How to Build Effective Relationships with Allied Professionals

Munchbach, Jim
October 2007
Journal of Financial Planning;Oct2007, Vol. 20 Issue 10, p70
Academic Journal
• This article, adapted from a book newly released by FPA Press, Allied for Success: Creating a Synergy of Specialists to Fulfill Our Clients' Dreams, explains how financial planners can build an effective informal (or formal) alliance with allied professionals such as insurance agents, CPAs, attorneys, and stockbrokers. The goal of the alliance is twofold: to genuinely serve the best interests of the client and provide a referral source for each other's services. • The planner serves as the quarterback of the alliance. The planner should slowly and wisely choose the right alliance partners—usually starting out with four to six highly competent professionals who have proved themselves to the planner or who have excellent reputations. The planner may eventually add partners to fill gaps, though the alliance may occasionally need outside specialists. • The planner also provides initial and ongoing coaching to equip each allied professional with the ability to identify and address clients' dreams, desires, and goals—what the financial planning profession calls life planning. • Regular communication, such as a meeting of the alliance every week or two, is important. It must be clear who is the primary provider for each client. • The alliance usually is informal, but it may want to develop joint marketing efforts where all alliance members participate in events for clients and potential clients. The alliance may even want to create a formal business relationship through a limited liability company. • A sample invitation letter and alliance agreement are provided.


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