SCOTT NEEB 10-Sep-2018
You share many commonalities with CPAs, estate attorneys, non-producing TPAs and other centers of influence, who also pride themselves on providing superior service to their clients. So, it makes sense to develop an outreach program to centers of influence as part of your prospecting efforts. They likely have clients who could benefit from your services.
It also makes good sense to connect with a group of professionals you may not have previously considered: property and casualty insurance agencies. In fact, insurance agents are an ideal place to prospect:
- Retirement is not their area of expertise
- Insurance agents typically don’t want to be fiduciaries
- Retirement plans pay them less than other products they sell
- Many insurance agents are not licensed to sell investment products, but they have meaningful relationships with businesses and centers of influence
- Like you, insurance agents are interested in bringing value and expertise to their best clients
To find property and casualty insurance agencies in your area, check out this website: www.insurancejournal.com/top-100-insurance-agencies.
In addition to maintaining the database listing, The Insurance Journal publication breaks agencies down by region and revenue.
Also, as you get started, you might find it easier to work with agents at independent agencies, rather than those who represent large, nationally known agencies.
Follow these three steps to connect with insurance agents—and other professional peers—in your area.
STEP 1: GATHER CONTACTS
Reach out to your top 5 or 10 best clients, with whom you already have exceptionally strong relationships, and ask them to identify their insurance agents, CPAs, attorneys and estate planners. If you already have a record of their insurance agent, CPA and/or attorney, make the call anyway and ask to update your record.
STEP 2: ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
When you reach out to your clients, you want to uncover as much information as possible. Consider asking questions like these:
- How long have you worked with [insurance agent, estate attorney or CPA name]?
- Would you refer your friends, family and associates to [insurance agent, estate attorney or CPA name]?
- What do you like best about what they do?
STEP 3: REACH OUT, AND BE SPECIFIC
Once you’ve compiled a list of insurance agents, CPAs and estate attorneys who are working with your top clients, reach out to schedule a meeting and learn more about their practices.
Begin by identifying the clients you have in common:
“We share a mutual client, Chip Long. He said you were a critical resource to him when he opened his dental practice and that you continue to provide sound advice.”
Don’t spend time giving a generic sales pitch that paints you as all things to all people. Instead, share a specific problem that you have identified and address how you are solving for that need:
“I’ve noticed that some of my plan sponsor clients are struggling to drive employee enrollment in their retirement plan. In situations like these, I’ve been advocating for auto-enrollment, which helps increase enrollment but also helps retain great employees. Does this sound like something that could help any of your clients?”
As a next step, consider suggesting a 20-minute meeting, which feels like less of a time commitment for the center of influence. If that meeting goes well, you could offer to provide an educational seminar to his or her clients on a timely retirement topic.