Hanging by a thread

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Apr 30, 2008 11:08 pm

I’ve been working my arse off.  A lot of telephone cold calls, using some old bought lists.  I did fairly well my first 6 months in the business but since Jan it has been dismal.  I have no problem cold calling, following up etc.  I have a couple of questions.  How to get in front of more and better prospects and two if I get shi* canned and having signed a non-compete (I didn’t really read it, had to sign it) how hard would it be to go work for another firm. 

May 1, 2008 12:24 am

Hang in there if you can.  The advisor I share an office with is 20 yrs in the biz, and it's been a rough 4 months for him as well as many advisors I've talked to.  His problem is that he's 100% transactional.  If you build a fee based/only practice you will not suffer as easily in a down market. 

May 1, 2008 12:56 am

I work for a wirehouse in the mid market.  I was growing my business 2k, 3k, 5k, 10k, and then a down hill slide.  Most of my clients are from cold calls.  The first 6 months was A and C share mutual funds depending on the client and Variable Annuities.  Lately it's been bonds and stocks.  It seems the I'm not finding as much roll over money.  I have rolled in some larger cash positions but can't get them to move.

I think there will be some problems if I move.  Not that I want to move to another firm but this is what I want to do as a career.  I lcan ive with the low pay in the beginning because I think I will eventually make a good living and more importantly I like helping people at something I am decent at and enjoy.  So having said that if I am shit canned will I be able to take my book of business with me having signed a non-compete?

May 1, 2008 9:41 am

Yes, you can.  If you get canned, you are entitled to work somewhere else.  At least in the Jones contract it spells that out.

On the other topic, just try to hang in there.  I have gone through a few peaks and valleys so far, but the peaks get higher and the valleys get higher.  As long as you continue your activity, and you see some results, you will continue to grow your business.

May 1, 2008 11:03 am

It has been a hard few months. That said, over the past four months three of them have been record months for our office. On a personal basis, dismal January for personal reasons, good Feb, below average March, and above average April. So, the business is out there. More so, even though Wall Street is in a challanging time, the money in motion events on Main Street ie retirements, business sales, bonuses etc haven’t stopped.

  Perhaps you've changed something? Who you call, what you say, how you close, the number of calls, the number of closes, how you sound? There are many variables. To find the answer you need to track your results. if you are not doing that then today would be a good day to start.   The grass is not greener via an alternative prospecting method. The deal is to find the money and get it house. At this point in your career if you are not spending every waking moment doing this then you are not working hard enough.   The advice to hang in there is good. In the beginning there are many net capital months. net capital month is when you need to dig into your net captial to pay your bills.   Lastly, do not let the pipeline run dry. If you stop prospecting today then three months from now you will run out of prospects and things get ugly. My guess is that this might be part of your problem today, not having enough quality prospects. If so, this is a common and easily corrected mistake. Time to push the rock uphill once again. Only this time don't  stop pushing. Eventually you will make it to the top of the hill. It will take much longer if you constantly have keep starting from the bottom.
May 1, 2008 12:37 pm

The prospecting item is a good point.  I am only 2 1/2 years out, so really still a newb.  I find that when I have a bunch of great assets coming in, I focus on those people, and the prospecting tails off.  Well, whatdya know?  The pipeline dries up.  I have learned that the time to prospect HARDER is when things are going GOOD.  I say this because you are confident, happy, and on your game.  Don’t wait till your business is in the toilet to start some “desperation” prospecting (i.e. begging, buying lists you never end up using, advertising, etc.).  Trust me.  Been there.