Trial Runs as Reps

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Oct 24, 2008 12:55 pm

Hi All,

  I have been in BackOffice Operations for about 5 years, have the Series 7 & 63, but have been considering a move to a Rep/Client-facing role.  However, I am not in a firm where I can just make that switch, and don't really want to quit this job, becuase I am very unsure if I will like being a Rep or be good at it.  I have never been in sales, and am not natually outgoing, so I feel I might struggle to gain and interact with clients.    The money here is good and I like this job, but there are some things about a switch that appeal to me.  Anyone have ideas or companies where I could get started doing part-time work while keeping this job?  I would want to work on my pitchs, see if I like the interaction, hopefully be in a good training program, etc.      I really appreciate any thoughts anyone can share on how to find companies that do this type of thing. 
Oct 24, 2008 2:35 pm

There’s a fly in the ointment in that as a registered person you must get the permission of your current employer to have any other employment.

  Why do you think you can't switch from back office to sales?  Not being "Naturally outgoing" is not necessarily a casuse of failure--instead it can be a challenge that you deal with.  There are a lot of introverted people who are able to build confidence.  If you're the type of guy who would not walk across a room to start a conversation, but would be a good conversatiionalist if somebody walked over to you you can train yourself to take the initiiative.   On the other hand if you're truly introverted you're going to find the business almost impossible.   What everybody--EVERYBODY--should be doing these days is staying put.   We're hearing that Merrill's retention package has been released.  There will be thousands of guys and gals who don't make the cut.  A cold, harsh, reality is that there will be nowhere for them to go.   The Not Hiring signs are out everywhere--there is simply too much uncertainty.   Stay put.  If you want to practice talking to prospects ask somebody in your firm if you can be an afternoon and evening caller for them.
Oct 24, 2008 4:22 pm

This is not the time for you to switch roles. plus it would be tough for you to get hired at a good firm without sales experience.

Oct 24, 2008 5:24 pm

Take their wise advice. Stay put, if you do have 5 to 10 years of savings-enough to start a business to cover all your marketing bases and general expenses so that you are able to deliver a 110% effort, keep on saving. It will be 3 to 5 more years before I would recommend a ‘newbie’ of your temperament to consider self employment. Also, seriously consider working with an independent mentor, someone who has their own shop where you can grow and not be faced with the ‘cookie cutter’ approach that large firms rely on for consistent productivity and which results in ‘disposal’ of people with potential who through no fault of their own and despite extreme persistence in a declining market will face periodic times of non-productivity. Sadly, many who would make great reps. can meet up with ‘slow times’ in markets such as now and because a large firm ‘does their numbers’ in terms of constantly advertising, they have huge pools of applicants to replace you with to keep the door revolving.

Oct 24, 2008 5:58 pm

Jim, not only do you need your firm’s permission as a registered individual for outside business activity of any kind, you are unable to hold two simultaneous licensed securities roles. (With exception of dual registration RIA.) In short, it’s not really an option. You should continue to save and go all in or not.

Oct 24, 2008 6:10 pm

Listen to xbanker.  Think of it this way: if you were a prospect trying to decide who to trust to help you with your money, would YOU trust someone who was working on a part time, “trial” basis?

In or out.  Full time or nothing.  There is no middle ground.  

Oct 24, 2008 6:57 pm

There can be no half measures in this gig. In for a penny in for a pound. Any less is a road to financial disaster. My first year goal was to have the same credit score.

Oct 26, 2008 2:44 pm

I appreciate all the advice.  Maybe not an answer that I was hoping for, but saving for another few years to go all at it sounds like the best option.