Being Outspoken Will Cost You

I always say that plan providers need to stand out in the crowd. I follow my own advice and that’s how I tried to act when I started my law practice 7 years ago.

I was pretty brazen in my comments and I know I certainly ruffled a few feathers with my unbridled discussions in a world that pre-dated fee disclosure regulations. It was rather unique as many ERISA attorneys are neutral in their comments because of their desire to keep a low profile in getting to represent all plan providers, including both good and bad. I called out bad retirement plan providers including two of the top payroll providers and that certainly closed one pipeline of referrals.

The point is that being outspoken will certainly let you stand out in the crowd, but it can cause you business and it certainly has cost me. The point is that you can be outspoken, but always make sure that you don’t offend every potential client or sources of referrals.

I think my act has toned down over the years, I’m more mature and the previous object of my ire no longer exists. I don’t regret the way I started, but it was interesting to hear a recent third party administrator (TPA) criticize me as someone who hates TPAs. That’s something I have not heard in over 4 years and my TPA clients will agree that I like good TPAs and I don’t like bad TPAs. There is a difference.

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