily on savers(which is what a lot of bank reps are bashed for), prefering younger professionals & executives. I do a lot of insurance. I have a couple of platform reps under me for whom I’m paid a sizeable override. I do a lot of the selling for them, but they introduce me to clients I would otherwise never see. I meet my clients at my desk instead of at their homes at 8PM, but I like to get to their homes because that’s where they’re comfortable.

What I’m trying to say is that you can build a good business in a bank, and you’ll know where the money is. Finally, people often leave their brokers, but they rarely leave their banks.

There are drawbacks to banks & I’m sure those will soon be discussed.