One of the hardest things for a new financial planner to do is to grow the number of clients.  That is because those that are established, already have a deep client base, which can lead to many client referrals.  Strategic alliances are also easier to build when the planner has a longer list of clients to introduce.  Although difficult, it is not impossible for those new to the industry to bring in new business.

As the “Coach” in the Financial Planning Association’s Coaches Corner giving, advice on Business Growth Strategies, Byrnes Consulting is in a unique position to see how the next generation of financial planners are growing their businesses.

To help those that are getting started or even those that have been around for years, but are struggling to bring new clients, here is five pieces of advice from FPA’s NexGen members.

Network Purposefully

A lot of new people think their job is one where they sit behind a desk. However, when it comes to new business, being locked in the office all the time can be a big hinderance to meeting new people.

“Networking is the most important thing that young planners can do to improve and grow their businesses. You have to be intentional and proactive about connecting with other professionals in related industries, and you need to clearly and succinctly explain what’s unique about your services,” said Kevin Clark, a financial advisor at Comprehensive Wealth Partners, associated with Ameriprise Financial.

“Networking in this manner accomplishes two key things: it makes you invaluable to existing clients, and it aligns you with people who do related work and can identify and refer potential new clients. Many of my clients rely on me to introduce or refer them to professionals for items that have nothing to do with their financial plan. For example, just last month one of my clients asked me for a suggestion on who she could contact to fix her HVAC system,” stated Clark.

He added, “Clients have told me that being a one-stop resource for them is just as important as the planning work I do for them. And in my experience, the more accountants, estate attorneys, insurance agents, realtors and bankers you have in your network, the more likely you are to receive calls referring people who match your ideal client and who need to talk to someone about their money. It took several years of being patient and making diligent effort to build this network, and the result is now that most of my new clients are referrals from those key professionals.”

Collaborate With Accountants

One of the key strategic alliances each financial planner should have is with an accountant.  The financial planning and tax services professions are very complimentary and can even overlap at times.

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