I started 29 years ago not knowing about the financial planning business. I used to sell industrial cleaning equipment to janitorial companies and school districts through distributors, so I had no clients of my own. Starting anew as a planner, I picked up the phone and cold called all the time. That tenacity, along with my ability to build relationships with my clients, allowed me to build a toehold, and eventually success in our business. Today there’s more technology to help you network, but it’s a new version of the same game. You’ve got to be able to get someone to have a conversation with you.
I’m not great at marketing to obtain new clients, so demonstrating value to my clients’ advisors (CPAs and attorneys), and receiving referrals from them continues to be my most profitable avenue for continued growth.
Additionally, my client motto is service, service, service. At the end of the day, nothing is more important to the success of your advisory practice than the service that you provide your clients. Let your hard work and commitment to your clients speak for itself. Then, the referrals will come. At this stage of my career, I will selectively ask clients for introductions, if I think they can introduce me to the right person. It is okay to gently remind them that the greatest compliment they can give you on a job well done is an introduction to a friend or family member that may have similar financial needs.
I’ve always been a balanced producer with knowledge of a wide spectrum of financial planning aspects, so I have a team around me of experts whom I can tap. This helps me maintain growth, since I do not need to turn away clients whose needs are complex or niche.
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