Cold-calls be more effective

Want to double your sales? These crucial numbers will power your cold-calls

Do you have an appointment this afternoon? If not, why not? If so though, when did you call her to introduce yourself and set up the appointment? Yesterday? Last week? And, if you manage to work this lead to complete a sale, how long is it before you see the hard work in your bank account? How many cold-calls did you make to get this appointment?

If you answered “I don’t know” to any of these important questions, then you’re just running on pot-luck and have no idea whether your sales process is working or not. 

Hopefully I don’t need to explain to you the formula that Appointments generate Sales Leads and without Sales Leads you have no Sales but let me at least start by making sure we are agreed on what a Sales Lead is; I like to define our Sales Leads as “people who not only understand and need financial products and can afford them, but have agreed to go through our sales process with some intention of buying”.

If we’re agreed on that definition, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the important ratios that determine your financial success as a broker in this tough world of personal finance. In my own space for instance, I know that for every eight appointments I make, I close one new contract, so my closing ratio is 8:1. But do I know how many other, measurable activities had to happen, to get to that sale? And do I know how many sales I need to make every week to achieve my own financial goals? So what are these “crucial numbers” and how do you make them work for you? 

I already know that I need to meet 8 people to make a sale. I also know that I need to make one sale every week to earn the kind of commission that is going to buy me that new Porsche. Now I want to understand how many cold-calls it took for me to get to those 8 appointments. If 3 of those appointments are follow ups from meetings I had last week, I’m going to need five new ones this week. In my own case, my call success ratio is 15:1 – for every fifteen calls I make I open one door. That means fifteen calls, EVERY DAY to get one sale. So every week I’m making 75 cold-calls, and by that I mean TRUE COLD-CALLS, not follow-ups on someone I spoke to last week. I mean first touch calls to people you haven’t spoken to before. 

It’s also imperative in this process to understand the long-term impact of keeping this LEAD PIPELINE well fed. Are you one of those financial advisors that has one amazing month and then two quiet ones? Instead of looking at your numbers month-by-month, try looking at them in three monthly blocks, to truly understand how your sales are going and what your average monthly earnings are. If you have this pattern of “feast and famine” earning, it’s likely that you’re falling into the trap of taking your foot off the prospecting pedal every time your diary fills up. Don’t. The appointment you make today only becomes cash in your bank in three months time. You don’t make an appointment today, you’re facing a famine day somewhere in the near future. Take a couple more days off and it’s going to be a quiet Christmas in your house.


 The Power of ‘No’ in your cold-calls strategy

 Are you guilty of avoiding cold-calling, because you fear rejection? Don’t like hearing the word “NO”?

 Let’s try and look at this a little differently; what if every “no” was a success? Could your “no” have value that you’re not understanding?

 Look at your ratios again. If you’re making twenty calls to speak to five people, to set up one appointment, it means nineteen people have said “no” to you. You’re hearing it nineteen times every time you’re successful. If you’re not hearing nineteen “no’s” it’s unlikely due to your script being perfect, it’s because you’re NOT MAKING ENOUGH CALLS! 

Stop being scared of the “NO”. Know what your “NO QUOTA” is and start taking pride in hitting it. 

Don’t let your strike rate be random. Understand what numbers work for you, measure your “Cold-Calls to Appointment” ratio. Measure your “Appointment to Sales Lead” ratio. Match you signed deals to your Sales Leads. This gives you powerful data and helps you pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses, and from there you can refine your process, and start beating your targets and start thinking about that Porsche.

DFC Greater Gauteng is South Africa’s top Life producing team and has been consistently for 7 years. We attribute that success to our ability to attract the best advisors, and give them the environment and support that allows them to prosper. If that sounds like your kind of place, drop Sean an email and talk about moving your career to the next level.



  1. Loved this article. Thanks for sharing Sean

    1. Thanks Drikus, pleased that you found it helpful. Tell us what what you’d be interested in learning next.

  2. Great and very insightful article.

    1. Glad you liked it Nic, thanks for the feedback. What would you be keen to read about next?

  3. Great article and an eye opener to relook at the sales/prospecting strategy!

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