401(k) prospecting

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Jan 19, 2007 9:09 am

has anyone on this forum had any success using the free erisa site or any of the other sites that mutual fund companies have that provides business leads for company's retirement plans????

Jan 20, 2007 12:41 pm

Yes.  But I actually use Lord Abbett Intelligence (pulls data from same place I think).  Call your wholesaler to get a logon.  It's actual 5500 data.  You can sort on virtually any field.  Also has business owner data.

Jan 20, 2007 6:23 pm

See if the wholesalers have access to  www.401kexchange.com  Great tool - actually has responses from surveys of the plan sponsors.  Fund companies pay for access  so you need to be tight with the retirement plan wholesaler to get access...


Having said that,  I have been successful getting a couple of meetings with plan sponsors but it is such a loooong sales cycle that I have backed off pursuing plans.  Good luck  - if you have the patience, it can be lucrative if you land a couple plans a year...

Jan 20, 2007 8:19 pm

That is true. It has to sort of be back-burner stuff. Nice way to get

regular deposits and access to owner/senior managers personal stuff.

Jan 21, 2007 12:17 am

NOFX, what would one pay for leads from "prospecting goldmine" on 401k exchange?

Jan 21, 2007 3:03 pm

No idea.  Our firm actually pays for access.

Jan 21, 2007 3:43 pm

Talk to your LA wholesaler.

Feb 2, 2007 8:21 pm

hartfords advisor site has a 401k search tool. Basicaly the same data as what you get on Lord Abbett's.

Feb 2, 2007 9:34 pm

I think they all mine data from Free ERISA.

Feb 6, 2007 5:39 pm

Are there any alternatives to 401(k) Exchange out there?  I can't seem to find any.  I have checked out their platform, as well as larkspur date, through The Hartfords website.  I have also tried freeerisa.com.  I am looking for other programs accessable through fund companies sites.

Feb 7, 2007 12:09 am

When I go to free erisa.com - I can pull up 5500 info - but then what? Do you have a way to get names of decision makers? This is great info, but curious as to how you all approach it from there? What has worked for you?

Feb 7, 2007 10:14 pm

Call your Lord Abbett wholesaler. They can get you on their site. It has

contact names, numbers, and maybe addresses (can't remember).

Feb 19, 2007 12:46 pm

has anyone been REALLY successful at prospecting this business?

Feb 19, 2007 1:41 pm

frumhere--right on.


NO.  This is a complete waste of time.  401ks are placed by their internal contacts.  When I started out, 401k prospecting dragged me down.


I had plenty of meetings and we have plenty of great providere (Transamerica, Hartford, Principal)


It is a huge hassle for firms to change, and only one out of a million follow thru.  Then they do it with their buddy.


Spend you time prospecting in another way.



Feb 19, 2007 8:06 pm

It took me 1.5 years to get a $10 mil 401(k) plan for a small manufacturer. When I got it, I finally knew I would make it in this business. The additional business I received, from getting this plan, amounted to over $3 mil: personal accounts, etc. That being said, would I base my entire business on opening these types of accounts? No. Do I continue to market for these types of accounts? Yes.


Why? It breaks the ice and puts the business owner at ease; especially, when meeting the owner for the first time. In other words, I can show the owner how great I am without his/her being defensive that I'm trying to sell them something. Yeah, yeah, it may not be your style, but I've opened a fair number of "other" accounts while fishin' for retirement plans.


If I had to depend on selling retirement plans for a living, I'd be broke. But because I initially market retirement plans, I'm able to make a good living from opening other types of accounts.

Feb 19, 2007 9:34 pm

I would agree with Doberman.  Though I do not have any plans close to $10 mil yet, prospecting for them, and landing them (or not) helps find other business.  They owners view you somehow as a professional partner, rather than a salesman looking for his account.  Once I gain the trust of the owner, then I get access to their personal stuff, and lots of accounts from employees.  But, also as Doberman said, you can't live off this prospecting method, as the lead time is long and arduous.


My goal is to get 2-3 plans per year.  That way I gain access to a captive audience of a 50-100 people per year (I am not looking for real large plans yet).  Once I get real good at them, I may look for some larger plans.


And on other thing: sometimes you end up giving away the plan as a "loss leader" for your business.  I have a plan with a hospital doctor group that only pays me 25BP trail with nothing upfront.  So I make very little on it.  But guess who I have access to ??....A group of people I would never otherwise be able to prospect for personal stuff.


Feb 20, 2007 8:27 pm

Broker24:


And on other thing: sometimes you end up giving away the plan as a "loss leader" for your business.  I have a plan with a hospital doctor group that only pays me 25BP trail with nothing upfront.  So I make very little on it.  But guess who I have access to ??....A group of people I would never otherwise be able to prospect for personal stuff.


--------------------------------


You said it better than I did. Congrats on your success!

Mar 23, 2007 7:59 pm
frogger:

When I go to free erisa.com - I can pull up 5500 info - but then what? Do you have a way to get names of decision makers? This is great info, but curious as to how you all approach it from there? What has worked for you?


In AZ you can go to the Corp Commission Office and look up who the priciples are of the company. 


Key data on form 5500- 


Plan Number: Near top right This number indicates how many times the plan has switched from providers.  If it is 001, but was established in 1992, you know that this plan may be ripe for the taking beacause of the crappy investment choices that the plan may contain.


Then on the bottom of the first page there is a series of small boxes with code letters in them 2C, 2L, 4E, etc.  If you do not see "2F"  then, at the time of this filing, the plan was not 404(c) erisa compliant.  Read up on this to learn what this means, but in a nutshell, a plan that is not 404c compliant, exposes the plan sponsor to a lot more liability as a fiduciary.