58. Get high-quality, affluent referrals from CPAs.
Get the names of your clients’ CPAs. It’s better to market to a lot of CPAs than get rejected by one and stop. Never depend on only one CPA to give you referrals. Whenever you meet with a new prospect, or even an existing client, ask who their CPA is. Tell the client you may be able to save them time and expense spent on their taxes. Call the CPA and let them know that you share a common client. Seventy-five percent of the time, they will be more than happy to meet and discuss your mutual client. At that point you can also mention what you do and how it will benefit their clients.
—Dr. Kerry Johnson
57. The sweet spot.
Forming professional relationships takes time. Advisors need to learn about the other professionals’ current client base, their sweet spot in terms of ability, their favorite types of clients and the depth of their resources or staff. I prefer to have one or two at most within each area of expertise. This is helpful toward building a better working relationship and enhances the possibility that you may begin a reciprocal relationship for business development. You must, of course, make sure that your alliances will be stylistically compatible with your clients and able to deliver the type of expertise that you need to properly serve your clients.
—John P. Napolitano CFP, CPA, PFS, MST
56. Speak for success.
Develop attorney and CPA relationships by speaking at Bar Associations and CPA Society meetings. Sponsor and speak at Saturday morning breakfast meetings for business owners, doctors, architects etc.
55. Get the word out.
I place local ads including church and other non-profit newsletters/magazines when targeting prospective clients. Ads in local/city/county business magazines help when prospecting alliances with other professionals.
In particular, belong to your local “Task Force on Aging” or TRIAD. You can build relationships with other professionals who work in the senior market, thus getting more referrals.
—Paula Q. Wallace
53. In-house approach.
In 2006 I was introduced to a local CPA/attorney who was sub-leasing space in his office suite to other professionals. He wanted to have an in-house financial planner but didn’t have enough work to support someone full-time. That created an opening for me to lease space from him on a cost-sharing basis. These days we regularly cross-refer clients. It is informal but we explain it to clients and it has worked out really well. Today I was at a luncheon with a client who is going to end up having a financial arrangement with both of us. He understands that we’ll be able to work together and we can share files if we need to. We can look at things and have a unified approach to the client’s financial situation where we both do our pieces. He’s going to have a contract with both of us but it just works out really nicely.
—Lora J. Hoff, CFP
52. Scratch my back.
Offer your professional planning services to every professional and business with whom you are already doing business; your dentist, doctor, landscaper, etc. “Would you object to taking a few minutes with me?” It works and you get results!
51. Exclusive agreement.
About 10 years ago, I met with a CPA. We both wanted to grow our businesses. I broached the subject with him and his partner about perhaps setting up an alliance where if he sent me the referrals and he was licensed then we could share in the revenue. These days, if he has any clients then obviously he refers them to me and if I have anybody that needs tax or accounting advice, I would refer them to him. It wouldn’t be right if I’m working with another CPA.
—Patricia Grenier, CFP
50. CPA events.
I have high quality events where I invite professionals, CPAs, clients, and prospects. We just had one on Obamacare and I probably had about 10 CPAs, attorneys and tax preparers (in the audience) and they really liked it. That helps build professionalism for us.
—Edward A. Wacks, CPA, CFP
For more sales & marketing tips, visit LifeHealthPro’s 100 Best Sales & Marketing Ideas.