Jeff Concepcion is a financial advisor who never carries business cards.
When he talks with potential clients, he takes their information and makes a follow-up call a few days later, so he is sure of a second contact.
That is one way Concepcion has turned the process of obtaining new prospects and referrals into an active rather than a passive campaign.
Concepcion is president and CEO of Stratos Wealth Partners, an RIA firm based in Solon, Ohio, with 150 advisors in 17 states. The firm, which opened its first office in February 2009, currently has more than $1.05 billion in client assets under management in advisory accounts and an additional $5.1 billion in brokerage assets held in accounts with LPL Financial, Stratos Wealth Partners' broker/dealer, and is still growing.
Concepcion attributes his success partly to his "go-get-‘em" style of seeking referrals. He has regular meetings with advisors in the firm to help them turn the passive referral system most advisors use on its head.
“If you give someone your business card, it is going to go in their pocket and you are never going to get a call,” Concepcion says. So instead of waiting for prospects to call him, Concepcion calls them.
Another technique he recommends advisors use is asking clients for names of new prospects. That might seem routine, but Stratos advisors ask for 100 names, which seems impossible.
“When you have done a really good job for someone, you can ask them for a large list of referrals. When they say they do not know that many people, you ask if you can see their accounts payable and accounts receivable,” says Concepcion, who deals with a lot of business owners.
“For one business owner who is a client, we went back to him with the names of all the other business owners in his industrial park. Then you talk to the business owner’s spouse and ask what organizations he or she is involved in and you get those contacts,” he says.
Concepcion then composes a letter of introduction and gets permission to send it to the contacts on the business owner’s letterhead. He and his advisors will get three or four new clients out of this process each time, he says. He then uses the letters on business owners’ letterhead as examples when asking another client to do the same.