EKG heart waves with dollar sign Are your prospecting efforts robust or do you need thedefibrillator paddles and the paramedics? (Photo:Shutterstock)

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Sales is a big part of your job description.  You needto keep the pipeline filled.  Not all financial professionals are alike. Some sell benefit plans to businesses, othersinsurance.  Some work with mom-and-popbusinesses.  And almost everyone wants a piece of thewealth management pie.  Everyone needs prospects.  Where will you findthem?

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Need a dozen ways to fill your pipeline?

Imagine your family doctor is giving your practice its annualphysical.  Do they pronounce your prospectingefforts as “robust” or do they run and get thedefibrillator paddles and call for the paramedics?

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If it’s the emergency situation described above, let’s lookat 12 possible sources that offer something for almosteveryone.

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1.  Vendors.  You may work insales, but you buy stuff too.  You are someone’sclient.  You get your car repaired, hair cut and liquorcabinet filled.  Look at your checkbook and charge cardreceipts.  Where do you spend money?  Build alist.

  • Business accounts:  Doesn’t everybusiness need to offer retirement plans and benefits?
  • Personal accounts:  People buyinsurance.  And they likely invest in themarket.  Why not with you?

2.  Former employer.  Manypeople get into this business as a second career.  Youleft behind relationships.  You have areputation.  People like you.

  • Business accounts:  Compete in theretirement plan or benefits space?
  • Personal accounts:  People who knewyou well buy insurance and make investments.  Have youasked for their business?

3.  Schools you attended. There’s elementary, high school and college.  There’sanother set for your children too.

  • Investment accounts:  Althoughbenefits might be handled by the school district, there might be afoundation or endowment providing funds for scholarships. There’s likely managed money involved.
  • Personal accounts:  There’s likely analumni association with a local group.  Have you gotteninvolved?  Who are the major players?  The OldSchool Tie can be pretty strong when it comes to doingbusiness.

4.  New businesses in town. Restaurants open all the time.  Your business journalmight talk about new startups or licenses issued.

  • Business accounts:  They likely needeverything.  Can you compete?
  • Personal accounts:  They need toseparate business funds from personal funds.  Does anyonehandle their personal finances yet?

5. Your religious institution. There’s lots of opportunity here.  You see the same facesevery week.

  • Business accounts:  Who handles theirinsurance?  How often do they review the relationship andconsider making changes?  There might be endowment fundstoo.
  • Personal accounts:  There areeducational seminar opportunities here.  Do you advertisein the weekly bulletin?  Are you involved?  Dopeople know what you do?

6.  Chamber of Commerce.  Itseems so obvious, you’ve written it off.  You might haveassumed there’s only one Chamber in town.  Do someresearch.  There are likely a few.  Some aregeographic for certain sections of town.  Others arealigned to cultural backgrounds.

  • Business accounts:  Pick a Chamberwhere you aren’t vastly outnumbered by competitors.  Findways to tell your story.
  • Personal accounts:  Ditto. Some Chambers have fewer financial advisors than others. Find one where you stand a decent chance of becoming theresident expert in your field.

7.  Associations.  There arelots of little nonprofits around.  If they have employees,they likely have benefits needs.

  • Business accounts:  As above, plusthey have insurance needs if they own property.
  • Personal accounts:  Getting involvedas a member gives you the chance to meet people.  Peopledo business with people they like.

8. Real estate brokers.  It can be aprofitable business if you own the firm.  Many of theagents are probably some sort of independent contractors. If the firm is larger with several offices and many agents, do theyoffer a 401(k)?

  • Business accounts:  If they ownproperty, it needs insurance.
  • Personal accounts:  People who workfor themselves need to provide for their own retirement.

9.  IT consultants.  Everyoneknows a few.  They seem to do very well forthemselves.  And every job seems to be a short timegig.

  • Business accounts:  They probably runthat side of their life as a business.  They need healthinsurance.  They need retirement plans.
  • Personal accounts:  If they make goodmoney, what are they doing with it?

10. Independent professionals.  Youknow lawyers, doctors, dentists and accountants.  If theyare in private practice, they basically work for themselves.

  • Business accounts:  Do they have aprofessional association in the local area?  Do they offerassociate memberships?  That could be your “in.”
  • Personal accounts:  Someone handlestheir personal accounts.  Are they happy?

11. Government contractors.  No, wearen’t talking private military contractors inAfghanistan.  The government farms out work to peopleworking on a contract basis.  They aren’t governmentemployees.  It’s an arm’s length relationship.

  • Business accounts:  They likely needto provide their own benefits and retirement plan.
  • Personal accounts:  Who handles theirpersonal money?

12. Private schools.  No, we aren’ttalking fancy prep schools.  (But we might!) There are local businesses operating as preschools.  Thereare smaller private schools with good reputations.

  • Business accounts:  They likely havebenefits plan needs that are put out for bidoccasionally.  Find out when.  Ask how you cancompete.  There might be an endowment that uses managedmoney to fund scholarships.
  • Personal accounts:  As mentionedabove, you are talking with individuals who do something with theirown money.

You don’t need to use all 12 ideas.  One ortwo might help get the pipeline refilled.

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Bryce Sanders is president of PerceptiveBusiness Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition trainingfor the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” can be foundon Amazon.

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READ MORE:

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You can’t be everything to everyone — howto define your market

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10 commandments of timemanagement

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8 mistakes advisors make when joining aChamber of Commerce

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