When I started my national single employer retirement plan practice, I learned that getting clients is something that was going to be dependent on me. Clients and referral sources don’t fall into your lap or grow on trees.
Before JDSupra and before Mike Alfred from Brightscope’s suggestion that I write on LinkedIn, I went to a lot of networking events to meet other business owners. Most of the events were a waste because these events didn’t have the people that could act as a referral source for potential clients.
Many times I would meet an insurance professional who would invite me to their office. The idea was that we could network, but often, the conversation would be about my financial status and my insurance needs. There was always the hint of the professional that they could help me get clients, but again, it was more about a sales pitch of what they could do for me.
When I meet any type of financial advisor, third party administrator, or accountant, I never ask who their ERISA attorney or who drafts their plan document. When you meet someone at an event or an office, they will learn what you do and if they like what they hear and have some trust in your abilities, they may call on your for work on their own plan. If people know what I do, then they’ll call me if they have issue and think I can help them.
The retirement plan business is all about relationships. Any provider who is so intent on having you as a client with the implied suggestion that they could help you get clients is something to avoid. Too much of our industry is built on quid pro quos and the fact is that when someone told me that they could get me clients, they have never gotten me clients.