Trust and Estate Attorneys

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Apr 20, 2007 11:49 pm

Has anyone had any luck building a book from scratch through working with trust and estate attorneys?  Yeah, I know it is a stupid question, but I am gearing this for someone in their first six months of production.  I have a friend willing to put me in contact with some trust and estate attorneys but am hesitant to pull the trigger.  Partially because I am relatively new (I know, dump the head trash) and also because I do not like to work with friends, even though this would be indirectly.

Apr 20, 2007 11:53 pm

Good luck Bondo, but in my experience attorneys are the most selfish and

self-serving class of people I have ever come into contact with. I certainly

hope that your experience is better than mine.



Apr 21, 2007 12:04 am

You can build a very large book working with those types of professionals, but don't count on it happening overnight or even by the end of a year.  Also, I wouldn't focus solely on them, remember a little bit of a lot usually leads to better success, although not always.


I think the key thing when you meet with these professionals is not to approach them about referring business right away.  Meet with them initially very quickly as their time is very important.  Ask many questions about their business...let them talk, don't talk about your business at all to begin with.  Set up another meeting and bring something of interest to them (news article, tax/trust law change, etc.).  At this time, tell them how you might be able to add value to their clients, tell them you will prepare it and set up another meeting.  Bring the added value piece, usually a client specific report, and customize it for the attorney with fake data just to show how it would work and who it would work for.  Because you've had 3-5 meetings by this point, you have slowly developed a powerful relationship that MAY, but not always, lead to referrals.


Always know that their reputation is on the line with prospects they refer to you...don't EVER mess that up.


It takes time and your professionalism will take the "working with friends" part out of it.


Good luck and stick with it.

Apr 21, 2007 8:19 am
runswithbulls:

You can build a very large book working with those types of professionals, but don't count on it happening overnight or even by the end of a year.  Also, I wouldn't focus solely on them, remember a little bit of a lot usually leads to better success, although not always.


I think the key thing when you meet with these professionals is not to approach them about referring business right away.  Meet with them initially very quickly as their time is very important.  Ask many questions about their business...let them talk, don't talk about your business at all to begin with.  Set up another meeting and bring something of interest to them (news article, tax/trust law change, etc.).  At this time, tell them how you might be able to add value to their clients, tell them you will prepare it and set up another meeting.  Bring the added value piece, usually a client specific report, and customize it for the attorney with fake data just to show how it would work and who it would work for.  Because you've had 3-5 meetings by this point, you have slowly developed a powerful relationship that MAY, but not always, lead to referrals.


Always know that their reputation is on the line with prospects they refer to you...don't EVER mess that up.


It takes time and your professionalism will take the "working with friends" part out of it.


Good luck and stick with it.



Great idea! They'll never figure out that you want something from them. They'll just think that you have a magazine article delivery service and that you don't even charge for your services.

Apr 21, 2007 10:44 am

Please go away. Your comments are not funny or entertaining, and you contribute nothing of value to the forum.


I'm begging you, please go find someone else to bother.



Apr 21, 2007 1:40 pm
Borker Boy:

Please go away. Your comments are not funny or entertaining, and you contribute nothing of value to the forum.


I'm begging you, please go find someone else to bother.





You spelled "broker" wrong.

Apr 21, 2007 2:28 pm

Bobby Hull may be sarcastic, but he's 100% correct on this.  Put yourself in the chair of the attorney/CPA.  Where would you send business? 


1) Your personal financial advisor
2) Advisors who send you business
3) An advisor who could compensate you for the referral
4) A "nice" advisor who sends lots of information to you


#'s 1,2, and 3 will all get business.  Bondo, you will be #4.  You will only get a referral if the attorney is working with someone who gets asked to be referred to 4 people.

Apr 21, 2007 2:49 pm

I agree with anonymous. And, if you are starting from scratch, a decent attorney would not send you any meaningful business right away.  Same with a CPA, they want to send their clients to someone that will impress, so that it looks good back on them.  Most first year financial advisors are not "impressive" when it comes to helping with estate planning issues.

Apr 21, 2007 3:47 pm
Borker Boy:

Please go away. Your comments are not funny or entertaining, and you contribute nothing of value to the forum.


I'm begging you, please go find someone else to bother.






Begging probably won't be a very effective tactic here.

Apr 21, 2007 4:16 pm

The approach I mentioned above works for the very reason you see on this board.  Most people think it can't work, therefore they don't try it.  Most people think you have to refer someone to get a referral, that's simply not true.  Ask most CPA's/Atty's, they would rather have a broker make them look good, rather than receive a referral.  Of course, if two brokers are equally professional, they would take the one with the referral.


The method I described earlier is a very simplified version of the Alliance Bernstein Training.  AB uses this and has much tougher asset goals than the Merrill POA program...in fact it makes the POA program look like a joke. 


Apr 21, 2007 10:29 pm
anonymous:

Bobby Hull may be sarcastic, but he's 100% correct on this.  Put yourself in the chair of the attorney/CPA.  Where would you send business? 


1) Your personal financial advisor
2) Advisors who send you business
3) An advisor who could compensate you for the referral
4) A "nice" advisor who sends lots of information to you


#'s 1,2, and 3 will all get business.  Bondo, you will be #4.  You will only get a referral if the attorney is working with someone who gets asked to be referred to 4 people.



I agree with your assesment, however, you still have to start somewhere. I think you would do well to build relationships with a few local Estates and Trusts attorneys, just dont make it your focus - just one of the many activities you should be into early on. It may (and probably will) take years to bear fruit, but starting it now is better than not starting it at all. This is a business in which longevity breeds success, and this is just one more example of how.

Apr 21, 2007 11:56 pm
pratoman:
anonymous:

Bobby Hull may be sarcastic, but he's 100% correct on this.  Put yourself in the chair of the attorney/CPA.  Where would you send business? 


1) Your personal financial advisor
2) Advisors who send you business
3) An advisor who could compensate you for the referral
4) A "nice" advisor who sends lots of information to you


#'s 1,2, and 3 will all get business.  Bondo, you will be #4.  You will only get a referral if the attorney is working with someone who gets asked to be referred to 4 people.


I agree with your assesment, however, you still have to start somewhere. I think you would do well to build relationships with a few local Estates and Trusts attorneys, just dont make it your focus - just one of the many activities you should be into early on. It may (and probably will) take years to bear fruit, but starting it now is better than not starting it at all. This is a business in which longevity breeds success, and this is just one more example of how.



Exactly-

My first referrals came from folks I built the relationships with before I ever had the right to expect the referrals...but eventually they came.

It would be hard, however, to build a business on that in the beginning.