Starting working in the ML PMD program need advice guys

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Nov 2, 2011 6:21 pm

Hi guys I am about two weeks in the ML PMD program and studying right now for my series 7 exam. I've been doing some reasearch and reading great posts like the 500 day war, but also all the negative comments about how difficult the hurdles are to make.

In the first week I realized that if I was on a team that it would make it much easier to survive, however my manager said that I could only be on a team once I graduated from the PMD program. 

There is another FA that is training with me who has passed the series 7 exam and has a family relative that works as a senior FA, who admitted to me that he is being given books to start off meaning he wont be failing out like I might.

Now the truth is that I do have connections, I know a couple of doctors but the time line required to develop those relationships into accounts I'm not sure how soon that will happen and the clock starts ticking fast.

So as a newbie, with no team members or books being given to me, will cold calling serve me the best. Let me say that there are two things that I have going for myself.

1) I am not afraid of cold calling, I can cold call all day and not give a damn, hang ups, being curssed at w.e becasue at the end of the day its all $.

2) I am not afraid or hesitant to come into the office at 8am and leave at 8pm, as Judge said sweat equity is what is required.

Now with that in consideration are the hurdles at ML still too high that even with those two things going for me that my chance of failing out is very probable.

I would like to think that people who fail out didnt put in the sweat equity to make it, however at the same time maybe the hurdles are designed in a way so that you get kicked out at a certain point and without a lifeline from a senior Fa you are toast and they get to keep your accounts as a reward.

I would really appreciate some guidance. Thanks guys

Nov 3, 2011 12:43 pm

hey guys just looking for encouragement

Nov 4, 2011 12:11 pm

The opportunity is what you make it.  No excuses.  You have all of the resources available to you that you will ever need to be successful.  Your success or failure is attributed to your own efforts or lack thereof.  Keep your head down and pass the tests.  Then, be ready to work.  Time flies - make the best of it.  You don't want to find yourself staring at tall hurdles and then ask yourself what you've been doing for the last 3 months...  Tough, but worth it in the end. 

Nov 4, 2011 10:35 pm

Take the salary while you can.  Then after you have some experience and truly understand things that you simply cannot possibly understand at this moment, go work somewhere else and make a lot more money.  That's what I did.

Nov 5, 2011 9:43 am

I've just read Nick Murray's book Game Of Numbers.  It is what you need right now.  Buy it from his site directly for the lowest cost.  "you can not fail..."

Jan 24, 2012 9:49 pm

harkkam, how's it worked out for you?

I'm supposed to start the PMD in 2 days and am still opening life insurance cases where I'm at now at NMFN. Haven't fully committed to Merrill due to the 38k paper they want me to sign and the stress of the quotas.

Jan 31, 2012 1:21 pm

I'm a PMD myself. LOS Month 1 is February for me. I'm slightly ahead of you, but in the general scheme of things right at the same point in my career.

As far as my advice. I would start your networking now. You may not be able to start setting appointments and giving financial advice, but there's nothing illegal about calling and introducing yourself.

If you've never cold called before, it's a process. I still have a long long ways to go on improving, but my calling skills have improved tremendously over the past 3 months.

As far as how you prospect....use your strengths. Some people preach that certain methods are the only ways for success, but in the end, if you're not a natural at something DON'T DO IT.

 My market is very small and I can count on my fingers and toes the number of people in my town who have a net worth of over $2-3mm. I have to rely on quantity rather than quality in many instances. Just bear that in mind that my prospecting is different than someone in California or New York.

What's working for me:

I'm making about 100 cold calls a day. I get a hold of maybe 20 people and I can get 5 appointments on a good day and 1-2 on a bad one. I'd say 10 of those are also successful enough that they let me call them in a month to try again.

Door knocking has been the number one success with me. It's an Edward Jones style of prospecting, but if you speak well and look good, it works. I just brought in a 260k account with a lady who was outside watering her grass and smoking a cigarette. She has 2 jumbo CDs coming due in a few months as well. People are much more likely to give me a warm conversation when I'm on their doorstep than when I call them. I only have to hit maybe 20-30 houses to get the same number of contacts or more in a single day.

As far as my more unorthodox prospecting:

-I hit up a ton of estate sales. My thought process is that the family is inheriting the estate and has some new money to invest. Also, old people are like vultures and when one dies, the rest flock to get their old stuff. It sounds silly, but it's working great for me and it's fun in the process.

-I'm also volunteering at some of the school districts around my town. 529 plans aren't a business changer, but my goal is to get my foot in the door with an education plan then try and get their IRAs and other accounts. My first one is Feb 20th, but my cousin brought in $2million at her old firm doing the exact same thing. It's a great way to get your name out there as well and I find ethical value in what I'm doing as well.

-I've also started going to some of the larger businesses and asking to sit in their lunch room and offer advice to some of the workers. Again, this is something I just started so I can't comment on its success, but again, I'm getting my foot in the door and hoping to work my way in with the wealthier employees.

As far as training yourself outside the 7/66:

-My favorite books are:

*One up on wall street by Peter Lynch. It's a book on investment style and market perspective. It's a classic and an easy read.

*How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger. This helped me learn to identify the types of people with money. I probably passed up on some people thinking that their small house and old car meant they had no money. I'm much better at picking out affluent prospects after reading this.

*The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley. This is a self help book. I try and read it once every few months to remind myself. It has some very basic(but overlooked) advice on selling in general. It's old as hell, but I found it to be very valuable.

Like I said, I'm pretty much right there with you on my experience level. I'm not all knowing, but I try not to be one of the cocky advisors on here that talk down to people like you and me. I'm just sharing personal experience and I know yours will be different.

Just FYI, I made an 84 and 85 on my 7 and 66 respectively. I took the 66 with about 10 hours of studying under my belt. I went to an average public university and this is my first job(I'm 23 now).  I have a long way to go with my goals, but I'm going into month 1 with just under 4000 pcs under my belt. I'm not the top of my class by any means, but I'm off to a respectable start in my opinion.

Also, I would highly advise getting the most out of your Broyles Top Producer training and the CSS training you will have in a few months. Both were hands down the best internal training offerings I have experienced so far.

I hope this helps. Send me a private message if you have more questions. Maybe I can learn something from you?

Mar 19, 2012 11:24 pm

Thanks for the information rightadvisor. I start at Merrill Next week. How is it going for you? Any more tips or advise?

Mar 21, 2012 4:10 pm

The best advice I've ever heard is to stick to the 80/20 rule. That means spend 80% of your time on the 20% of your prospecting that nets the best results.

You'll here a ton on here that certain methods do and don't work. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and its up for you to decide what you're best at.

I'm cocky and arrogant, but only where it matters. You'll find a lot of arrogance on this forum, but also some great help if you can sift through it. You can take my words to be former or the latter.

Some tips from my perspective:

-Start now. You may not be able to start opening accounts just yet, but the sooner you start networking, the better. Everyone that will listen to you should know that you're a financial advisor. The more people that know, the greater your chances for success.

-If you haven't already, set up a plan for yourself and evolve it as you progress through the program. My initial goals are still saved in my computer, and while some have changed, they haven't been forgotten.

-Work on how you speak and carry yourself. If you're young like me, you face the obstacle of being treated like a kid. Act like a senior advisor and you'll be treated like one. It doesn't matter if you're 22 or 62.

-Build relationships with established FA's in your branch. I can't tell you how valuable this is. The help and advice alone is extremely valuable and if you're lucky enough, they may take you under their wing.

-A follow-up on the previous point: 1+1 can sometimes equal 3. That means that, someone has to see value in you in order for them to do business with you. Get good at something specific and unique and be darn good at it. That may be mutual funds, annuities, prospecting, etc. If a prospect or an FA finds value in you, you're going to be successful.

-This last point will be the one that is most likely met with the greatest opposition. Don't be afraid to open small accounts! That doesn't mean open anything and everything, but for the right person, I might consider a $20k account if I feel like affluent referrals can blossom from it. An FA and close friend of mine opened a $6k account about 5 years ago. That account ended up referring $10-15mm in business. Again, don't take everything, but there can be value in those small accounts.

I'm sure there are those who disagree with me. And take this advice knowing that it's from someone only a few months ahead of you (I only started last May). Work your ass off, talk to as many people as possible, hold yourself to a higher standard than others, and you'll be successful in this business. People aren't going to come to you when you first start, but if you put the time in and make the right relationships, there's no reason why they won't be knocking at your door in the near future.

May 8, 2012 5:20 pm

I'm supposed to start PMD program in a couple of weeks and was curious...I was asked to sign a "agreement to repay costs of training" form...Has anybody else been required to sign this?  Beyond the fact that statistically 90% of PMD's won't make it through the program It seems a little dicey when I live/work in an 'at will employment' state.  Means they can terminate for no cause any AUM will stay with them and then I have to pay them back as much as $25K if my employment ends in months 9-12...any ideas or suggestions...

May 10, 2012 3:05 am

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