According to research, most financial advisors have devoted some effort to build business by reaching out to other types of professionals. But most are fairly ineffectual. One big reason is that they are pursuing the wrong professionals.

Consider your own experiences. You’ve probably had more than a few breakfasts, lunches and dinner meetings with prospective referral sources. Let’s add in a few meetings without food. If you’re like most financial advisors, you’re very likely spending a lot of time, money and effort on that process. And again, you’re likely looking for the wrong people.

Say you’re an investment advisor trying to convince an accountant that active management is better for their clients than buying and holding index funds until they need the money. Given the way financial advisors usually behave, you will likely continue to take the accountant to lunch to persuade him, periodically believing that he will recognize the value of active management. The accountant will likely continue going, as long as the restaurants continue to be appealing.

Or perhaps you’re a financial advisor who has had almost a dozen lunch meetings with a trusts and estates attorney and her partners to discuss the use of sophisticated life insurance with advanced planning strategies. Attorneys generally believe they can mitigate estate taxes over time, leaving little if any need for life insurance. They think all that’s really required is term insurance until all the possible estate taxes are eliminated.

Still, you seek out new and intriguing ways to incorporate life insurance into the advanced planning strategies. You’re confident that eventually you’ll find a pairing that “wows” this attorney. And you will continue to meet with her every time a new life insurance policy variation comes along.

Or take a third-party marketer explaining the benefit of carefully chosen alternative investments such as hedge funds and private equity to an accounting firm’s family office group. The accountants are squeamish because there’s a chance their high-net-worth clients could lose money, and these investments lock in funds for a period of time. The wealthy clients are only interested in safe investments.

Yet the marketer is convinced that the accountants will come around and see how hedge funds and private equity funds work in a risk-adjusted portfolio. The marketer is ever hopeful that the accountants will then happily introduce their wealthiest clients to him. The only thing required is persistence.

Indeed, most financial advisors will be persistent in these scenarios, hoping to convince another professional of the validity of their positions. But even though perseverance is an important component of success, there are limits.

In a survey of 549 financial advisors, 93.3% report spending way too much time pursuing these “wrong” professionals. In general, they look at the opportunities and “feel” that if only they can persuade these other people, they can tap into a vein of affluent clientele who will come their way en masse.