One of our longest-tenured PlanPro clients sat down with us to share the reassurance that their firm doesn’t rely on complex measures to win new clients and keep loyal ones. They stick to  ‘the basics.’ A focus on understanding the value their team brings to others, taking time to do research and homework, and being persistent when prospecting has won their team 18 plans in two quarters! They attribute the competitive advantage they have to PlanPro’s data that helps paint a more accurate, complete picture of a prospect’s retirement plan needs.

Executive Summary

– As a long-standing client of PlanPro, this financial planning company has gained 18 new plans in two quarters through a focus on “the basics”.

– Using a combination of conferences, workshops, and webinars, this plan advisor is able to develop and nurture a pipeline of “warm” leads.

– Their team uses PlanPro data to understand a company’s retirement plan needs and identify areas where they can add value.

– The firm targets specific niches and industries and uses a combination of cold calling, LinkedIn, and email to make connections with prospects.

– Beginning by building informal, friendly connections with prospects and being persistent in their outreach, the team has been able to increase their close rates.

– They believe that their success is due to understanding the value they bring to clients, thorough research and homework, and persistence in prospecting.

– PlanPro data helps this firm paint a more accurate and complete picture of a prospect’s retirement plan needs, allowing them to provide concrete value to clients.

From conferences to first calls – how one client builds a dossier and leverages PlanPro intel 

This plan advisor depends on conferences, workshops, and webinars to make their new connections. Feeding lists from conferences they’ve attended into Salesforce, and then comparing those leads with the PlanPro database, they can cross reference contacts. This allows them to get up to speed with an accurate understanding of how a company is managing its retirement plans. The team uses PlanPro data to help pinpoint a firm’s areas of opportunities –including unwieldy prices, low participation rates, cut fees, and corrective distributions–-to know what services they can bring to add immediate value to the prospect’s situation.  They can then head into a call confident they know the value they bring to the company. It isn’t rocket science that’s brought them success, but rather dedicated time combing through PlanPro data insights and plan reports to identify parts of a plan that “jump out” as being problematic – and resolvable. 

Targeting low-hanging fruit and knowing your niche 

As part of their usual prospecting methods, the team creates lists of similar prospects and cross-references them with PlanPro and Linkedin to build targeted lists. They don’t try to tackle all possible clients, but just the niche or industry they are most interested in and can provide the most value. Although the team has used other tools for data prospecting previously, they describe PlanPro as the easiest platform to use with the capacity to do the most advanced searches. Partnering with PlanPro has cut down the length of a typical sales cycle and increased close rates, as plan knowledge is more immediate and obvious, and the entire sales team can be literally on the “same page”.

More warm connections gained by PlanPro due diligence 

This firm has found a direct correlation between establishing an informal, friendly connection with a prospect and higher closing rates. They depend on a combination of cold calling, Linkedin, and email messaging – always cross checking info through the PlanPro database. They create relevance, familiarity, and credibility through attending and speaking at conferences, and when they then reach out via LinkedIn, it’s more likely that the prospect has heard them speak, or at the very least, heard their firm’s name. This is important because any sort of outreach to these prospects is no longer cold. Even if a prospect didn’t have prior knowledge of who they are, just mentioning that they attended the same conference can be enough of a warm introduction to eliminate any negative feelings that can come with a cold sale. Because of this process, today the team has 3,000 prospects that they’ve warmed through webinars, Linkedin, or at conference booths. 

Focused meetings + more plans won 

The firm doesn’t use PlanPro pdf reports to out-wit or out-shine a prospect, though they do approach a first meeting prepared with their PlanPro homework. They treat this initial meeting as an informal discovery, a spot analysis meeting where they can share what they’ve observed about a plan as a result of PlanPro intel, and invite the prospect to weigh in on the accuracy of this understanding. The team can then assess whether they are a good fit for the prospect, learn more about the company, its employees, what’s working and what’s not, and what’s important to them. It’s a collaborative non-threatening discussion that isn’t approached as a sales pitch. 

In a recent plan they won, it was just a matter of taking a close look at the prospect’s plan, where they noticed 68 participants had enrolled in 2020 in this firm’s 401k plan, and then 750 in 2022 (with assets scaling by 80k). This was an obvious red flag. They made sure to ask about this huge change at their initial meeting, only to discover that the decision maker herself was perplexed. By pointing this out to the prospect, and resolving the mystery by explaining that paychecks had reallocated forfeitures, their firm was hired on-the-spot that day. 

In another plan win, one of their competitors was vying for the same plan and gave prices as if the prospect had vastly fewer employees. However, using PlanPro data, our client had consulted the prospect’s most updated 5500 form and seen that the firm had actually grown exponentially. The competitor had never even looked, and so the pricing was inaccurate and misleading. As a result, the prospect trusted the team and quickly put the plan into their hands. 

Paying attention to PlanPro intel has given their team a competitive edge and a better understanding of important changes in their prospects’ companies –  ultimately resulting in their team closing 18 deals since June. The team’s pipeline is ripe with possibilities, but they know they can’t target every single lead and risk becoming overwhelmed. They call this playing ‘the long game’ – discerning the niche where the team can actually make an impact, and whose plans they can target more quickly and serve better. They estimate that of the 500 connections they’ve made since June, about 40 of those have engaged with them to discuss retirement plans, and then from those 40, the 18 plans were won. With about a 50% close rate, the firm is continually serving new clients. However, they also take pride in working hard at keeping  their current ones.

New year and new goals 

This firm aims high when they set their team’s new goals. Because of PlanPro’s reliable data platform, they no longer have to spend long hours aggregating data, enabling them to focus on creating connections and making more touches per month. Their 2023 goals include forming 100 new relationships and adding 100 million dollars in assets under management. The team is persistent – hoping to have up to 300 prospects touched per month, by ramping up their current team with rookie advisor reinforcements.

Sticking to the basics 

Ultimately, their team doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel – they stick to what’s worked in the past – doing homework using the PlanPro platform, working diligently at touching as many leads as possible, and being confident with the specific value they bring as a team to a certain niche industry. There isn’t a secret recipe – just a hearty work ethic and a partner like PlanPro.

Key tips from the firm’s lead advisor for wealth advisors struggling to book meetings:

  • Know your value and which industry niche you can make a difference in. Target the low-hanging fruit.
  • Have a strong relationship with a data provider like PlanPro who can offer fresh, high-quality plan knowledge and consistent, high-quality customer support. 
  • Devote time to researching your prospects, their companies, and needs.
  • Set high goals to touch x-number of leads a month using a variety of platforms – Linkedin, cold calls, and email messaging.