5 Ways to Reach Plan Sponsor Prospects

5 Ways to Reach Plan Sponsor Prospects

When was the last time you received an unsolicited sales call? Were you thrilled to stop everything you were doing, turn your attention from your workflow and focus on the unknown voice on the other end? Occasionally you might do it to satisfy curiosity, or even annoyance. But most would typically avoid answering in the first place. The point is, if we find cold calling unacceptable in our own lives, why would it be accepted as an appropriate marketing strategy?

The era of cold calling or interruption marketing has slipped into the past. Your plan sponsor prospects want to connect with you using more modern platforms. To give the people what they want, consider these 5 ideas:

Develop a Short List

5500 Search forms to identify companies you want to work with. You can develop your short list by creating a profile of ideal clients, search by assets, participants, average account balances, industry or even recordkeeper. Be direct in this step. Think of you current clients. Is there a common thread among them? Maybe you have found a niche in the manufacturing industry or really enjoy working with law offices.

Social Media

LinkedIn is a great place for research and engagement. Take your short list of targeted companies you want to work with and search them on LinkedIn. With a few clicks you can identify your key prospects, this might include members of the C-suite, human resources or benefit directors. Connect with ALL decision makers. Once connected, not only will they be able to see your regular posts but you can also directly communicate with them via InMail. Consider inviting them to a *SPECIAL* Retirement Plan Update event – or offer a sample benchmarking report.


One bonus to LinkedIn connection is you can download your connections’ emails. This will help you to extend your list and connect on another level. Gather their email addresses with permission and add them to your content marketing nurture campaign. Create a communication and follow-up workflow using the FDI Business Management Dashboard and it will automatically remind you to perform and record those activities.

Merging Digital + Physical

Another great way to meet more potential clients is by joining groups.

  • LinkedIn Groups: You can use the search feature to find groups on LinkedIn and engage with members on the platform.
  • Hobby Groups: If you want a more in-person experience, consider Meetup.com. Merge hobbies (business, running, philanthropy) with networking.
  • Networking Groups: There are plenty of professional networking groups you could join to explore in-person opportunities: BNIToastmasters1 Million Cups

By joining and interacting with similar interests’ groups, you can develop relationships that may provide direct or referred business opportunities.

Community + Boards

In the same light as groups, you can take a deeper dive by getting involved with your community. Whether you want to join your local Chamber of Commerce or explore opportunities to sit on a board, you can build a great referral network. Most people who sit on boards are in tune with the local community and could become great centers of influence.

Continuously Deliver Value

The ideas above address the who and how, but now the question is what… what do you do? The answer is simple, deliver value. Think about their plan sponsor needs first and address those issues.

For example, security of sensitive data. Cybersecurity is a critical but often overlooked aspect of a plan sponsor’s fiduciary responsibility. They know they need to protect sensitive plan and participant data, but how? Reassure them they don’t have to be cybersecurity experts and provide them with questions they can ask their service providers. [For sample questions, click here: 401k Service Providers and Cybersecurity: Questions to Ask]. These types of topics help deliver value and strengthen your relationship as a go-to resource.

Focus on Relationships

For many plan sponsors, managing their 401(k) is only one of many aspects of their job. Communicating via channels that are less intrusive immediately demonstrates that you respect your prospects time. This helps to build a trusting relationship. Take these 5 ideas and incorporate them into your business and experience how your quality of communication, dedication of service, delivery of value and extra credit items go the distance to create new relationships and earn new clients.

About Author:

Craig Rosenthal, Head of Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer

Craig Rosenthal, Head of Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer

Craig is Head of Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer for Fiduciary Decisions. In this role, he is responsible for driving Product and Partnership strategy as well as the overall messaging and marketing for the firm.

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