Usually, you get a broker in one of four ways:
2. responding to a Cold Call
3. attending a Seminar
4. a member of an Affinity Group
Remember, when choosing a stock broker, by whatever method, look for someone who understands you and your specific needs, whom you can understand and not feel intimidated by and who will answer your questions in writing versus talking over the phone. None of this will guarantee a good relationship, but using this methodology will increase your chances for success.
Responding to a Cold Call
Cold calling, or “smiling and dialing” as it was referred to in the old days, is still a key weapon in a stock broker’s arsenal. Simply put, it is getting an unsolicited call from a broker seeking your business. In its best form, it is obtrusive and annoying; in its worst form, you can wind up on the other end of the phone from the likes of a Jordan Belfort A/K/A “The Wolf of Wall Street”, or someone like him.
Brokers that use this method don’t usually just pick up the phone book and start in the “A’s.” They buy lists that target people by zip code, income, employment, hobbies, etc. anything that can provide an insight into your potential investment proclivities.
The skilled cold callers do not try to sell you on the first call; they just want to whet your appetite and gauge your interest in investing. They do not care if you hang up; in fact they prefer that to keeping them on the phone if you are not potentially interested. Remember: to them, it is a numbers game. Each hang-up gets them closer to someone who will say yes.
Understand that the more time you spend on the phone with a stock broker, the more likely you are to succumb to his pitch. This is especially true of the elderly and/or lonely. Brokers are professional salespeople. They are educated and trained on how to make you feel comfortable and how to overcome your objections. Tell them you have no money; they will have a comeback. Tell them this is not a good time to talk; they will get you to commit to a time later. They will have a comeback for any excuse. If you do not want to choose your broker via an anonymous voice on the phone, then politely but firmly say, ‘No, thank you,’ and hang up.
To learn more about Richard Lewins, visit him at www.lewinslaw.com.