Pitching product

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Apr 5, 2011 10:15 pm

I have yet to pitch product but I really want to & need to.  I have only been pitching appointments and I am have some success with it.  I want to start pitching bonds but I work for Merrill Lynch so we have what is called a small household policy where we don't get paid on accounts under 100K.  I have spent days searching these forums and found out the best lot to sell over the phone is 25K worth of bonds just to start the relationship.  I really want to start doing this like tommarrow but I have a couple of questions.  I am in this rookie program where I need to get fee based bussiness or im fired ( even If I do a 300K as a rookie I would be fired because of no net new annutized assets).  I know this is the right away to cold call.  Get someone to buy something from you, put them on your books & then do the whole financial planning thing & wrap or annutize the rest.  As bond guy said, I know have a seat at their table & then I can do the wonder of me campaign.  CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP, IM SO HUNGRY FOR THIS BUSINESS I CAN TASTE IT AND I WON'T GIVE UP TO I FIND A WAY

Apr 6, 2011 1:27 am

Good ideas. I had to scrap out my biz, small accounts grew into bigger and it has always been a mix - you can learn from almost everyone. Be confident with big accounts, it takes the same amount of time to do the work, it's just money.

Apr 6, 2011 9:46 am

8 million Net New Annutized

360,000 in production

7 250K HH

this is for 3 years cumulative

Apr 6, 2011 11:37 am

Ice's advice on product is sound. But, don't ever, and I mean ever, fudge numbers. You can literally wind up in jail for that stuff. I've seen that at my former employer, when employees at the bank were pushed too hard for numbers. The FBI and all got involved, because it involved violations of the patriot act, bogus ss#s, and all sorts of stuff. 

Your career is like a house of cards. If there is a crooked card below, years and years later that crooked card will blow out, bring the whole house down. 

Hey, I just described the demise of ML itself... And now, as they rebuild, they are building a foundation on shakey ground. Many years ago, ML was run by guys that swore by the virtues of buying solid stocks, and quality bonds. Now, they just want you to sell managed money. Managed money is to investments, what summer sausage is to the meat industry.  

Apr 6, 2011 12:43 pm

Managed money is to investments, what summer sausage is to the meat industry.

Now THAT is funny on so many levels. I can see some corporate guy sitting high up in the piggy tower looking pale and constipated, with a big crease in his porky white forehead.

A BFP classic.

Apr 6, 2011 10:00 pm


If you are having success with what you're doing, then keep doing it!  Keep selling yourself, and not ML, and if you get canned, you just hang a shingle elsewhere and get right back to it!  If they fire you, they likely won't come after you for changing firms (and coming from ML, you'll have no problem getting hired somewhere as long as termination is only due to "lack of production"). 

As for what product to push, here's a few pointers, and they're just my opinioin...

-When cold calling with product, your goal is to just get them to talk and hopefully meet with you.  you don't actually care about selling the bond or whatever you called them with.  You could cold call with product, and still go for the appointment after you get them engaged (i.e. "Mr. Prospect, do you have some time next Thursday around 1 PM so we could meet and see how this bond fits into your overall portfolio?"). 

-If they decline the appointment, and just want to buy the bond, the gross will still help you meet your hurdles, and you have a seat at the table.  Down the road, if a guy can buy $25K in munis over the phone, he's got other money!  Revisit it when you're more established, keep trying for the appointment for other biz (planning, insurance, etc.)...or just keep selling him bonds until he's over $100K!  If that never happens, cut him loose to the call center when you're established, or go indy down the road where you get paid on everything.

-There used to be a way at ML to make "fake" households (i.e. linking unrelated people together on the system) to make it look like a $100K HH so you get paid.  Dunno if you can still do that, or what the consequences are if you get caught.

Just curious, what are the AUM, production, fee-based, and net-new $250K HH hurdles at ML? 


See highlighted part.  That is the key.  Get the appt by getting their attention with a product and using that to do a full review.  That is how I built my biz.  I sold very little of whatever I called with.

Apr 6, 2011 10:13 pm


You know I'm in the same program as you.  I think we still get paid anything less than 100k, but it does goto a call center.  I see some guys close on 25-30k and it still gives PCs.

Apr 7, 2011 2:15 pm

thanks for the info