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Spreading the referral love around

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Any “Top This” or “Top That” list is bound to leave out some commendable contenders, and this is no exception. There are many professionals who are worthy allies for senior financial advisors. Stephen Drain, senior vice president, marketing for Personalized Brokerage Services in Topeka, Kan., says he can’t think of a walk of life that advisors wouldn’t want to be networked into because one never knows what a client may need one day.
Drain points to mortgage brokers as possibilities for advisors and sees potential in the medical community. People tell their physicians, especially specialists, a lot more than they are asked.

Jack Keeter, president of Jack Keeter and Associates in Anaheim, Calif., is big on CPAs and attorneys like most advisors, but he has a few other professionals in mind, too. He says business brokers are good allies to have. They help people sell their businesses, so their clients have transitional wealth and many of them likely are close to retirement if they are selling a business. Keeter says planned-giving directors at charities are also good people to know. One more professional that advisors should look up — and one more in the list of lawyers — is a divorce attorney. When spouses split, one will inevitably have to look for a new advisor.

Todd Wooten, president of Wooten Financial Services in Valparaiso, Ind., sees the value in Drain’s assertion that the medical community is a good place to develop alliances. He says nursing home administrators are good people to know, too, for obvious reasons, but the real value there is in conducting seminars for people with parents in the home. Church pastors represent another strong potential ally for advisors, Wooten says.
s to network

Networking effectively takes time, effort and money, but it pays off handsomely for all parties involved. Stephen Drain, the senior vice president, marketing for Personalized Brokerage Services in at Topeka, Kan., says he sees three main reasons to network with other professionals:

  1. Provide comprehensive solutions for clients. As boomers get older, they’re going to be looking for that. Todd Wooten, president of Wooten Financial Services in Valparaiso, Ind., agrees. “I believe in an interdisciplinary practice,” he says. “It makes the clients feel at ease. They don’t know who’s the best at other things, but if their attorney says, ‘You need to meet Todd,’ they feel good about that.”
  2. Generate a stream of personal introductions. Leads are OK and referrals are nice, but nothing beats a personal introduction from a trusted professional who has been working with someone for years.
  3. Provide an enhanced value proposition. “Advisors should be able to say to clients, ‘I’m networked. If you need something, I’ve got someone who can handle it,’” Drain says.


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