sales champ | PLANADVISER March/April 2011

Cultivating Your Client Base

Six keys to expanding­ your foundation of ­retirement-plan clients

By | March/April 2011
Page 1 of 4
Jen Corace

“Many plan advisers are great consultants, but sometimes they are not great marketers,” says John Carl, President of Retirement Learning Center, LLC, in New York, which helps financial services players such as advisers increase their retirement business. “If you are capable of understanding the ERISA [Employee Retirement Income Security Act] code, maybe you are not by nature a great marketer. The big challenge is, ‘How do I get in front of new clients?’”

Most advisers do not get into the business to be sales or marketing gurus, agrees Mike Byrnes, President of Boston-based Byrnes Consulting, LLC, which works with businesses including advisers, on their business and marketing plans. “Most have to challenge themselves where they do not feel comfortable, work on it, and become ­comfortable,” he says.

The key to developing new plan clients “is focus, focus, focus, focus,” says adviser Dorann Cafaro, Founder of Little Silver, New Jersey-based Cafaro Greenleaf. “It is not so much what you do [to recruit new clients]: It is keep doing the same thing, and do it over and over again. The more you do it, the better you will get at it.” Adviser Donald Stone, President of Chicago-based Plan Sponsor Advisers, says that finding new clients “is initially a pretty slow process but, once you have it working, it is very lucrative.”