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Should you market products you don't sell?

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The first answer would be the logical one: No. However, even though it is counterintuitive, there are very good reasons to promote products and services for which you can’t be paid.

Back in 2003 I was presenting seminars to audiences frequently. Since I was seeing a large number of prospects rapidly, I was learning rapidly. It became obvious that a huge problem with retirees was a serious lack of legal documentation for succession planning and current quality of life issues. It was very rare to find a prospective client who had everything in order. Fully 60 percent did not even have a simple will. Very few had a Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power or Living Will. These documents are of immense importance when one is aware of the consequences of living without them. You can profit from leading prospects to an attorney’s office to take care of these most important legal papers. Before I explain the process, I’ll explain the reason for it.

When you prospect for retirees a great opening question will be, “Have you updated your health care power of attorney in the last two years?” Their answer will invariably be negative. “HIPAA laws require that you have the latest language in your document that renders all previous documents useless. Doctors, hospitals and health care providers are required by law to follow HIPAA standards. They are very aware that they are liable for criminal and civil suits if they violate these rules.”

The next question should be, “Is your Durable Power of Attorney Patriot Act compliant?” They probably don’t have one, but whether they do or not, you should say, “Because of terrorism, the banking, brokerage and all other financial systems are dealing with money laundering. They don’t trust anyone. If anyone other than you tries to get money from your accounts, there are firewalls to prevent that from happening. If one of your loved ones needs to get to your money for you, they need the legal means to do so.”

Next question, “Do you have a current will?” Life changes as circumstances change. Wills become outdated. Outdated wills hurt feelings and create unintended heirs. It’s best to warn them of these impending problems. A trust is another document that takes everything to another level. Anyone with assets of any size could probably use a Living Trust. (The details of why they should do this would take another entire article!) One quarter of my seminars address legal documents. If I can get that discussion started, I have a very good chance of creating a client.

See also: The little mistake that could destroy a life insurance plan

The next step is with the attorney. Your choice of an attorney for referrals is critical. He must be wiling to help you get a client. By bringing prospective legal clients to him, there should be quid pro quo. The requirements of a working relationship with an attorney begin with the free consultation. A half hour is minimal, one hour is better.

The discussion should begin before you arrive. The prospects should be aware that they will need to divulge their financial situation and their family dynamics. If you have done a fact finder, you will be able to shorten the time with the attorney. If you have done your job in making the benefits of having the documents paramount, you will save time. Once you have their willingness to prepare legal work, then the attorney needs to help you by saying, “I have been very impressed with the work that Mr. Magdalein does with his clients. He is honest and forthright. His advice on financial products has accomplished much for many retirees. You would be well served by using his services.”

You are borrowing the credibility of the attorney. This has now become a reverse referral. Everything you have done so far hasn’t made a penny, but when you analyze the assets, I’m sure you can find appropriate products and services that you can offer. Now you are getting paid, and handsomely.