Professional referrals and a team approach to financial planningBlog added by Lauren McNitt on July 13, 2011
Lauren McNitt

Lauren McNitt

Denver, CO

Joined: September 08, 2010

My Company

ProducersWEB

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In this week’s #prowebchat we discussed how to get professional referrals and the concept of a team approach to financial planning with co-host Brandon Stuerke. Stuerke is an industry expert in strategies for partnering with CPAs.

Here is a recap of the chat:

@ProducersWEB Q1: As financial advisers, do you have specific CPAs and other professionals you work with? What is the benefit? #prowebchat
    @stuerke Usually CPAs that work with my top clients, the main reason is because they have many more clients just like them #prowebchat

    @laurenatpweb @stuerke So CPAs would like to work with the advisors' clients just as much as the advisor wants to work with the CPA's clients? #prowebchat

    @stuerke #prowebchat Absolutely. It can be a true win win for both if structured right upfront. Sadly this is where most advisors go wrong

    @stuerke Another reason is because CPAs tend to have the best relationships with their clients because they meet every year #prowebchat

    @ltcassociates #prowebchat We work with FA's, but have found CPA's a more lukewarm audience

    @paulwatpweb @ltcassociates Do you think this is due to some CPAs feeling territorial about their clients? #prowebchat

    @ltcassociates Two areas of resistance 1) it's a bad time (geez, isn't it always?) 2) "MY clientele is elite/super-wealthy" #prowebchat
@ProducersWEB Q2: How do you find/determine if a financial professional is someone you want to partner with/refer clients to? #prowebchat
    @KestlerFG @stuerke What are some of the common pitfalls you see in such a partnership? #prowebchat ^KK

    @stuerke @kestlerfg #prowebchat Usually from an advisors point of view a lack of referrals back to you. This is b/c most leave it up to the CPA

    @stuerke @kestlerfg #prowebchat In my experience you need a proven way to build direct relationships with the CPAs clients empowering them to call U

    @KestlerFG @stuerke So you need to structure specifically for mutual benefit, not just expect it. Great point. #CYA #prowebchat ^KK #prowebchat
    @ltcassociates Third prob: while I've found many FA's who're insurance-licensed and can share in commissions/fees, it's not the case with CPA's #prowebchat

    @stuerke #prowebchat @ltcassociates The best way in my experience is to come to the CPA with a real value proposition, not splitting commissions
@ProducersWEB Q3: What strategies do you use to encourage CPAs and other financial pros to partner with you/refer you to clients? #prowebchat
    @stuerke #prowebchat In our practice we've developed a very unique proposition in which we help the CPA market themselves AND build our brand

    @DiplomaTherapy@DiplomaTherapy: @stuerke @ltcassociates What do you say to get an appointment with CPA #prowebchat

    @stuerke @DiplomaTherapy #prowebchat It has to be a value to the CPA and you have to be different. Do NOT lead with cross referring or comm. splits

    @laurenatpweb @stuerke Are there specific attributes you can look for in a CPA that will help your chances of building a good relationship? #prowebchat

    @stuerke #prowebchat I think you want a CPA that wants to grow, and understands the value of a team approach to planning.

    @ltcassociates #prowebchat A small "cold-call" type mailing with some AALTCI materials was a bust, but I attribute that to lack of proper follow-up

    @paulwatpweb @stuerke Following up on @ltcassociates ? do any cold-calling strategies work or is it always based on networking/who you know? #prowebchat

    @stuerke @paulwatpweb #prowebchat Absolutely cold calling can work, with the right script and a pre approach strategy that I used to warm them up

    @ebchampion @stuerke Would you be willling to share your approach? Thanks. #prowebchat

    @stuerke @ebchampion #prowebchat Absolutely, in fact I'll be outlining my exact approach at this years Senior Market Advisor Expo in Vegas
@ProducersWEB Q4: Once you have their trust what are some strategies for getting their clients to come to you beyond a simple referral? #prowebchat
    @ltcassociates #prowebchat In the case of our FA network, we do rely on passive referrals to come to us, but I am interested in @stuerke's response to Q4

    @stuerke @producersweb #prowebchat I've found that co-branded workshops work great, as well as other co-branded marketing.

    @stuerke @ltcassociates #prowebchat I've found though that building the relationship with CPA's clients before the workshops is an essential piece

    @KestlerFG Do you have better results relying on the CPA for an introduction to their clients or just introducing yourself? #prowebchat ^KK

    @stuerke @kestlerfg #prowebchat The best is having the CPAs introduce me at the events and then close the meetings for me...

    @ProducersWEB Q5: What are the biggest challenges of working with CPAs?

    @stuerke @kestlerfg #prowebchat Most CPAs don't refer simply b/c it's out of sight out of mind. You have to put the client in control...

    @stuerke #prowebchat The biggest challenge is differentiating yourself from all the other advisors approaching the CPA. Coming up with a unique appr

    @paulwatpweb @stuerke I've heard that CPAs tend to be particularly prickly when it comes to their clients. Do you find this true ? #prowebchat

    @stuerke @paulwatpweb #prowebchat Depends on the CPA, but as long as you present yourself in the right light and build trust up front should be ok
Be sure to drop by #prowebchat on Twitter next week on Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST.
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