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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hourihan

401(k) Advisor: 5 Steps to Establish a 401(k) Prospect List

Do you want to grow your 401(k) business but don’t know where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s examine five ideas to create a quality 401(k) prospect list through social intelligence to increase your 401(k) plan clients.

Sounds simple, right? Not so fast. If you’re just downloading the plan administrators name, ask yourself, can you do more? We live in a highly connected technological age, so with a little creative data analysis, you can find better (and more accurate) information.

  • Step 1: Download your preferred plan sponsor prospect list from a quality 5500 data aggregator (e.g. Retirement Plan Vision, ERISApedia). Feel free to refine this list, select a manageable search radius (20-30 miles from your office), preferred industries, plan size (think average plan size and up market). You can even search for red flags within plans such as corrective distributions.

  • Step 2: Search the named plan administrator on social media. Keep in mind the Form 5500 data is “older” information. The majority of people keep their social media profiles up to date; and if that person has changed jobs, they typically will immediately update their social media profiles with their new company information and title. Therefore, you can strengthen your prospect list by confirming that you are marketing to the right person who still works at the prospective company. During your social media search, keep your eye open for second degree connections and shared interests such as groups, associations, and schools.

  • Step 3: Find additional decision makers. Rarely is a retirement plan decision a truly solo one because it effects all employees. When a plan changes to a new advisor, he or she could possibly effect plan governance meetings, investment analysis reports, benchmarking processes, employee education curriculum, and more. As a fiduciary group, the plan decision makers should be conducting due diligence and documenting why they are making a change. Therefore, when you are establishing your prospect list, find additional decision makers who most likely will be part of the conversation and start to develop a trusted relationship. They might have titles like CFO, CEO, Director of HR, Controller, President, Owner, etc.

  • Step 4: Connect on social media. There are two schools of thought on this. The first is to only connect with people you truly know. The other is to connect with everyone. Think about your business and what you are trying to accomplish through social media and select the strategy that best aligns with your business goals.

  • Step 5: Post, share, and like. It’s time to demonstrate your retirement plan experience. As you continue to post and share about trends, regulatory updates, current events, and hot topics, plan decision makers will start to identify you as a professional retirement plan advisor.

In a recent Fidelity study, it was found that 23% of plan sponsors are searching for a new retirement plan advisor and the 1# reason for changing is to work with a more knowledgeable retirement plan specialist.[1] Therefore, if you consistently demonstrate your retirement plan acumen via social media, those plan decisions makers will connect the dots and look to you as a trusted resource and hopefully, their new retirement plan advisor.

Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!

About 401(k) Marketing

We believe the retirement plan industry can do better. Our clients are the best professional retirement plan advisors and TPAs in the business. They care deeply about saving America’s retirement future. We are proud to share their voices through industry writings, professionally-designed marketing materials (including websites), and expert content collateral. We lend support by promoting businesses through ongoing awareness campaigns.

About Retirement Plan Marketing

Retirement Plan Marketing is a product of 401(k) Marketing and is an ongoing turnkey marketing solution for retirement plan advisors. It is an easy-to-follow, consistent marketing program designed to get you noticed in your community and generate new retirement plan sales. When you deliver relevant plan sponsor content, you add value to your conversations and can work your way up to become known as the “go-to” retirement plan advisory office.

[1] “Plan Sponsor Attitudes. Survey Results: 7th Edition.” Fidelity. 2016.

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